FAQs are grouped by category: tap a link to jump to a specific group, or scroll to view all.
No. It is your scheduled time. You are welcome to be quiet during the session, or if chatting helps you to relax I will follow your lead. Please note there will be a conversation about your massage goals before every massage.
A mask is not mandatory anywhere in the centre; you are welcome to wear a mask if you choose to. I will also wear one if it helps you feel more comfortable during your massage.
Unfortunately, I am not in a position to provide bandaging for lymphedema cases or fit people for compression garments. I recommend you see an Assisted Device Program (ADP) provider who will measure you and submit an application on your behalf. Ontario covers 75% of the garment cost. Some extended health plans will also cover all or a portion of the cost.
Yes, I have online booking available – click the button below!
When you book your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with all pertinent information, including the price, cancellation policy, and directions to the centre.
Yes. You will receive a health intake and insurance form via email once you make an initial booking. Please complete the form(s) and hit “Submit” to return them to the We Thrive system.
I prefer you not bring furry companions to your appointment for hygiene reasons. If you have a service animal, please let me know beforehand to discuss it.
Please arrive 5 to 10 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to relax, use the washroom or have a cup of tea. If no one is at the front desk, sit on the comfy couch and someone will welcome you shortly. If the front door is locked, it is because there is no reception at that time. Don't worry! A work colleague or I will let you in.
I primarily use unscented fractionated coconut oil and shea butter lotion. Occasionally, I use aromatherapy products by Saje Natural Wellness – I am sensitive to scent and find this product doesn’t affect me. I will ask you beforehand if you have any sensitivities.
I completed my Massage Therapy program in 2007 and have continued to further my education regularly. I completed Vodder's Lymphatic Drainage course in 2019 and the Sculptural Face Lifting technique course in 2022. You can learn more about me on the About Catherine page.
Unfortunately no, the centre is in a historical building with stairs. Also, all massage tables are wooden and not adjustable.
At your initial visit we will discuss your treatment goals and health history, followed by an assessment; subsequent visit conversations are usually shorter. After the massage, we chat again to discuss future goals, homecare, and any questions you might have about the massage and findings.
I understand you may prefer to skip the chats and enjoy an entire hour on the massage table. However, the CMTO has these specific regulations in place to ensure public safety and quality of care; insurance companies, RCMP, and DVA also require these guidelines.
You may change or cancel your appointment online up to 48 hours before your massage. You are unable to change reservations online if you are outside this 48 hour window. Please note that the office is closed on weekends, and voicemails will be listened to on the following Monday.
Yes, direct billing is offered for Blue Cross, the Telus Health Group, Medavie, and Sunlife, as long as:
If you forget and give your details on the day of your massage, the receptionist might be able to submit it on your behalf, but most likely will store it on file and have it ready for next time!
Please note direct billing is not available for mobile massage treatment, but you can submit the receipt to your insurance plan.
No. Billing your insurance company for missed appointments or late cancellations is fraudulent. In either case, you will be responsible for covering the cost of the massage.
No. You are responsible for paying treatment costs regarding motor vehicle accident or Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims. You will be issued a receipt which you can then submit and receive your money back.
The following payment methods are accepted: cash, debit, MasterCard, Visa, e-transfer, and WeThrive gift cards.
Your credit card information reserves your appointment. A charge will only be applied if you cancel late (with less than 48 hours notice) or are a no-show.
As much or as little as you want, it is possible to have a massage through your clothing. A top sheet will cover you to ensure you are comfortable. I prefer clientele to leave their underwear on for both comfort and security, but this is your decision to make.
It depends on how you’re feeling. Ice or a cooling lotion is helpful when muscles feel sore or inflamed. Heat, such as a warm shower, Epsom salts bath, or a warming ointment, may help relieve tired, achy muscles.
Yes. Massage often presses on the lower back or abdomen, stimulating the urge to urinate. Also, if the body retains a lot of fluid, increased urination and defecation are normal.
Follow common sense: hydrate, eat well, go for a gentle walk, or take an Epsom salt bath. Above all, try to relax and be self aware. If you’re post-op, continue wearing your compression garments, follow your surgeon’s advice, and persist with self-care.
One or two lymphatic massages a few days before your surgery may be helpful. The body will naturally heal itself, but a lymphatic massage may help boost your system to manage the inflammatory process and heal more efficiently.
It depends on your overall health and soreness level on the day of your massage. During the massage some tenderness is normal, but if it's too much please let me know and I will lessen my pressure. Some people report feeling tender or achy a day or two after treatment.
Lymphatic drainage is a gentle technique and typically doesn't cause discomfort. Wood therapy shouldn't hurt, but sometimes edematous cellulite can be sensitive.
Yes. I treat pregnant clients in side-lying and supine positions.
Both of these therapies can cause the lymphatic system to become sluggish, leading to swelling, discomfort, and a weakened immune system. MLD stimulates the lymphatic system to perform optimally and drain lymph fluid, reduce pain and inflammation. Traditional massage is also useful in alleviating stress, anxiety and muscle tension. During treatment, I will not massage directly over the tumour site.
Areas receiving radiation may cause the skin to be fragile and sensitive. To help ease skin irritation and friction from clothing, Mepitel Film, a thin, cooling, and breathable protective film dressing, can be worn during the massage.
It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before getting a massage during cancer treatment.
Yes. Lymphatic massage helps decrease pain and inflammation near the radiation site. The area receiving radiation may cause the skin to be fragile and sensitive. Relaxation or lymphatic massage can address other areas of the body, such as the neck and shoulders, for a soothing effect.
To help ease skin irritation and friction from clothing, Mepitel Film, a thin, cooling, and breathable protective film dressing, can be worn during the massage.
Please inform me of any medical conditions, injuries, or anything else you think is pertinent to your massage. Eating a light snack before your massage is helpful, and hydrating will help you feel your best. I don't recommend taking painkillers less than 3 hours before a massage, as this could affect your sensory pain response. Try to arrive on time, practice good hygiene, and avoid wearing strong scents.
No. These massage styles are supportive as holistic practices, but neither result in weight loss.
Social media is often deceiving, showing images of people suddenly looking svelte, claiming that lymphatic drainage or wooding is the reason for their change in appearance. Similar, with liposuction, what the pictures don’t show is the months of recovery, swelling, and compression people go through to achieve their final result.
I practice Vodder’s manual lymphatic drainage technique and the Joana Medrado Method.
Vodder's MLD is generally oil-free, except if you have very dry or fragile skin. It is a gentle, skin stretching technique, using stationary circles and scooping and pumping motions with the hands to stimulate the superficial lymphatic vessels underneath the skin towards the lymph nodes. The movement is light and flowing and works best if the body is massaged from proximal to distal, starting with the neck and working downwards. It was created by Dr. Emil Vodder, a Danish naturopath, and his wife, Estrid, in the 1930s, who initially wanted to help people with chronic sinusitis.The Joana Medrado Method uses lotion to increase lymphatic drainage and circulation to the legs, arms, and abdomen. Slow upwards strokes are used with the hands, stretching the skin and then pumping the lymph nodes at the end of each movement. Joana Medrado is a Brazilian physiotherapist who developed her own lymphatic drainage style.
No. In fact, most people can benefit from a lymphatic massage.
Lymphedema occurs when excess lymph fluid accumulates in the tissues, causing swelling in one or more body areas. It can be hereditary or caused by a trauma which damages the lymphatic system.
Manual lymph drainage is safe, with few side effects. There are some cases when receiving MLD isn’t recommended. Please see the contraindications listed here.
The frequency of manual lymph drainage massage depends on your specific condition, the severity of your symptoms, and the reason you seek treatment (i.e., for therapeutic benefit or wellness).
See my article How Often Should I Get a Lymphatic Massage? for a longer answer to this question.
I recommend sculptural facelifting treatment once a week to see results, but ultimately the decision is yours. If you have a particular concern you want to focus on, a regular treatment plan, such as every two weeks, might be more effective. Many people come monthly, adding SFL to change up their standard maintenance massage approach.
I recommend a clean-shaven face or a shortly-trimmed beard. If you have too much facial hair, I cannot massage the lower half of your face nor perform the intraoral portion of the treatment effectively. These areas make up an essential component of the treatment.
If you have had Botox or other injectables, I prefer you to wait one month before a sculptural face lifting massage.
SFL treatments are booked in 60 or 75-minute sessions. I suggest booking the longer session if you have additional areas that you wish to be included; for example, you may wish to use the extra 15 minutes for a back massage.
An intraoral massage is a technique that massages the muscles and tissues inside the mouth, including the cheeks and lower jaw.
Intraoral massage is beneficial for addressing tension and pain, teeth grinding, headaches, and people wearing braces. With SFL, I lift the neck tissue intra-orally and focus on kneading and manipulating facial muscles, lines, and connective tissue. I wear vinyl gloves and perform this technique for 15 to 20 minutes.
Yes, most people could benefit from a therapeutic massage at some point. Common concerns include but are not limited to postural imbalances, muscle strain, chronic pain management, repetitive injuries, headaches, car crash injuries, and more.
Therapeutic massage often addresses a specific health complaint. Various techniques are incorporated to meet your goals and outcomes, such as alleviating pain, improving range of motion, and reducing muscle tension. Whereas relaxation massage is sometimes targeted on a particular area like the back, neck and shoulders, it can also have a whole body approach, including hands, feet, face and scalp! The goals are relaxation, improving circulation, sleep quality, and overall well-being.
A deep tissue massage is a type of therapeutic massage, but not all therapeutic massages are necessarily deep tissue massages.
Therapeutic massage is a general term for various massage techniques that promote healing and relaxation. This can include Swedish massage, sports massage, trigger point therapy, and other customized techniques to meet the client's needs. The goal of therapeutic massage is to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, reduce stress, and promote overall wellness.
Deep tissue massage is a specific type of therapeutic massage that focuses on releasing tension and knots in the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. This technique involves applying slow, heavy/firm pressure and targeting specific areas of tension and pain. Deep tissue massage can help treat chronic pain, sports injuries, and other conditions that affect the deeper layers of muscle tissue.
Deep-tissue therapy is not my treatment style of preference. My therapeutic massage techniques break down adhesion between skin, fascia, muscle fibres, ligaments, and tendons, without continuous, heavy pressure. Instead, I employ quick "stripping" motions to reduce unhealthy restrictions and knots in deep and superficial muscle tissue.
If you are expecting a full treatment with a pressure level that I cannot sustain without hurting myself, I will recommend you see someone who is a deep tissue therapist. Often clients tell me they want a “deep tissue massage”, and once we start the massage, they want more of a normal/medium pressure.
I use Swedish massage-style strokes for a wellness massage to ensure maximum relaxation. I combine long gliding strokes, effleurage, picking up, wringing, and kneading techniques with lotion or oil and your desired pressure.
The amount of pressure is individual, and it depends on your comfort level and the overall tension of your muscles. With your guidance, I will work with you and find the right amount of pressure to benefit your needs.
As with every massage appointment, you can advise me of where on your body you want attention. After we discuss this, I tell you to remove your clothing to whatever level you are comfortable with and explain how to lie on the massage table. I leave the room for a couple of minutes and return with a knock on the door before entering. After adjusting the pillows and ensuring you are comfortable, the massage begins.
Typically, I'll ask you to take a few deep breaths as I apply the oil. I will check in with you for pressure depth and comfort but will otherwise leave you alone to enjoy your experience.
Not usually, but it depends on your expectation of a relaxation massage and your general health status. Some people want to feel a bit of discomfort, while others don't.
You might feel a little sore after a relaxation massage, particularly if you have a lot of muscle tension. This soreness is often referred to as “good pain” and is a sign that the massage is helping to release stress and knots in the muscles. It should subside within a day or two.
Yes, some people need to chat, let off some energy, and get to know the person touching them before they can ease into a more chill headspace. You are welcome to talk through the whole session or even just for 10 minutes, whatever helps you relax and enjoy the experience. The next time you come in, it could be a different massage because you know what to expect, and perhaps you will not talk!
Just go with the flow and do what feels right for you.
It all depends on the number of areas treated, aggressiveness of the surgery, and if there are any complications. You can learn more about post-liposuction massage on the Recovering from Cosmetic Surgery page.
Your swelling depends on the aggressiveness of your surgery and if there were complications such as infection, poor wound healing, or seromas. Your age, overall health, and if you are using proper compression garments can also affect how long your swelling lasts.
Typically, clients swell for up to 2-8 weeks. However, liposuction swelling can last a few months to a year, depending on how long your body takes to heal fully.
Nope! We all have a lymphatic system, and the body will heal naturally. Post-op massage with manual lymph drainage helps you through the various stages of healing by ensuring your lymphatic system works as well as it can.
No. RMTs in Canada are not allowed to open incisions to push fluid out of the body. However, manual lymph drainage massage encourages the lymph system to move more fluid naturally from the surgical sites.
A seroma is a buildup of fluid that can occur under the skin after surgery or trauma, appearing within days or weeks. It appears as a soft, painless swelling that can be felt or seen under the skin. They are most common after surgeries that involve removing large amounts of tissue or lymph nodes, such as breast surgery or lymph node dissection.
Lymphatic massage combined with taping and compression can be helpful, but a surgeon may need to aspirate the fluid with a needle.
It is imperative that you feel comfortable while receiving a massage. You can lie on your back and front or stay seated during the massage. I use pillows and bolsters, and you can bring in additional pillows, like a BBL pillow, if you want.
Yes. Wood therapy can help with fibrosis and tissue softening after liposuction. It is performed on the legs, arms, abdomen, and flank about eight weeks post-op. Remember that you cannot have any pain in the area receiving the wooding.
I recommend coming in twice a week for five weeks to achieve the maximum benefits of your wood therapy massage. If you're prepping for a holiday or a special day, come in at least one month before the event. With a program, cellulite typically softens and looks smoother. However, results vary and are temporary. Cellulite is a stubborn and hereditary condition, with 80 percent of the population having it somewhere on their body.
Wood therapy uses hand-crafted tools to affect the texture and health of connective tissue, like cellulite or fibrosis, by changing it from a solid to a more gel-like state. Lymphatic massage stimulates vessels to drain waste-fluid away from the areas treated with wooding more efficiently.
Each tool fits the curves of the body and has different purposes. Initially, more aggressive tools, shaped like rolling pins, soften the top layers of connective tissue. Progressively, softer-edged tools work to encourage lymphatic drainage as the massage proceeds. It is fast-paced, sometimes noisy, relaxing-yet-invigorating, and usually painless.
Yes, for example:
No. Some clients experience tenderness, such as with very dense cellulite, but the treatment shouldn't be painful. Sensitivity usually diminishes with each session as circulation and skin health improves.
The total cost depends on your location and desired massage treatment time. You can view my rates page for details.
In-clinic massage costs less than mobile massage because you travel to the centre. Everything is provided, including a massage table, linens, oils, a receptionist, direct billing, etc. When you book a mobile massage visit, I account for my travelling time, set-up time, fuel costs, parking, massage table, linens, laundry, and other expenses.
Yes, you are welcome to book a mobile massage for more than one person. I require a photo ID from everyone booking a session.
I offer the same treatments for my mobile massage service as I do for in-clinic appointments. These treatments include:
Mobile massage treatment times are available for 60, 75, or 90-minute-long sessions. You can view current pricing on my Rates page.
Yes, I bring my massage table to all mobile appointments. I will massage clients on my table only, not in personal beds or wheelchairs.
No. Mobile massage requires at least 72 hours notice, and same-day bookings are unavailable.
Yes, however before you book a massage session, you will need to have some mobility in order to navigate the massage table itself:
My service is available within Southern Ontario, including Belleville, Stirling, Frankford, and Foxboro. I will drive up to 20 minutes each way to come to you.
You must provide at least 48 hours’ notice to cancel or reschedule your massage appointment. Outside this 48-hour window, you will be responsible for part of the cost of late cancelling.
No. However, you can submit the treatment to your insurance plan.
Massage treatments are booked directly through me rather than through the clinic. Online booking for mobile massage is not available. Please see my contact page for details on how to get in touch!