Stouffville Massage Therapy


My New Celebrity Patient! July 13, 2013

My New Celebrity Patient!

I am proud and honored to announce that I have recently become a member of the Harold Hamilton UFE Pro team! I will be helping Harold in his journey to peak performance and keeping him injury free!

Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter for all of his upcoming competitions and future endeavors!


The Importance of Healthy Fascia June 26, 2013

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a web of connective tissue found around your muscle fibres, muscle groups, organs, blood vessels and nerves.  It is what keeps everything in a tightly compact position within the body and allows for smooth movement within these structures.  It is extremely flexible and is able to withstand great force and multidirectional pull.  Its composition is mainly that of collagen, similar to tendons and ligaments.

Unhealthy Fascia

There is a multitude of reasons why your fascia can become “unhealthy”.  Here are the main ones:

1.  Dehydration:  When the body is dehydrated the fascia becomes less flexible and pliable, therefore restricting movement between structures.  Think of a thirsty plant – when the soil is dried out, the leaves become brittle and lose their vibrancy.  Same concept applies to your fascia!

2.  Neglected Injury:  Whether your injury has been severe, a case of overuse, whether the injury is new or old, your body reacts to try to heal that area the same way.  The brain triggers a response to send collagen to the area of injury.  Fascia is made up of collagen, so when there is an overabundance of it in a certain area, this can also contribute to a limited range of motion.  Remember!  Even an injury from your childhood that you would otherwise consider unimportant can attribute to your fascia becoming constricted over time.

3.  Emotional Trauma:  We have all read about it – “stress causes disease!”.  Whether you believe it or not, it has been scientifically proven that our bodies can suffer from emotional trauma – that means STRESS.  One of the structures that suffers first is your fascia.  This is where it all begins.  Restriction within the fascia inhibits mobility within the structures of the body – muscles, organs (including your liver!), nerves (including your brain!) the circulatory system (including your heart!) and everything in between, become severely compromised in their function.

What to do?

1.  Manual Therapy:  Everything from massage, acupuncture and myofascial release can help release any restrictions in the fascia.  The key is to catch the problems early.  If however, you’ve waited a little too long, it’s not too late!  Your therapist can still work his/her magic; the process may take a little longer.  Working with fascia usually requires a more aggressive approach.  Be patient and keep moving!

2. Do Yoga:  Your first thought is, “I’m not flexible, I can’t do yoga!”.  I give all of my student of yoga and my massage and acupuncture patients the same response, “Flexibility is NOT a prerequisite for doing yoga.”.  We all have to start somewhere!  Yoga increases blood and lymphatic flow which speeds up the healing process.  With gentle fluid movements along with controlled breathing, your fascia will be able to lengthen more efficiently.  When you feel tight it’s not your muscles that are tight; it’s your FASCIA!

3.  Drink plenty of water:  Just remember the thirsty plant, and just like that thirsty plant:  when you begin to take in more water, it will go right through you at the beginning.  Until your fascia becomes well saturated with water your body will quickly extract it.  Once all of the structures are well hydrated you won’t have to take as many visits to the bathroom!

4.  Keep moving:  Wonder why you feel tight first thing in the morning?  You haven’t been moving all night!  Your fascia has become restricted in your sleep!  As soon as you plant those feet on the floor, get moving – stretch and soften the body with gentle movements.  Your fascia will thank you for it!


One Body, One Chance January 8, 2011

Do you remember the last time you did an oil change on your car?  When was the last time you bought yourself a new TV, car, or gadget?  As a whole, we don’t even think twice about spending money on THINGS or maintaining our cars, but when was the last time you invested in your body and health?  Phones, cars, TV’s, etc. are replaceable, but we have only one body that we have to take care of for at least 80 years.  So what are you doing to take care of yourself?  If something breaks down, are you being proactive in fixing that problem?  I’m not talking about taking medication….I’m talking about regular exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and seeking appropriate therapy when needed.  It’s important not to ignore signs that parts of your body may be injured – whether it be something that happened recently, like a fall on ice, or long term chronic overuse injuries.

We have only one body that’s NOT replaceable.  Take care of it!


Chronic Pain/Injuries August 11, 2010

Many of you, I’m sure, have experienced and accident at some point in your lives.  Whether it be a car accident, a fall, an injury from a sport or even a childhood injury, like falling out of a tree, or falling off of your bike.  What most don’t realize, is that these injuries from YEARS ago can affect us for the rest of our lives, albeit chronic headaches, chronic low back pain, shoulder and neck pain.  YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT or just DEAL WITH IT!  It CAN be fixed!

Contemporary Acupuncture in combination with soft tissue work, works unbelievably well when it comes to these sorts of problems.  First of all, the acupuncture releases endorphins, norepinephrine, seratonin – all of the healing chemicals that get released when we exercise.  This speeds up the healing process.  Secondly, the soft tissue work loosens up the muscles around the structures that are inhibited.

With a solid treatment plan in place, you can live pain free, stop taking meds and get back to functioning the way you would like to – whether that be gardening without discomfort, riding your bike for miles and miles, running that marathon that you’ve been working towards, or simply getting out of your car without feeling a “twinge”.

Don’t ignore what is ailing you.  Stop taking that advil or tylenol once or twice a day.  Those are bandaide solutions and will not fix the root of the problem.


Core Strength January 13, 2010

Core strength is of the utmost importance when it comes to athletic performance and injury recovery.  Most think that your core consists of just your abs – WRONG!  It’s not just your abs, but your hip flexors, back , buttocks, abs and pecs.  These muscle groups support your entire body.  So, when you’re a serious athlete and/or someone who is trying to recover from an injury, whether it be your upper body or lower, your core needs to be strong to help you continue to move.  Here are some simple poses and moves that you can do at home to help strengthen your core.

PLANK:  Hold this pose for as long as you possibly can.  Start off with a goal of 30 seconds.  The more advanced plank is alternating donkey kicks, holding for 30 seconds, three times each side.

BRIDGE:  When doing this pose, squeeze your buttocks and hold for up to 2 minutes.  Raise your pelvis as high as you can to the sky!

SUPERMAN:  This can be a tough one.  Hold this pose for 10 seconds at a time with a five second break in between for 5 reps.

BANANA:  Again, hold for 10 seconds with a 5 second rest in between, 5 reps.

When your core becomes stronger, you can switch back and forth between superman and banana, without using the help from your arms to turn over and over again – killer core workout!

SIDE PLANK:  With this pose, you want to start in a plank with straight arms and move back and forth from side to side, holding for 10 seconds each side – 3 times each side.  Be sure you keep your feet stacked on top of one another.

These exercises are a good start to strengthening your core.  This, along with regular treatment from your massage therapist will enhance your performance in whatever sport that you do, and will speed up the healing process with an injury.  Anyone can do these exercises!  It just takes time, patience and perseverance!

Good luck!


Migraine Relief September 30, 2009

Migraines can be a debilitating condition that can affect you for hours and sometimes, up to days leaving you in excruciating pain.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Migraines can be relieved with several acupuncture points in the skull, ears and face.


Although nothing can really be done in the midst of a migraine, this type of treatment is excellent for preventing future episodes.  Keep in mind that a mere single treatment won’t eliminate migraines – this is a type of treatment that needs to be repeated over a period of time at least once a week.  It also depends on what has caused your migraine.  Things like a  sudden change in air pressure, changes in hormone levels, diet, dehydration and stress can effect when you get your migraine and how severe it is.

If you find yourself getting a migraine, here are some things that you can do to alleviate the pain:

1)  Apply a cold compress to your neck and forehead, with the application of hot compresses to your hands and feet, keeping your head above your heart – this brings your blood flow away from your head and into your extremities;

2)  Apply pressure with your fingertips to your temples, earlobes, eyebrows and the vortex (the very top) of your skull – these are key acupuncture points

3)  Of course, rest in a dark room with absolutely no light and complete silence.

I realize that the thought of putting needles in your skull, face and ears sounds a little creepy, but there are evidence-based medical journals that have been published to prove that this treatment works, and is more effective than taking harsh medications.  Remember…..taking ANY type of medication is a bandaide solution; it’s not the answer.

Check out this study that was done in May, 2008:

If you suffer from periodic migraines, or even chronic headaches the important thing is to find out why your migraines and headaches are occuring.  Speaking with a healthcare professional like your Massage Therapist or Chiropractor will help us narrow down what the root of the problem is.  From there we can devise a treatment plan that is right for you.


Why Shoulder Pain? June 29, 2009

Filed under: Acupuncture,Acupuncture and Massage,Cycling,massage — Isidora Romantini @ 1:12 pm

When you experience shoulder pain, most people think that there’s something wrong with the shoulder itself, when in fact most of the time the problem is arising from the neck.  Let me explain.

We have a nerve bundle arising from the neck called the brachial plexus.  These nerves supply the muscles and skin of the shoulder, arm and hand.  They come out of the cervical spine, travel underneath your collar bone, piercing the pecs, the deltoid and continue to supply the arm and hand.


When the muscles around the shoulder and neck are “tight”, nerve firing becomes impinged.  Think about a running hose:  what happens to the running water if there is a kink in the hose?  The water trickles or stops running all together.  Same concept with nerves that are wrapped with scar tissue or are trapped in a tight muscle – they can’t send clear signals to the related muscles.  So…..when you have pain in your shoulder, or you’re finding that you have limited movement in your shoulder, chances are you have tight muscles in your neck, or pecs, or both.  This especially rings true if you are experiencing any tingling or numbness in your hands and fingers.

Electro-acupuncture (EA) with massage is a great way to treat this type of injury.  First, with EA applied to the neck and shoulder region tons of endorphins get released along with serotonin to aid in the healing process.  In addition to that, activation of various nerve fibers will improve the nerve signaling to the areas.  Second, deep soft tissue work will loosen up the muscles to help the nerves do their job.

Keep in mind that although you may feel better after your first treatment, it may only last from a few hours to a few days.  It takes a number of treatments to completely dissolve your symptoms and everybody is different.  If you are a healthy and active individual, your body will most likely respond relatively quickly.

In addition to getting treatment, it is also really important to keep moving.  I always tell my patients, as long as you can exercise without experiencing any sharp shooting pain, keep moving.  The goal is to get you functioning to the best of your ability.

The key is not to ignore these symptoms when they start.  The earlier you get treated, the faster your recovery will be.