About instinct

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“Here at Instinct Health, we truly believe that your health should be second nature.”

We often take our health for granted but why can't we spend a little time focussing on our health each and every day so that it becomes Instinct?

We want to work with you to become the best version of yourself that you can. Whatever your GOAL is, we want to be right there next to you to help achieve it! If you want to run a half marathon, swim 5 laps at your local pool or just have enough energy and strength to run around after a toddler, we are here to help.

Meet the Instinct Team

Micaela Jacobs


Micaela graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Inspired by her personal journey of overcoming injuries, Micaela brings a unique blend of empathy and expertise to her practice.

With 5 years of experience in private practice, Micaela is not just a physio—she's a sports enthusiast. From university rugby matches to soccer and netball teams, her passion for sports extends beyond the clinic. Micaela loves handling diverse injuries and post-operative care, showcasing her commitment to comprehensive client well-being. Trained in advanced dry needling techniques, she integrates this, and other innovative approaches into her practice.

Clients appreciate Micaela's down-to-earth style, finding comfort in her compassionate care. Her commitment to continuous learning and growth shows in her evolving practice. Micaela believes in a holistic, client-centred philosophy, emphasising the healing power of a positive mind and energy.

Outside the clinic, Micaela loves the outdoors, especially the beach and cherishing family time - believing in the importance of a balanced life for overall wellbeing. As a new comer she is eager to embrace and navigate the vibrant culture of Melbourne, especially the restaurants!

Sophie Rubira


Sophie graduated with her Masters of Physiotherapy from University of Sydney after previously completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science. Since 2017 she has been working in different private practice settings, within football clubs as well as teaching Clinical Pilates classes. She has gained extensive Pilates knowledge through teaching classes but also by doing Pilates herself to help rehabilitate from shoulder and back injuries when younger. She also has experience working with patients post-operatively after orthopaedic surgeries (e.g. ACL, joint replacements, shoulder surgery, ankle surgery, etc).

Sophie has also completed further study and continues to undertake further studies in the area of Women’s Health/Pelvic Health Physiotherapy. She has a passion in helping women throughout different stages of their life, in particularly pre and post natal care, and working closely with her patients to improve awareness of the pelvic floor and related conditions (e.g. incontinence/pelvic pain/endometriosis/pre and post natal care and return to exercise/sexual pain)

Having been involved in sports throughout her whole life, competing in swimming at a state and national level and therefore being exposed to injuries, she understands what is required to help patients return to their sport, exercise routine or simply tasks around the home. Sophie believes in a wholistic approach to help her clients, personalising the treatment to what each individual patient needs to help them achieve their goals.

Outside of work Sophie enjoys all things sports, in particular AFL (Go Cats!), loves catching up with friends and family, and enjoys discovering new places to explore. She will also take any opportunity to chase the sun and beach!

Mitch Cunningham

Senior Associate Physiotherapist

Mitch completed his Bachelor of Physiotherapy at University of South Australia and has lived and worked in Melbourne ever since. He has experience in the private practice setting and also has spent time working at Royal Adelaide Hospital as an Allied Health Assistant. Mitch’s earliest interest in becoming a physio came from his own personal experience after two knee surgeries (both ACL reconstructions). He learned a lot from this as a client himself, and continues to take pride in guiding his own clients now through their rehabilitation journeys.

He has a strong interest in sports performance and has been involved with football at high levels. Mitch is currently the Physiotherapist for Port Melbourne in the VFLW. He has previously worked with both Carlton and Collingwood in their respective AFL and AFLW programs. Mitch was also the Head Physio for Old Carey in the VAFA and worked at West Adelaide Football club in the SANFL.

Mitch likes to help his clients achieve their goals through a combination of education, hands on treatment and self-management strategies to empower clients to take charge of their own health and well-being. He is also passionate about strength and exercise training, and believes this is a fantastic adjunct to what he is able to achieve in the clinic.

Outside of Physio, you’ll usually find Mitch immersed in sport. He has played basketball and football from a young age and has recently found a new obsession - golf. He loves to travel, especially when he is able to hit the ski slopes on his snowboard. Mitch adores his family and friends, and he loves a weekend winery tour. And don’t forget his unwavering support for his native Adelaide Crows!

Matt Pallozzi

Director & Senior Physiotherapist

Matt founded Instinct Health in 2017 after several years working across a number of health-care settings. He first worked as a Physiotherapist for Eastern Health and experienced work in a number of acute and rehabilitation settings including Emergency Departments, Outpatient and Fracture Clinics as well as working in neurological rehabilitation. He then pursued in a private physiotherapy clinic in Blackburn before going out on his own and starting Instinct Health.

As well as his work at Instinct, Matt works for Collingwood as the Head Physiotherapist for their AFLW program. This is a great experience to work with the most elite female athletes in the country and is a great transferrable skillset that he has been able to bring back to Instinct and adopt with his clients in the clinic. Prior to Collingwood, Matt has also worked at the Carlton and Hawthorn football clubs in their AFLW programs. As well as working with sports related injuries, Matt has a keen interested in treating neck pain and back pain. He has always been a big believer in the effectiveness of Clinical Pilates in managing these conditions and preventing their recurrence in future.

Outside of work, Matt loves keeping fit and active. He has completed triathlons, marathons and but now gets his “kicks” on the golf course as a member at the Kew Golf Club. He loves skiing in the winter, and getting away to the coast in summer. When he’s got some spare time, he’s a keen family man and loves spending time with his nieces and nephews!

Chrissy Heeren

Practice Manager

Chrissy joined us in 2022 as our Practice Manager and has been a burst of energy and enthusiasm from day one. She is wonderfully adept at getting to know our clients and always shows a keen interest in them. Chrissy has a long history of working in office management and worked previously as the Practice Manager for a chiropractor. Her career has also taken her to working in account management for direct marketing agencies. She has also worked in outdoor media and worked a stint in Sydney for a print management company. Chrissy also knows a thing or two about running her own business - she worked for herself in garden maintenance before injury forced her out of the industry, but lead her to looking for the role here at Instinct Health!

Outside of work, Chrissy loves being involved in the local community! She completes volunteer work and helps out at a local Soccer club. She is a natural green-thumb and her house and garden are filled with tropical plants. Her time is often involved with her daughters' sport and school activities. She loves to travel, with Italy and Asia being favourite destinations. She also likes camping with her family which consists of her husband, two girls and pets.



Emily (Em) is one of our admin team members who can always be spotted at the front desk with a warm and bubbly presence. She loves getting to know both new and existing clients and is highly enthusiastic to help everyone in every way she can. Additionally, Em is always down for a chat and will always ask how someone’s day is going. 

Em recently moved into her first apartment in Melbourne moving from country Victoria, originally hailing from the little country town of Yea. She is a full time student and currently studying her Bachelor of Psychological Science at Deakin University. She then has ambitions to complete a Master’s Degree in Neuropsychology. On top of her studies and working here at the clinic, she is also a Teacher’s Aid back home at Yea High School. Em has a wealth of experience and knowledge in allied health, nursing and customer service areas.  

Em has a strong passion for challenging herself and has delved into a variety of community and volunteer projects both interstate and overseas. Some of her interests include painting, outdoor activities and spending quality time with her friends and family. Em is also a proud owner of 3 Hermit crabs named Leonardo DaPinchy, Bruce and Sheldon, all of whom are massive Hawthorn supporters!



Ashleigh (Ash) is a new member of our Instinct Health Admin Team and is excited to become familiar with current and prospective clients! She is efficient and friendly and is always up for a conversation about anything and everything. 

Ash grew up locally and is in her first year studying Medicine at Monash University. Although she’s always wanted to be a doctor, she’s not yet sure exactly which specialty will suit her best, but is looking forward to finding out. While at university, Ash enjoys playing the clarinet in orchestra and advocating for her love of the environment as part of 'Monash Doctors for the Environment'.

Away from work and study, Ash is a keen hiker and hopes to soon complete the 13-day Grampians Peaks Trail. She is also a black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys the quick thinking and strategy involved with competitive fighting. In her free time Ash loves to catch up with friends and spend time with her parents, younger brother, and zoo of beloved pets (a dog, two cats, two budgies and 3 chickens!).



Maya is part of the Admin Team. She loves being able to help clients and helping keep the clinic running smoothly. She enjoys being a part of the friendly team at Instinct, and is always happy to answer questions or have a chat. Maya is currently in her second year at the University of Melbourne, pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Economics and Management. She has demonstrated a strong commitment to her studies and an active engagement in university life.

Maya is an enthusiastic member of several clubs and societies, including the Debating Society and the Women in Economics Students Society (WESS). These affiliations have provided her with numerous opportunities to enhance her communication and organisational skills in a professional context. 

In addition to her academic and extracurricular pursuits, Maya is known for her friendly and outgoing personality. She thrives in social environments and is always eager to engage with new people and experiences. Her ability to balance her academic schedule with active participation in student societies demonstrates her strong time management skills and work ethic.

In her free time, Maya enjoys indulging in her hobbies. She has a passion for baking and often spends her free time experimenting with new recipes. She also loves going on sunset walks with her beloved Labrador-cross Cocker Spaniel, Daisy!