Therapeutic Massage and Breast Cancer

Massage and Breast Cancer

The Effects of Therapeutic Massage and Breast Cancer

The Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario, has a great research article on Effects of therapeutic massage on the quality of life among patients with breast cancer during treatment.

As an Oncology Massage Therapist, the one statement that is commonly made by my Oncology clients is that the massage, the room, the environment..this is the one place that, during treatment treatment, they don’t feel like a ‘test subject’, ‘cancer patient’.. they get to feel like themselves again. Added to this is a decrease in their anxiety, depression, nausea and other side effects of their chemo or radiation.

Here is a brief overview of the research article, taken from The Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario.

OBJECTIVE: Therapeutic massage has demonstrated positive physical and emotional benefits to offset the effects of treatments associated with breast cancer. The goal of this study was to assess the impact of therapeutic massage on the quality of life of patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

DESIGN: Using a pre/post intervention assessment design, this prospective, convenience sample pilot study measured anxiety, pain, nausea, sleep quality, and quality of life. Treatment consisted of one 30-minute treatment per week for 3 consecutive weeks.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Instruments selected for this study were used in previous massage therapy studies to measure quality of life/health status and have documented validity and reliability.

RESULTS: Participants experienced a reduction in several quality of life symptom concerns after only 3 weeks of massage therapy. Respondents’ cumulative pre- and post-massage mean for state anxiety, sleep quality, and quality of life/functioning showed significant improvement. Among study participants, there was variability in reported episodes of nausea, vomiting, and retching; although participants reported decreased pain and distress, changes were non-significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Therapeutic massage shows potential benefits for ameliorating the effects of breast cancer treatment by reducing side affects of chemotherapy and radiation and improving perceived quality of life and overall functioning.

Sturgeon, M., Wetta-Hall, R., Hart, T., Good, M., & Dakhil, S. (April 2009). Effects of therapeutic massage on the quality of life among patients with breast cancer during treatment. Journal Of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 15(4), 373-380. 




Tavia Wilson

Registered Massage Therapist

Combined Decongestive Therapist

Oncology Massage Therapist


Two soft pillows with blue striped covers isolated on white background


For some reason in January all my patients start asking about pillows! The long dark days of January are tiring, and we are all trying to get some good rest after the holidays… as we try to tackle some (or one) of the many goals we envisioned for 2018.

A good pillow for sleeping should be comfortable to lay your head upon, but most importantly it must support your neck keeping it in alignment with the rest of your spine. There are many different pillows on the market today from traditional feather and fiber ones to shaped pillows, memory foam and buckwheat pillows. It can be difficult to know what to choose.

There is no one “best” pillow for everyone. Try these tips to pick the pillow that’s right for you.

  • Choose a size of pillow suitable for your body size or frame. The pillow should cover the entire back of your neck to avoid putting pressure on your spine.
  • Try out the pillow. Most pillows are packaged in a plastic wrapper so you can lay it on a display bed in the store and put your head on it. This is the best way to find out if you are on the right track.
  • A hypoallergenic pillow is a must if you suffer from allergies, but it is also a good choice for anyone.
  • Buckwheat filled pillows have become increasingly popular. Buckwheat is hypoallergenic, it will mold to the contours of your head and neck providing good support, but it will also change shape when you move.

A good quality, supportive pillow provides many benefits including a better night’s sleep, improved circulation, fewer aches and pains and even reduced snoring. Take your time and choose carefully. Your neck and back will thank you for it!

Dr. Alexandra

Time for your winter immune boost!!




There are so many people sick right now. You don’t want to be one of them.

The number of flu cases in 2018 is predicted to be exceptionally high.


Help boost your immunity this cold and flu season with homeopathic remedies!


For those who started their immunity treatment in the fall, it is time for your second dose!

If you missed the fall dose, it’s never too late to start.
Choose from 2 days (or call us to book another time)
Wednesday, January 17th 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Thursday, January 18th 12:00 – 1:00 pm


More about the remedies…

activates and supports the defense mechanisms of your body to better defend you from viruses

oral administration

safe for anyone 2 years and older including pregnant and breast feeding mothers

the effectiveness of the remedies is not reduced if you have had the conventional flu shot

most effective if administered once in October and once in January (more often for those with increased exposure)

cost is $50 per treatment including the taxes

covered by most extended health benefits as a Naturopathic Visit


Book your time by:

website www.themassageclinic.ca(under flu clinic)

email info@themassageclinic.ca

phone 905-257-5888

3rd Annual Food and Toy Drive




The Massage Clinic Health Centres is once again very pleased to support our local community! Until December 21st, we will be collecting non-perishable food donations and new and unwrapped toys in support of the Oakville Foodshare Food Bank and the Oakville Firefighters Annual Toy Drive.

Don’t leave your benefits behind!

It’s that crazy time of year again! The Holidays are a tough time of year with all the demands on our schedules and trying to check off everything on your list. Even with this busy period, it is important to not put your health on the back burner. Why let the low back or neck pain get worse, or prolong the question in the back of your head that maybe it is time to check in with your naturopath? Do yourself a favour and take a look at your benefits package! We all work hard for our money, and many are fortunate to have health plans that come from that hard work. It’s time to take advantage of your benefit package, and do something kind for yourself.

Start booking your appointments now until the end of the year to help decrease stress and to add more benefit to your treatments. Booking your appointments in advance allows for you and your therapist to stay on track with your treatment plan. Each client’s treatment plan is different, and allows the practioner and client to make positive changes happen by having purpose, focus and direction. These plans also empower you to take charge of your own health care progress! It is important to remember that prevention is always better than a cure, and to try and make continuous progress even if you aren’t having regular flare ups or pain episodes. The best way to stay on track with your plan, and to ensure you get a time that works for your appointment frequency and schedule, is too book in advance.

Understand what you are entitled to through your health benefits plan. If you aren’t sure what your coverage is, or what you have left, our reception team is able to call your insurance company for you during your appointment to find out! Book an appointment today to help this season be joyful, and stress free.


As you read this article, more than likely on your phone or tablet, take a moment to notice your posture. There’s a good chance that your back is hunched, your head is tilted forward and your shoulders are rounded. Many of us spend a large portion of our day looking at a screen as we text friends, scroll through social media and respond to emails. Be sure to keep an eye on your posture during these activities. Your back and neck will thank you.

Did you know that bending your head to look at your phone can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine? A 2014 study in Surgical Technology International showed that even a 15-degree head tilt adds 27 pounds of pressure. As we use our phones and laptops more and more, that stress adds up!

Hand-held devices aren’t going anywhere soon — they’re useful and convenient. As you tap and swipe, follow these tips to avoid the aches and pains that come with the digital age.
Take a break

Holding up your phone or tablet for extended periods of time can strain the muscles in your shoulders, arms and fingers. Let your arms rest at your sides every so often.

The 20-20-20 rule

Give your eyes a break! Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look about 20 feet ahead (or as far as possible).

Change positions

Next time you’re thinking of pulling an all-nighter, try to avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Get up and walk around!

Aim higher

Raise your phone up closer to eye level to reduce strain on your neck. When binge-watching on your tablet or laptop, be sure to prop it up against something so your shoulders and arms can relax.

Stretch it out

Slowly turn your head towards your left shoulder, hold for five seconds and repeat on your right side. You can also download Straighten Up Canada! — a free app developed by Canada’s chiropractors with videos of stretches you can do to help your posture in just three minutes!


Full -Time RMT – Locum Needed!

Clients are already booked – we just need you!
We are looking to fill hours starting the week of the 23rd of October.
The Massage Clinic Health Centres, is in need of a RMT to cover surgery leave for one of our Registered Massage Therapist.
For 7 weeks, the hours we need to fill are;
Moday 9am – 6pm
Tuesday 2pm – 8pm
Wednesday 2pm – 8pm
Thursday 7:45am – 2pm
Friday 2pm – 8pm
Alternate Saturdays
Please email us for more details!


What causes slouched posture?

Poor posture is clinically called upper crossed syndrome – a condition that I often see in private practice, and is largely caused by having bad posture for too long! This type of posture is defined by forward rounded shoulders, the head is reaching forward and an exaggerated curve in the neck. It is a condition affecting the majority of the population, from youth to elderly. And it can also create a lot of aches and pains for us too!

Anatomically speaking, upper crossed syndrome is the weakening and lengthening of the upper back and neck muscles and the coincident tightening and shortening of the opposing anterior chest and neck muscles. This type of posture can be correlated with neck pain, headaches, upper back soreness and even low back pain. The good thing is that this posture can be prevented and corrected by combining the correct stretching and strength building exercises. Also, a conscious effort needs to be made on a daily basis to maintain correct posture while walking, standing, sitting at work or driving. This is especially important for those of us who spend hours sitting at a computer workstation.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, Dr. Alexandra can help you work on your posture with specific soft tissue treatments and rehabilitative strengthening.

Call today to set up your complimentary meet and greet with Dr. Alexandra!


Fall Naturopathic Immune Boost Clinic!

It’s time for the
Fall Naturopathic Immune Boost Clinic!

Wednesday October 4, 6:30 -7:30 pm
Friday October 6, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Help boost your immunity this cold and flu season with homeopathic remedies!
More about the remedies…

  • activates and supports the defense mechanisms of your body to better defend you from viruses
  • oral administration
  • safe for anyone 2 years and older including pregnant and breast feeding mothers
  • the effectiveness of the remedies is not reduced if you have had the conventional flu shot
  • most effective if administered once in October and once in January (more often for those with increased exposure)
  • cost is $50 per treatment including the taxes
  • covered by most extended health benefits as a Naturopathic Visit
Book your time by
website book now (flu clinic) or
phone 905-257-5888 or
email: info@themassageclinic
We now have 2 Naturopathic Doctors!  Dr. Michelle Peters started with us in September.  With 12 years of clinical experience, we are excited to add her to the team.  She available Tuesday and Thursdayafternoon/evenings.
New Naturopathic Client Visits
receive a free *product at the first visit.  That’s the part insurance doesn’t cover!  Now is the time to send in your friend or relative that has been meaning to make an appointment.
This offer is for New Client appointments October 1 – November 30, 2017 only for any of our Naturopathic Doctors.*product value up to $20 or $20 towards more expensive supplement




Sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes?

Sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, headache, sinus pain and pressure, and increased asthma symptoms – the symptoms of Spring and Fall allergies are the same, but the causes are different. If you thought you were safe from these symptoms because you didn’t have them in Spring, think again. There are far more culprits that can cause allergies in the Autumn months – and for most allergy sufferers, the main solution is to avoid allergy triggers. But what if you can’t avoid them all the time? What can you do? If seasonal allergies differ do we need to treat them differently? Allergies are often tied to weakness in the adrenal, immune, and/or digestive systems. Here are a few ways to help you and your family enjoy the Autumn season – and sniff through it less.
Sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, allergies

Spring and Fall allergies

Changing seasons can often include a change in allergies. Just when you thought you had them under control, the natural cycle of our environment creep up to create a whole new set of sensitivities and reactions. There are naturally more airborne allergens in the waning of Summer and the Autumn for a few reasons: Pollens, like those from ragweed, are airborne this time of year, particularly in windy weather.Warm, wet weather is the perfect environment for mold spores, which thrive in early fall and can be kicked up in yards full of fallen leaves and damp grasses as well as in dark damp places indoors.Other indoor allergens intensify too, because as the weather cools, you’re more likely to close your windows and seal up your home, keeping whatever is already inside – or enters into – your home, settled there.Where there is dust, there are dust mites. When old comforters and quilts come out of storage the natural occurrence of dust mites increases where you cuddle up most.Finally, your best friend may also be causing your allergies to worsen. As your pets coats shed and thicken in preparation for the winter months, dander and fur become a greater presence causing sniffles, sneezes, and itchy eyes.
Enjoying Autumnal weather for allergy sufferers might seem impossible but there are many natural ways to help you combat your symptoms so you can experience the fun of the outdoors – and indoors – this beautiful harvesting season!
Often allergies are seen as symptoms of weaknesses in the adrenal, immune, and digestive systems. There are a number of nutritional supplements, vitamins, and minerals that are known to support and strengthen each of these systems, and also to have very positive effects in helping to combat seasonal allergies. Bioflavonoids – While onions make our eyes tear up, they also contain the bioflavonoid quercetin – a natural antihistamine – that can treat allergy related itchy, watery eyes! It’s also an anti-allergenic and anti-viral that can reduce other symptoms including asthma, hay fever, and even cold sores. Onions aren’t the only source of quercetin; apples, berries, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and black tea are good sources too. Bioflavonoids work best when taken with vitamin C. Multivitamins – Unless you’re eating a clean, healthy, unprocessed diet 100% of the time, it’s likely that you are deficient in a few vitamins and minerals. A high potency multivitamin can help you ensure that your essential nutritional needs are cared for, and your body is ready to fight off the allergens that come your way. Probiotics (like lactobacillus acidophilus) when you take care of the good bacteria in the gut, your digestive system and your immunity benefit, combating allergies by keeping inflammation at bay. Probiotics are naturally occurring in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, pickles, and miso soup. Vitamin A – This vitamin is the key to helping your gut make good decisions, particularly when it comes to responding to inflammation. The body cannot synthesize this vitamin on its own. So getting it from your diet, or from a supplement can be beneficial, but choose wisely, because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and overdoses could be toxic.Vitamin C – This supplement has multiple benefits! It prevents the formation of histamine (instead of interfering with histamine once it’s already produced in the body, like over-the-counter antihistamines do). It has a great reputation for preventing infection and illness, keeping your immune system strong. And it can amplify the action of bioflavonoids – in fact, you can purchase them separately or in combination.Zinc – You might know that zinc lozenges are a great for scratchy throats that come with colds but did you know that sufficient zinc might help reduce allergies too? Zinc is important in how histamine is stored in the body. A deficiency means that more histamine can be released throughout the body, increasing your sensitivity to allergens overall.
Flushing the nose with saline solution twice a day goes a long way to ensuring that congestion causing allergens like pollen, spores, dust and dander are expelled before they can settle in and cause the symptoms that make it hard to enjoy the change of seasons. Since your eyes, nose, and throat are connected, Nasal irrigation or using a Neti Pot are a great way to naturally remove allergens that can cause all kinds of congestion and discomfort from itchy ears and eyes, to sneezing and stuffiness, and even sore or itchy throats. If you choose to make your own saline solution, make sure the water you use is distilled or purified so no micro-organisms are present.
Open or closed, doors and windows as long as allergens are floating in the air, they’ll make a home inside your home. Using an air purifier with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can significantly reduce airborne allergens like dust, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. HEPA filters trap these allergens and lock them away. If you’re particularly sensitive to allergens, it could also be helpful to use a vacuum cleaner that also has a HEPA filter so that you can allergen-proof your home even more.
Allergies are often tied to weak adrenal, immune, and/or digestive functions. If your allergies are unbearable, and the above solutions fail to provide relief, it might be time to try an elimination diet to provide your gut the opportunity to heal and strengthen, in order to help your body better protect itself from sensitizing elements. Sensitivity to airborne allergens and sensitivity to certain foods may also be related. At the very least, when the body is already coping with one form of sensitivity, it makes it harder to fight off multiple ones – making allergy symptoms worse. Good health always begins with good nutrition. Removing certain foods from your diet can improve your overall health and reduce your allergy symptoms. Elimination diets can be challenging and are best implemented under the care of your integrative health team. Speak to your practitioner about whether an elimination diet could help you better manage your allergy symptoms this season.
Natural treatments often take longer to take effect than typical medications. So, beginning natural treatments 1-2 months before the season begins can help prepare your body ahead of when allergens are at their most severe. Not sure you can wait that long for relief? Try pairing nasal irrigation or HEPA filter air purifiers with your nutritional supplement of choice for speedier results. Just remember: more is not always better. For best results, choose only one or two dietary or indigestible supplements along with other efforts to physically remove potential allergens from your environment, breathe deep, and enjoy your Fall season!

In health,

Dr. Lisa Vecchi, ND, RAc

Naturopathic Doctor and Registered Acupuncturist

7-575 River Glen Blvd

Oakville, ON L6H 6X6