V.S. Hutchinson
Registered Massage Therapist

Kitchener Waterloo
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Knowledge Centre

If you are new to Massage Therapy, you probably have some questions. In my Knowledge Centre you will find answers to commonly asked questions about the services I offer. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Select this link to email me: V.S. Hutchinson

Frequently Asked Questions

This will be my first massage treatment, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with a stranger touching me.

First-time clients are often a bit nervous about the personal nature of massage therapy. Most clients lose this apprehension once treatment is underway. RMT professionals are trained to respect the needs, feelings and trauma history of their clients. The provision of nurturing, non-threatening touch is something we take very seriously. During treatment, you will be asked for feedback regarding depth of pressure, warmth, comfort levels, etc. This empowers you to communicate about your comfort needs, and enables me to make helpful adjustments as I treat you.

Do I have to take off my clothes for your treatments?

Your ability to relax and feel at ease contributes to the success of the treatment. So, do what's comfortable for you; remove only those articles of clothing you wish. This is done in complete privacy, where you also position yourself under a clean sheet and blanket on a massage table — before I ever enter the room. You may even be treated fully clothed. But it might help you to know that massage treatments generally do work best when administered directly, without the barrier of clothing on the areas being treated. Throughout the treatment, you are fully covered with the sheet and blanket; the only body part uncovered is the one being treated.

How can massage therapy help me?

Professional massage therapy offers relief from muscular tension and pain, helps to increase range of motion, speeds recovery from injury, and can reduce stress and facilitate relaxation. Thus, it has both physical and psycho-emotional effects. Each treatment is geared to your specific needs.

Which parts of my body get massaged?

This will depend on your needs. I will take a full case history and ask you about your treatment goals. Both acute and chronic problems are taken into consideration when determining where treatment should be focused. If there are any areas you would like me to avoid, just let me know. A general full-body relaxation massage typically involves the back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, feet, and hands.

Will I be sore after a massage therapy treatment?

Most people feel relaxed and experience pain relief and stress reduction after treatment. Some people, especially those who require deep work, may experience generalized achiness for a day or two. If so, they often notice overall improvement once this passes. If you are concerned about this, you can reduce the likelihood of such achiness by taking a hot bath with Epsom's salts (available at any drugstore) after your treatment.

How often should I receive treatment?

This varies from person to person, and depends both on one's presenting complaints and one's overall health. Some people require only a few treatments to treat a specific problem, while others find that massage therapy works well as a regular form of preventive/maintenance care (especially - for example - when they can not give up a repetitive, injurious, work-related activity). Massage therapy can help maintain good muscle tone and flexibility in the face of such daily physical demands.

How old should one be in order to receive massage therapy?

There are no age constraints. Babies enjoy infant massage. Everyone from children with sports injuries to arthritic eighty-year-olds can benefit from treatment. (Please note: this private practice is not wheelchair accessible; there are stairs.)

Is massage therapy covered by my extended healthcare plan?

Yes. Most extended healthcare plans provide coverage for massage therapy; some even have on-line billing. Some plans require you to first obtain a physician's referral. Most physicians are happy to oblige: they'd often rather prescribe massage therapy than drugs for a head-ache or back-ache. Contact your insurance company for the details of your benefits; plans vary.

Do you work with Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) claims or Workers' Compensation claims?

I am happy to treat anyone who has suffered car accident or workplace injuries, but I no longer do this work within the context of the insurance claim system. If you have settled your claim, or are interested in non-claim treatment, I can help you.

Techniques — Learn More

Massage Therapy

A Hands-on Technique

Massage therapy is a hands-on technique involving the manipulation of the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and connective tissue) and joints. It evolved out of the physiologically-based swedish massage techniques of the 1700s. Modern massage therapy combines traditional techniques with various modern techniques and a current understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Exercise recommendations and hydrotherapy techniques (use of heat or cold) may be included as a part of treatment.

Improves Health and Well Being

Massage therapy improves health and well-being through its therapeutic effects on the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems, and through its ability to reduce pain and increase range of motion. It can be used in either a preventative approach (for relaxation and stress-relief), or in a clinical treatment approach for problems both acute (e.g. ankle sprains, sports injuries) and chronic (e.g. computer/work-related tensions, postural conditions such scoliosis).

A Regulated Profession

Registered massage therapists are regulated health care professionals. They receive a minimum of two years of extensive training and examination at government-approved schools. Upon successful completion of these programs, they undertake both written and clinical provincial examinations, and registration with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. This registration entitles them to the use of the titles Massage Therapist (MT) or Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). Each massage therapist is issued a registration number and photo ID which must be displayed in their workplace.

Acupuncture Therapy

A Treatment with an Ancient History

Acupuncture was introduced to the West in the 1970s after New York Times journalist James Reston was treated for post-surgical pain upon developing appendicitis while in China. Anecdotal descriptions of Chinese surgery performed without anesthesia also appeared in western press in the 1970s, and further piqued the interest of westerners in the practice of Acupuncture.

Acupuncture springs from a medical tradition and culture that is thousands of years old and has been treating people effectively for over 23 centuries. The Nei Jing or Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor was compiled by unknown authors between 300 – 100 BC and is the oldest Chinese medical text and the source of all modern Chinese medical theory, although, like western traditions, Chinese medicine continues to grow and develop. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is rooted in a cultural philosophy and worldview that is very different from that of the western world. Thus its medical paradigm – its approach to health, disease, and treatment — often seems foreign and unfathomable. Chinese medicine is a system unto itself and has endured for centuries, not only because it produces tangible results, but because it also embodies a coherent philosophy that integrates many aspects of human life.

CranioSacral Therapy

Originating from Osteopathic Techniques

CranioSacral therapy evolved from osteopathic techniques, and is based on the cerebrospinal fluid rhythm. This is a natural body rhythm — like the circulatory rhythm (measured by the pulse) or the respiratory rhythm (measured by one's breathing) — and occurs 6 - 12 times per minute.

The rhythm is caused by the brain's cyclical production and reabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid . . . in a kind of self-contained hydraulic system within the dural membranes. This fluid bathes/surrounds the brain and spinal cord as the pressure of production and reabsorption ebbs and flows.

Subtle Pressure and Rhythm

This (very subtle) pressure fluctuation causes a slight movement of the skull bones. The sacrum, at the opposite end of the spinal cord, is also affected by this fluctuation. Because the arms and legs are attached to the central skeleton, they too are affected by the rhythm.

This rhythm can be palpated at various sites on the body. Trained therapists use the information gathered by such palpation to treat any rhythmic dysfunctions they discover. Treatment involves the use of light-touch therapy: both bony techniques that work directly with the craniosacral rhythm, and soft-tissue techniques that work with the connective tissue/fascia that attaches all muscle (and organs) to bone.

Working with the Body's Own Signals

CranioSacral Therapy is a "body-directed" rather than "therapist-directed" approach that works with the body's own signals and impulses. A non-invasive form of treatment, it is very effective in the treatment of traumatic injury to the head and spinal cord, and is very useful in treating such biomechanical problems as whiplash, TMJ disorders and migraines. Because it is so deeply relaxing, it is also useful for stress management and preventative care (many people find it more relaxing than massage). If suppressed emotions are contributing to certain physical tensions, CranioSacral Therapy can effect somato-emotional releases that provide surprising relief.

Practised by a Variety of Professionals

Because of the variety of physical and psycho-emotional conditions that benefit from CranioSacral Therapy, it is practiced by various health-care professionals, including dentists, chiropractors, RMTs, physiotherapists, physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists.