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Archive for the ‘massage’ Category

Psoas muscle and its connection to stress…..

Posted on: July 20th, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Written by: Natalie Poynton, RMT


Stress is a common factor of many peoples lives in society today. With decisions to make, growing families, career paths and more connection to today’s society it is fair to say that many of us feel an increase in stress in some way…whether it be considered a negative stress or positive one.  Question is, how does it impact us personally? Forget everyone for a moment… think of just you…how does stress impact you?

So while you are thinking of you and identifying your stress and the impact it has, let’s take a look at what stress is and how it can really impact the body.

What is stresses impact on the body? What are the general factors? How do they impact you?

Stress is going to increase muscle tension which physically impacts our bodies, leading to symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, muscles aches and various pains.

Everyone feels the impacts of stress in many different ways, which may lead to many different effects; but most commonly we feel pain. But what is the pain we feel, can we explain it or can it be defined? Do you know where the pain is coming from? This can sometimes lead to unexplained pain, which becomes a hardship in so many peoples lives. Remember, define your pain: Don’t let it define you!!

Here is a theory for you…something to consider…

Stress is commonly known to impact our muscles with tension, and some muscles increase in tension without us consciously knowing, like our Psoas muscle.

The Psoas muscle is a long muscle located on either side of our vertebral column(spine) and brim of the pelvis. Our Psoas muscle is also known as the “muscle of the soul”.  It is one of the largest muscles in the body and it is in a place where we often store stress or trauma that can literally influence our mood and outlook on life. This is our bodies connection to the intake of stress. If we are holding onto this stress it has got to go somewhere…commonly we feel it in our shoulders as tension, some may feel pain usually located in their back or stomach and that is our connection to Psoas.

Fear, anxiety, irritability, changes in mood are all part of feeling stress, this can inhibit our ability to think clearly thus creating an unhealthy perspective that can cause harm and build up stress in our bodies. With Psoas being our “muscle of the soul” this is where the tension is stored, causing us pain and discomfort. Having this connection will help guide you to positive healing.

In turn to the stress and need to decrease pain and tension, the psoas needs to be released.  Pressure can be applied to the muscles’ tendon at the pelvic attachment and the tension slowly starts to decrease.  Techniques using pressure release can also be used by applying moderate pressure through the abdomen.  Having this care can not only provide muscle release; it can help you find balance in physical, mental and emotional health and healing as a whole.


Posted on: December 27th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

I recently came across this quote by Audre Lorde and immediately took to it, so I made it into a picture.  I thought it would be helpful to share, especially for the beginning of New Year.


Even though New Years Resolutions are often focused on ourselves – striving for betterment in areas we feel we could improve or grow, the actual focus on ourself is often what trips us up in succeeding with the goal.

Taking time for ourselves is tricky and often associated with being selfish.  It’s funny how we do that, entangling caring for self with selfishness but the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Audre Lorde shifts our discomfort with caring or focusing on self away from self-indulgence into something that we can all appreciate, understand and respect…self-preservation.

When we fill ourselves up with the things, people or situations that genuinely fill us up, we can do marvellous things.  This year I made a commitment to running…most mornings I wake up early and run before my day gets going which is already pretty early.  But, if I don’t, I will have missed the opportunity to do so and lose out on the feeling I get from clearing my head, getting a work out in and some time for me with nature (something that absolutely preserves my happiness).

This coming year, I’m finding I need more to fill my tank with the busyness of life.  Journaling and meditation are what I’ve determined I am missing but both take time and dedication.  But instead of it feeling like another item on my check list that needs attention, I will take Audre’s words to heart and remember that taking the time to do this will help protect me from burn out, irritability and sadness.

This New Years, consider focusing on what will preserve you the best for your resolution.  What activities, places, people or things do you need more of to ensure your tank is feeling full and supported instead of depleted and unhappy.  Shift the focus away from selfishness or self-indulgence to self-preservation.  The mental leap will feel a lot better and will motivate the change you need to feel the best you can.

Wishing you a bright and happy New Year.

Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

Hot Stone Massage

Posted on: November 30th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Treat yourself….as the closer months approach continue to enjoy the heat with a Hot Stone Massage….

Hot Stone Massage is a specialty massage where as therapists we use smooth, heated stones as an extension of our own hands. The heat can be both relaxing and deeply beneficial to warn up tight muscles so we can treat deeper and effectively more quickly. Using the heat as an additional Therapy it is known to help the client relax easier as it calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and we’ll being. Along side Swedish massage and deep tissue massage; hot stone massages reduce tension and anxiety, helping to decrease stress. Also, helping to improve blood circulation, which we need to deliver oxygen and nutrients around our cell bodies.

Generally assisting our lymphatic system carry away our body’s waste, and much more…..heat feels good with relieving muscle cramps and spam, managing pain and so much more.

Don’t feel guilty about getting a Hot Stone massage, because it sounds like a luxury….simply remind yourself of the health benefits.

Written by: Natalie Poynton, RMT.

Massage Therapy Care for Depression and Anxiety….

Posted on: September 18th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

After the wonderful summer and fall months winter is upon us all. This means less natural source of Vitamin D, through what we all love the sunshine. These months getting rather cold possibly lead to tension is some of us, and sometimes lead into an imbalance causing signs of Depression and Anxiety.

It is extremely important to be fully aware of the whole of you. Being aware means understanding how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. It is all part of feeling a balanced well being. Remember, everything is connected, and it is important to understand we feel is all aspects. This allows for proper healing when there does become an imbalance in one or all of those areas. If we are disconnected the body signals with pain, however this pain may present in many ways. Examples can be muscle and or joint aches or pains, headaches, fatigue, confusion, frustration and much more.

How can massage help?

A friendly touch can do wonders for boosting your mental health. Massage can assist in progressive muscle relaxation decreasing cortisol to decrease depression symptoms, such as anger, and increasing energy levels. This is done by increasing circulation affecting the body’s biochemistry; bringing us back to a balanced state.

Massage therapy also increases serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters in the brain) that reduce depression. Physical pain can also occur with depression and anxiety and a controlled therapeutic massage can help manage these symptoms. This allows us to feel balanced as a whole and is important as depression and anxiety can take control over our bodies. This can mean mentally, emotionally, and or physically.

It is important to be able to connect with a massage therapist as this is part of our whole body healing and having that awareness. However, health works as team work; meaning it is important for me as an RMT to completely and fully understand depression and clients whom may suffer….

Written by: Natalie Poynton, RMT

Not Wanting This

Posted on: May 5th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

A friend recently sent me a wonderful article written by Elizabeth Gilbert on her facebook page, called, Not This.

Have you ever had a moment where you know deep down, that your current reality is not in alignment with where you want to be?  That even though it may not make sense to anyone else that something in you is asking for a more authentic experience?  This article is a great reminder of having the courage to ask, to explore what we want and need.  Whether it’s with the health of our bodies, our relationships with others, our career, our hobbies, our interests or goals… having courage to question this gives clarity for what we do want and need.  And that is a wonderful place to be because when we are in this space, change can happen.   See what you think of the article and if you’re wanting to change something that you believe either Naturopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage or Reflexology can help…we are here.


Not This

by: Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D. Naturopathic Doctor

Intuitive Massage 5-Point Journey to a Healthy and Successful Lifestyle

Posted on: September 20th, 2015 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Written by: Natalie Poynton, RMT

Intuitive Massage: Your 5-Point Journey to Health and Wellness 5-Points of achievement or realization.

Point 1: Experience Relief: In a supportive and compassionate environment, the therapist will acknowledge your symptoms and make the primary goal the relief of your discomfort. Intuitively directed to areas of your body that indicate what is referred to as “energy blockages”, the therapist facilitates their release and seeks to restore energy balance. Through the use of skilled massage therapy techniques, symptoms and discomfort are diminished and you begin to experience relief.

Point 2: Gain Awareness: When pain or discomfort is diminished, and a state of relaxation is achieved, it presents the opportunity for awareness to take place. At this point, you will start to realize the relationship between the body, mind and spirit. Your awareness brings you to an understanding and appreciation for the collective role they play in achieving health and wellness.

Point 3: Discover Your Inner Power: Having made a commitment to the process, you start to comprehend your conscious attitudes, feelings and self-perception. The path has been broadened and you feel empowered and confident in your own capacities, leading you to the discovery of your inner power. Your personal empowerment drives your desire to achieve health and wellness and improve your quality of life.

Point 4: Implement Change: At this point on the journey, the renewed state of balance in your body, mind and spirit places you in an ideal position to implement changes essential for maintaining and sustaining health and well-being. Some of the changes may include how you care for yourself physically and mentally. It can even involve acknowledgment of a higher power. Allowing for change serves to safe guard the therapy you have experienced and maximize its potential.

Point 5: Embrace Your Health and Wellness: With your energy fields rejuvenated and acceptance of an inner power you are ready to enthusiastically embrace health and wellness. Aware and willing to change, you continue along the path of healing and enlightenment. By embracing health and wellness your journey continues with a focus on improving your quality of life.

What is Intuitive Massage Therapy?

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

Have you ever had a massage and not felt great afterwards…maybe even felt worse?  If so, consider getting an intuitive massage.  What is it?  Natalie Poynton, RMT explains.

Intuitive Massage therapy is a holistic approach to health and wellness. Intuitive massage involves therapeutic techniques that facilitate the release of energy blockages. Even more uniquely, the location of the blockages are located by the intuitive ability of the therapist. Simply stated, the therapist is able to determine the area or areas of your body that cause you pain and discomfort.

Intuitive massage therapy is a therapeutic process that encourages the self-discovery to health and wellness to its best. This type of therapy utilizes hands on therapeutic massage therapy techniques. These intuitive techniques restore and balance the flow of energy within the body.

Disturbances within the energy fields in our body can have a negative affect on our overall health and trigger a number of adverse physical and emotional ailments and symptoms. An energy blockage can manifest itself in many forms, ranging from chronic or acute pain to further disturbances and imbalances.

As an intuitive RMT , I choose to focus on receiving pain and discomfort, while promoting and encouraging you to seek a well balanced mind, body and spirit.

The Compound Effect

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

When it comes to health, many of us would like to have instantaneous change when things are not well or balanced. Whether it’s for weight loss, hormonal balancing, digestive improvement, skin health, pain or mental well being…we would all like to see these things improve easily and readily. But unfortunately, that is generally not the case. As illness or poor health take time to develop, it also takes time to improve. But how do we have patience and time for creating positive change?

I recently came across a book, The Compound Effect, that speaks about a principle that we often disregard or under value. The principle is the same as the title, The Compound Effect. The author, Darren Hardy, explains it as:

“The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. What’s most interesting about this process to me is that, even though the results are massive, the steps, in the moment, don’t feel significant. Whether you’re using this strategy for improving your health, relationships, finances, or anything else for that matter, the changes are so subtle, they’re almost imperceptible. These small changes offer little or no immediate result…

Success is earned in the moment to moment decisions that in themselves make no visible difference whatsoever, but the accumulated compounding effect is profound.”

This is a great reminder that positive change often happens with small, incremental steps.  Whether it’s taking the stairs at work, refraining from eating after 8 pm, going to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual, going for a run twice a week, shutting down all screen time an hour before bed, daily writing down something you’ve appreciated from the day…the list could go on, but I think you get the point.  Small changes are needed to achieve great change…profound change, as Hardy explains.  Doing small things is something we are all capable of, no matter how busy or full life is.  Choose one small thing you could do to enhance your life today and stick to it, commit to it and if that’s hard to do, find someone to help you with this process.  The gain and improvement in your life will be well worth it.

We Welcome a new RMT

Posted on: November 8th, 2014 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

natalieTouchStone Health is happy to welcome a new RMT, Natalie Poynton.

Natalie is very passionate about providing excellent Massage care to clients.  She practices with a diverse skill set, offering: Hot Stone Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Myofascial Release, Pre and Post Natal Massage and of course, Relaxation Massage.  She cares deeply about her patients and also works with Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, helping people feel empowered as they rehabilitate their body and spirit post accident.

In her spare time, she is an instructor and supervises at The Medix College for Massage where she teaches assessments and remedial exercise courses.

Natalie brings a gentle and sensitive energy to her clients while providing a therapeutic massage.  I have personally found her massages to be very intuitive, as she really listens and works with the body so there is no pain apart of the experience.

This is a great time of year to treat your body to a massage – whether for specific therapy on a body part that needs support or the warmth and relaxation of a Hot Stone Massage – massage is a great therapy that helps a busy and stressful season.

If interested in booking an appointment, please do so via our online booking system.  Natalie works Monday-Thursday and every other Saturday.

A Twist on Why Exercise is Good for You!

Posted on: January 8th, 2014 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

The New Year often brings aspirations of increasing exercise in our lives.  But with the demands and busyness of life, exercise is often the first thing to go on our day to day to-do lists.

The Harvard Business Review published an article about the positive relationship between regular exercise and management of the  work/home-life front.  It’s worth a read and may create more incentive to move that body, which in turn will help you feel good and reduce stress…allowing the time you do have at home and at work, to be more productive and enjoyable.  See what you think.

Harvard Business Review


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