Osteopathic Manual Practitioner and Registered Massage Therapist
What makes my practice distinctive is a comprehensive background in integrating research and evidence-based best practices in treatment to help with most musculoskeletal problems. I recently completed a Master of Science in Rehabilitation with McMaster university, teach research and pain science at Sutherland-Chan, and have more than 15 years experience working in private practice, and in multi-and interdisciplinary clinics with physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists, manual osteopathic practitdioners, and movement and exercise specialists.
I value patient perspectives and work to offer the many skills and resources I can provide to help manage, change, or resolve, pain, changes in function and other presenting symptoms. I welcome members of the LGBTQ2S community.
Both massage therapy and osteopathy include skilled assessment and treatment of soft tissues and joints of the body to help decrease pain, tension and stiffness, increase mobility, and induce relaxation. Techniques used will vary depending on the presenting issue and treatment goals, but include light to deep sustained touch and stretch of skin and underlying tissues, and rhythmic general or specific joint mobilization.
The hands-on treatment I provide is generally done with the patient wearing loose and comfortable clothing, and use of oil or lotion is kept to a minimum, if at all.
Movement strategies can be employed to help break and change patterns, decrease pain and stiffness, or help with being able to do every day tasks in comfort. They can be incorporated into everyday work or home situations to modify movements that hurt, increase general muscle activation, physiologically decrease muscle tension, and interrupt or change patterns and associations with tension and pain. Strategies can be used daily or as an introduction to a more comprehensive rehabilitation program.
Depending on your goals, a more comprehensive exercise plan may be required to get you back to activities that have been limited by pain. I can provide a starting program to introduce more loading challenges for muscles and joints, provide a referral to a physiotherapist for more comprehensive rehabilitation goals, or work with your physical therapist or personal trainer to help with modifications to exercises that hurt.
Back and Neck Pain
Many of us will experience back or neck pain at some time in our lives. Diagnostic scans are not helpful in most situations and research shows that most of us will recover with conservative treatment. Current best practice supports a many-factors approach to manage and change these symptoms that may include manual and physical therapies. Other treatment options you might already be doing, or want to try, that can be coordinated with your plan include medication (see your doctor), strengthening (physiotherapy, personal training, or increasing activities you like), mindfulness or meditation, counseling, nutrition changes, and pain management courses.
Feelings of Tension and Stiffness
Sometimes pain isn't the primary issue, but like pain, feelings of tension and stiffness can be part of the same protective system and resolved, or managed in similar ways.
Complex Pain States
There can be many reasons for musculoskeletal aches and pains and the functional difficulties that follow. Sometimes conditions like arthritis can be associated with painful episodes and flare-ups. Conditions like asthma that are not well controlled or bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia might also result in increased musculoskeletal pain. At other times the onset of pain and the reasons it's ongoing can be mysterious and not easily understood. Conditions like fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome all share a common symptom cluster and are diagnosed by rule out because there are no specific tests available.
I can help address some of the symptoms from complex pain states, but any manual and physical therapy, even with pain education, should only be one part of a multifactorial treatment plan. I can help develop a plan, or provide resources and information that may be helpful in managing you condition, and reaching your goals for recovery and rehabilitation.
Relaxation Focus for Management
When pain is no longer a primary emphasis, relaxation-focused treatments can be used as part of your long-term management plan. It may be useful to think of this kind of treatment as a tool you can use to help change a particular situation.
A good time to use relaxation-focused treatment is when you know you have to deal with upcoming periods of high stress, or have just been through a high-stress period. Other uses may include times when old patterns of pain and tension are resurfacing and regular management strategies, like exercise, are not helping.
Like any management tool, relaxation-focused treatments should be episodic. If you find yourself regularly relying on manual treatment to keep you in a good place, it's time to re-evaluate your management plan.