• 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/

  • Notes on the Last Issue of The Exhale

    Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 8.41.35 AMIt has been a pleasure writing for the Exhale newsletter these past few years.  Due to lack of readers, this is the last edition.  However, we will still be writing blogs and posting them on the Soma Blog.  So, please check our website and Facebook page for future posts.
    If you have any questions about health, wellness, exercise, massage, pregnancy or related topics, please feel free to email us and we will do our best to answer them.  

    It is still our goal to share our knowledge and experiences so you can be informed about how massage therapy can help you.
    Soma massage therapists are highly qualified and experienced in bodywork and structural techniques to help clients become more free in their bodies. We hope that our blog posts provide an venue to share what is on our minds and help you feel good in your body.
    Thank you for being a part of Soma Studio and for referring your friends and family to us.

    All the best,

    Lori

  • 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!

     

  • Pregnancy Massage: Stomach or Side?

    We’ve heard from many of our pregnant clients that they initially didn’t consider prenatal massage therapy to be safe or all that comfortable. It wasn’t until during their pregnancy massage at Soma Studio that they became more informed about how we approach this special type of massage.

    Safety, comfort and therapeutic effectiveness are foremost in any certified prenatal massage therapist’s mind. Positioning of your body is critical to all of these. While many therapists feel it’s better to position a pregnant body on its side, our Vancouver massage therapists feel it’s more beneficial to lie on the stomach (or ‘prone’). Here’s why.

    Massage in the Stomach Position

    Lying on the stomach in pregnancy massage is more restful and allows the therapist to better access your back and hips for a more therapeutic full body massage. When a pregnant body is pillowed properly and consciously, the spine is in neutral position and the back is longer. Similar to swimming, this position takes the weight off and makes you feel like you’re floating. After over 20 years of relying on this position and hearing consistently positive feedback from repeat clients, we know that it works.

    Massage with a Pregnancy Pillow

    A good pregnancy massage pillow support system can accommodate a growing belly as well as enlarged breasts. Soma Studio’s pregnancy pillows consist of several pieces: two large pieces with a half-moon ‘dip’ to support the belly as well as smaller rectangular pieces to support the shoulders—watch our pregnancy pillow video to see how these work. Our prenatal massage therapists work with each client to carefully adjust each pillow, ensuring the back isn’t in extension and for maximum comfort before starting the massage.

    Massage in the Side-Lying Position

    Many prenatal massage therapists choose this position because they don’t have access to a good pregnancy pillow system. In the past, some therapists have used tables with a hole for the belly, but the hole wasn’t padded or adjustable, causing the abdomen to dangle, stressing the lower back and creating discomfort with the stretching of uterine ligaments.

    While Soma Studio’s massage therapists prefer to use the pregnancy pillows, you still have the option of lying on your side—especially if your breasts are too tender or you’re suffering from nausea or congestion.

    No matter what position you’re lying in, your body will always let you know if it’s uncomfortable, with symptoms like nausea, overheating or pins & needles. Trust and listen to your body, and do what you feel is right for you.

    Learn more about prenatal massage therapy on our Pregnancy Massage page or please contact us with any questions or concerns.

  • Everything I know…

    I had the great fortune to be the daughter of a wise woman. My mother was ahead of her time in many ways; most notably, her interest in herbs, alternative wellness, yoga and massage.  This was revolutionary stuff in small town Saskatchewan at that time. When I was 12 years old, she became a Registered Massage Therapist  and started a small practice in our home. I have known massage therapy to be an alternative to pain medication since I was quite young.  As a figure skater, I benefited greatly from her abilities.

    One of the myriad things that Mom taught me was that people use massage for many different reasons.  I hope to clarify for you how massage therapy can be used in your life.

    Medical:

    Some clients are referred to a registered massage therapist (RMT) by their MD, chiropractor or physiotherapist, for a specific health concern. It may be headaches, back or neck pain, injury from a car accident, sport injury, stress or depression. Often these situations require urgent attention and a patient might see an RMT twice a week. For both therapist and patient, getting the symptoms under control is a priority. After seeing an RMT for 3 weeks or so,  the main issue may be alleviated or at least under control. These clients may then stop coming for treatments until some other problem arises.

    Lifestyle/chronic conditions:

    Other clients choose to come for treatments as part of their wellness plan.  There may not be an obvious problem to work on or a nagging injury; this is more of a preventative approach to wellness. Clients book a treatment once every 2 weeks or once per month, on a regular basis. They reserve the time and make it a priority, like exercise.  Usually this type of treatment involves relaxation. Relaxation time should not be underestimated!  We live in a stressful world, with stress-induced illnesses. When the body knows how to relax, it can deal more effectively with what we put it through on a daily basis.

    Some of our clients have chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia. Massage therapy lessens the effect of the condition and adds to the quality of life for someone who faces these additional challenges.

    Temporary conditions:

    At Soma, we are all trained in pre and postnatal massage therapy. We’re very comfortable helping pregnant women cope with the many changes of the child-bearing year.  Many clients begin treatment at the beginning of the 2nd trimester, although massage therapy is very safe during the first trimester as well.  We recommend treatments once every 2 weeks in the beginning, increasing to once per week for the last month. Regular massage during this time helps to reduce swelling, lessen fatigue and decrease back strain. We also suggest that massage treatments continue for at least a few weeks after the birth, to help with hormonal adjusting, fight fatigue and reduce strain on the body.  Some women continue with regular treatment even after the baby is born to help with strain from breast-feeding, or simply for some “Me” time.

    So you see, massage therapy can be useful for everyone, at all stages of life! Listen to your body, and be good to it. Bring it in to Soma once in a while for a tune-up; you’ll be happy you did.

    Wishing you health and vitality,

    Lori

  • 10 Most Popular Types of Massage

    Swedish massage therapy: Therapists use long, smooth strokes, kneading and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil.

    Aromatherapy massage: Massage therapy with the addition of one or more scented plant oils called essential oils to address specific needs.  The massage therapist can select oils that are relaxing, energizing, stress-reducing or balancing.  Aromatherapy massage is particularly suited to stress-related conditions with an emotional component.

    Hot stone massage: Heated, smooth stones are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body.  The massage therapist may also hold stones and apply gentle pressure with them.  The warmth is comforting.  Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension, but prefer lighter massage.

    Deep tissue massage: This massage targets the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.  The massage therapist uses slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle.  Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems or recovery from injury.  People often feel sore for one to two days after deep tissue massage.

    Shiatsu massage: A form of Japanese bodywork that uses localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for two to eight seconds to improve the flow of energy and help the body regain balance.  People are normally pleasantly surprised when they try shiatsu for the first time.  It is relaxing yet the pressure is firm and there is usually no soreness afterwarsds.

    Thai massage: Like shiatsu, Thai massage aligns the energies of the body using gentle pressure on specific points.  Thai massage also includes compressions and stretches.  You don’t just lie there — the therapist moves and stretches you into a sequence of postures.  It’s like yoga without doing any work.  Thai massage is more energizing than other forms of massage.  It also reduces stress and improves flexibility and range of motion.

    Pregnancy massage: Also called prenatal massage, pregnancy massage is becoming increasingly popular with expectant mothers.  Massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage know the proper way to position and support the woman’s body during the massage, and how to modify techniques.

    Reflexology massage: Although reflexology is sometimes called foot massage, it is more than simple foot massage.  Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that corresponds to organs and systems in the body.  Reflexology is very relaxing, especially for people who stand on their feet all day, or just have tired, achy feet.

    Sports massage: Sports massage is specifically designed for people who are involved in physical activity, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete to have one — this type of massage is used by people who are active and work out often.  The focus isn’t on relaxation, but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance.  A combination of techniques are used.  The strokes are generally faster than Swedish massage.  Facilitated stretching is a common technique.  It helps to loosen muscles and increase flexibility.

    Back massage: Some massage clinics and spas offer a 30-minute back massages.  If a back massage is not on its menu, you can also book a 30 or 40-minute massage and ask that the massage therapist focus on your back.

    Source: altmedicine.about.com