Dr Carla Bekker-Smith

BHSc – Chiropractic
MHSc – Chiropractic
IMT-C (Integrative Manual Therapy) 



Carla, her husband, and her five beautiful girls, immigrated from South Africa (SA) to New Zealand in 2021 where she has helped people in Tauranga to heal and recover from their aches and pains for over two and a half years. After completing her degree and Masters in Chiropractic (Health Science: Chiropractic, SA), Carla founded her own health care centre (called Balanced Health) in Hong Kong where she worked for 10 years practicing and supporting other practitioners to deliver exceptional health care. Following her time in Hong Kong Carla and her family lived for 10 years in Hermanus (SA) before settling in Tauranga.

During her time in Hong Kong, Carla studied and gained certification in Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) a process that required twice yearly training in Connecticut (USA) where she established a relationship with a core group of practitioners and the IMT institute. This relationship continues to this day. This year marks an opportunity to realise a dream of hers – to teach the unique skills of IMT in New Zealand (more about IMT below).

Carla now practices her unique set of skills from the Life Clinic.

Integrative Manual Therapy

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) is a unique compilation of diagnostic and treatment methodologies that assess and treat pain, dysfunction, disease and disability. Developed by Sharon and Tom Giammatteo, PhD, IMT,C. over the past 30 years, IMT is a new approach to health care, developed to address the needs of patients with complex health problems. IMT practitioners identify and address the underlying causes of dysfunction using a comprehensive and holistic approach. While IMT diagnostics and treatment modalities are predominately hands-on, IMT also integrates a wide range of diagnostic and treatment technologies, nutritional programs (i.e. natural supplements, diet, and medicinal herbs), and IMT body-based psychotherapeutic approaches to develop a customised solution for an individual patient’s needs.

IMT treatment techniques are based on the premise that the body has the potential to self-correct or heal itself under the right circumstances. Tissue repair at the cellular level is a normal process that occurs within the body. The healing of a cut or wound on the skin, or a broken bone that heals itself once it has been immobilised, are two examples of this mechanism at work. Pain and dysfunction, on the other hand, are an indication that there is too much cell or tissue dysfunction for the body to restore health on its own. Under these circumstances, in order to improve the body’s self-correction mechanisms, intervention is required.

We use manual techniques that promote tissue repair, normalise structure and restore function. Unique to IMT is the integration of hands on techniques for all systems in the body. As each tissue type in the body has unique requirements for healing, tissue specific techniques are used to yield optimal results. Often, multiple systems are addressed to facilitate recovery. A dysfunction in one system may influence or be influenced by a problem in another system.

To illustrate, consider a patient with chronic shoulder pain. Upon being assessed, to determine which structures were contributing to their pain and/or dysfunction, treatment would ensue for the affected systems. As determined by the diagnostic findings, this may include treatment for muscles, fascia, joints, bones, nerves, circulatory vessels, lymphatic structures and/or organs. The order in which the involved systems would be treated would be determined by the diagnostic findings. Ultimately, IMT is the integration of techniques to assess and address all systems in the body.

IMT practitioners come from many health care disciplines including Western medicine, physical therapy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and other fields. Most IMT trained therapists practise IMT as a specialisation, and integrate IMT into their regular health care practices, including in private clinics and hospitals. Practitioners and patients alike have discovered IMT in the process of searching for sustainable answers to their specific health care needs.  IMT is a comprehensive solution that benefits all types of patients.

IMT treats such ailments as chronic back pain, migraine headaches, learning disabilities, autism, diabetes, sports related injuries, chronic fatigue, fertility and women’s health needs, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, depression, anxiety, and many other problems. In addition, many patients use IMT preventatively to maintain optimal health. Ultimately, the success and continued growth of IMT rests on attaining and maintaining results. With trained practitioners worldwide, IMT offers patients the opportunity for recovery, rehabilitation and prevention as an alternative and/or complement to other health care disciplines.

Contact Dr Carla Bekker-Smith