Category Archives: Healthy Living

What Wellness is to Me -Brittany Pastorek RMT

This past September I attended a Can-Fit conference in Toronto and with the many courses I took while there, I had one with Tosca Reno, the well known fitness leader and author of the “Eat Clean” diet series.

Her lecture was on the 3 E’s of wellness

  1. Eat Clean
  2. Exercise
  3. Emotional Wellness

Eating clean and exercise are the main contributors to a healthy body but so often we forget that our emotional health affects our body as well.

Her tips were to meditate 10 minutes everyday (recommending head space or a guided meditation series), to journal at least 10 minutes everyday and to unwind from your phone.  We as a society should not be on our phones the final hour before we go to bed and the first hour after waking.  We have become so dependent on staying in the loop and not being present in the moment, which does not help with balancing our hormones and staying healthy.

Cortisol is known as the “BAD hormone” which comes into play with stress. Whereas, Dopamine is your feel good hormone and Serotonin is your happy hormone.   Oxycontin is another powerful hormone and acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain.  When we hug a friend or kiss a loved one, Oxycontin increases which helps to lower the stress hormone, cortisol. Tosca suggested hugging heart side to heart side for at least 10 seconds to get the benefits of your happy hormones. Give more hugs everyday to stay healthy!  An interesting proven fact is that massage actually lowers your stress hormone, Cortisol and increase your feel good hormones. Serotonin- massage is a great modality to incorporate into a healthy life style.

The last part of her session was about the power of I am, I am strong, I am beautiful, I am powerful.  We never want to focus on the things we aren’t so every morning start by saying I am _________and live each day by focusing on what you are.  Positive thinking can change all aspects of your life!

I am strong, I am present, I am here to bring you to a healthier state!

Brittany Pastorek RMT

*Brittany is one of the great therapists at Core Elements that focuses on therapeutic deep tissue massage. Through assessment and advanced skills she can bring you the wellness you are looking for!

Book online today at

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy has become the latest fad after the Rio Olympics. You may have noticed that many Olympic athletes, including swimmer Michael Phelps and US gymnast Alex Naddour, had some large purple circles on their backs, shoulders and arms. Those marks were the result of cupping. Cupping is a lot like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. This provides the benefit of increased blood flow to the muscles.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a core part of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, a therapy that originated in China thousands of years ago.

Essentially there are two types of cupping: dry and wet cupping.

Dry cupping involves placing cups on the acupuncture points (with negative air pressure inside) on the skin to create a suction, which increases blood circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat” and pull out the toxins that linger in your bodies tissues to the area where the cups are placed. This is the type of cupping therapy we practice at Core Elements.




Wet cupping is a traditional Chinese Medicine therapy which is a type of controlled bloodletting by puncturing the skin and using the suction to draw out a small quantity of blood, which are believed to help remove harmful substances and toxins from the body.




The Science Behind Why Cupping can Help

Neck and shoulder pain is a manifestation of the stretched myofascial tissues in the area. When cupping is performed, it lifts the skin from the myofascial network by creating a vacuum. As blood rushes to fill the empty space, it brings with it fresh nutrients and oxygen. This infusion works to heal the affected area by clearing away the knots and constrictions in the muscles. In addition to blood, the area also receives more lymph. Knots and stiffness can also be caused by a buildup of toxins, dead cells, and other debris. The lymph works to clear the toxins and cleanse it so that healing is further promoted.

Why use cupping?

  •  It’s non-invasive. Cupping is a gentle treatment that is relatively harm-free.
  • It’s a great alternative for people who would benefit from acupuncture treatment but don’t like needles
  • So relaxing! Cupping is warming to the body. It feels like a deep tissue massage, and the effects are similar too.
  • It stands the test of time. Although this treatment is trendy right now, its use in Chinese Medicine dates back to 281 A.D. It was even used in Ancient Egypt as far back as 1550 B.C!
  •  Cupping can treat a wide variety of conditions. Some of these include: muscle tension (especially in the back, shoulders, and legs), migraines, allergies, acne, eczema, indigestion, asthma, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
  •  It can benefit your mental health. This treatment not only works on your body, but your mind too. It can help to bring up trapped emotions, and has been known to help with anxiety and depression.
  •  Cupping works quickly! Like a massage, some of the benefits of cupping can be felt immediately during treatment and last for days.

What are the Effects of Cupping?

  • There are minimal side effects. Since cupping is such a gentle therapy, there are essentially no side effects.
  • Cupping can cause the skin to temporarily turn red, blue or purple, especially if there is an injury or energetic blockage under the area cupped. This is due to the release of the bodies toxins. The skin discoloration can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, but is rarely painful.  Once the marks have cleared, the procedure can be repeated until the condition or ailment is resolved.
  • Avoid cupping if you are on a blood thinning medication or have a bleeding disorder.

We have many trained therapists at Core Elements that practice Dry Cupping and incorporate it into their treatments.  Call today to book an appointments for better health!


The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Children

The holistic benefits of massage are not confined to patients of any particular age. In fact, the ancient practice of massage has been shown to improve overall health in people at every stage of life, regardless of their background, age or occupation.  The medical community is increasingly cognizant of the particular ways children may benefit from massage – how optimizing the body’s performance can help support crucial stages of growth and development. Children who are exposed to massage at an early age may develop an intrinsic appreciation for its capacity to both sooth and strengthen the body.  As a growing number of Canadians succumb to stress (and stress related disease), it is more important than ever to reinforce healthy habits for a more balanced lifestyle – a practice best begun in childhood.  Massage as a therapy is effective for children whether they be infants, preschoolers, teens or even young adults, and making massage therapy a routine in the child’s life can help it to grow into a balanced and mature adult.

Massage Therapy provides endless benefits for your child, some of which include:

Sports Performance and Injury Prevention

Hockey, soccer, football, dance, or gymnastics are just a few of the sports your child may be active in.  Some children are not only involved in one, but multiple sports whether recreational or competitive.  As a parent you might be wondering can a massage help my child enhance their sport performance and allow them to be less susceptible to an injury.  Yes!  Regular massage treatments will allow for an increased blood flow to children’s growing muscles resulting in less muscles tension, an increase in joint range of motion which can decrease overall stiffness, and cause a relaxation response.  All of these benefits are sure to allow for muscles and joints to recover while decreasing post physical activity soreness and preparing your little athlete for the next sport event.

Relief from Stress and Anxiety 

We often think of stress as an adult affliction; but the truth is that even very young children experience stress and anxiety.  Children have their own exposure to stress, which can come from school, family, technology or even playtime with their peers – all are facts of life that most young people must learn to cope with as they progress toward maturity.  This stress can cause imbalance in the immune system and hormonal imbalances as well. Massage therapy can act as a stress buster for children, even when they have passed the stage of infancy.  Massage practiced regularly can help a child reduce stress, which can in turn may help a child to sleep better.


Tummy aches is a common complaint among young children – and quite often a source of worry for parents. Although gastroenteritis, over-eating, or a food intolerance are common offenders, constipation is the most likely culprit when it comes to abdominal pain in children.  Rather than relying solely on laxatives or diet, many parents turn to massage therapy to sooth stomach ache due to digestive dysfunction. Gentle abdominal massage may alleviate colic in newborns and can be helpful in addressing other digestive issues that arise as children mature. Under the guidance of a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), parents can learn to administer the technique at home, perhaps avoiding an unnecessary trip to the ER or another missed day of school.

Body Language and self esteem

A massage therapy treatment encourages kids to communicate about what they are feeling.  Many questions are asked through out their treatment such as:  What is causing pain and describe? Too much or too little pressure?  Are you uncomfortable?  What feels good and what doesn’t feel good.  This dialogue helps them develop their ability to say what they want and don’t want happening to their bodies and it helps build confidence in their ability to communicate about themselves.  It is a great skill to develop early on in life.

What happens for a child’s first massage therapy treatment? Usually the child’s parent brings a book and sits in the treatment room with their child during the first appointment.  At the second appointment, the parent most often sits in the waiting area and at some point when the child is comfortable, the parent drops the child off and returns after the appointment is over.  However, any of these situations is fine at any point – the parent can sit in on every session or sit in the waiting area every time. It is up to the child and their consent is respected.

Children Ages 6 and 10 years seem most comfortable with a 30 minute appointment and older children to teens tend to prefer a 45-60 minute treatment, but each child is unique and has different needs and attentions spans.


At Core Elements we love treating children and encourage them communicate and grow to love massage, in return, teaching them to take care of them selves!

Many of our RMT’s specialize with children massage if it be for stress, anxiety,  developmental disabilities or sports performance we would be happy to help guide you and your child to the benefits of Massage Therapy.

Call 613-590-9339 or book online at

The CE Team:)

Invest in Rest -The importance of adding rest days to your workout routines.

REST -Repair, Eat, Sleep, Time -It is part of the program and so often overlooked. Especially by those of us who can be pretty extreme and try to fit 3483984 things into our day.

Did you know that exercise can have the same affect on the brain as heroine? It’s addicting. The more we do it, the more we crave it.  We imagine the rush of energy we’ll experience once we start working out and then that gets us wanting to move.

Here’s the bottom line…

You NEED a rest day. Even professional athletes take a rest days. It’s required for the mind and the body. We often push our bodies beyond they’re levels and continue to push without even realizing it. Sometimes we just need to chill.

We don’t get results from our workouts during our workouts. The workout itself simply stimulates muscle growth, when you do hard weight training you are breaking down muscle tissue. It’s only when you give your body time to rest and recover in between workouts when actual muscle growth takes place.

That’s the point of a rest day, to make sure you’ve given your body the time to show off your hard work.  A good structured workout program will have rest days planned out in advance. Taking rest days will allow for better recovery of your muscles and central nervous system. This will give your body time to fully rest, recover, and grow between workouts. Then on the days when you do workout; you’ll feel stronger, have more energy, and be able to train harder in the gym.

A common mistake of people new to exercising – and really even among experienced exercisers – is to workout too hard, too often. This might not seem like a big problem initially, but over-training can effect your health and is something that needs to be taken seriously. When you complete a full body workout routine, or do lots of compound movements like squats, push-upsoverhead presses or deadlifts, our muscles get broken down.  Then, over the next 24-72 hours hours, those muscles get rebuilt a tiny bit stronger. That’s why it doesn’t benefit us to work out the same muscles every day; We don’t want to destroy our muscles without giving them a chance to grow back stronger.

In a nutshell, this is a good rule; if a muscle group is still sore from a previous workout, do not train it intensely again until it has healed and is no longer sore. For example, if your thighs are sore from a lower body strength workout you did yesterday, you should not train them again today – or the next, wait at least 72 hrs to train that specific muscle group again. It doesn’t mean you have to take a complete rest day; you could train your upper body or core, or stick to light cardio, yoga, stretching, etc.  Balancing your workouts to target different muscle groups on different days of the week allows you to take fewer rest days, but even then, you should save at least 1-3 days a week for rest, or at least active rest or active recovery.

What is active rest or active recovery?
You don’t have to spend your whole “rest day” on the couch (you can, that’s fine too!).  Light physical activity on a rest day can help boost your mood, your health, and your progress or ability to maintain your weight or fitness level. If you’re looking to stay active even on your rest days,   good rule is that the activity should not be something that would cause you sore muscles. It should be at a reduced intensity from your normal workouts – meaning that even an active rest day is on somewhat of a sliding scale relative to your own fitness levels.   One of the best things you can do on an off day is to work on your flexibility and mobility.  After all, what good is strength if we can’t move our body properly to utilize it! Dynamic stretching and mobility work helps prepare our body for the rigors of strength training and keeps us injury free!

How many rest days should I take?

This is a great question but one that doesn’t have a one word answer….It depends.  It depends on your fitness level, if you’re training for anything and your job.

If you’re new to exercise, it’s likely you’ll need 2-3 days of complete rest. For most people 2 days is acceptable and for very few of us, we can succeed with a single rest day.

Over-training symptoms are diverse and different for each person, but here are a few symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe fatigue
  • Slower healing & longer recovery times
  • Changes in mood and ability to focus or concentrate
  • Amenorrhea – Missed or very irregular periods
  • Aches & pains – particularly of the joints
  • Depressed immune system – increased chance of catching colds and other infections
  • Changes in performance – if you find yourself moving slower, lifting less than you’re normally able to, having to take more rest breaks and generally not push yourself as hard as you normally do, you could be over-training

Massage is an effective method of exercise recovery.  Schedule a professional massage on your off day to help remove toxins in your muscles, break up scar tissue and lengthen your muscles. It promotes blood flow, supplies nutrients to your muscle tissues and increase flexibility.   To lift right after your massage, you are not giving your body proper time to heal and hydrate with water; to rid all of the lactic acid and inflammation from your body.  You will just build on top of what you already had prior to your session.  It is recommended to take 24 hrs off of your exercise routine after a massage treatment.

Schedule your REST day at Core Elements Registered Massage Therapy and book online or cal 613-590-9339

In health- The CE Team


Give the gift of the Senses this holiday season!

We have the perfect gift idea for family and friends with our Essential Oil Gift Baskets!


For the Christmas season we have put together some of our teams favorite essential oils to share with you.

esopicThe Wellness Box contains 4 essential Oils that will help with everyday aliments at $29.99

  • Eucalyptus- For the cold season, helps strengthen immune system and fight bacterial or viral infections.
  • Lavender- Relaxing and helps you unwind, sleep or reduce stress.
  • Lime- Invigorating, leaving you feeling strong and bright.
  • Sweet Orange- Refreshing and energizing to your senses.

Our ESO Diffuser Box contains an Electric diffuser along with 5 different oils at $49.99

  • Electric Diffuser scent ball with refill tabs
  • Cinnamon Bark- Festive holiday aroma
  • Eucalyptus- For the cold season, helps strengthen immune system and fight bacterial or viral infections.
  • Lavender- Relaxing and helps you unwind, sleep or reduce stress.
  • Lime- Invigorating, leaving you feeling strong and bright.
  • Sweet Orange- Refreshing and energizing to your senses.

We also carry a variety of therapeutic needs great for stocking stuffers. Yoga tune balls, Biofreeze gel, and much more!

Visit us at 2034 St.Joseph Blvd, Orleans to pick up yours today. Limited quantity on gift baskets.


Merry Christmas!





Massage Therapy Health Benefits- Don’t leave your health unclaimed for 2016

Survey after survey finds Canadians want more vacation time and better health benefits at work.  While most of us have some extended health coverage, few of us are actually making use of the benefits we have.

With job-related stress accounting for an estimated $16 billion in Canada ($300 billion in the United States) and repetitive strain injuries (RSI) estimated to affect one in 10 Canadians it is hard to believe people don’t use the benefits they work so hard to have that can help with these situations.

As costs to administer extended health plans continue to rise, employers are trying to meet the wellness needs of their employees by offering strategies for stress management, regular medical screenings and other preventive health care measures. Now they’re also faced with trying to encourage employees to use them.

The survey also took a look at paramedical benefits, like chiropractic, massage, physiotherapy and psychological services. All have seen an increase in usage over the last decade, but are still being claimed by only a small percentage of those eligible for the benefits.

Massage claims have increased from just under 10 per cent of plan members to about 27 per cent since 2001. Regular Massage therapy treatment is a large contributing factor is keeping claims for workplace injury –lost workdays, turnover and employee dissatisfaction – down. 

There is one month left to take advantage of the benefits you work hard to earn. Take time for yourself, improve well being and happiness through this busy time year.  At Core Elements we make the process even easier for you since we do insurance submissions for most* major insurance companies.  Just bring in your insurance card/info and let us save you the hassle.  Pay today and get your return in 48 hours!

Be part of the new wave of health care and take a 60 minute mini vacation:) Book in today!

Core Elements Registered Massage Therapy-613-590-9339



Why Drink More Water? Top 10 Benefits!

waterCommit to drinking more water!  There are so many health benefits to drinking water and it’s so easy so free yet so overlooked.  Water makes up about 60% of the body there for you need water to function properly.  We begin to show signs of early dehydration (thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, etc.) as soon as that figure begins to drop. Your brain alone is actually  90% water!!

The amount of water each individual needs is different but some suggest 8 (8oz) glasses a day.  While your activity level, environment (temperature and humidity), and diet (including other beverages) all affect your required intake but if your urine isn’t mostly clear or you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you most likely aren’t getting enough H2O.

I find it helpful to fill a 1-liter container that I can use throughout the day to better monitor my intake. Seeing that container go down motivates me to keep drinking! The visual goal really helps. If you don’t care for the taste of……nothing, then try adding slices of citrus fruit (lemon, lime, or orange), cucumber, pineapple, or even mint leaves if you need a hint of flavor.

Like any new lifestyle change, it is best to start small: if you aren’t drinking any water, try for just a glass in the morning and one in the afternoon; gradually increase your intake each day.

Check out some of the Benefits of Drinking Water:  Don’t Medicate, Hydrate!

  1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue- Our brain is 90% H20 so drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate.
  2. Promotes Weight Loss- Removes by-products of fat, reduces hunger, raises metabolism and zero calories!
  3. Detoxifies-by flushing our toxins through sweat and urine.
  4. Improves Skin Complexion- Best Anti-aging treatment around!
  5. Maintains Regularity in Digestion
  6. Boosts your Immune System by how it speeds the process of flushing out toxins
  7. Natural Headache Remedy- Headaches are commonly caused by dehydration.
  8. Prevents Muscle Aches & Cramps by lubricating the tissues to become more elastic.
  9. Puts you in good mood because your body is functioning at it’s best!
  10. Save you money$ Water is free!!

After a Massage Therapy Treatment you will often hear us say “Drink plenty of water” this is to help flush and remove the waste and lactic acid build up that is released in the tight muscles through out the massage.  When you drink plenty of water after a treatment you help this process and it prevents excessive stiffness or sore muscles 48 hours after a treatment.

Cheers to good health:)

*Avoid storing your water in plastic containers due to the dangers of BPA– Stainless steel or glass is best; be sure to regularly wash reusable bottles.


Self Massage home care with Yoga Tune Up balls

At Core Elements Registered Massage Therapy we believe that continuing your care at home is just as important as a massage itself.  A little home work is good for everyone:) We sell many therapy products that help with the home care exercises your Core Elements therapist may give you.  YTU (yoga tune up) therapy balls are a favored method of self care by many of our clients and we carry and sell both YTU balls and Alpha Balls.  Our own Brittany Pastorek RMT is a certified YTU instructor and she wanted to explain to all the benefits of YTU balls and how they are used.

YTU (yoga tune up) balls were designed by Jill Miller to assist with self massage and proper body self care for athletes, people with chronic pain and everyone who wants to relieve aches and pains they may be feeling.

How the yoga therapy balls help with self-care:

-They relieve aches and pains

-They enhance breathing function

-They increase mobility

-They reduce stress

-They improve posture and performance

yoga tuneThe size of the balls varies.  An Alpha ball is the large firm blue ball that provides pressure over a larger surface area and can be less intense than the original YTU balls. The Alpha ball is great for massaging muscles including the glutes, low back, hip flexors, and larger leg muscles whereas the original sized YTU balls come in a tote bag and are great for the rotator cuff, feet ,upper back and neck muscles. The larger abdominal ball is about 9″ in diameter and is used to massage the diaphragm and abdominal muscles which help greatly with posture and digestive issues.  The larger the surface of the ball the better it is for targeting bigger muscles and providing a less intense pressure, while the smaller the balls the more intensity and pressure you will feel.

YTU balls are more effective than tennis, lacrosse or golf balls as the sport balls lack a few specifics that the YTU balls were designed for.

yoga tune 2YTU balls were made with a pliable surface that permits the ball to sink into bony prominences while still contacting the soft tissue.  YTU balls were also made with a grippy surface to grab all the tissue layers when massaging.  The balls were also designed to absorb your body weight.  The harder the surface of the ball or even foam roller means they are unable to conform to the bony structures that they roll against and can cause bruising and irritation of the bone.

YTU therapy balls are a great tool to assist with home care after any massage therapy treatment.  These balls are used for self-massage to continue the great affects of your massage from your therapist and promotes improved posture as well as alleviate aches and pains creating relaxation in your soft tissues.

Brittany Pastorek Registered Massage Therapist Orleans-RMT

Brittany Pastorek RMT and certified Yoga Tune Up and fitness instructor would be happy to treat and educate you on the benefits of massage therapy incorporated with YTU care.

Brittany’s detailed bio and online booking is at 

or you can contact us at 613-590-9339 for any further info.

Other Lifestyle Changes that Can Help with Stress Management

Below is information I found on a website that has wonderful suggestions on how to manage and/or reduce your stress.

A key component to any stress management program is to incorporate lifestyle changes, not only dietary, but physical and mental/emotional activity as well. Exercise and some form of mental/emotional outlet can significantly reduce the disruptive effects of stress. Your health-care practitioner can help you determine which techniques would work best for you. Listed below are some general suggestions to help you on your way to a more stress-free life.
Relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques help relieve muscle tension, support cardiovascular health, and promote mental and emotional calmness. Examples of relaxation techniques include:

  • Meditation
  • Deep-breathing exercises
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Yoga


Physical exercise

Exercise for stress relief can be physical, mental, or spiritual in nature – or a combination of the three, as in the case of yoga. Physical exercise is a very effective way to relieve stress. It stimulates the body to release chemical substances (endorphins) that are similar in nature to opiates and make you feel good. Examples of physical exercise include the following:

  • Organized aerobics
  • Brisk walking
  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Dancing
  • Bicycling
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strength-building (weight training, core conditioning, pilates)
  • Swimming
  • Yoga


Other stress-relieving ideas

One good way to help manage stress is to simply take time to do things you enjoy, either by yourself or with people you enjoy being with. Some examples include:

  • Acquiring a hobby (cooking, fishing, photography, painting, or playing music, for example)
  • Making time for family activities (game night with the kids or family dinners, for example)
  • Spending time outside (nature walks, outdoor tai-chi, or bird-watching, for example)

Regardless of what your stress-relief program involves, make a commitment to incorporate these changes into your daily routine – for your health and for those you love. This is your life. Live it well.
Getting Extra Help

Practicing self-help techniques for stress management can be very beneficial. However, there may be times when you need additional assistance in dealing with stress. To help determine whether you need additional help, consider the following questions:

Is stress the cause or is it something else? Often, people are quick to blame stress for their fatigue, pain, or eating or sleeping disorders. Be sure to check with your health-care practitioner to rule out any possible physiological reasons for these symptoms before you conclude they are stress-related.

Is it more than stress? Sometimes the mental and emotional problems may be more complicated. Stress can be normal – anxiety and depression can be disease states. If you think you are depressed, or often feel overwhelming panic or anxiety, consult a health-care practitioner who can help you determine the primary cause and make recommendations best-suited for your situation.

Massage Benefits for Stress

Continual or excessive stress can lead to problems involving sleep patterns, headaches, digestive issues, high blood pressure, anxiety, muscle tension and aches, sexual dysfunction and weight gain among others.

Massage Benefits for Stress

Massage is able to relax your muscles by reducing the tension that occurs in them from the stress response.  All muscles hold stress but the ones we feel the most are those muscles that create headaches, or aches and pains.

Massage through different techniques has the ability to restore your body to homeostasis (normal state of health) by activating the parasympathetic system through touch.  The parasympathetic nervous system (also called the rest and digest system) is a system that is activated and slows our heart rate and stimulates digestion.  In order to do this, it shuts off the fight-or-flight system (sympathetic nervous system).  This then allows our body to restore the hormone secretions back to normal.  Massage is shown to restore our homeostasis by:

  • Increasing delta brainwave activity which is linked to sleep and relaxation
  • Increasing dopamine levels which are linked to decreased stress and reduced depression
  • Increasing serotonin levels which is theorized to inhibit pain signals and reduce both stress and depression
  • Reducing cortisol levels –  increased cortisol heightens stress and inhibits the immune system.
  • Reducing norepinephrine and epinephrine which are stress hormones
  • Reducing aldosterone levels – reducing high blood pressure

Massage Therapy Principles and Strategies, Third Edition, Susan G. Salvo, 2007 (90)