Massage Therapy

Your Massage Therapist’s main role is assessment
and treatment.

Your case history is confidential! Nobody except your massage therapist and those you have agreed to be referred to (if a need persists) will have access to it.

You may be asked some personal details during your assessment. These questions are for the purpose of assessment and recommending preventative treatment. For example, sitting at a computer eight hours a day at work, then another few hours at home with potentially bad posture will affect many parts of the neck, shoulders and spine. You are not required to provide any information you do not feel comfortable giving; however, please understand that it may prevent accurate assessment and delay the response of your treatment.

The massage will be conducted in a secure and private area where you have the ability to undress and dress in private. Your therapist will not be present at this stage and you will be asked to lie on the table and cover yourself with the appropriate sheets or cover-up. It is normal practice for undergarments to be worn, should you wish. During the massage sheets or towels will be used to cover any part of the body that is not directly
receiving treatment.

If you are uncomfortable or unsure at any stage of the massage, be sure to tell your therapist. You have the right to ask your therapist to stop any treatment immediately and decide whether you want to continue a massage for any reason at all.

It may take a few visits with your therapist to build a rapport where the patient is completely comfortable. Your therapist understands this and will adjust their treatment accordingly. Patients may have many expectations of what the outcome of each treatment will be; if you do, please communicate these to your therapist. If you experience pain, headache or bruising after your treatment this can be a normal post-treatment outcome. Always check with your therapist if you are not sure of types of outcomes you could receive from the specific massage you are being offered.

Massage Practitioners vs. Registered Massage Therapists.

The main differences between the two are education and regulation. Registered Massage Therapists hold further government-qualified education requirements (up to 3000 hours of schooling, including 550 hours of hands-on intern clinic) and are regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia and The Healthcare Practitioners Act of BC.

Registered Massage Therapists are further educated in the medical & remedial side of the practice, whereas Massage Practitioners are mostly involved in Spa and Relaxation treatments. A Registered Massage Therapist will provide treatments and therapies eligible for health fund rebates from private health insurance, MSP Premium Assistance, ICBC, WorkSafe BC and Federal Pacific Bluecross (DVA & RCMP). *Please check with your massage therapist ahead of time, as not all clinics and therapists are able to direct bill to these providers.*

All of our therapists are qualified professionals and members of a professional association. This ensures that they must practice under a Code of Ethics and are held to a strict standard
of practice.

What do Massage Therapists do and what is the difference between different types of massage?

Massage involves acting on and inspiring the patient’s body with pressure (structured, unstructured, stationary, and/or moving), tension, motion, or vibration done manually or with mechanical aids. Targeted tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, and/or organs. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, forearms. Each techniques will be applied under the specific massage modalities that the therapist has been qualified to perform.

There are over eighty different massage modalities; each therapist will choose how they want to practice and how they feel they can most effectively support your concerns. The most-cited reasons for introducing different massage modalities have been patient demand and clinical effectiveness.

Massage Therapy Modalities

Swedish Massage

This classic style uses soothing strokes of light to moderate pressure, and is the foundation for most Western trained Massage Therapist. Key benefits include soothing the nerves and helps to reduce stress & muscle strain recovery time. Swedish massage is highly recommended to be included in a regular routine for stress and anxiety management. It is specific to each client’s needs, and is an effective way to:

Increase the patients relaxation by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (the body’s system to create a relaxed metabolic state).
Remove metabolic waste buildup from tissue
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue is extremely effective in that it can decrease the chances of injury and reduce recovery time between activity and workouts. It is normal to feel a bit sore the day after a deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage draws on western clinical techniques to address specific muscular and connective tissue structures in the body. It requires extensive knowledge of anatomy physiology and kinesiology. It is specific to each client’s needs, and is an effective way to:

Balance fasical structures,
Restore normal range of motion to joints
Myofascial Release
Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions to manage pain and restore motion. The theory of Myofascial Release requires an understanding of the fascial system (aka connective tissue). The fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or cheese cloth.

Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.

Our patients have reported to us that these techniques allows for a longer lasting effect from their regular massage treatments. Often we use these technique in combination with deep tissue and trigger point release to address the very complex muscle compensations involved in chronic tension headache, with very promising results.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage that uses a specific amount of pressure (less than 6 ounces per square inch) which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymphatic system. The lymph system carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the bodies core for excretion. Injuries, surgery, or a sedentary lifestyle can cause impaired lymphatic flow (particularly in the extremities) but can be helped with gentle, rhythmic circular movements.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger points are highly irritated bands of tissue located in or along a muscle. The small point of irritation can cause tightness throughout the entire muscle and referred pain throughout the entire body. The symptoms of trigger points can vary from local discomfort in the muscle, to headaches, numbness, tingling, and restricted mobility. Sometimes trigger points can even mimic or be one of the causes of repetitive stress injuries. Trigger point massage can be extremely effective for managing
these symptoms.

Muscle Energy Technique

Muscle energy techniques are applied to a patient in order to lengthen shortened or spastic muscles, to improve weakened ligament and muscle strength, and to improve range of motion. This procedure is performed when a patient is asked to contract a muscle for approximately 5-seconds against an anti-force applied by the therapist. The muscle contraction is performed by the client 2 or 3 times in a row with the goal of increasing the muscle relaxation each time.

Muscle Energy Technique is derived from Osteopathic (the study of the musculoskeletal system) by Dr. Fred Mitchell, Sr. and his son Dr. Fred Mitchell, Jr. The theory behind MET suggests that if a joint is not used to its full range of motion, its function will lessen and it will be at risk of suffering strains and injuries. This form of muscular therapy makes use of a patient’s own muscle energy (the force); while the therapist presents a stationary surface (or anti-force) the patient will contract their muscle against in order to stretch the muscle and joint to its
full potential.

Muscle energy techniques can be applied safely to almost any joint in the body. Many athletes use MET as a preventative measure to guard against future muscle and joint injury. However, its mainly used by individuals who have a limited range of motion due to back, neck and shoulder pain, scoliosis, sciatica, unsymmetrical legs, hips or arms (for example when one is longer or higher then the other), or to manage chronic muscle pain, stiffness or injury.

Sports Massage

Sports Massage is used by athletes to optimize their training and event performance. It involves techniques to stretch, mobilize, revive and maintain the structures of the body placed under the intense demands of athletics. Most professional athletes receive sports massage as an essential component of their training as it has been shown to:

Decrease recovery time from workouts by assisting the elimination of metabolic waste.
Decrease the chances of injuries by stretching muscles and mobilizing joints.
Decrease post workout soreness.
Increase flexibility and mobility of joints.
Help athletes with specific areas of difficulty in their bodies.

Pre & Post Natal Massage

Prenatal massage shares many of the goals of regular massage–to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and just make you feel good. But it’s also tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies. And can help manage the swelling, soreness, stress and fatigue that occur during pregnancy.

As with all massages, postnatal massage relieves muscle tension and stress from everyday activities and your new mothering duties. Postnatal massage focuses on helping to restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition by retraining muscles and connective tissue. It plays a role in realigning the body’s weight to its original distribution, helps to reinstate the uterus to its normal state, can assist in reducing excess body fluids and tones the over stretched areas of skin especially over the abdomen.

Babies are always welcome for your postnatal massage appointments. Please try to feed your baby shortly before your appointment. If your baby wakes during the massage or wishes to be close to you, baby is always welcome to be on the massage table with you. We are also adept at massaging mom while rocking a baby carrier or stroller with one foot! Ask about instruction for you to perform safe and effective Infant Massage.
Mentioning ‘Pre-natal’ at the time of booking allows us to prepare extra cushioning and address the specific needs that come with the miracle of pregnancy.