Registered Massage Therapist
Member of the Massage Therapists' Association of Nova Scotia
Since 2000

2369 Agricola Street • Suite 202
Halifax, Nova Scotia • B3K 4B7
902 • 580 • 2708


Halifax Runner

I am a runner. I have run numerous half marathons and a couple of 10Ks. In 2008 I ran my first marathon, the Bluenose Marathon, here in Halifax. I've been in good shape and I've had injuries that sidelined me. I've felt in top form and I've fallen off the wagon (currently huffing and puffing my way back on). I am familiar with a host of running issues, physical and psychological.

I have numerous clients who are also runners of varying distances and I find it exciting to be a part of my clients' training process, helping where I can with physical impediments - and I love hearing the stories of each person's training plans, obstacles and triumphs.

This is a photograph of me and my mother Soledad after we ran the Bluenose 5K together. She is a beginning runner and it was her first road race ever. The following day I was telling someone proudly about how well she did in the race and it occurred to me to check her time on line. It turns out my mother came fourth in her age category! I am so proud of her, I brag to everyone about how well she did - and now I am bragging to all of you.



Stretching your muscles is a good way to decrease pain and aching. Here are some suggestions about getting the most from the stretches you already know:

1. The stretch should be done slowly and held for at least 30 seconds. (Watch the clock. Sometimes 30 seconds seems like forever.)

2. If you experience pain during your stretch, don't push yourself past that point. Do the stretch up to that point and then back it up into the pain free range. Hold your stretch there.

3. Keep breathing. Breathe deeply. It helps you and your muscles relax and increases the stretch.

4. Imagine the muscles and joints you're stretching. If you don't know specific anatomy, visualize the general area lengthening. Imagine the joints opening and softening.

5. If you've been given instructions about specific stretches, watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you are doing them correctly. If you are going to see the health care provider again who suggested the stretches to you, ask them to watch you stretch to make sure you are still doing them the right way.

6. Warming your muscles before stretching, either with a bath or in a shower, can increase the stretch. You can even do some neck stretches in the shower.


Some Effects of Massage Therapy

The following is an exerpt from: To Touch Or Not To Touch: Rethinking The Prohibition On Touch In Psychotherapy And Counseling. Clinical, Ethical & Legal Considerations

By: Ofer Zur, Ph.D. & Nola Nordmarken, MFT - 2004


Earliest recorded medical history dates from 25 centuries ago and includes references to medical treatment utilizing touch in Eastern cultures (Miller, 1997). Shamans, in many cultures, used touch as one of the healing practices used to heal mind, body and spirit. Healing practices began to evolve into the science of medicine in the middle ages. Touch healers who had long been honored by their communities gradually lost clout. They were negatively stigmatized by both, medical and religious proponents (Cohen, 1987). By the 17th century, the Christian church conceded control over the physical body and this important historical compromise established the Western split between body and mind/spirit. "In the (modern) technological view of the world, medicine is viewed as an industry and healing as a process to be adapted to the mechanical constructs of assembly-line production" (Hunter & Struve, 1998, p.48). Touch has become almost irrelevant.

Recent research done by the Touch Research Institute has demonstrated that touch triggers a cascade of chemical responses, including a decrease in urinary stress hormones (cortisol, catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine), and increased serotonin and dopamine levels. The shift in these bio-chemicals has been proven to decrease depression (Field, 1998). Hence, touch is good medicine. It also enhances the immune system by increasing natural killer cells and killer cell activity, balancing the ratio of cd4 cells and cd4/cd8 cells. The immune system's cytotoxic capacity increases with touch, thus helping the body maintain its defense against pathogens (Field, 1998).

Massage therapy has been shown to reduce aversion to touch and to decrease anxiety, depression and cortisol levels in women who have been sexually or physically abused (Field, et. al., 1997). It decreases diastolic blood pressure, anxiety and cortisol (stress hormone) levels (Hernandez-Reif, et. al., 2000). One study examined the effects of massage therapy on anxiety and depression levels and on immune function. The subjects received a 45-minute massage five times weekly for a 1-month period. The findings were that: 1) anxiety, stress and cortisol levels were significantly reduced; 2) natural killer cells and natural killer cell activity increased, suggesting positive effects on the immune system (Ironson, et. al., 1996). Bulimic adolescent girls received massage therapy 2 times a week for 5 weeks. Effects included an improved body image, decreased depression and anxiety symptoms, decreased cortisol levels and increased dopamine and serotonin levels. In a study of children with ADHD, touch sensitivity, attention to sounds and off-task classroom behavior decreased and relatedness to teachers increased after massage therapy (Field, et. al., 1997). Following five 30-minute massages, children/adolescents had better sleep patterns, lower level of depression and anxiety and lower stress hormone levels (Field, et. al., 1992). Massage therapy also decreased the anxiety, depression and stress hormone levels of children diagnosed with PTSD, who survived Hurricane Andrew. In addition, their drawings reflected less depression (Field, et. al., 1996).


Massage Instruction for Couples

I offer private massage therapy instruction for couples. I can teach you how to give each other a soothing, relaxing massage - or if one of you is suffering from chronic pain, I can show you massage therapy techniques to use on a regular basis that will help reduce pain.

Massage therapy instruction appointments are conducted in my regular treatment room, and the session will last one hour or ninety minutes. The fee is the same as my usual massage therapy fee.



Wait Times for Surgery, Diagnostic Tests and Referrals in Nova Scotia

I frequently see people who are on long waiting lists for surgery (knee replacement, hip replacement, cardiac or cancer surgery), diagnostic tests (bone density, MRI, CT scan) and appointments with specialists (genetic, prenatal, pediatric, cancer, metabolic).  Sometimes the wait list for the service you need is shorter outside your community, in a different town or city - and you may be able to be seen sooner if you are willing to travel to a facility with a shorter wait time.  
This is a very interesting Government of Nova Scotia web site that lists the different wait times for surgery, diagnostic tests and referrals to specialists, according to community.  
Wait Times in Nova Scotia