Swedish Massage Therapy and You

registered massage therapy vaughanWhat is Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage (also known as classical massage) is one of the most commonly practiced techniques of massage therapy in North America and the Westernized world. This form of massage therapy, credited to the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger, utilizes five styles of massage strokes applied by the massage therapist to the client to manipulate the various layers of muscle and connective tissues. These five basic flowing strokes are:

Effleurage – a smooth, sliding or gliding stroke along muscles and soft tissues

Petrissage – the kneading, squeezing or rolling of muscles and other soft tissues

Tapotement – a rhythmic alternating tapping completed with cupped hands, fingers or the edge of the hand

Friction – a deeper, circular movement causing layers of tissue to rub against each other

Vibration – a shaking, oscillation movement

Benefits of Swedish Massage Therapy:

There are numerous benefits of Swedish massage therapy for the individual receiving the treatment.

First and foremost, Swedish massage promotes relaxation and assists in managing stress.

It simply feels really good!

Taking the time out of your rushed and busy lifestyle, to take care of yourself, can help you refocus and re-energize. It allows you to step away from the daily grind, focus on relaxation and may help you alleviate accumulated tensions.

Secondly, there is some evidence showing that Swedish massage may be beneficial for helping decrease pain symptoms (e.g. from low back pain). Decreasing pain will allow you to get back to doing the things you enjoy doing, faster!

While further research is still needed to confirm all the benefits of massage therapy, some studies have demonstrated that this form of treatment has been helpful in alleviating symptoms of anxiety, headaches, stress related issues (e.g. insomnia), myofascial pain syndromes, soft tissue strains and injuries, paresthesias and nerve pains, and sports injuries.1

Who would benefit from Swedish Massage:

If you have stress in your life, if your muscles feel tense or painful, or if you could use some help with relaxation, Swedish massage may be the right treatment for you!

registered massage therapy woodbridge


Congratulations Vaughan Vikings!

Vaughan Vikings Minor PeeWee Rep

Vaughan Vikings Minor PeeWee Rep – 2nd place 2013 Ontario Provincials

A big congratulations to the Vaughan Vikings Minor PeeWee Rep team for their outstanding season, culminating in a 2nd place finish at the 2013 Ontario Provincials!

We’re proud to be the athletic training sponsor of the team and wish all the players continued success in their sporting endeavours.

It was a pleasure working with these youth athletes. We used a functional movement screen to identify specific areas to improve performance and reduce risk of injury.

This screen is the same screen used by professional teams including the Indianapolis Colts, whose former Strength and Conditioning Coach called it the foundation of their program: ” Everything we do builds off of it. We wouldn’t think of not using this program.” 
If you know of any other youth athletic teams that are deserving of community sponsorship, let us know!
Our goals of community sponsorship activities include: 

* Educating youth and their parents on safe training techniques: Education = Prevention 

* Improving performance while having fun: We pride ourselves on this. 

* Giving back to the sporting community: Our team benefitted from Youth Sports and we want to give back! 


Wash Your Hands – A Primal Public Service Announcement

avoid the fluOne of the most effective ways to avoid getting sick this flu season is simply washing your hands with soap and water.

Not just once. Or twice. But often.

Don’t be afraid to really scrub them for at least 15 seconds. And use lots of soap.

Wash them before you use the toilet. And definitely after using the facilities.how to avoid the flu

Wash them if you’ve been out in public, if you’ve put your hands on any doorknobs, railings or any other surface that you can think of that other people touch. Or that you touch, such as your smartphone, tablet or computer.

If you use public transportation, wash your hands. Have you seen what people do with their hands before holding on to those metal  support poles on the bus?

If you use private transportation, wash your hands. Think about it…when’s the last time your steering wheel or gear shifter was really sanitized and cleaned?

If you shake hands with people, work with kids, adults, the elderly or anyone in between, wash your hands.

If you work with animals, please, please wash your hands. This includes birds, swine and primates.

Do you prepare food? If so, wash your hands. Do you eat food? If so, wash your hands. Wash ’em before and after for best results.

If you use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, you’ll still need to wash your hands with soap and water.

Some of those contaminants out there need to be mechanically scrubbed and washed off and unfortunately those gel, foam and spray sanitizers just don’t cut it. No one really wants a case of C. Difficile, do they?

Now that you wash your hands often, there’s only one more thing to do…

Avoid touching your face.

how to avoid the flu

If you can combine washing your hands with avoiding touching your face, you risk of picking up a nasty bug will drop off dramatically.

This has been a Primal Human Performance public service announcement.

Stay safe out there.

It’s all in your head.

Well, not really.

More like it’s all because of your head…positioning that is!

Today’s quick physiotherapy tip will likely help you sort out some of your neck and shoulder pain, especially if you suffer from what we call Desk Jockey Syndrome (DJS).

While DJS may not be a recognized injury per se, we see enough of it here to know the fallout from being afflicted.

The Syndrome

If you’re like most people, sitting in front of a computer will cause you to adopt a very typical posture. This is the hallmark position of DJS.

Your head will protrude forward with your chin leading the way. Bad posture

Your neck will be excessively extended to maintain your visual field directly in front of your ergonomic screen, if you’re so fortunate to even have one with such a special designation.

Your upper back and shoulders will be hunched up and rounded forward respectively, creating the distinct silhouette of none other than Quasimodo, the famed Hunchback of Notre Dame.

In fact, you’ll also likely be slouching through your lower back, what we call Posterior Pelvic Tilt in industry parlance.

All the above will combine to give you the prototypical DJS posture.

Instead of going into the details of how these postures over time can cause various aches, pains and issues such as headaches, how about we give you a few pointers on fixing the problem?

The fixes:
  1. Sit up tall: imagine a string attached to the crown of your head pulling you up to the ceiling by extending your spine.
  2. Tuck your chin in: lead with your nose and give yourself a slight double chin.Fix bad posture Toronto
  3. Chest up: imagine a string attached to your breastbone pulling you up to the ceiling.
  4. Shoulders set: gently pull your shoulder blades down and back behind you, each toward the opposite butt pocket.
  5. Take deep breaths: often when in DJS positions, our breathing is shallow. Remember to stop and take a deep breath every so often.
  6. Change postures often: make sure you alter your position every 15 minutes.

Give the above 6 tips a consistent go for a good couple weeks and let us know if you feel better, have less neck and shoulder pain and if you feel a lot taller at the end of the day.

Yours in movement,

Team Primal

10 Thoughts About Things

Just a few quick thoughts that passed through my mind between clients yesterday evening. In fact, these may have been ALL my thoughts for the day:

  1. There is something special about watching heavy dead lifts done by a client who has just rehabbed from lumbar disc bulges and a surgery.
  2. Bio-Freeze gel is like a magical potion condensed in a tube; how do they get all that coldness squished up in there?
  3. Every single day I become more aware of just how important your glutes are. And by “your” glutes, I mean glutes in general, not your glutes specifically. Although, you should take care of your glutes.
  4. There are a lot of people out there with some form of back pain. And a large proportion of them have sadly resigned themselves to living with it instead of trying to fix it.
  5. Most of them have some form of glute involvement, dysfunction or amnesia.
  6. Chin ups, pull ups and all their variations are very satisfying to do. It reminds me of when I was a siamang in a past life. What’s more satisfying, though, is seeing an adult client do one for the 1st time ever in his life.
  7. Why does it seem so hard to break bad habits and so hard to form new ones? Damn you and your ilk, Haagen Dazs! Why can’t I just put the tub down before it’s empty?
  8. When done correctly, glute bridges will really make the backside burn. And make you walk all funny after. I’ve  just come to realize that I may be a little glute obsessed.
  9. Computers really make me slouch. A lot. For long periods of time. And I know better. Must work on awareness.
  10. I love my job. I get to help some pretty amazing people get back to doing the things they want to do. My clients are simply awesome.

Dev Chengkalath

The Power of Posture

Are you always trying to find a comfortable position for your head?

Do your shoulders feel tight and stiff?

Do your neck and back ache on a regular basis?

The culprit to all that ails you may be your posture…

I could tell you all the things that could be wrong with your posture. But I’m not going to do that because I’m pretty sure you already have a few good ideas.

If you sit for work, make sure your chair or workstation is adjusted for your body.

Chairs, desks and computer monitors are NOT all built for one body type. And I am going to to make a guess that Bob from accounting doesn’t have the same body structure as you. In fact, you will likely need to adjust the height of your fancy or not so fancy chair, you may have to rearrange the items on your desk and you will almost certainly have to position your monitor for your own personalized optimal viewing angle.

Don’t buy in to the one size fits all mentality.

While that may work for all those fancy items you see on late night infomercials, it doesn’t work for most items that have to be purchased during regular business hours.

One size very seldom fits all.

Get neutral. Spine that is.

Physiotherapy in Woodbridge Spinal AlignmentNeutral spine postures start at your hips and pelvis. From there, your chest should be up up (don’t let it cave it – be proud!), your head should be held long and tall with your chin slightly tucked in. Think of a string attached to the crown of your head pulling you up to the ceiling. This position should place your nose as the farthest point forward.

If you’re reading this at work, stop for a minute and have a look around you. You’ll see that many of your colleagues lead with their chins.

This will help you avoid slouching, which in itself isn’t bad.

It only becomes a problem when you do it ALL THE TIME.

Which is a perfect lead in to the most important lesson from today’s blog post:

The best posture is the one that keeps changing.

So make sure you change your position often and avoid holding any postures for prolonged periods of time.

Yes, this means when you’re driving, sitting on the couch watching TV, or working at your desk.

So, tell me, how does YOUR posture stack up?

Dev Chengkalath, Physiotherapist