Tag: massage therapy

June 27, 2019

Hi! My name is Dylan and I’m addicted to school.  Ok not really, but I did recently graduate from my third post-secondary institution. Apart from gaining two degrees and an advanced diploma, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge along the way.

Johnston Hall – University of Guelph

I attended the University of Guelph, where I completed my B.Sc in Human Kinetics. There, I learned about the human body and had the opportunity to study in the cadaver lab, giving me a real-life glimpse of the human body and the ability to actually SEE what the muscles are doing during movement. I also learned that I LOVED physics. Imagine my surprise when I found out biomechanics was a thing and it was essentially physics for the human body!! I also wanted to give back to the community, so I became a volunteer exercise assistant at a health centre, where I assisted with exercises for older adults. Moreover, during my last year at Guelph, I did a fourth-year project where I researched fall prevention and older adults. My volunteering and my project fueled my passion for research and hands-on learning even more.

After my four years in Guelph, I wanted to research some more into the world of biomechanics. The next stop on my educational journey was completing my M. Sc at the University of Ottawa.  My research was focused on looking at older adults and how they adjust to sit-to-stands at varying levels of fatigue. But I learned so much more than that. During my time at U of O, I learned perseverance, accountability and initiative. I preserved from writing through all the different edits of my thesis, I was held accountable for my research when it was not going as planned, and I took initiative to reach out and contact those who could help me. I may have gained a degree from that school, but more importantly, I grew as a person there. And I discovered, post-graduate degrees were not for me. To my family’s relief, I was not planning on doing my PhD- Thanks to all my family and friends that I made walk up 7 plus flights of stairs to make my thesis happen!

Apart from completing my Masters, I believed it was a good idea to become a Registered Kinesiologist (R. Kin.) as well. So, I spent one winter studying for the registration exam, reading endless textbooks and memorizing the attachment points of muscles – Again!  I became a R. Kin. in the summer of 2015 and was lucky enough to have found a job working as one!  In that role, I was able to use my research in a practical setting. I was able to help people pre and post orthopaedic surgery, help patients manage pain, and help decrease arthritic flare-ups, all through the power of movement and exercise! Helping these patients, just through exercise, made me want to do more and that’s when I went back to school, for the third time, to become a Registered Massage Therapist.

I  have recently graduated from Algonquin College in the Massage therapy program, and the things I learned there were amazing. Apart from learning how to massage, I learned time management skills and the importance of maintaining boundaries. I learned that college was a different kind of hard. Almost like a fun challenge that made you also want to pull all your hair out.  Maybe most importantly, I learned  that I was going down the correct career path and I’m ecstatic on how well massage compliments my skills as a kinesiologist.

So, what does this all mean? Whole Therapy is lucky to have gained a (soon-to-be) RMT and a Registered Kinesiologist, who has years of experience in the fields of movement and exercise. Not only will my RMT touch help to ease pain and increase range of motion of a joint, but my R. Kin. eyes will be able to look at your movements as a human being and come close to pin pointing what needs to be worked on.

 

My name is Dylan, and I’m a life-long learner and a two-for-one therapist.

Dylan Crake
Registered Kinesiologist
and soon to be Registered Massage Therapist!

June 20, 2019

Internally, everyone has a web-like band of connective tissue found beneath our skin that consists primarily of collagen. This tissue that is also known as fascia, attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles, internal organs, tendons, bones, and joints, and has distinct pathways that run along the back, front and sides of the body. Fascia is responsible for ensuring that our highly complex structure remains contained and positioned appropriately throughout the body. Although we cannot see it, it has everything to do with how well our bodies function.

When fascia is fluid and moving properly, as you can imagine, you are moving properly as well. However, given that it literally surrounds every internal aspect of our bodies, if something happens causing it to harden or constrict, that is where you will start to experience either reduced mobility, altered movement, or even pain. Three main events with fascia result in these side effects, some of which occur over time, while others in situations that are more acute. You could experience an injury or over-stretched fascia, the fascia around your joints could become compressed over time, and/or you could develop adhesions when collagen fibres bond together and form harder, less flexible areas. If you experience any or all of these circumstances, you are likely dealing with side effects of overcompensation by muscle groups, pain in the joints, decreased movement, and/or overall soreness due to restriction.

What is Fascial Stretch?

Fascial Stretch is a unique type of stretching that goes beyond just the muscles to target the fascia as well, while remaining cognisant of the fascial pathways and connections. Understanding these pathways allows one to connect the location of pain with the cause. Most often, where you experience pain/discomfort is not actually the area that needs released. For example, you have a fascial line that runs from the back of your skull all the way down your back, right through to your calfs and ankles, and ends at the base of your feet. Therefore, if you have any restricted fascia in your lower body, you could actually experience pain in your upper body/neck. Alternately, poor posture in your upper body and a tight lower body put tension on the fascia and can result in back pain. Thus, understanding the flow of these pathways and addressing the complete system is critical for obtaining results that last.

Another extremely beneficial aspect of Fascial stretch is that it targets the entire joint and joint capsule. As previously mentioned, fascia is located throughout the joints as well.  In a sense, when this fascia becomes tight it essentially results in “fusing” of the joint, decreased mobility, overcompensation by the muscles, and ultimately aches and pains. With Fascial Stretch, the use of traction removes these restrictions and stimulates lubrication within the joint.

Fascial Stretch is an incredibly gentle and passive technique that allows you and your body to relax completely while still getting full benefit of the treatment. In a smooth and slow motion, the practitioner guides each joint in the body through varying planes of movement to restore maximum range of motion. There is no pain, not even discomfort. While therapeutic results remain highly individualized and depend on each case, research demonstrates that it significantly helps those who did not respond to other treatments.

Who Would Benefit From Fascial Stretch?

Fascial Stretch is beneficial for absolutely everyone. Whether you train hard, sit for long periods, or have gradually developed changes in movement over time, fascial stretch can help. In combination with massage, it lengthens and loosens tension and is a fantastic compliment that drastically speeds up results. Alternatively, applying this technique as a stand-alone treatment for the entire session will have you walking away feeling less restricted, with reduced pain, and moving in ways you forgot you could.

Cory Boyd

Registered Massage Therapist
Personal Trainer
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor

cory.wholetherapy@gmail.com

November 12, 2018

 

The main goal of an initial assessment is to determine possible causes of your injury or impairment. We also ask: What can we do to remove or alleviate the pain?

One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, you may be a bit sore after an assessment.  This is largely due to the fact that we’ve probably just moved your body in ways you’ve been avoiding due to discomfort or pain.  In order to determine a course of action, we as therapists trust in functional movement assessment techniques to help us get you back to the best version of yourselves as quickly as possible!

Physiotherapy Assessment

 

What to Expect

  • Our initial assessments typically consist of a 1 hour one-on-one session with a therapist, and 99 percent of the time, treatment will be provided on the first visit as well.

 

  • The therapist will review your health history as well as pose a series of helpful “red flag” questions with the purpose of eliminating any sinister causes as the root of your injury/impairment.

 

  • Expect to move!  Our bodies were designed to do so and chances are, you’re here to figure out what is keeping you from pain free movement.

 

  • It’s always a good idea to come dressed in non-restrictive clothing so that when a therapist is assessing your squat for example, you’re not going to be doing so in a suit or skirt.

 

  • If you have any diagnostic imaging available to you (x-ray, MRI), we will be happy to have a look at that with you.

 

  • Homework is probably going to be assigned.  Getting you back to feeling great will require your active participation and expectations will be set out for you by your therapist.  We are always available by phone or email if you ever have any questions or need clarification on what your homework is.

The initial assessment is the first step in getting you back in action.  Just remember, we want to see you as little as possible, but as much as necessary to get and keep you pain-free and functioning well.

August 16, 2018

I’m not easily motivated anymore. I used to snap to attention the minute I saw a quote – any quote. The door of my room as a teenager was full of silver-penned wisdom in a spiral pattern. I gobbled up inspirational speeches like I was starving.

These days, it takes more to move me. I’ve become a little desensitized to the parade of stock photos and inspirational phrases marching across my social media feeds. I understand that I Am Worthy. I get that I have to Persist to Succeed. So now what? I need some more good life lessons to chew on!

When I decided to go to the Can Fit Pro Fitness Conference this year, I was apprehensive but excited. Surely someone there could motivate me. I wanted to be moved.

I wasn’t disappointed. Having trouble being motivated? Try this:

  • Surround yourself with ‘better’ people. Stronger people. More flexible, more educated, more worldly, more affluent. It’s true what they say: if you’re the best in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I took an advanced flexibility class. I took a Pound: Rockout/Workout class. I learned about reflexive stabilization during the gait cycle (I know, sounds intense!). All of these seminars pushed my comfort zone, challenged my brain, and reminded me of how much I don’t know. It was bliss.

If you’re the best in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

  • Watch other people get motivated. Five of us shared an apartment. We were able to have some down time in between sessions together, sharing what we learned from our various experiences. The excitement in people’s faces and voices when they just clicked with some piece of knowledge or resonated with someone’s lecture is amazing. It’s like watching a kid open birthday presents. I get filled up by that glow, and I saw it everywhere. Lightbulbs were almost literally going off in people’s heads everywhere I looked. Looking at the ways others were moved lit me up.

Meeting of the nerd-minds between sessions.

 

  • Hit all the senses. Simply reading motivational quotes doesn’t do it for me now. But sitting in a room hearing Petra Kolber talk about Detoxifying Perfectionism using her own real life examples as well as motivational quotes is. Listening to a pump-me-up song is fine, but what’s better is holding onto a pair of RipStix and drumming the ground like a seasoned Rockstar while the music thumps through the room. Watching a Zumba class from outside the gym studio is cool, but feeling the collective energy of the dance and the music as you pass by one on the trade show floor is So. Much. Better.

    Waiting to rock the Pound class.

While I didn’t digest major life-altering messages this weekend, the content within the CanFit conference left me with lots to mull over. And despite my sensitization to motivation, I found that I was definitely spurred into action by what I saw, heard, and experienced.

 

Until next year, CanFitPro!

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

March 15, 2018

Did you know that you CAN exercise while pregnant, even if you haven’t really been that active prior to pregnancy? We just have to ADJUST what you will be doing.

Important factors to keep in mind while exercising:
✔️ check your intensity – target heart rate zones should be on your radar
✔️ your intensity should be somewhat hard
✔️ you should be able to carry on a conversation throughout your workout.

FYI: Target Heart Rate Zones based on your pre-pregnancy fitness level:
❤️ low or active- target 130-145 BPM
❤️ fit – target 140-160
❤️ obese – target 100-120

💡Remember: do NOT do Valsalva manoeuvre (holding your breath while you are exerting yourself ie, lifting a box off the floor) as it can increase your blood pressure and increase your chances of non-functional diastasis recti. Instead, exhale on exertion and inhale on relaxation.

‼️Important! You are not training for a competition, YOU ARE WORKING OUT TO MAINTAIN YOUR FITNESS LEVEL.

Working out during pregnancy will help you during your labour and delivery, but it has also been shown to have positive effects on your baby and their APGAR scores!

📣Disclaimer!! STOP if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, painful uterine contractions, vaginal bleeding, gush of fluid, dizziness or faintness.

Click Here for more practical tips and helpful info on your pregnancy!

April 7, 2016

Mel’s Meandering: Getting Started

It’s that time of year again. Runners are pounding the pavement, fair-weather sports are starting up, and everyone is peeking outside their windows and doors to see if it’s nice enough to just be outside. It’s glorious.

Spring, with it’s promise of change and renewal, is a great time of year to start a new exercising  regime. I was recently inspired by a friend doing just that, and I wanted to share her story.

“I was athletic in high school and was on several school sports teams, but when I went to university, I stopped almost all physical activity and predictably gained the Freshman Fifteen (more like twenty).

“Two years ago I stepped on the scale and seeing how close I was to 200lbs hit me like a ton of bricks. I decided that I needed to make a change and I started going to the gym. I would do some random combination of strength training and cardio exercises and clearly I didn’t know what I was doing or have a plan; I just moved some weights around for a while and then jogged on the treadmill.  I found I didn’t exercise regularly and couldn’t stay in the gym for longer than 30 minutes without becoming anxious and so bored that I had to leave.

“Recently, I went to a gym with a group of friends, and challenged myself to set a new Personal Best for deadlift. I ended up lifting three times more than I had ever lifted before! I felt so alive. I wanted to start being dedicated to training and getting stronger.

“Not long after that, my husband started training with his friend; after seeing how quickly he was making gains and how happy he was with the progress, I decided to do the same.

“I have been training for five weeks and I have seen such amazingly satisfying improvement. I feel stronger, I don’t have any back pain (for the first time in nearly ten years), and I have so much fun doing it.

“In a month I get to test my Personal Bests again and I cannot wait to see what happens.

 

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“I would recommend strength training to anyone because I have never felt so strong and fit. It can be intimidating to start a strength training program but if you have the right trainer (like I do) it is accessible, exciting and instantly gratifying!”

Knowing this woman is amazing; she inspires me with her tenacity and drive. I know that she has days where she doesn’t want to go to the gym, but she shows up anyway. After each time this happens, she always says “Man that was great, I’m really glad I came even when I didn’t feel like it.”

So what drives you? What will push you this spring to get yourself moving again? Are you going to join a league? Get a personal trainer? Find a friend who will join you for weekly trips to the gym, or even evening walks? Whatever it is, get out there and MOVE, your body will love it.

 

Melissa Beals is an RMT with Whole Therapy. Melissa works extensively with athletes of all levels with a goal in mind to increase their athletic performance through education and understanding of their bodies. See more about Melissa here.

Melissa

March 8, 2016

Today is international women’s day, and we wanted to ask our own Tara Hagan-Fields, RMT a few questions about what it means to be a Women’s Health focused practitioner.

Why did you decide to focus your practice on Women’s Health?

I chose to focus my practice on Women’s Health because at the time I truly felt that there were too many therapists that were focusing in on general health and wellness.  There weren’t enough therapists with a voice and a specialization in anything specific, especially not in the women’s health field.

I was a new grad in a world of many RMT’s.  I graduated with 30+ fellow colleagues in 2006, we all had the same level of training and the same knowledge base that we had learned while in school.  I immediately needed to separate myself from the group as an individual who understood something more then the rest.  I had developed a passion for the treating of pregnant women while in school, so after graduation, I immediately went after more courses! I felt I needed to learn more!.  Along the way I grew as a therapist and as a woman.  I recognized my passion was more then just treating pregnant women;  It actually was more about treating all women, and women’s health related issues.

Today I am completely centered on Women’s Health.  I am different than most Massage Therapists in that I specialize in Myofascial Release and use those protocols to help every single woman who enters my treatment room.

Why does women’s health need a category of its own?

For years, there have been “fringe” conversations about women’s health related issues, but it has always been a very whispered conversation.  The topic seemingly taboo.  NO MORE! We as women have very specific health issues and they should never have to be whispered about.  Incontinence, painful intercourse, mastitis, endometriosis,  and infertility just to name a few. The list is long!  Women should continue to demand better advocacy and better research on these and other important areas of Women’s health.

More practitioners are starting to dive in to niches and truly specialize in specific fields like Women’s Health, but more are needed.  I look forward to the day when no woman needs to medicate because of conditions they are experiencing, where they can self treat and or go see their RMT to help rid of the source of pain.

What kinds of treatment do you provide specifically for women?

I do treat women of all ages, from babies to geriatric.  Most of the women I see are looking for another kind of care.  Something that will help them with conditions that they are currently experiencing, or ones they have had and suffered for years with: Chronic pelvic pain, jaw pain, headaches, endometriosis, infertility, breast pain, chronic back pain, scar work (laparoscopic, c-seciton, mastectomy, augmentation), pre- surgical care, fibromyalgia, incontinence, painful intercourse, post partum care, latching problems.  My approach to massage therapy through myofascial release will help!

February 25, 2016

Q:  How do you feel about massaging women?IMG_3313

A:  Most of my clients are women. I feel that I’m able to give a good, therapeutic, intuitive massage. I’m not judgmental of women’s bodies; I treat all of my clients with the respect they deserve.

Q:  And how about massaging men?

A:  In my experience, men who ask for a male therapist usually want deeper tissue massage, which is great for me because that’s what I like to do! Deep tissue focuses on the therapeutic aspect of massage. It’s a major part of what I do.

Q:  What are your feelings about being a gender minority in the massage world?

A:  I look at my job from the perspective of a massage therapist, not from that of a man. Unfortunately, massage therapy is still confused with intimacy, which it is not. It’s assessment, it’s treatment of soft tissue injuries. It’s an hour on the table working on your muscles. It’s therapy. Your therapists sex has nothing to do with it.

Q:  What would you say you focus on during treatments?

A:  Pain is often what brings clients in.  I always address pain first – it’s a symptom that shouldn’t be ignored. Once the pain goes away, I focus on function.  If the body isn’t functioning well, pain is always around the corner.

January 15, 2016

breast cancerPain and tightness suffered post mastectomy/ lumpectomy can limit one’s life drastically. Myofascial Release can help create vast changes by softening dense scars and fibrosed fascia that remain unchanged with traditional therapy and stretching.

 

Axillary Cording

Axillary cording is a web of thick, rope-like structures under the skin of your inner arm. These cords usually start near the site of your scarring in the underarm region and extend down the inner arm to the inside of the elbow (sometimes they can continue down to the palm of your hand, or in to the chest wall instead of, or in addition to, the inner arm.

Traumatized tissue can have a cascading effect on the body.  Locally, tightened and fibrous fascia can restrict blood flow and lymphatic flow resulting in lymphedema.  Auxiliary cording can also occur, causing a significant loss of range of motion in the shoulder, leading to a loss of function.  Pain and weakness can occur in the shoulder, arm and chest wall.  Burning, pins and needles, numbness, or spasms can also occur in these areas.

Tightness, with time, can start to effect areas not associated with the scar even if these areas are far removed from the local site.  Symptoms not “normal” to mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstruction, or augmentation can start to occur.  Headaches, jaw pain, low back pain, pelvic pain, digestive issues, postural changes, hormonal imbalances, etc, may become a “common” occurrence for you.

The inability to move, or the pain suffered with common range of motion and activity can become debilitating.  This might happen immediately, or it might occur 6 years down the road.  In real life it might look like the inability to wash your hair in the shower, get dressed in the morning, pick your child up out of the crib, hug a loved one, carry your groceries, drive your car, work at your computer, or reach up and grab the sugar out of the cupboard.  No matter the role you have as a woman – mom, worker, grandma – your life is impacted.

breast mfrPain management and rehabilitation using Myofascial Release can help.  Gentle and slow work done at the fascial barrier (on the scar and surrounding areas) can assist in restoring functional patterns by decreasing the restrictions.

Whether you had surgery, chemo, or radiation last month or 10 years ago, Myofascial Release should be added to your recovery process.

 

 

IMG_8104cropbwTara Hagan-Fields is an RMT with Whole Therapy. Tara is a Women’s Health Specialist and Myofascial Release Therapist.  She focuses on the body as a whole and teaches you to do the same.  More about Tara here or find her on Facebook Tara Hagan-Fields RMT

 

September 10, 2015

Every April, I pull out my Slo-pitch ball bag.  Curse at myself for not having done it in October… Curse some more because that’s where my shirt went, or my favorites socks…. and then….curse some more because I left everything in the bag wet…. OOOOPS!  I start the process of airing out the equipment, oiling up the glove, make sure there is a ball for every league, 11 inch for ladies, 12 inch for mixed.  My warmup balls, one heavy, one regular weight.  My bats are all cleaned up. My cleats cleaned and sprayed to rid of the smell.  That’s my routine.

I am a full time athlete only part of the year, because I only play ball from May to October.  But, during my season I go all-out. I play on 3-4 teams, leagues and tournaments…. then the rest of the year is for rehabbing nagging injuries that happened during ball season.

BUT… this year has been a little different.  This year, instead of worrying about old injuries or worrying about a tweak here or there, I have been very worried about a new injury.  One that impacts my game so much, that I have pulled myself from my line ups, just so I can rehab it to play in the year end tournaments. One that prevents me from lifting heavy objects, or thinking about how might I move my body during a treatment so I don’t feel this discomfort I am constantly feeling.

I am often asked “who takes care of you?” and jokingly I reply “I get around”. The honest truth…I struggle to even get my own treatments at times.  Until recently! I have had to make it a priority to get in and get treated.  And I’m not being easy in just finding any therapist to treat me, I am being very specific in who I see.  I fully believe in Myofascial Release and how everyone needs it and that it will help everyone.  I also know the people I work with are awesomely gifted in what they do.  So in the past four weeks, I have been seeing my fellow colleagues here at Whole Therapy and some other MFR therapists here in the city, and I have also been self-treating!

4 weeks in a row, I have focused on getting someone else to touch and treat me.  And 4 weeks in a row, I have focused on treating myself.  Two weeks ago, after a great treatment and some self care that night, I felt a shift.  I woke up for the first time and the pain wasn’t a burning sensation in my forearm and elbow.  For the first time, I felt a good heat in my elbow rather than a horrible one.  I’m feeling less nerve pain and I can hold my own coffee mug (you all know how much I love my coffee!).

My lessons are many this year…I need to take care of me (so our #ChangeOneThing challenge could not have come soon enough)! I need to make the time to get my own care even if I have to push something else aside to do it.  I’ve always been a believer that no matter what it costs, we should take care of ourselves.  This ball season, I feel it has cost me a lot; I have missed out on playing the sport I love with the people I like most.  I have even come to the point that I don’t want to play ball because it hurts too much and my play has been impacted.

I am not invincible. I really need to practice what I preach about self-care and maintenance.  I really have to be that athlete that gets treated regularly because my fascial restrictions have prevented me from doing what I love to do.

So my first #ChangeOneThing is to look at my schedule and put treatment into it for the whole rest of the season.  That’s happening today.

What step are you taking in the name of positive change?

 

Tara Hagan-Fields is an RMT with Whole Therapy.  Tara is a Women’s Health Specialist and Myofascial Release Therapist.  She focuses on the body as a whole and teaches you to do the same.  More about Tara here or find me on Facebook Tara Hagan-Fields RMT

 

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