Meet Our Team
We are dedicated professionals who are passionately committed to providing evidence based, scientifically sound services to achieve your lifestyle goals! Utilizing innovative, safe and effective treatment techniques, we offer complete preventative and rehabilitative programs to maximize performance.
PT, DPT, M.ED, ATC, COMPT
Craig, a native of South Africa, brings a unique blend of experience to the Wellness Institute. Originally trained as an officer in the Airborne Forces, Craig retired from the military with the rank of Captain and was recruited into the business arena to manage a corporate sales team. He received a diploma in Business Management at Damelin Business College but decided that his interests lay in a different direction. In 1994, he returned to college to study physiotherapy. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from GC&SU receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, he obtained his national certification in Athletic Training (ATC), followed by a Masters in Physical Therapy (MPT) from AASU. Craig has since undergone additional specialization and completed the Australian Physiotherapy program in Orthopedic Manual Therapy specializing in spine rehabilitation with emphasis on lumbar and cervical dysfunction (COMT). He received his doctorate from the University of St. Augustine, specializing further in manual based therapy and has his certification in the use of Dry Needling (Cert DN). Craig is also a guest lecturer at AASU in Savannah. As a 27-year veteran in the game of rugby, Craig is the team physical therapist for the USA developmental team, the Panthers (USA Rugby South). In his spare time, Craig enjoys the outdoors and an active lifestyle including competing in Ironman distance triathlons, traveling internationally, and the occasional golf game.
BSc, PTA, CPT
Jennifer Stevenson is a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and Certified Personal Trainer with over 15 years of experience in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Setting. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology, Jennifer earned her PTA degree at South University. She is a Certified Personal Trainer through the Cooper Institute in Dallas, and is also a Certified Senior Strength Instructor. Her clinical interests include manual therapy and orthopedic injuries. Jennifer lives in Bluffton and has an 8-year-old son, Ashton. When she is not working, she pursues an active lifestyle. She has competed in marathons and half marathons, enjoys playing tennis and golf, and loves spending time with her son.
Andrea graduated from the University of Florida with a double major in microbiology and exercise physiology. She then continued her post-graduate training at the University of Florida, earning a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. She specializes not only in general orthopedic rehabilitation, but also an array of more sensitive therapeutic problems. Specifically, she treats women’s health, men’s health, pelvic pain, fecal and urinary incontinence, bladder re-training, and sexual pain.
She has received specialty training in pelvic floor dysfunction through the American Physical Therapy Association. She has also completed specialty training in Maitland and Mackenzie methods for treatment of low back and cervical pain. Andrea is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, APTA Section on Women’s Health, and the APTA Private Practice Section.
Andrea Schultz, PT, DPT, has become the first Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy (WCS) in the low country. She has also added a Certification in Dry Needling to her repertoire, allowing her to expand her treatment intervention options for both pelvic and orthopedic conditions.
She lives in Bluffton with her husband and her two sons who are a constant source of fun and adventure. Andrea enjoys running, spinning, and spending time with her family.
PT, DPT, SMT, Cert. Dry Needling, Dip. Osteopractic
Lauren graduated from American University in Washington, DC with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and then received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Maryland. She continued her education in manual therapy at the Virginia Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Institute in Charlottesville, Va.
Then, she went on to pursue fellowship training through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy with a focus on treatment techniques that include spine manipulation, dry needling, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, and cupping. Her certifications in spinal manipulation and dry needling led to a specialization in treating a variety of orthopedic conditions as well as temporomandibular disorders.
In her free time, Lauren enjoys running and playing with her miniature sheepadoodle Charlie.
Practice Administrator & Yoga Instructor
Helen has masters degrees in biology and outdoor education; she is passionate about her animals and has spent the last 10 years in the veterinary field after studying elephants in Africa. Her knowledge of anatomy led her to become an athletic trainer in her collegiate years. Her love of the outdoors has culminated in many pursuits including rock climbing, hiking, triathlons, tennis and yoga. She has chosen to lead restorative yoga as she feels that the relaxation and calming poses allow her inner peace.
Melinda Vinson is a Texas native who lives in Bluffton. She attended Weatherford College and Tarleton State University, focusing her efforts in Early Child Development, which led her working to 10 years in the Texas school system. Melinda brings over 25 years of customer service experience to us. In her spare time she enjoys showing, breeding, training and judging dogs. Her love for dogs has allowed her to explore the U.S. and the world. Her true passion is being a Granny.
Physical Therapy Technician
Elizabeth is a student majoring in health promotions at University of South Carolina Beaufort. She is passionate about exercise and fitness, which led to her desire to become a physical therapist. She has a love for the outdoors, running, biking, hiking and yoga.
Physical Therapy Technician
Jamie was born and raised in Hilton Head, SC. She has a B.Sc. degree in Health Promotion and a minor in Psychology. She has a passion for health and fitness and helping others live a healthy lifestyle. Her background is in personal training and teaching group fitness classes. Jamie enjoys running, swimming and spending time outdoors and on the beach.
John Perez was first introduced to massage therapy as a client while on a golf trip to Las Vegas. With continued sports therapy in Ohio he was able to see his golf handicap drop to single digits. It was with that success he decided to go back to school and study massage therapy in Maumee, Ohio at Stautzenberger College. Upon graduating he worked in a chiropractic office from 2007 to 2010 in the Toledo, Ohio area. While there he performed Myofascial Release work on clients prior to their Chiropractic adjustments. For the next 6 years, he worked at the Wellness Center in Findlay, Ohio under David Clinger who is an instructor with the Freedom from Pain Institute. John further continued his education and studied Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy under Dr. Eric Dalton who developed this therapy treatment method. After experiencing the Low Country and truly enjoying the area on a golf trip, John and his family moved to South Carolina. Now here at The Wellness Institute and their team of Physical therapists and specialists he joins them and brings his knowledge and experience. John is Certified with the Titleist Performance Institute from Oceanside, California. This certification allows him to screen and evaluate the clients posture and movement patterns and restrictions. TPI golf screening is very useful in pin-pointing the mobility restrictions that inhibit a golfer from achieving their full playing potential. Once the movement restrictions are uncovered John is able to improve the muscle imbalances allowing for a more efficient golf swing. Additionally, he is a Certified Myoskeletal Alignment Therapist which also provides relief from pain and discomfort. John has also continued his education in the fields of Sports Massage, Medical Cupping, Traction work with Inversion table, Kinesio/Rock taping, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), Myofascial Release Techniques, and Full Body Golf/Sports Stretching. This additional training has increased his knowledge and ability within the Advanced Massage Therapy and Bodywork fields and has enabled him to work with clients and athletes at all levels. John lives in Bluffton with his wife Jennifer, a Nurse on Hilton Head Island and their 6 year old son Christian. John loves to spend time with his family, travel and golf. He is ready to treat clients here at the Wellness Institute.
Yoga Instructor & Massage Therapist
Cathy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies / Cultural Studies. She holds two basic teacher’s certifications and an advanced certification in yoga. She is also a graduate of the Technical College of the Lowcountry Massage Therapy program, and is licensed by the state of South Carolina. She received training in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Pre-Natal and Sports Massage.
Shashank was born and raised in India in a family that exposed him to many highly spiritualized souls growing up. That, along with good parental training, instilled deep rooted Sanskaras which turned him to follow a Yogic path while still pursuing a professional career that spanned for over three decades. He moved to the United States after finishing college from India, made his home here and acquired a couple more degrees to enhance his professional life. He retired from GE a few years ago, is happily married and enjoys life practicing and teaching Yoga and spending time with friends, his two sons and six grandchildren.
Shashank is a certified Yoga Teacher/Trainer with ERYT 500/T500 accreditation from Yoga Alliance (National organization setting standards for teachers and students based on ancient Yogic philosophy). He has sound understanding of Yoga from his younger days in India and continual study and adaptation of yoga principles to personal life. Since he started teaching in 2001, he has had over 6,000 hours of teaching experience in conducting workshops, teaching Pranayam (Breathing) and Meditation, and popular styles of Yoga such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow, Yin Yoga, Family and Children Yoga, Hatha Yoga etc.. The high points of his teaching years in Cincinnati, Ohio, include a couple of live performances on two separate occasions at a celebratory forum of 800 to 1000 people in auditoriums. Furthermore, he has acquired over 1,400 hours’ experience in conducting Teacher Training Programs to certify Yoga Teachers.
While growing up in India, Shashank was exposed to teachings of Swami Kripalvananda (after whom the Kripalu Center was founded in Massachusettes by Amrit Desai in 1983) and has had the good fortune to either train from, or conduct Teacher Training with, Indu Bhardwaj, Larry Schultz, Doug Swenson, Lilias Folan, Rod Stryker and Paul Grilley. His best moment was when his Guru Baba Hariharananda initiated him in the practice of Kriya Yoga in 1992. Shashank’s teaching reflects the message from his Guru and his successor Swami Prajnananandagiri (his current Master) that we remember God in every breath and try to realize Divinity (Ya) in every Activity (Kri) – which is the essence of practicing Kri-Ya Yoga.