• RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know Lori Johnson

    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 knowledgeable treatments through the work of gifted RMTs.


    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: 


  • The Importance of Holidays by Lori

    Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 2.16.09 PMI just took a whole month off and went to Europe; a place I have not been to in 30 years. I feel very lucky to have been able to do this with my husband and partner in crime. We did it all; ate too much, walked,drank too much, walked some more, slept in, stayed out late, walked even more. It was so great to be able to turn off, read a book, look at art, people watch and have no agenda for the day.

    Being away reminded me how very important holidays are to my well-being. Just to be out of my routine for a month has given me a new perspective on my life and shown me how I want to live a little differently.

    1. I plan on taking time to eat: We saw very few “to-go” restaurants. Instead we saw friends and families gathering to enjoy food and actually talk to each other. Cellphones were not as prevalent as they seem to be in Vancouver.

    2. I want to take in my surroundings. Europeans live among some of the oldest, most historic buildings, churches and art galleries in the world. They may take it for granted how very beautiful it all is. I, too, sometimes get caught up in my day to day and forget to see the mountains, the ocean and the sky that make Vancouver one of the most visited cities on the planet.

    3. I want to slow down and make good decisions about how I spend my time..to be thoughtful, mindful and to connect with my loved ones on a deep level. Not just fill my time with stuff that doesn’t really matter.

    And finally, I was shown that all our lives are not that different from one another…we are all human with human needs, desires, gifts and need for community.

    Holidays have also taught me to have a few unplanned days now and then the magic and spontaneity can take place. I don’t have to fly somewhere to have a holiday. I could do something on a day off that I don’t normally do; ride your bike, take the seabus, go up Grouse, go for a steambath, sauna or massage, go to an art gallery, etc.

    Now, I can honestly say it is good to be home..


  • Congratulations Catalina

    Everyone at Soma would like to congratulate Catalina Ip on the birth of her son Ryan who was born January 9th at St. Paul’s Hospital at 8:26pm weighing a healthy 7lb 1oz. Big brother Patrick, husband Chris and Catalina are all very excited and blessed to have Ryan in their lives.

    Catalina would like to send her thanks to all her clients for their thoughtful and warm wishes and messages.


  • Soma Studio Welcomes Susan Macrae, RMT

    Sue Macrae has been a Registered Massage Therapist since 1994 and during this time she has worked in various clinical settings as both a registered massage therapist and clinic owner. For the past 11 years, Sue has worked at Port Moody Integrated Health as one of the founding practitioners. A long-time East Vancouver resident, Sue is extremely excited to bring her practice and patients to the neighbourhood she loves to call home.

    Sue earned her degree in physical education from the University of British Columbia, and graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy.

    Her post-graduate courses and studies have focused on myofascial release, a specialized technique that focuses on the fascia of the body. By treating
    individual or groups of muscles and fascia concurrently, Sue can effectively release muscle tissue and improve stability, coordination and compensations in posture or movement. Other courses she has taken include core strengthening and stretching, and physioball exercises.

    Sue and her family (husband, two daughters, one fuzzy dog) lead an active west coast life. She’s an avid trail runner, cyclist, hiker, skier and camper. She also has an extensive background in aquatics. Sue also is an active volunteer in her daughters’ school, and also serves on the board of the Exceleration Triathlon
    Club operating at Templeton Pool.

  • Soma Studio Welcomes Michealla Redeker, RMT

    Soma Studio would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest RMT, Michealla Redeker.

    Michealla is a skilled, resourceful, intuitive, and approachable Registered Massage Therapist with extensive knowledge and experience in the field. A graduate of the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, Michealla obtained her registered status in the fall of 2001 after completing 3000 hours of training.

    Michealla has been a dedicated practitioner of Massage Therapy for the past 11 years and has continually upgraded her skills over this period of time.  She has advanced study in therapeutic deep tissue massage, Myofascial release, muscle energy techniques, Thai massage, and perinatal. She also is a dedicated yoga practioner.

    Michealla has travelled to various parts of Asia including, Thailand and India, to learn and experience different holistic healing practices.  In her practice, Michealla treats a wide spectrum of patients with issues stemming from chronic illness, athletics, pregnancy, work, stress and accident related injuries.

    Michealla has recently returned to work after taking some time off to spend with her first child and love of her life. A grounded down to earth mom and professional, Michealla is passionate about travel, foreign culture, music the outdoors and activities including, Yoga, running and hiking.

  • Movember: Changing the Face of Men's Health

    November is now known by many as “Movember”, an annual official event in over 14 countries to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male health issues. Movember encourages the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces to literally “change the face of men’s health”—in a fun way.

    Support Movember with our mug
    The Mo Mug, as modelled by Russ

    Soma Studio is involved in supporting Movember because we have more men in the clinic than ever before, both as clients and massage therapists (we now have three male RMTs: Denis, Jean-Luc and Cheyne). Pregnancy and babies have been a big part of Soma since our beginning, so it’s due time that we support the other half of the fertility equation!

    The Movember Effect

    Movember encourages both men (Mo Bros) and women (Mo Sistas) to get involved and change established attitudes about men’s health in order to increase the chances of early cancer detection, diagnosis and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths.

    The Movember movement incites men to be aware of any family history of cancer and to adopt healthier lifestyles….taking better care of our bodies through exercise, improved eating habits, stress reduction and, of course, massage therapy.

    How to Support Movember

    Movember in Canada is a big deal. In 2011, Movember Canada was the largest contributor to the effort in the world. So let’s do it again! There are three ways you can help out:
    1. Buy a $5 Mo mug the next time you’re at Soma Studio
    2. Donate on our Soma Studio team page
    3. Grow your own Mo and register as a Mo Bro

    The Mo mug is perfect for those who can’t grow a decent Mo but want to visually support the cause. And you can never get started too early on your Christmas shopping.  We’ll keep you updated on our Movember fundraising progress on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

    We love the VIFF. Nearly 400 films from over 75 countries; if only there was some way to see them all! We’ve been passing around Lori’s big festival guide and making our selections, from skateboarding in Germany to the worldwide disappearance of honeybees. This festival has something for every film lover.

    One of this year’s most exciting entrants (as far as we’re concerned)  is Midnight’s Children, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s second novel, directed by Deepa Metha. Metha is best known for the “Elements” trilogy—Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005). Born in India, Metha now calls Canada home.  Check out the Midnight’s Children trailer.

    Check it out, order your program guide, and when you start feeling a little stiff from all that time in those awful theatre chairs, call us for a treatment. We’ll compare notes.



  • Well hello, sunny September!

    This month, I decided to save a little money by foregoing the bus pass, and walking (or running) to work. The 99 B-Line commute had been getting me down, and since I just started work at the new East side studio, this seemed like a great way to get to know the neighbourhood. I certainly picked the right month! September mornings have been fabulous-sunny and crisp, and the afternoon trip home has allowed me to work on my fall tan. It’s 5 kilometers each way, which leaves me feeling invigorated and clear- headed, though I have to leave a little earlier in the morning than I used to. It’s worth it! And I’m not the only one, Lori has been cycling, and Diane walks to work as well.

    The Hastings Sunrise area is really lovely: quiet, tree-lined streets, ethnically diverse, and filled with local parks. Every Saturday morning I pass a Tai Chi class at Beaconsfield park, and on the weekdays, two solemn student crossing guards escort me across Grandview. The Italian grocer on our block has fabulous espresso, and has been family-owned since 1964. Yesterday I noticed a Latino bakery only a block away; you can bet I’ll pay them a visit soon. Yum!

    So, all things considered, the decision to take a break from the bus has been win-win: healthy body, peaceful mind, and a great way to see the neighbourhood. Have you considered making a change to your morning commute? You may be happy you did!

  • Eating Right For The Seasons.

    Alison McKenzie RMTThe arrival of September always brings a natural shift of temperature, and a shortening of the days.  It is the time to begin another school year, back to regular work hours, and to re-examine our habits and routine.  As we officially enter into the fall season later this month, it is a great time to check in with our body’s natural rhythm and dietary needs.

    There is no shortage of information these days on health and wellness, especially what we ‘should’ be eating. Unfortunately, due to this overwhelming amount of advice, we often forget to listen to our greatest advisor…our own bodies!  If we are constantly following a specific diet, cleanse, or the latest food trend, we have no chance to befriend our greatest ally in our personal health.  Yes, periods of meal planning and cleansing are of great benefit, but it is when we are perpetually nourishing via some sort of plan that we are drowning out our inner voice.

    Everybody’s body is unique and brilliant. They will tell us exactly what we need if we listen. Fall is one of the greatest times to tune into this voice because of the distinct change in what is abundant and available.  It is my favourite time to visit the local farmer’s market: winter squash, a variety of apples, pears, potatoes, and pumpkins. The harvest gets heartier and denser as the weather cools, and our bodies will be preparing for a warmer nourishment of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. It is a time to prepare more warming foods such as soups, stews, and heartier grains to balance our internal environment with the shifting external.

    To eat with the seasons is to tune into the earth’s natural cycle, as well as our own innate cycle.  I invite you to take some time this month to observe what your body is saying.

    Alison McKenzie is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. You can reach her at amckenzie.rhn@gmail.com


  • Soma Summer Potluck

    Sunday, Aug 28 at Locarno Beach.

    Denis, BBQ master, and Lori. Lori told us she bought the salad bowl, made out of a single piece of reclaimed Arbutus, before she met Denis. "I thought I was never going to get married, so I might as well buy some nice stuff!" Now she has a beautiful salad bowl AND a great husband!
    Needless to say, the food was spectacular.
    Kaely, Fran, and Emily relax.
    Mandy and her mom came too! We're going to miss Mandy while she's on maternity leave. She's promised to come by and visit us.
    I brought some Hula Hoops, and they were a big hit. Nearly everyone thought they wouldn't be able to do it, but it's easier than it looks. Here's Denis and Teresa giving it a go!