Meet Our Myofascial Specialist: Lloyd Chung

Lloyd Chung, RMT, is a 16 year specialist of myofascial release and cranial sacral Massage Therapy, recently adding Manual Osteopathy to his growing repertoire. He graduated from the Grant MacEwan College Massage Therapy program in June 2002 and became a member of the MTAA in 2003. Recently, Lloyd took a course at the National Manual Osteopathic College and is finishing his practical hours to become a Manual Osteopath.

Lloyd believes that massage should be seen as a tool that everybody should use to prevent pain and injury and maintain a healthier lifestyle, not just as a quick fix for pain and injuries.  He also believes that a therapeutic or deep tissue massage can be relaxing and doesn’t necessarily need to be painful. Manual Osteopathy will allow Lloyd to continue on his path of gently guiding and correcting the body towards less pain and better health.

Lloyd understands the unique nature of a client’s circumstance and health history. He is adept with adapting treatments to a client’s needs and comfort, working with an intuitive nature, but also applying orthopedic assessments for confirmation. Lloyd takes the time to explain his findings to support clients by helping them understand themselves more.

When Lloyd isn’t working or spending time with his wife, son and daughter, he enjoys playing trombone with the Festival City Winds or relaxing with a good book.

Lloyd is providing Manual Osteopathic Massage Therapy appointments as he completes the last of his qualification’s practical hours. These appointments are billed as Massage Therapy, and offer Manual Osteopathic theory and techniques at a discounted rate!

Massage Therapy for Mental Wellness

Knead Out Stress

We know that massage therapy is of great benefit to sport injuries and muscle soreness. But it is also an effective way to improve your mental health.

Massage therapy is a popular treatment for the relief of sports injuries, strains, and muscle soreness. But its benefits are more than just physical: it is also an effective way to alleviate depression and anxiety—and improve sleep quality.

Although life stresses are unavoidable, we can counter negative feelings and insomnia with the positive benefits that massage therapy offers.

Why massage therapy?

Massage has been practised for centuries. In ancient India massage therapists kneaded patients with herbs and oils to relieve tiredness, increase energy, and improve overall health. In fifth-century Greece Hippocrates was quoted as saying, “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing.” And it’s no secret why massage is still popular today—it feels wonderful.

For overall mental wellness

According to Heidi Ezzat, a registered massage therapist (RMT) practising in Pitt Meadows, BC, “Massage therapy is an excellent tool in treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia because it helps your body to relax, which in turn helps you to de-stress.”

She explains that massage therapy is effective in treating these disorders because “the state of calm [achieved] allows one to have a better chance of using coping skills that have been acquired in other therapies such as counselling.”

According to Health Canada, 11 percent of men and 16 percent of women will experience severe depression over the course of their lives. Studies show, however, that massage therapy can be an effective tool for dealing with depression.

In a study published in Support Care Cancer (2010), breast cancer patients who received two 30-minute massages weekly for five weeks reported significant reductions in depression and anxious depression compared to those who received no massage therapy.

In addition, a meta-analysis of 17 studies conducted by Taiwanese researchers found massage therapy was strongly associated with relieving depressive symptoms.

Health Canada reports that of all mental disorders, anxiety conditions top the list. They estimate that 10 percent of Canadians suffer anxiety in some form. But anxiety can be reduced by the positive effects of massage.

Turkish researchers measured burn patients’ anxiety levels before and after massage therapy sessions. Over the course of a five-week period participants showed a significant reduction of symptoms, including itching, pain, and anxiety from the first treatment to the last.

Poor quality sleep
Statistics Canada reports that 3.3 million Canadians (13.4 percent of Canadians over the age of 15) suffer from insomnia. Fortunately, massage has also been shown to improve sleep quality.

Researchers reported the positive effects therapeutic massage had on breast cancer patients’ sleep quality (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2009). Participants reported better sleep quality post-massage in addition to reduced anxiety and chemotherapy side effects, and increased quality of life.

Mental wellness versus muscle soreness

Massage therapy can effectively treat a variety of conditions and disorders; however, the therapist will tailor your treatment course of action based on your particular symptoms and concerns.

According to Ezzat, most massage therapy appointments begin the same way: the client fills out a case history form and an assessment is conducted by the therapist. Based on the information collected, the therapist and patient work out a plan to address the patient’s treatment goals.

However, when treating a patient with a mental health issue, Ezzat says “the environment in the treatment room is especially important, such as temperature, music, and lighting.” She also encourages patients to be still and quiet for part of the treatment so that patients can “tune in to their bodies, breathe deeply, and begin to let go and relax.”

Treatment team

Although massage therapy has been shown to help effectively treat depression and other mental health issues, Ezzat suggests that those with severe problems “should be managed and treated primarily [in conjunction with] the patient’s family doctor and/or naturopathic doctor’s recommendations.”

She explains that there are many tools that a patient suffering from a mental health problem can make use of, and massage therapy is one of those tools. However, sometimes several tools are needed. Ezzat says, “I treat many patients who report benefits from receiving counselling and massage therapy at the same time.”

How often should you go?

The frequency depends on the patient’s specific treatment goals. However, Ezzat recommends, “When someone is starting massage therapy, it is best if they come for several sessions, and according to their condition and schedules that could be once a week or twice a week.”

She reports that most people experience improvements within the first three massage therapy sessions, but long-standing, chronic conditions may take longer. Once patients feel a significant improvement, Ezzat recommends they continue treatment once a month, or more frequently, if they desire.”

Finding a massage therapist

Although RMTs receive similar training across the country, therapists have their own styles and preferred areas of practice. Below are some tips to help you find the right massage therapist for you.

Word of mouth
Speak with someone who’s had appointments with a specific therapist to find out how difficult it is to get in, what approach they favour (light pressure versus deep tissue massage), and much more.

Massage therapy associations
Most provinces have their own massage therapy associations, which can often be found online. Check the websites for RMT listings in your province.

Try a few out
The first therapist you go to may not be the right fit—that’s okay. You may have to try out a few before you find someone who suits your needs. Alternatively, you may prefer to make appointments according to who is available.

This article originally appeared on and was written by Amy Wood

Do You Know About Neuromuscular Massage Therapy?

The most effective type of massage therapy for lower back pain is neuromuscular therapy. Neuromuscular therapy is also called trigger point myotherapy. The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of massage therapy as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury (such as a muscle strain).

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy Technique

Neuromuscular therapy consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the areas of muscle spasm. The massage therapy pressure is usually applied with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow. Once applied to a muscle spasm, the pressure should not vary for ten to thirty seconds.

Massage Therapy Can Reduce Muscle Pain

Causes of Back Muscle Spasms Video

Muscles that are in spasm will be painful to the touch. The pain is caused by ischemic muscle tissue. Ischemia means the muscle is lacking proper blood flow, usually due to the muscle spasm. This in turn creates the following undesirable process:

  • Because the muscle is not receiving enough blood, the muscle is also not receiving enough oxygen
  • The lack of oxygen causes the muscle to produce lactic acid
  • The lactic acid makes the muscle feel sore following physical activity.

After the muscle is relaxed through massage therapy, the lactic acid will be released from the muscle, and the muscle should start receiving enough blood and oxygen.

Neuromuscular therapy will feel painful at first, but the pressure of the massage should alleviate the muscle spasm. At this point, it is extremely important to communicate with the massage therapist regarding the pressure - whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse. The therapist should listen and respond accordingly. The massage therapy pressure should never be overly painful. In fact, most people describe the pressure as “good pain”.

What to Expect After Massage Therapy

Following a neuromuscular therapy massage, any soreness that presents itself should fade after twenty-four to thirty-six hours. The muscles that were tight should remain noticeably more relaxed for four to fourteen days, depending on stress

This article was originally posted on and was written by Beth Mueller R.M.T


Book with our Neuromuscular specialist, Brad Ballard, RMT. Direct Billing available!

The Art and Science of Sports Maintenance Massage

"Sports maintenance massage" is performed when an athlete has reduced his or her training schedule, is not competing, or during the athlete's "off-season." A sports maintenance massage works with an athlete's strength, flexibility, coordination, biomechanics, posture, stress patterns, scar tissue and existing injuries.

It also allows the therapist and athlete to work together to create the greatest changes for the athlete.

Information used in sports maintenance massage is gathered from discussing the athlete's goals, watching the athlete's workouts or competitions, recording current or previous injuries and prior treatments, including massage, and setting specific goals for a sports maintenance massage program.

Sometimes, athletes do not perform well during a season because of a recurring injury. There is not time for massage, long rest periods and specific exercises for proper rehabilitation during the season, and most athletes do not want to miss playing because of injuries, so they return to action even though their injuries have not healed sufficiently. This is why sports maintenance massage is performed when the athlete is not competing or during the off-season.

For example, a sports maintenance massage might involve working with an athlete who has had a recurring hamstring problem. Some considerations for the application of massage would include looking at the athlete's biomechanics, posture, flexibility, strength, scar tissue formation, and other contributing factors. Athletes that suffer from low back pain will tighten their hamstrings to compensate for the injury. Working on the hamstrings will not eliminate the cause - it will only treat the symptom. If the problem is directly within the hamstring, the first consideration should be to determine if the injury is in the acute or chronic stage. An injury in the acute stage could be red, hot, swollen and painful, and working directly on the site of injury in this stage would be contraindicated.

When the injury is in the chronic stage, nonspecific compression of the site, range-of-motion movements and ice treatments would be appropriate. Advance to cross fiber friction with movement and ice treatments as the injury heals. Strengthen and stretch the hamstrings once the athlete can go through a full range of motion without pain.

Whatever the course of action in sports maintenance massage, an athlete must be allowed ample time to heal and incorporate the massage treatments into his or her performance. Sometimes it takes weeks to resolve a specific problem properly. Learning to apply sports massage properly is a never-ending process, and understanding the timing of the treatment is crucial to effective sports application. Sports maintenance massages are where the greatest changes can occur.

This article originally appeared on and was written by Michael McGillicuddy