• RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend as the days become warmer and brighter!

    Next in our therapist ‘Get to Know’ series is Mandy Ryan. Utilizing a passion for working with women, children and families, she thrives while helping people to identify and achieve personal goals for wellness at whatever stage in life they may be. With extensive skills in a multitude of therapeutic techniques, she possesses a strong ability to treat a wide variety of conditions, from post-surgical therapy to pre-natal care and everything in between.

    Read more about Mandy here: http://www.somastudio.net/mandy-ryan-rmt

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    Here are some thing that help her create her own personal wellness lifestyle:

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I love to listen to audiobooks while walking, practice the ukulele, and cook.

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    Life just wouldn’t be the same without my espresso machine, yummy espresso beans and cream.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I see a trainer twice a week which has really improved my strength and helped to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis. And I love to walk around this beautiful city!

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Relax, Connect, Relief

    A favourite quote? 

    Start each day with a grateful heart.

    Thanks Mandy! 

    Feel free to give us a call to book an appointment, or have a look online. 

     

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope you’ve been enjoying our RMT Fast 5 Series. We’ve loved hearing their most cherished ways to maintain balance and what brings a smile to their faces!

    Today we hear from Soma Studio founder and lifelong healer Lori Johnson. Having started Soma from the ground up in 2000, and with more than 20 years of experience, her vision has remained constant- for Soma Studio to stand as a warm and welcoming environment where one trusts that they are truly in good hands, providing professional and knowledgable treatments through the work of gifted RMTs.

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    Lori’s original focus was helping pregnant women, their partners and babies adjust to the changes that happen during the childbearing year, but through an array of techniques, she actively supports and treats clients who suffer from stress-induced pain and overuse conditions, or who are interested in preventative massage.

    Here’s Lori’s response to our Fast 5!

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I do yoga and then look forward to a nice glass of wine…

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    My Mandoline, the slicing tool, couldn’t live without it.  It makes salad making a dream. I have to be careful not to slice my fingers though…

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I love yoga and I work out with my excellent trainer once per week. Janella, she is amazing.

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Releasing, Healing, Necessary

    A favourite quote? 

    “We are all Spiritual Beings having a Human experience.”

    You can read more about Lori here: 

    http://www.somastudio.net/about/our-registered-massage-therapists/lori-johnson-rmt/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    Next up in our RMT ‘Get to Know’ series we have Carla Van Elslande.

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    As a musician with an intuitive passion for helping others through music and teaching, Carla found that massage therapy provided an equally powerful outlet for her to connect and support healing and growth. Here are her answers to our fast 5!

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I enjoy spending time with family & friends, going for bike rides and walks along the seawall, chatting over a glass of wine, watching movies with my partner and reading.

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen?

    Extra virgin olive oil, wine, olives, fresh herbs.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I love hot yoga because it provides me with a good workout, and helps with strength, flexibility and balance all at once. It gives me a sense of community in a non-competitive environment, and allows me to engage in active meditation.

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy?

    Intuition, effectiveness, healing

    A favourite quote?

    ‘Forever is composed of nows’
    -Emily Dickinson.

    Read more about Carla’s massage story and philosophy here: http://www.somastudio.net/about/our-registered-massage-therapists/carla-van-elslande-rmt/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope everyone is enjoying their transition into a beautiful spring!

    We are very pleased to be welcoming two new therapists to our team at Soma, and are excited to have such skilled RMTs joining us! To help you get to know our therapists here at Soma we are happy to kick off our RMT Spotlight with one of our lovely new team members, where they share a bit about what makes them tick and ways they find balance in a fast paced world!

    Introducing: Tess Halldorson

    image1Tess graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, where she learned to effectively address a variety of conditions. She is proficient in several modalities, including Swedish massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy and joint mobilizations, and believes in keeping up to date on the latest treatment techniques, obtaining measurable outcomes before and after treatment assessment. She is passionate about helping her patients reach their therapeutic goals, whether it be injury recovery, stress related, or maintaining general wellness.

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    Relaxing in the bath with a good book is the ultimate way to unwind. As long as you don’t mind all your pages starting to curl!

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    My fiancé, haha! I’m not allowed in the kitchen anymore, I’d burn water if I could.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    Honestly, taking my dog for long walks. I’m much more of an outdoorsy exercise girl. The constant change of scenery, the fresh air, with the added perk of giving my Puggle a good workout!

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Tranquility, Good-pain (I’m counting that as one!), Preventative

    A favourite quote? 

    My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

    Thanks for sharing! Give us a call of have a look online for Tess’ next availability. 

     

     

  • Reflections of a First RMT Experience

    jairo-alzate-45540As a dedicated yogi and advocate for good health, and throughout much self research into various healing dualities, strangely, massage has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. Sure I’d had a few relaxing experiences in tropical locales that did seem to provide noticeable benefits to my state of calm, particularly during the session, but coming in to Soma Studio I was greeted with not only a different environment but an unanticipated approach altogether. Instantly upon my assessment with my RMT, I could tell that this was much more involved than I had imagined. While some come to massage for general relaxation and relief of your everyday tensions, some are drawn to it seeking to heal deeper rooted concerns, whether that is physical imbalance or injury, emotional trauma or a knot that just won’t seem to budge.

    What remained intact through a treatment that continued to pleasantly surprise me was the encapsulating tranquil and comfortable atmosphere that was maintained the whole way through. Often times nowadays, medicine and remedial practices tend to take a sterile and unwelcoming persona, so much so that a lot of people are put off by say, going in for a doctor’s appointment, and I realized that this calibre of massage therapy was breaking that stigma, through the use of techniques and skills that stand before a backbone of in depth physiological science and first hand experience.

    I briefly shared with my RMT my physical concerns, and she was receptive and very professional as she did a postural assessment. Meeting me back in the room, I was given an overview of what to expect, and that at any time to let her know if something was not working, or was. Due to my specific needs, my RMT started off with what they call ‘Myofascial Release’ techniques. This method uses no oil, as the therapist needs to be able to grip the skin, working not only with the muscles but the subtler layers of connective tissues, known as fascia, that can be the cause of tightness and discomfort. I immediately felt the difference in how my body was reacting to this practice, as it wasn’t just a specific muscle that was causing my distress but an entire cohesive area. Giving the utmost attention to the spots that I had highlighted and a balanced level of care to the rest of my body, I was impressed an intrigued by my RMT’s intuitive knowledge regarding pressure level, pinpointing muscles I didn’t even know were there, and fluid motion, even using an oil-free technique.

    The session took a natural curve, beginning with lighter impressions and working up to a full on therapeutic treatment, before easing into a soothing finale to the upper back, neck, shoulders and head in what I would describe as ‘assertive yet reassuring wavelike movements’. I was left feeling light and fascinated by how accurate my RMT’s techniques had been.

    Moral of the story, booking an appointment with an RMT may be just what you’ve been seeking to restore balance in the body, and can become an important ritual in a self care routine, that doesn’t feel like a chore in the slightest.

    Many thanks to Tina at Soma Studio East for providing an excellent treatment from which to share the experience. To book an appointment with a Registered Massage Therapist, give us a call or book online. 

  • Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

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    Pamela Nadav has said, “There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” Preganancy is a remarkable journey that invites a woman to completely new terrain, and to explore facets of herself that she may have never uncovered lest she embarked up this journey. It’s a time of introspection and inner nurturing, a time when she learns the intuitive capacity she has for being a vessel of life, of caring, and of love. Yet so often, the adventure to motherhood is fraught with physical discomfort and emotional ups and downs! Because a woman goes through so many changes during this time, having a support network in place in the form of community, breathing classes, massage, and yoga, can give a soon­to­be mom exactly what she needs.

    Preganancy is a time that prepares a woman to connect with her own intuition and
    wisdom. Especially for a woman, parenting begins with conception, as the tools she
    develops while carrying her child will be important ones she uses once the child is born
    and growing. It’s a time that is meant to allow the woman to rely more fully on her
    instincts, as these instincts are what give her the ability to move gracefully through the
    birthing process, no matter what the outcome, and to parent in a way that is connected to
    her deep inner knowing.

    A woman’s body inevitably experiences a multitude of changes during pregnancy, which
    can at times disconnect her from her own inner voice. As her uterus expands with the
    weight of the growing baby, there is more stress on her back, neck, shoulders and
    abdominal muscles. An aching lower back is a common sensation for many pregnant
    women, while others may experience aching legs, sore hips, swelling and/or insomnia.

    To reconnect inwardly, find ease in her body and mind, and reconnect with her spirit,
    prenatal massage therapy is a wonderful way to lessen her discomfort. A massage during
    pregnancy brings about a sense of well­being through relaxation, giving an expecting
    mother a once again clear channel to her own intuition, as well as a feeling of being
    settled and grounded.

    Benefits of Prenatal Massage

    • Soothes tired and tense muscles

    • Improves sleep

    • Relieves muscle cramps, spasms and tension in the lower back, neck, hips and

    legs

    • Reduces the release of stress hormones

    • Reduces heart rate and blood pressure

    • Improves blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling (edema)

    • Can improve labour outcome and ease pain

    Soma’s therapists seek to support their pregnant clients by helping them to reconnect
    with themselves, to feel good in their bodies, and to feel prepared for the adventure of a
    liftetime. Our therapists are professionally trained prenatal massage therapists in
    Vancouver who understand the needs of a pregnant body, which techniques to use, and
    how to safely massage it to alleviate some of the discomfort. We recognize the
    importance of positioning the body during a pregnancy massage not only for comfort, but
    also for a woman and her baby’s well­being.

    As well as pregnancy massage, our prenatal massage therapists are happy to share their
    expertise in other aspects of prenatal care, from abdominal exercises to sleeping
    positions to postural correction. And when the time is right and a woman is ready, Soma’s
    therapists are also trained in postnatal massage.
    “The most important thing a woman would learn over the years was that there was no
    way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one” (Jill Churchill). Let Soma
    support you in your dynamic and exciting journey to motherhood, and feel the benefits
    immediately!

     

    By Lori Johnson, RMT & Owner of Soma Studio

  • Lessons from the Road by Cheyne, RMT

    photo 3 (1)¡Buenas dias a todas los personas!

    We’re almost back from our travels; we’ve seen so many places, met so many amazing people! Traveling is such a gift. Being able to work, supporting my partner Lila’s yoga workshops while on the road, has made it such an amazing journey.

    We’ve been to the Interior, the Prairies, east coast United States, Hawaii, but mostly Central America, in the past seven months. We’ve taught workshops, yoga teacher trainings, took a two week permaculture course, lived with handfuls of Central American families, and traveled with some of our best friends to some truly amazing places.

    From the deep wet jungle to the oppressively hot coastlines, what resonates most deeply for me after reflecting on the past seven months, and often what we all come back with after traveling, is memories of the people we’ve shared our lives with. It seems there’s a wisdom that comes with developing new routines. Playing soccer with the children in the dirt, howler monkeys in the trees, hand washing clothes, speaking a different language, listening to their stories… It seems we travel in search of something. Something beyond our lives back home; an inherent sense of humanity that crosses culture, language, ethnicity, even belief.

    To be honest, the majority of people traveling for a few weeks from the west are there to drink. Some stay, and develop ways of bringing their Western luxuries and lifestyle to, quite frankly, these impoverished areas that are economically forced to serve them. Some people are searching for something better when they travel, more so when they move there, studiously avoiding whatever is left in their wake. Chasing happiness as a set of preferences that seems fundamentally unattainable. Others come with a beautiful sense of exploration, some with an inner churning, some come with a burning desire to help the world. Or maybe a mix of all of them. But that’s an essay for another time. Traveling deeper into Nicaragua, past the areas with these socioeconomic challenges, there’s a different vibe. Bustling sidewalks, kids playing in the dirt roads, hungry dogs looking for scraps, and the stare of unfamiliarity from the locals as they assume you’re not Catholic. Nicaragua. It’s in these places, and deeper into the jungle, that we came across new friends, some we eventually traveled with, and communities we visited that left permanent impressions on us. There are some amazing things happening everywhere, and many people to be inspired by. Sometimes you just have to look with the right focus.

    After being on the road for what feels like a very long time, I’m sitting with some reflections before I head back to BC. Part of our intention on this journey was to gain knowledge and inspiration for some projects we have when we return home. For that part, we were overwhelmingly successful. Being able to share with yoga teachers the deeper physiology behind their craft and work has been super fun. But in the feeling of connection to people we’ve parted ways with, and others we can’t wait to see again, I’m left with something that’s quite hard to articulate. Being in developing parts of the world, working through times when we were seriously ill, broke, and seeking refuge at a Red Cross with dirt floors and questionable medication, comes with it some obvious perspective. I now care a lot less if there’s a coffee stain on my shirt or if the line is too long for my liking at the market. What comes to mind for me is that inherent sense of life and vitality in everyone, everywhere: the humble nature that pours out of the women in Nicaragua, despite the general lack of rights they’re subjected to. They’re not chasing a dream, they’re happy with what they have and the food and love they provide.

    That proud vitality, and vibrant sense of life and happiness that we all know comes from something other than what’s material, is what makes me so excited to be home, to my family and friends. Doing the work I love to do, living in the city and country I love. We describe it as the mountains, fresh air, cherry blossoms… summer in Vancouver. But it’s the essence of what’s behind all of those things. It’s the virtuous life, and the communities we build that sustain us.

    With grace and gratitude,

    Cheyne Cameron, RMT

    Cheyne will be returning to Soma at the beginning of April! Go online to book with him.

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  • Infant Massage Workshop with Kaely Brittliffe, RMT

    Picture 14Soma RMT Kaely will be teaching an infant massage workshop starting on Nov 26th! Here are some of the benefits of infant massage:

    • Promotes bonding and attachment between you and your baby
    • Promotes relaxation and decreases stress in you and your baby
    • Relieves discomfort from constipation, gas and colic
    • Promotes better sleep for baby (and maybe you too!)
    • Stimulates brain development and sensory awareness for baby
    • Babies cry less, as the parent is more responsive to babies’ cues

    Three Tuesday afternoon sessions: 11:30-12:30
    November 26th, December 3rd  and 10th
    Location: Acumamas in Olympic Village  #301 West 2nd Avenue (2nd and Crowe street),Vancouver BC V5Y 1C9

    For babies three weeks to pre-crawling and their primary caregivers
    Cost $105, RMT receipt for $35 issued in baby’s name at each class

    Registration required contact Kaely at 604 889 9971 or kaelyrmt@gmail.com

  • New Soma Contest!

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    Hi Everyone!

    Do you want to win a 60 min massage at Soma? Yes, I think you do… here’s how!

     

     

    • Step 1: Like us on Facebook and you get your name added to the draw.  Click here!  If you already like us (yay you!) then you name has been entered already!
    • Step 2: Write us a review on Yelp and you get your name added to the draw AGAIN!! Click here to write a review!

    Good Luck and Happy Thanksgiving!