Massage Therapy

Marlies Russell RMT B.A.

Marlies Russell RMT B.A.


Book a Massage Therapy appointment with Marlies Online
Or call: 250.483.7727







Massage Therapy - Interactive Flex MassageMassage Therapy has become an integral part of alternative health care in Canada, and has been utilized all over the world for centuries with a common goal, to restore health & wellness to the body, mind and spirit.  Massage Therapy uses a variety of techniques that have been proven effective based on research trials and clinical application.  Massage therapists are highly trained in many areas of alternative medicine including orthopedic and postural assessment, remedial exercise, neurology, pathology, anatomy and physiology.

Massage therapists are also trained to recognize when treatment may be contraindicated or when precautions should be taken with certain health conditions. For example, applying heat to the torso of a person with hypertension can cause blood pressure to rise and therefore increases risk of stroke and heart attack.

The rigorous educational training standards for massage therapy in BC were modified in 2012, moving from a 3000 hour program that included 1000 hours of clinical hands-on experience to a competency-based program.  The  purpose of this change was to allow more national transportability of the field and a regulated standard of education across the country. In addition to the extensive training, all practitioners are required to complete a provincial board-certified examination, administered by the College of Massage Therapists of BC in accordance with the Health Professions Act of BC.  These rigorous standards are in place to ensure that only qualified and knowledgable healthcare professionals may use the designation “Registered Massage Therapist.”  Massage therapists are also mandated to participate in continuing education courses to ensure current learning and skills.  These high standards ensure that you will always receive safe, smart and effective health care.

Treatment modalities that your RMT will use:

Cranio Sacral Therapy: Cranio Sacral Therapy:  utilizes the rhythm of the dynamic Craniosacral system and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to enhance body functioning, alleviate pain and influence the development and performance of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.  Any fascial restriction at any point in this system can compromise the circulation of the CSF.  This light touch therapy is very quiet and subtle work and the techniques work both directly and indirectly on the body`s fascia and connective tissue to encourage rebalancing and enhancement of our natural healing mechanisms.  Patients often report effects of feeling better, more rested and more energized.  Indications for this modality are headaches, anxiety, TMJ and visual/auditory problems.

General Swedish / Deep Tissue Massage:  is used to manipulate blood flow to increase circulation and release muscle tension and restriction.  Long, flowing strokes of varying depth and rate are used to release tension in hypertoned (tight) muscles.  This allows fresh blood to circulate into the tissue while carrying away toxins that have built up in the muscle due to imbalance, immobilization, pain or stress.  Painful muscles = decreased movement = decreased blood flow = muscle spasm / guarding = eventual inflammation and atrophy.  Breaking the vicious pain-tension cycle allows the muscle to relax, thereby restoring range of motion and beginning the healing process.

Hydrotherapy: can enhance a massage treatment by relieving discomfort, stimulating blood flow, mobilizing connective tissue and soothing aches and pains.  Heat promotes increased circulation, helping to bring nutrient and oxygen rich blood to sore muscles, while toxins are released and carried away.  Heat helps soften tissue prior to massage so the therapist can release tension from the muscle faster and more efficiently.  Cold works to decrease pain, swelling and inflammation in the body.  Ice should only be used for a MAXIMUM of 15-20 minutes at a time and always with a cloth between ice and skin.  If left on the skin longer than 20 minutes, ice will have the reverse effect and will increase swelling and inflammation.

Joint Mobilizations: Hypertoned muscles and capsular restriction can also impact the range of motion of a joint.  Joint Mobilizations are used to increase the range directly at the joint by releasing restrictions and adhesions in the capsule and the surrounding tissue and ligaments.  This is done by performing slight distractions or oscillations that positively affect joint mechanoreceptors and decrease pain receptors.

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD): specifically targets the lymph drainage system, an immune support system that helps venous blood remove substances from interstitial fluid (the body’s internal environment).  The lymph system removes fluid from the skin and also on a deeper level from muscles, joints, organs and vessels when it collects .  MLD is a specific pattern of movements with very little pressure that stimulates receptors to help remove congestion from the lymph vessels.

Muscle Energy (MET):  is used to correct misalignment of the spine, hips and ribs.  This is done by first assessing movement and noting “stuck” areas.  Corrections are made using the body’s own muscle energy against itself to gently pull the bony segment back into alignment.  MET is used to treat back pain, headaches, sciatica, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, rib subluxation and more.

Myofascial Release (MFR):  is a technique applied to fascial connective tissue and muscles. Fascia is a web of connective tissue that surrounds, supports and intertwines with all structures of the body – nerves, arteries, veins, muscles and bones.  When restricted, fascia adheres to the surrounding structures, instead of moving smoothly over top and around them.  This restriction can cause adhesions to form where fascia is “stuck” thus restricting range of motion and potentially causing postural dysfunctions and pain.  MFR work can potentially be uncomfortable but the effects are long-lasting.

Neuromuscular Techniques / PNF / Contract-Relax:  used to gain length in shortened muscles by using the body’s own reciprocal inhibition to reflexively relax the muscle, thus increasing range of motion and flexibility.  The target muscle is put into a gentle stretch and the patient is asked to contract against resistance and then relax.  The process is repeated 3-5 times to reset the connection between the brain and the stretch receptors in the muscles, thereby allowing the muscle to recognize a “normal” length.

Therapeutic Exercise & Rehabilitation:  Like most things in life, there is no quick cure or magic solution that does not involve your own participation.  Massage without rehab on your part is a temporary relief of the symptoms of pain and discomfort.  If you alleviate symptoms but do nothing to correct the cause, the problem WILL return.  “Lengthen before strengthen.”  Your RMT will prescribe therapeutic exercises and stretching that can help correct imbalances in tight, shortened, overused areas.  When the muscle has returned to a sufficient length, strengthening exercises are then introduced to target weak, underused areas.

Triggerpoint Therapy:  is about releasing “knots” of tension.  There are predictable, classic trigger points in muscles that can develop due to pain, tension or poor posture.  These points can be locally painful and can also refer pain to a distant site when touched or pressed.  Some common areas of trigger points that form are in the shoulders.  These areas can refer pain to the neck, head, temple and jaw and are “classic” patterns for tension headaches.  Releasing the knot of tension can diminish the pain and discomfort felt.