Category Archives: Massage

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!


Spring is here! How to transition from treadmill to the roads.

Spring is in the air.  Birds are singing, sun is shining and runners are, well, running.

Many in the Ottawa area are ramping up training for the big Tamarack Race weekend on May 27-28 and many other races our community has to offer.  It’s a time when many runners make the transition from treadmill to tarmac.

Concrete and asphalt are less forgiving surfaces than treadmills so slow transitions are ideal so muscles can adjust because it’s definitely harder on the body.  Running outside uses more muscles than running on a treadmill such as all the little stabilizer muscles which you don’t really normally use on a treadmill because the treadmill is so forgiving and so absolutely flat.  As you transition outside on to roads, paths and trails, you’re going to get a lot more undulating terrain and with that you’re going to start incorporating and bringing in different muscles.

Here are some tips to make the transition from the treadmill to the road more comfortable on your body for spring running:

  1. Give your body time to adjust- Start your spring transition by moving your shorter mid-week runs outdoors.  If that goes well and doesn’t hurt, move your longer runs outdoors the following week. Another way to ease the impact forces on long runs outside is to add a one minute walking interval for every mile during your long run. It will cut the impact forces and allow you to cover the distance with less risk of soreness.
  2. Replace your shoes- The change of season is a great time to take a good look at your running shoes and consider replacing them. Your running shoes are essential in the protection of your feet and joints. They must absorb shock, control motion, and be flexible and durable. When shoes start to break down they no longer support your feet or your body well. If you are experiencing new running aches such as sore arches, shin pain, stiff knees or annoying blisters, your body is telling you that it’s time for new shoes.
  3. Stretching is key- As your body adapts to spring running take extra care to warm up well, hydrate and stretch. Your calves, thighs, hips and buttocks may feel stiff and tight after running on pavement or in the trails. Stretching can help ease this discomfort but save your static stretching for after your run. Static stretching before exercise can weaken performance, tire your muscles and increase your risk of injury. Warming up before your run with dynamic stretches such as body weight squats, walking lunges, leg swings, hip circles or butt kicks will prepare your body for a great workout.
  4. Give your body a tune up- As you increase your training, be sure to get regular tune ups to keep your body moving in the right direction. Treat your muscles to a post-run or most definitely a post-race massage at Core Elements. Experience the many benefits of massage therapy which include easing muscle pain, speeding up recovery, improving circulation and prevention of injury.

Our team at Core Elements love running and are very experienced and knowledgeable about what therapy a runner needs as many of us are runners ourselves!
Book in for a Deep tissue sports massage  or if an injury is impeding your training we offer rehabilitation massage.

We offer Gift Certificates for those in need of therapy. Give the gift of health:)

Book an appointment online or call 613-590-9339.

Keep on running!!!

To left is a picture of Dawn Oehring RMT, Erin White RMT and Shannon Farrell RMT running the half marathon at the 2015 Army Run.

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:)

What makes us “Hands Above The Rest”?

At Core Elements our goal is to provide the best in client care and customer service.  So what do we do different to be “Hands Above the Rest”?

Our Mission is focus and listen to you!  What and where do you need immediate care and with the skill of our dynamic therapists, we treat your prime areas of concern but also look and the body as a whole to resolve related issues.

We are a clinic that has a centered and therapeutic approach.  We take time to asses and listen each treatment which helps build a relationship and understanding with clients so you receive the highest level of care.

Our team of 10 therapists is diverse so there is a perfect fit for everyone.  We all work together as a team to resolve your concerns quickly and efficiently.  With a team of therapists that have over 50+ years experience combined,  you can put trust in our knowledge and skill.  We continually strive to educate to a higher level with many cutting edge therapies that we then incorporate in our treatments when it is best suited for your needs and care.

There is highly trained receptionist on at all times to help you with any questions, bookings and provide you with customer care before and after your treatment.

Our modern clinic is professional, clean and spacious.  Providing a confidential, warm and fun atmosphere.

Orleans is our home and our focus.  We participate in supporting our community through fundraising, the Orleans Chamber of Commerce and giving back to those in need.

We do direct billing for RCMP and VA clients as well as we offer claim submissions to all major insurance companies to save you the headache of the paper work.  Our convenient Online booking system is easy to use and allows us to be open to you 24/7!

We love your feed back to help us strive to that next level and keep us “Hands above the rest”

group rmt

~Core Elements Registered Massage Therapy group is professional, warm and friendly. The staff are knowledgeable and take each client’s needs into account. I feel I am in good hands. Thank you!

~I’ve recommended Core Elements to numerous friends and family members. Highly trained and skilled and a soothing environment. I’ve been seeing Adrienne for years, and she always gets to the root of my aches and pains.



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)