By Sarah Pratt
When I first met Georgina Barr, I knew she would be a great addition to the Merivale Podiatry team. Her bubbly, approachable nature and vast professional expertise were obvious from the start. I had the opportunity to sit down with Georgina and get to know our newest podiatrist.
Georgina Barr - Lead Biomechanical Podiatrist
So, Georgina, tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Auckland but moved to Christchurch at a young age. I have since lived all over New Zealand, but Christchurch is definitely home. I completed the BHSc Podiatry degree at AUT on Auckland’s North Shore.
This year, I adopted a koala. His name is Jimmy James and his is adorable. He lives in a sanctuary in Ballarat, Victoria. I hope to visit him soon. I am sent monthly updates from the Australian Koala foundation, which is awesome.
I trained in podiatry after the 2011 earthquakes. Prior to that, I utilised my degree in Art History and Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism. I had a number of wonderful jobs in the art world. New Zealand really does produce incredible visual and performance artists!
What do you love about Podiatry?
Podiatry is wonderful and weird! I like the idea of specialising in such a complex area of the body.
When I was younger, I danced a lot—ballet, jazz, tap, highland—and I loved it. I knew that I wanted to work with dancers, preventing and managing injuries, and connecting dance medicine with dance practice.
Can you tell us a bit about Dance Podiatry and how you work with dancers?
Dance places a lot of stress on the body, requiring dancers to have great flexibility, strength, and joint range of motion. To be able to push their bodies in these ways and stay healthy, dancers need to take care of themselves. That’s where I come in. I diagnose, treat, manage and prevent dance injuries. I work with dance teachers, parents and patients to develop treatment plans unique to the dancer and their dance genre.
You’re also an expert in pointe shoe fitting, is that right?
Yes. Having completed the Silver Standard Juon Pointe Shoe Fitting System, I am certified to fit pointe and demi-pointe shoes. I also assess dancers, using the Juan Pointe Method.
Arthritis and Podiatric Rheumatology is another one of your areas of expertise. Tell us about that.
Arthritis can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life. So many people think that there is nothing we can do to help those with arthritis, but it isn’t true. A podiatrist can assess your footwear to make sure it is giving you the cushioning and support you need to offload the painful joints in your lower limbs. I love seeing my patients walk out the door to hike, dance, or do whatever activities they love despite their arthritis.
How about outside of podiatry? What other interests or hobbies do you have?
Before I began my career as a podiatrist, I was in the art world. I have curated exhibitions for galleries in Auckland and Christchurch. I’ve written about art for The Press and I had my own art column in The Star’s publication City Life for a couple of years.
Do you have any tips of tricks for caring for feet at home?
I recommend drying between your toes after bathing. It’s simple but can make a big difference to the overall health of your feet. For example, this significantly reduces your chances of interdigital maceration (white, often peeling skin between the toes).
As you can tell, Georgina is an absolute delight and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the Merivale Podiatry team. Learn more about Dance Podiatry and Arthritis & Podiatric Rheumatology or check out our other services.