Category Archives: Conditions

Are you SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and how Massage Therapy can help.

sadThe Winter season is fast  approaching…… shortened days, cold, snow, icy rain, and lack of sunshine.  When the seasons change many people, 1 in 5 to be exact, can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) which is serious mood altering state and can be rather intense during the late fall/winter season due to the lack of sunlight. Less sunlight in the winter, coupled with more time indoors, can trigger SAD.  It is proven to be a serious form of depression and reduce the quality of life for those with the disorder.

Sunlight is very critical to our mental well being because it helps release endorphins in the body and to regulate melatonin.  These two hormones are part of what give people their sense of well-being and translates to their feeling of vitality.  SAD is believed to be caused by the decrease in hours of daylight, lack of sun and vitamin D.

Those who suffer from SAD describe feeling sad, weepy, wanting to get away from people, and having a reduced interest in interacting or even talking to others.  Other common symptoms of SAD are: mood swings, feeling unmotivated, over-eating, irritability, depression, disruptive sleep, feelings of hopelessness, lack of concentration, and fatigue.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) classifies SAD as a form of depression.   Effective tools such as light therapy (sun lamps) along with Massage Therapy help battle SAD symptoms.
How can Core Elements help?

A recent article from the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) catalogs several proven ways in which massage therapy can counteract physiological mood factors that often accompany SAD.  According to the AMTA, massage can:

  • Reduce anxiety and depression with a course of care providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.
  • Increase neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety and decrease hormones associated with increasing anxiety.
  • Significantly decrease heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.
  • Improve mental health by reducing depression in individuals with HIV, lessen anxiety in cancer patients, reduce anxiety and depression in military veterans and lower work-related stress for nurses.

Treating those with SAD is one of the many ways that massage therapists can offer real help to their clients as part of an integrative medical team.

Therapeutic massage helps stimulate the circulatory system which can help with the release of mood boosting hormones like serotonin and encourage the body’s production of endorphins, our natural painkillers.   With decreased activity levels for many people during the winter months the circulatory benefits also help with increasing energy and immunity levels.
Many clients are using Massage Therapy as the number one tool to help them relieve their stress and tension while struggling with SAD.

Other helpful lifestyle changes you can do to combat SAD symptoms:

Routine: It can be easy to get out of routine when we are feeling lethargic and our sleep pattern is disrupted. By ensuring you go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day you avoid disturbing your body clock.

Electronics:Try to limit the use of phones, tablets and TVs just before bed. These will put artificial light into the eye and can mess up the delicate chemical balances making it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

Get outdoors: Try and spend some time outside every day. It can be hard to motivate yourself to get out but by exposing yourself to natural light you will naturally boost your Serotonin levels which will have a big effect on your mood.

Exercise: Studies have shown that exercising regularly is a great way of naturally boosting production of Serotonin. Exercise will also help wear you out so you feel more sleepy at night time, which will also help regulate your body clock.

Eat healthily: The food your body craves during winter can actually leave you feeling lethargic and tired. Plus they can lead you to gain weight which can lead to feelings of frustration and depression. Try to counter this with lots of fruit and vegetables (and make sure you treat yourself to what you enjoy too!). Some people find taking a Vitamin B12 or a Vitamin D supplement can help as well.

Reduce stress: Try to avoid planning stressful life events for the winter months if you know you naturally find this time of year harder. Things like changing jobs or moving home, where possible, should be planned for the summer. Winter can be a stressful time anyway; the holiday period can lead to financial strain and difficult family events so try to do your Christmas shopping ahead of time and don’t put yourself under pressure to go to every party you are invited to.

Ramp up the self-care: First… Book yourself a massage, then find time to unwind with craft activities or learn relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or meditation.

Book a holiday: A more expensive option but some people with SAD book their ‘summer holiday’ during winter, while others will go somewhere closer to the equator for the whole of the winter period. However, some people do report a real slump in their mood when they return to the UK so bear this in mind when considering this option.

Support:  Talking therapy, Speak to your friends and family. Ask them to read this so they understand what you are going through and why. It will help them be more understanding and supportive. Having people to talk to who are going through the same thing can also be invaluable – many ‘general’ depression support groups will also have people who suffer from SAD.

St John’s Wort:  A herbal remedy that has been shown to be helpful for some in coping with the symptoms of winter blues. Be careful when using alongside light therapy as it can make you sensitive to bright light and make sure you speak to your GP if you are using any other medication before trying.

Sharing is caring: please share this blog to help others, you never know who might need it. 

Book a massage and enjoy the benefits a massage therapy treatment can provide for SAD.  Our warm heated tables and skilled staff will put you at ease.

The CE Team



Temporomandibular Joint TMJ Dysfunction – Massage Therapy helps!!

You may ask… What exactly is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?  TMJ is known as the jaw joint, it is a hinge joint that connects the jaw bone to the skull. It needs to be flexible in order to allow your jaw to move up and down and side. The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body and has many components such as: Bones, teeth, ligaments, tendons, nerves and muscles.

Dysfunction and pain in the TMJ is surprisingly common and affects between 65% and 85% of people in their lifetime.  Pain and clicking occurs in the joint when becomes dislodged and or compressed due to tight muscles due to grinding of teeth while sleeping, tightening of face muscles and clenching of the jaw due to stress, arthritis, postural dysfunction, or from accidents such as whiplash.

In addition,  TMJ can cause a ripple effect of problems in the neck and upper body.  A TMJ sufferer may also experience:

  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Ear aches
  • Tinnitus
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Toothaches

Problems in the TMJ can cause severe discomfort and can be very problematic for dentists to treat.  Recently, however, dentists have begun to refer more TMJ patients to Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs), as the benefits of Massage Therapists that are specially trained in treating TMJ  have become more apparent.

Massage Therapy TMJ treatment  addresses the root cause of the issue, helping patients regain full movement and strength in the joint and relieving pain and discomfort. This treatment helps restore proper joint mechanics, which in turn can prevent long-term effects such as arthritis and adhesion/fibrosis.


Massage therapy modalities that can be beneficial to TMJ patients are numerous, and include:

  • Neuromuscular Therapy – To target triggers points in the jaw muscles as well as addressing postural distortion and bio-mechanical dysfunction
  • Intra-oral massage- Highly recommended to target the related muscular head on. If done correctly intra-oral massage is very comfortable for the client.
  • Cranial Sacral Therapy – To unblock nerve passages in the spine, skull and cranial sutures
  • Swedish Massage – To reduce tension and anxiety
  • Myofascial Release – Relaxes and stretches affected muscles and fascial tissues in the jaw, neck, and shoulders
  • Post-isometric relaxation-  Exercises to allow the jaw to relax in a not invasive way.

Benefits: Decreased pain, clicking, and popping; improved tracking of the jaw; decrease in clenching, headaches, and referred pain to teeth; increased awareness of how posture affects TMJ mechanics.

At Core Elements we are specially trained in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment.  If you are looking for great results from the pain TMJ can cause we can help!




What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the fascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.

Each Myofascial Release Treatment session is performed directly on skin without oils, creams or machinery. This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia.

What is Fascia?

Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.

Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create fascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures.  The medical approach is to drug patients so they temporarily are free from pain, but does nothing about the “straight-jacket” of pressure that is causing the pain.

Myofascial release provides lasting and comprehensive results and authentic healing. Some of the many issues Myofascial release helps are as follows:

  • Back Pain
  • Headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Sports Injuries
  • Chronic Pain
  • Disc Problems
  • Migraines
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
  • Neurological Dysfunction
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Adhesions
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Jaw Pain (TMJ)
  • Painful Scars
  • Scoliosis
  • Infants/Children
  • Sciatica
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Women’s Health Issues

One of the leading teachers in the field of Myofascial release is John F. Barns.  John was named one of the most influential persons in the therapeutic profession in the last century.  John F. Barnes, PT has been treating patients since 1960.

Many of our therapists at Core Elements are trained in Myofascial release.  Nicole Mielke is an expert in John F. Barnes Myofascial release.

Core#17 (1 of 1)                                        MFR

Nicole Mielke RMT                            Fascial web between muscle fibre and skin which spans the entire body


Come experience the pain relief and benefits to this amazing treatment. It is easily incorporated into any massage.

Book online at www.orleanscoreelements or call 613-590-9339


All above info from John F. Barnes, PT

Lymph Drainage Massage for you Health

You probably know by now that we are exposed to a ton of toxins daily, to be more specific over 82,000 different toxins. When toxins build up and if we don’t detox our system regularly, our organs become overburdened which compromises our overall health.  This is where the lymphatic system comes in play. The lymphatic system cleanses the fluid that surrounds the cells in your body by removing impurities and waste products. This helps cells in the body to function properly.  An unhealthy lymphatic system can lead to an impaired immune system and health problems such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, aches and pains, bloating and problems with digestion.  Even though you exercise your body daily, you also need to exercise your lymphatic system by helping it drain properly.  Keeping your lymphatic system in great shape is necessary for optimal health. The lymphatic system is no less essential than the blood circulatory system for human health and well-being.

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart.  This is a gentle, non-invasive manual technique that has a powerful effect on the body and is very relaxing!

MLD is used for treatment of lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid that can occur after lymph nodes are removed during surgery, most often a mastectomy for breast cancer.

Lymphatic drainage has many benefits ranging from detoxification of the body, regeneration of burned, injured or wrinkled tissue, anti-aging effects, and relief of sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, constipation, insomnia, memory loss, cellulite, and obesity.

Start off your New Year with a beneficial Lymph Drainage Massage.  Kyla Levesque RMT provides specialized treatment in Lymph Drainage here at Core Elements Registered Massage Therapy.

lymphatic-drainage        Alexandra

Make your appointment online at or you can reach us at 613-590-9339

Kyla Levesque RMT and The Core Elements Team

What is Golfers Elbow and What Can I Do?

Summer is among us and many of us are active with our favorite activities.  If your activity is golf then you may experience pain in your elbows and forearms which is commonly know as “Golfer’s Elbow”.

Golfer’s elbow is a condition that causes pain on the inner side of your elbow, where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The pain may spread into your forearm and wrist. Golfer’s elbow is similar to Tennis elbow but it occurs on the inside, rather than the outside, of your elbow.  The pain of golfer’s elbow doesn’t have to keep you off the course or away from your favorite activities. With rest and appropriate treatment, you can get back into the swing of things.

Golfer’s elbow is characterized by:

  • Pain and tenderness on the inner side of your elbow. Sometimes the pain extends along the inner side of your forearm.
  • Stiffness. Your elbow may feel stiff, and it may hurt to make a fist, turn a doorknob and lift small objects.
  • Weakness. You may have weakness in your hands and wrists.
  • Numbness or tingling. Many people with golfer’s elbow experience numbness or a tingling sensation that radiates into one or more fingers — usually the ring and little fingers.
  • The pain of golfer’s elbow may appear suddenly or gradually.

The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you’ll be able to return to your usual activities.

Massage Therapy is a huge help with Golfers or Tennis elbow, it relaxes the tight muscles that have been over used during the sport.  Massage increases blood flow within the affected muscles , relieving knots which will then take the tension off the muscle tendon that is attached to your inner elbow (medial epicondyle).  Massage Therapists will also provide specific stretches that will target the proper area.  You can also provide yourself with help following the below suggestions.

  • Rest. Put your golf game or other repetitive activities on hold. If you return to activity too soon, you may make it worse.
  • Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day for several days. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel. It may also help to massage the inner elbow with ice for five minutes at a time, two to three times a day.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
  • Stretch and strengthen the affected area. Specific stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Reduce the load on your elbow. Wrap your elbow with an elastic bandage, a forearm strap or athletic tape.

Depending on the severity of the condition, we suggest several (2-6) short duration treatments (30 minutes) to focus on the area after a proper assessment has been done.  Everyone recovers differently but following our self help guidance can make all the difference in a quicker recovery!