Having grown up in South Africa where exercise and team sports are common place, Liesel has always been interested in participating in sport. She studied pharmacy at the University of Port Elizabeth, but soon realised this was not what she wanted to do. After her first year, she combined her interest of health and sport and started a BSC Physiotherapy degree at the University of Cape Town. After four years of embracing university life and playing hockey for the University’s 1st ladies hockey team, she qualified with a BSC(physio) in 1998.
Liesel then started work in a Private physiotherapy practice in Cape Town. Here she worked within a hospital setting as well as in a private clinic seeing people with varied musculo-skeletal disorders. She gained great experience while working here but realised that her passion lay with working in an out-patient clinic and not in a hospital.
In 2001 Liesel and her husband moved to Edinburgh. She worked for six months in the NHS physiotherapy department in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh, where she gained more experience in working within a multi- disciplinary team. During this time, she started work in an established private physiotherapy clinic in Edinburgh which soon turned into a full time position. Here she worked alongside other physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and a chiropractor until 2007. She gained valuable experience but felt it was time for a new challenge! Liesel decided to set up her own physiotherapy clinic in Edinburgh in 2007 where she, alongside other physios and massage therapists, practiced from a clinic in Causewayside and also from the Spartans Community Football Academy. In 2013, due to the need for bigger premises and the growing demands of business and family life, she teamed up with her friend and colleague, Briana Eades, to form Active Health in Edinburgh with the vision of having physiotherapy, remedial massage therapy and podiatry, amongst others offered under one roof.
Outside of a clinic setting, she has gained much experience from the side lines of various sports fields. She was team physiotherapist to a local rugby club, Preston Lodge FP, for four seasons (2001 to 2004) and worked with Scottish Hockey under 21 teams for 3 years (2003 to 2005). Liesel had the great opportunity to travel with them to the 2005 Junior World cup in Santiago, Chile. From 2008 until 2013, she was providing physiotherapy to players at the Spartans Football Club in Edinburgh. While thoroughly enjoying watching the various sports she has been involved with, more importantly, Liesel has gained invaluable experience in treating acute injuries and managing and rehabilitating these players back to playing their chosen sport.
Liesel continues to strive for excellence and continues to work on her professional development by attending numerous courses to improve her knowledge of the treatment of various parts of the body and to expand and broaden her treatment skills. To name but a few of the courses she has attended since 2008 are Matwork Pilates, Acupuncture, Dry Needling, Ergonomics, Fitforegolf, Mulligans Nags and Snags, SIJ dysfunction, Kinesiotaping, Neurodynamics, tempero mandibular joint (jaw), Dynamic Stability and Muscle imbalance etc. Having attended these varied and interesting courses, she is able to continue to keep up with the latest developments in treatment and techniques within the physiotherapy and medical profession and can then pass this onto her patients.
On a personal perspective, Liesel is also a keen sportswoman having represented both South Africa (1996,1998, 1999) and Scotland (2006 to 2011) in Touch Rugby and has participated in 3 Touch World Cups. Liesel has also coached and been assistant coach to Scottish Touch teams during this time. It has given her great insight into what drives people to work hard and achieve their goals and she can use this knowledge in her physiotherapy practice in the Edinburgh based clinic in helping patients achieve their own goals, whether it to be pain free, jog across the road or to run a marathon!
Liesel still plays touch regularly during the summer at a social yet competitive level, but with less intensive training required, she is able to enjoy more quality time with her husband and young son.