TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Benefits of Massage for Nervous System Regulation

Posted on: June 17th, 2024 by TouchStone Health

by Maggie Seegmiller, RMT

Massage therapy has been shown to be beneficial for nervous system regulation through various mechanisms that reduce stress and promote relaxation. One of the primary ways massage achieves this is by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s rest-and-digest response. Research indicates that massage therapy can significantly lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, and increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that contribute to a sense of well-being and relaxation .

Additionally, massage therapy has been found to activate the body’s pressure receptors, which send signals to the brain to reduce the production of stress hormones and stimulate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in controlling the parasympathetic nervous system and helps in lowering heart rate and promoting a state of calmness. Studies have shown that regular massage therapy can enhance vagal activity, leading to improved mood and a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms.

Furthermore, massage therapy can improve blood circulation and ease muscle tension. Enhanced blood flow ensures that oxygen and nutrients are more efficiently delivered to tissues, which can help in healing and reducing pain. The relaxation of tense muscles and the alleviation of pain through massage can also reduce the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, which is often overactive in individuals with chronic stress and anxiety .

Overall, the benefits of massage therapy for nervous system regulation are well-supported by scientific research. By promoting relaxation, reducing stress hormones, stimulating the vagus nerve, and improving circulation, massage therapy can effectively help maintain a balanced nervous system and contribute to improved mental and physical health.


  1. Field, T. (2014). Massage therapy research review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 20(4), 224-229.
  2. Moraska, A., Pollini, R. A., Boulanger, K., Brooks, M. Z., & Tepe, R. (2010). Physiological adjustments to stress measures following massage therapy: a review of the literature. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 7(4), 409-418.
  3. Diego, M. A., & Field, T. (2009). Vagal activity, early growth and emotional development. Infant Behavior and Development, 32(3), 355-362.
  4. Moyer, C. A., Rounds, J., & Hannum, J. W. (2004). A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychological Bulletin, 130(1), 3-18.
  5. Delaney, J. P., Leong, K. S., Watkins, A., & Brodie, D. (2002). The short-term effects of myofascial trigger point massage therapy on cardiac autonomic tone in healthy subjects. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37(4), 364-371.

Osteopathy: How it Affects the Whole Body

Posted on: June 3rd, 2024 by TouchStone Health

by Leann Mai, M. OMSc

“I am a mess!!” Well at least that is what people often feel like! Our bodies have multiple systems that rely on each other, therefore if one system is not functioning- it has a knock off effect on others. For example; holding our breath (respiratory system) affects our cardiovascular system, which affects everything!! I can’t think of one system that doesn’t need fresh nutritious arterial blood. How about our digestive system? Acid problems can impact the mechanism of breaking food down into absorbable units which will affect the nervous system and often the integumentary system (skin/hair/nails). Anybody getting heartburn from those wings?! 

Osteopathy works with all systems of the body and improves how they interact. This means overall an improvement to your health.

Osteopathy can help with multiple day to day symptoms such as:

  • Low back pain
  • Fluid build-up / Edema
  • Heartburn / Constipation, IBS
  • Headaches Migraines
  • Plantar fasciitis / Arch pain in the feet
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle strains
  • Frozen shoulder/ Tennis elbow /Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Low energy
  • Arthritis

Osteopathy can help relieve these symptoms and improve your day to day functioning.   

Osteopathy can also help with some lesser known symptoms associated with:

  • Scoliosis
  • PMS
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Incontinence
  • Herniations
  • Osgood Schlatter disease
  • Bloating
  • Teeth grinding
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Male and female reproductive system dysfunction
  • Asthma
  • Varicose veins. 

You may have an even more difficult diagnosis that you are coping with, Osteopathy can help support you and all your systems to give you the best advantage of improving your quality of life. Alignment of the skeletal system through the muscular system and fascia of the integumentary system can also set you up for a faster recovery if you have injured yourself or are set to have surgery.

So if you feel like your “body is a mess”, I hope you feel a little more hopeful in that with the way the body compounds dysfunction it can also compound improved function, making for better days ahead! 


Welcome Leann Mai, Osteopathic Manual Therapist!

Posted on: April 6th, 2024 by TouchStone Health

We welcome Leann Mai, Osteopathic Manual Therapist to TouchStone Health team this week!

Leann is generously offering FREE Osteopathic Treatments for the month April BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

Leann has a Master in Practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences from the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton, On. Leann found her passion for Osteopathy through her journey of seeking natural alternative and complimentary care to improve quality of life for her children and family. During her years as a student Leann’s passion grew as she saw the differences Osteopathy made in her life and those around her.

With classical principle based training in Osteopathy, Leann specializes in hands-on techniques to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and promote overall wellness. With a holistic approach, Osteopathy aims to address the root cause of discomfort, offering personalized care tailored to each individual’s needs. Discover the power of gentle manipulation and skilled touch to enhance your body’s natural healing abilities.


  • Back/hip/shoulder pain
  • Migraines
  • Incontinence
  • Digestive issues
  • Restricted/painful motion
  • Fluid build up (edema)
  • Strain/injury
  • Chronic/acute pain

The Healing Benefits of Ayurvedic Massage Oils

Posted on: February 12th, 2024 by TouchStone Health

by Senthil Krishnasamy, Ayurvedic Practitioner

Massage oils can have various effects on the skin depending on their ingredients and properties. Here are some common types of massage oils and their effects on the skin:

Carrier Oils: These are base oils used to dilute essential oils for massage. Common carrier oils include coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil. These oils are generally safe for most skin types and can help moisturize and nourish the skin. However, some people may be sensitive or allergic to certain carrier oils, so it’s essential to do a patch test before using them extensively.

Essential Oils: These are concentrated plant extracts that are often added to carrier oils for massage. Each essential oil has its own unique properties and benefits for the skin. For example, lavender essential oil is known for its calming and soothing effects on the skin, while tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help with acne-prone skin. However, essential oils are potent and should be used sparingly and properly diluted to avoid skin irritation or allergic reactions.

Aromatherapy Oils: These are blends of essential oils specifically designed for aromatherapy massage. They are formulated to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve mood. Aromatherapy oils can have various effects on the skin depending on their ingredients, but they are generally safe when properly diluted and applied topically.

Specialized Oils: Some massage oils are formulated with specific ingredients to target certain skin concerns, such as dryness, inflammation, or cellulite. These oils may contain ingredients like vitamin E, arnica, or menthol to provide additional benefits for the skin.

When it comes to the scientific understanding of massage oils and their effects on the skin, several studies have investigated the properties and benefits of various oils. Here are some scientific facts based on research:

Moisturizing Properties: Carrier oils like coconut oil, almond oil, and olive oil have been shown to have moisturizing properties when applied to the skin. They can help improve skin hydration and prevent moisture loss, which is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin.

Scientific Evidence: A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that coconut oil has emollient properties, which means it can help soften and smooth the skin by forming a protective barrier to trap moisture.

Anti-inflammatory Effects: Some oils, such as olive oil and jojoba oil, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin.

Scientific Evidence: Research published in the journal Pharmacognosy Reviews suggests that olive oil contains compounds like oleocanthal and oleuropein, which have anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce inflammation in the skin.

Antioxidant Benefits: Certain oils, such as grapeseed oil and argan oil, are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors.

Scientific Evidence: A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology investigated the antioxidant properties of argan oil and found that it has a high content of tocopherols (vitamin E) and phenolic compounds, which contribute to its antioxidant activity.

Wound Healing Properties: Some oils, including lavender oil and tea tree oil, have been studied for their potential wound healing properties and ability to promote skin regeneration.

Scientific Evidence: Research published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests that lavender oil may accelerate wound healing by promoting collagen synthesis and enhancing tissue repair processes.

Antimicrobial Effects: Tea tree oil is well-known for its antimicrobial properties, which can help combat bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens on the skin.

Scientific Evidence: A review published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews discusses the antimicrobial activity of tea tree oil and its potential applications in skincare products for treating various skin conditions, such as acne and fungal infections.

Explore the Healing Potential of Ayurvedic Massage Oils at Touchstone: Alleviate Muscular Pain, Promote Hair Growth, and Rejuvenate Your Skin!

Contact us for further information or to schedule an appointment

Regards, Senthil Krishnasamy

Ayurveda: Understanding the Three Doshas and Your Health

Posted on: December 1st, 2023 by TouchStone Health

by Senthil Krishnasamy, Phd Ayurvedic Practitioner

In Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine originating in India, there are three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas are fundamental energies or principles believed to govern various physiological and psychological functions within the body. The balance of these doshas is considered crucial for maintaining optimal health, and imbalances are thought to contribute to illness. 

1. Vata:

-Associated with the elements of air and ether.

– Governs movement, including breathing, circulation, and muscle contractions.

– Imbalance may lead to anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues. 

2. Pitta:

-Aligned with the elements of fire and water.

– Controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production.

– Excess Pitta can result in conditions like inflammation, heartburn, and irritability. 

3. Kapha:

-Linked to the elements of earth and water.

– Governs structure and lubrication in the body.

– Imbalance might manifest as weight gain, lethargy, and respiratory issues.

Individuals are believed to have a unique combination of these doshas, known as their “Prakriti,” which influences their physical and mental characteristics. Factors such as diet, lifestyle, and environmental influences can affect the balance of doshas, and Ayurveda often prescribes personalized approaches to restore equilibrium. 

Ayurvedic practices, including herbal remedies, dietary guidelines, and lifestyle recommendations, are aimed at harmonizing the doshas to support overall well-being. The understanding of these doshas is integral to Ayurvedic philosophy and remains a key aspect of traditional medicine in many cultures.

To learn about your unique combination of doshas, book in with Senthil for your own dietary, and lifestyle assessment, and possibly a herbal oil massage treatment!

Q & A: What conditions can benefit from Ayurveda?

Posted on: November 30th, 2023 by Anna Totzke

With Senthil Krishnasamy, Ayurvedic Practitioner

Moxibustion: Some Ways I Use it in Clinic

Posted on: November 24th, 2023 by Anna Totzke

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Moxibustion is a wonderful tool that is most often used alongside acupuncture, cupping, or tuina (acupressure massage).

Moxibustion refers to the burning of moxa, prepared from mugwort leaves. It is most commonly used in addition to Acupuncture.

Moxa is placed either directly on the skin or held just above it, over specific acupoints or meridians. The herb is lit and heat permeates the skin and affects the blood flow and warms the area being treated. Some examples of uses is: Immune system strengthening, chronic low energy, chronic fatigue, cold hands/feet, during pregnancy to turn a baby in breech position, anemia, for fertility, and more.

The most common form of Moxibustion that I use is a smokeless “moxa” stick (as shown in the photo above).

Acupuncture in Early Pregnancy

Posted on: November 16th, 2023 by Anna Totzke

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is safe and effective during pregnancy and is a drug-free option.

Prediabetes Health with Holistic Nutrition

Posted on: November 4th, 2023 by TouchStone Health

by Swapna Viswanathan, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

It is unrealistic to think one size fits all in any nutrition plan because our bodies are different and unique regarding what we like, absorb, digest and what is sustainable for our lifestyle.
Nutrition interventions can be effective in preventing prediabetes from advancing into diabetes. Changing one’s lifestyle, modifying one’s diet, and adding appropriate physical activities, all lead to losing weight, and can help prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Nutritional therapies and interventions can lead to weight loss because the calories are now derived from healthier substitutes, which is the foremost contributing factor in reducing the risk of diabetes (Yau et al., 2020). Studies have shown that low GI diets can be an effective intervention diet for improving the symptoms of prediabetes and diabetes.

Two Quick & Easy Recipes to Start Your Day:

Dragon fruit Avocado Smoothie

• ½ cup water or almond milk
• ¼ medium avocado
• ½ lemon juice
• ¾ cup frozen pitaya or dragon fruit
• one teaspoon agave or monk fruit (optional)
• Add water/almond milk, avocado, lemon juice, pitaya/dragon fruit and agave/monk fruit (optional) to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Morning Smoothie

• ½ cup coconut water filtered water, or almond milk
• ¼ avocado
• one pitted organic date
• one teaspoon of hemp hearts
• ½ cup organic blueberries and raspberries
• 12 organic baby spinach
• ½ lemon juice
Add coconut water/water/almond milk, avocado, lemon juice, blueberries, raspberries, spinach hemp hearts, and date to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Along with nutritional intervention, one can also add acupuncture, head and body massages and visit a naturopathic doctor for an integrative way of optimizing their health.

We have a very knowledgeable and compassionate team at TouchStone Health Clinic to walk along with you in your health journey.

Swapna Viswanathan R.H.N.

Yau, J. W., Thor, S. M., & Ramadas, A. (2020). Nutritional Strategies in Prediabetes: A Scoping
Review of Recent Evidence. Nutrients, 12(10), 2990.


Acupuncture Can Help Prepare for Labour?

Posted on: October 6th, 2023 by Anna Totzke

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Acupuncture can help with:

Cervical Ripening

Softening of the Ligaments in the pelvis

Helping the baby get into the proper position (posterior, breech, and encourage head engagement)

Encouraging contractions if all is ready to go (cervix is ripe / ligaments are soft, etc)

564-572 Weber Street North, Unit 3A
Waterloo, Ontario