After graduating from massage therapy school and learning Swedish and pregnancy massage, Sarah Merickel continued her education and studied more advanced forms such as neuromuscular massage, orthopedic cupping, and myofascial release. On top of that, she took concentrated classes that focused on individual areas of the body: the low back and hip, neck, and upper back regions, to name a few. Now, she parlays all of her studies into customized massages at Olympic Avenue Massage. Sarah uses oils and lotions during her treatments, homing in on problem areas so that every client’s massage is tailored to relieve their own set of pains and discomforts.
The Chinese character bao refers to protection, therapy, and health care. Channelling these concepts, the staff at King Bao Wellness Center improves clients’ health and well-being with traditional Chinese techniques. During Chinese massages, hands, essential oils, or an ancient tools called Bian stones soothe muscles to help to increase circulation.
Acupuncture and reflexology treatments stimulate meridian points—the body’s energy channels—with either thin needles or manual pressure to relax and rejuvenate clients. Herbalists examine each client’s tongue and pulse to determine which herbs or patented Chinese medicines to prescribe or to reverse-engineer how many licks it took to get to the center of a tootsie pop.
Trained in Ayurvedic, Swedish, deep-tissue, and shiatsu massage, Minerva Massage’s muscle manipulator mixes styles to achieve optimal results, customizing each session to the client. Through these methods, she hopes to awaken clients to their own bodies while bringing tranquility to their minds, thus opening the channels to healing energies. She also offers hot-stone massages, and, as a certified aromatherapist, works with essential oils during massages as well as facials.
Needleless acupuncture sounds like a contradiction, but Shelly Wade does it everyday—with lasers. Of course, she's well versed in traditional acupuncture as well. Licensed through the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia, Shelly found her way to acupuncture after a car accident interrupted her competitive dancing career. Impressed by its impact on her recovery, she began studying acupuncture along with other natural therapies, such as biofeedback and reflexology, to pay forward the benefits these therapies afforded her.
Today, as owner of Island Integrative Health Clinic, Shelly does just that by combining those multiple approaches to healing. She also specializes in anti-aging treatments such as facial-rejuvenation acupuncture, giving clients an alternative to Botox and never smiling again by applying a low-level current that combats wrinkles and other signs of aging. Further services her centre offers range from massage therapy to BloodScan, a live-blood analysis that aims to identify pre-symptomatic indicators of degenerative disease. No matter the treatment, she approaches each case with a gentle, welcoming approach, believing that acupuncturists must help their patients feel comfortable so that they remain open to the healing process.
Versed in traditional Chinese medicine and massage therapy, the practitioners of Dao Health Centre create personalized care plans to enhance patients' mental and physical health. During initial consultations, physicians learn about clients through diagnostics such as sensory observations, tongue inspection, and pulse readings. They then tailor integrative treatment plans that may incorporate therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, and acupressure massage.
Acacia's team of expert health-care professionals treats clients to individualized, naturopathic, and alternative health care in a relaxed setting. One-hour acupuncture sessions place patients in the expert hands of Victoria Spaurel, a registered acupuncturist and Chinese-medical-theory enthusiast. Practitioners insert needles into specific pressure points and frayed stitching on clients' bodies, working to balance overall energy levels. Acupuncture therapy aims to treat a wide array of health concerns, including chronic pain, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and being filled with helium. Although it improves stress levels and cell-phone reception for many clients, therapy is not recommended for candidates with bleeding disorders or needle phobias. Patients currently taking blood thinners such as warfarin may bruise more easily during their sessions, and clients taking any kind of medication are instructed to inform their practitioners.