Category: Massage Therapy

Why a Hot Stone Massage is the Perfect Winter Treatment

Author: Emma Sloan

Beautiful Woman Getting Stones Massage in Spa Salon.

Victoria, it’s true: a hot stone massage is the perfect winter treatment, especially after the year we’ve collectively had!

As one of our most popular massage services here at Pure Body Health Victoria, we are experts when it comes to hot stone massages.

Keep reading to learn what a hot stone massage treatment at Pure Body Health Victoria entails, what its benefits are, and how it works to alleviate tension during the winter months.

First Things First: What Does a Hot Stone Massage Entail, Exactly?

A hot stone massage is exactly what it says on the tin: by utilizing heated stones (most commonly smooth river rocks that do well to retain heat), your massage therapist will heat the stones until they are within an ideal temperature range. Your massage therapist will then place the stones on specific parts of the body to loosen muscles that are sore and tight (as well as balance energy levels). These hot stones will be periodically swapped with cold stones to yield the treatment’s full therapeutic benefits.

In fact, stones have been used for therapeutic purposes worldwide; the Japanese, Scandaniavians, North American Indigenous Peoples, Chinese, and Buddhist Monks have all used stones for alleviating muscle pain for centuries. This, coupled with expert Swedish massage techniques, work to efficiently release pain and/or tension that has built up over the winter months. We here at Pure Body Health are proud to offer hot stone massages, cold stone massages, and contrast stone massages (during which both hot and cold stones are used.)

The Benefits of a Hot Stone Massage

By applying hot stones to the body first, toxins and muscle tightness are released; the application of cold stones then encourages said improved blood flow. This alternation also improves overall relaxation.

Other benefits of a hot stone massage include:

  • Bettered lymphatic drainage throughout the body
  • The lowering of blood pressure
  • Enhanced immune response
  • The release of stress, pain, muscle aches, tightness, and fatigue
  • A sense of relaxation
  • Reduced muscle spasms and acute inflammatory reactions
  • Soothing of burns

Book Your Hot Stone Massage At Pure Body Health Victoria

Pure Body Health Victoria’s team of registered health professionals are here to deliver on our promise of providing Victoria with the tools for optimal living.

We are located on Yates Street (beside Fol Epi, between Bulk Barn and the Odeon Theatre) and have two nearby parkades for easy visitation. We like to notify clients that first-hour parking is free, along with ample metered street parking on the blocks of Yates Street, Johnson Street, and Blanshard Street. For those who cycle, we encourage parking at our bike racks stationed outside of the office!

Treat yourself this winter with the healing powers of a hot stone massage. Book yours today!

COVID Fatigue is Real

Author: Diana Alvarez, Registered Acupuncturist

Diana Alvarez a Registered Acupunturist performing a massage for covid fatigue

In recent weeks, there has been an increase in people turning to acupuncture for support to help with stress and physical pain. In my practice I have noticed people are having trouble staying asleep as their minds just can’t seem to shut off – and they say it’s because of COVID-19.

Alongside this, there are many more tight shoulders to help release these days in clinic. Not only because posture became a concern while working from home, but because our bodies are guarded, so our shoulders are working hard to protect the “Heart” and “Spirit” from the outside world.

The use of acupuncture to support these tough times is a good idea. We need to calm the mind, help reduce its running around endlessly, and there is good help for this!

The Stomach and Spleen organ systems are recognized in Chinese Medicine as being responsible for overthinking and worry when they are out of balance. They are a Yin and Yang pair, so they easily influence each other, and if we needle a Stomach point like ST 36*, it helps bring balance to its best friend quickly. It sends an army of support to the Spleen so its pattern of ruminating can take a break.

*ST 36 is an acupuncture point which calms the mind and is a strong “QI” mover. QI (or Chi) is the energy flow created along the pathways that connect the acupuncture points on the body.

And of course, we will want to reduce the Heart and Small Intestine’s involvement in nighttime overthinking. The Heart needs to rest at night, go into its special cavity in the chest to cozy up for the night. But if it feels unsafe, after a couple of hours of sleep, it doesn’t trust it’s okay to be alone in its home. It wakes us up feeling all anxious, and the mind continues to race. With the Heart and Small intestine’s special bond of being another Yin and Yang pair, using the point SI 3 (small intestine point #3) is perfect. It helps with the Heart’s dilemma of not feeling safe while sleeping, it is the Master Point for calming the Brain, and (drum roll please!) it is the key meridian (channel of energy or QI) that opens up the shoulder! Now, we have a recipe for the overthinking, the anxiety and shoulder pain.

If you are new to acupuncture, please consider booking in for a free 15-minute consultation and issues specific to your concerns can be explained in more detail. The needles used in acupuncture are very thin, allowing for an incredibly gentle approach that calms the nervous system, and is a safe and hygienic treatment that can help make a difference.

Meet with Diana by contacting Pure Body Health Victoria: (778) 265-0043

Self Image and Massage Therapy

Author: Barbara Wilkinson, RMT

I was talking to a friend the other day and she mentioned that she had bought her mom a gift certificate for a massage three years ago and she has never used it because she was afraid the therapist would be grossed out by the moles on her back and not want to work on her.

I was shocked! Not by the moles, they’re perfectly normal, but surprised that someone would think a health care professional would look down on someone the way she had imagined. 

Sadly, this is not the first time I’ve heard of folks being ashamed about their body in some way that got in the way of them seeking treatment from an RMT. We all have body parts we’re not happy with, (knees are just plain weird looking for example) but we’re all human and have more in common than not. 

I’ve had clients apologize about their body hair, their weight, their aging skin, stretch marks, pimples, dimples and the way their broken bones healed as if I was holding them to some golden standard of human perfection. And these are the folks that mange to come in! But I don’t judge. I truly believe all bodies are unique and wonderful just as they are. 

When you’re in the treatment room, you’re in a non-judgemental zone. We’re focused on your body on your terms, with fully clothed massage being an option if that is what you’re comfortable with, you’ve got bodily autonomy.  

Did you know massage therapy has actually been found to help people improve their relationship with their body? It encourages bodily awareness and introduces the sensation of touch in a non-threatening way.

“Our experience of touch forms an important foundation for our sense of self,” writes Thomas Pruzinsky in Body Images: Development, Deviance, and Change.

(The Guilford Press, 1990)

Since touch is a powerful method of communication, “a change in one’s sense of self may be facilitated through therapeutic touch.”  If you want to see that in action, there’s a great case study by Linda Maxfield and Dr. Fiona Holland that you can check out. It outlines the changes in a young dancer’s thoughts about her body over the course of just four massage therapy treatments.  

RMTs are here to treat you with the reverence and respect we believe all people deserve. Creating a safe space for us to work through your treatment goals and supporting you in your journey to optimal living is our objective. So don’t let that gift certificate go to waste if you’ve got one laying around. Come on in and see how much better you can feel physically, and strengthen the relationship you have with your body at the same time! 

Your First RMT Visit, Demystified

Author: Barbara Wilkinson, RMT

As a registered massage therapist, my friends are often curious about what it’s like to come in for a treatment and what exactly to expect, so I’ve written up a guide that takes you through an initial visit with an RMT and how to get the most out of your visit.

  1. Fill out our required intake forms, including health history forms that allow your massage therapist to create a treatment plan specifically designed for you, as well as direct billing consent forms if you have coverage and want the wellness center to direct bill on your behalf.
  2. If your schedule allows it, take a shower or bath before your massage appointment (or call to book a sauna session) to relax your muscles a bit before coming in.
  3. Eat a light meal up to one hour before your massage. It can be difficult to lay face down if you’ve just had a large meal but have something in your system so you don’t feel light-headed after getting off the massage table.
  4. Show up a few minutes early to your appointment so you can drink some water, use our washroom facilities and make sure we have all of the information we need from you.
  5. Your RMT will greet you in the waiting room, introduce themselves and take you to their treatment room.
  6. Your RMT will review your health history form with you and ask questions to get a good idea of what you’re coming in for and how you can achieve your health goals together. This is a good time for you to ask questions too. If you are unsure of anything, from the necessary level of undress needed that day to how you’re to lay on the massage table, do not be afraid to ask for clarification!
  7. To begin your treatment, your therapist will undrape the area that they are to work on, one body part at a time to keep you warm and comfortable. Most often, your RMT will start the massage using light pressure and build up to a therapeutically comfortable depth at your discretion, checking in with you along the way in case some areas are more tender than others. You are in control of your session – you have the right to speak up if you want the depth, area treated or any aspect of the massage to change.
  8. When your appointment is nearing its end, your RMT will often ask if you want to learn any home-care techniques. These are specific stretches, exercises, or hydrotherapy techniques that are specifically chosen and adapted for your comfort and ability level to help you achieve a greater range of motion, decrease pain, or strengthen muscles in relation to our clinical findings that help you improve between treatments. Your therapist will ask you to get dressed so we can go over them together, leave the room and ask that you open the door when you’re ready to go over your home-care together. This is important so we can make sure you’re doing the prescribed activities properly, assess your ability and make amendments to ensure the best modifications for you, and go over your goals and treatment plan for future visits if necessary.
  9. Take it easy for a while after your massage. Take a few minutes at least to get yourself grounded, most folks feel a little sleepy or get an endorphin rush and feel woozy so feel free to have a glass of water and relax in the waiting room until you feel safe to drive or walk back home, or off to your next activity.
  10. One of our friendly receptionists will go through billing if you haven’t already and ask if you want to book another appointment. If your RMT suggested another modality such as acupuncture, the receptionist will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding those kinds of treatments and book your appointments at that time, or if you prefer, you can use our online booking system found on our website!

I hope this guide has been helpful!
If you have any questions or would like to book an RMT treatment, email us at purebodyhealthvictoria@gmail.com or call us at 778-265-0043!

Myofascial Release

Author: Lauren Wills, RMT

Myofascial Release

Many people ask what is fascia? What does it do? Where is it found? What causes us to get constant fascial restrictions? I am hoping to answer some of these questions in my blog post today. Many of you know I use Myofascial work regularly in daily massage treatments. I find it very helpful in reversing muscle imbalances and dysfunctional muscle patterns. This technique focuses on pain or discomfort believed to arise from fascial layers. Myofascial pain syndrome can be classified as any pain disorder caused by sensitivity, tightness or hypertoned muscle groups or connective tissue. Lets go over some common misunderstandings about Myofascial work.

Myofascial release is a massage modality often used to release trigger points, muscle imbalance, muscle restrictions and myofascial pain syndrome. Fascia is a tough membrane that wraps and acts as a support system of the human body connecting, surrounding and supporting muscles through out the body. Fascia, unlike muscles, does not start and end at insertions points it runs continuously throughout your body. Some myofascial lines have been shown to connect the feet and shoulders. Myofascial work is a safe and very affective technique that can be performed directly or indirectly applying gentle sustained pressure or faster cross pressure. It is performed using no lotion or oil because the therapist needs to have a stronger connection with the tissue for optimal effectiveness. Fascial work is being used more and more in alternative medication due to its marvellous results in aiding with short and long term aliments. A patient with myofascial restrictions may present with tissue restrictions and limited range of motion. Some common benefits of Myofascial release are corrected muscle imbalances, improved joint range of motion, relieved muscle soreness and joint stress, improved neuromuscular efficiency, relaxed muscle tension, advanced optimal length-tension relationship. Myofascial work can be used for rotator cuff issues, sciatica, low back pain, strains, sprains, headaches, frozen shoulder, neurological movement patterns, whiplash, over use injures and many other impairments that would limit a clients actives of daily living. This technique works through the muscular network of the human body relieving all over aches and pain aiding in the patients recovery.