It’s not always in your head: Headaches and tension-related head pain

Jesse Albert 2015

By: Jesse Albert
Jesse is a registered massage therapist at Body Poets who knows a thing or two about what it is like to find relief from headaches caused by trigger point activity. With an interest in trigger point therapy, Jesse has been able to cultivate further knowledge and experience in how trigger points behave and how they relate to head pain and tension.


Headaches. We’ve all experienced at least one in our lifetime, in one form or another. Most resolve themselves over time or with your standard over-the-counter medication and a big glass of water but sometimes, they require a little more effort to be rid of them.

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Massage Therapy for Anxiety and PTSD

Frank Costaguta 2015By: Frank Costaguta, BA, PTS, RMT
Frank is a registered massage therapist at Body Poets who uses massage to support clients in recovering from the effects of PTSD and anxiety disorders

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can arise in response to any stressful, abusive, or threatening situation. Whether one is the victim, first-responder, or witness of trauma, emotional turmoil can echo and resonate with such magnitude that it remains sustained long after the event has past. Individuals afflicted with PTSD can suffer for years beyond the triggering experience. To better understand the experience of PTSD, consider the functions of stress and anxiety.

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Neck injuries and massage: Whiplash Associated Disorder

By: Genevieve Ward
Genevieve is a registered massage therapist at Body Poets; she loves seeing people’s comfort and movement improve with proper treatment after a whiplash injury

Whiplash injuries are very common, but maybe not well understood. They are also very treatable by massage therapy, but since people don’t know massage can help, they don’t always get appropriate care for their neck and shoulder injuries.

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Your poor unfortunate soles

The weight of sleepiness that had kept your eyes shut begins to lift as the first signs of day begin. The morning sun caresses your face. The rhythmical melody of birds awakens your ears. You streeetccchhh yourself out of bed and place your feet onto the floor.

YOOWWUUCHH!

A sharp pain radiates through your foot. You can barely walk to the bathroom, let alone to the end of the bed. What is going on?

Sounds as if you may have plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis - ottawa massage blogPlantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot (primarily in the heel area), also known as the plantar fascia. Increased trauma to the foot causes micro tearing of the fascia, which promotes an inflammatory response ending in pain. Pain is generally seen after long periods of rest, which is why it is most common to have pain with the first steps you take in the morning.

What can cause plantar fasciitis?  Here are a few contributing factors:

  • Weak foot muscles
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Inwardly rotated feet (tendency to walk on the inside edge of your foot)inversion - ottawa massage blog
  • Being overweight
  • Shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out
  • Improper shoes for a sports or other activity
  • Walking, standing or running for extended periods of time
  • High arches or flat feet

High arch - ottawa massage blogFlat feet - ottawa massage blog
There are many different treatments available to help those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Here are a few options that we’ve known to have worked.

  • Rub your feet – Before hopping out of bed and putting your body weight on coldtissues, causing micro-tears, rub and stretch your legs and feet first to increase blood flow.
  • Ice your feet – Freeze a water bottle and use it to roll the bottom of your feet when pain occurs.Ice feet - ottawa massage blog
  • Stretch your calves – Wear supportive shoes while doing calf stretches to ensure the plantar fascia isn’t over stretched, but the Achilles and calf are stretched.
  • Avoid long periods of running/standing – If this was the cause of the plantar fasciitis, taking time off to rest the feet will help stop the inflammation.
  • Exercise your feet – Doing strength exercises for the foot muscles helps take the strain off the plantar fascia. Picking up a pencil with your toes or scrunching a towel along the floor with your toes are two examples.Towel Scrunch - Ottawa massage blog
  • Get supportive shoes/orthotics – Proper foot wear will be important in maintaining a proper arch. Wearing the shoes as often as possible is also important.
  • Go barefoot – Some experts recommend going without shoes at home to increase foot muscle strength.
  • Massage – Getting the calves massaged helps release the tightness causing the plantar fasciitis.
  • Acupuncture – Needling the plantar fascia at its insertion to the heel and also needling the Achilles and calves helps release the tension too.

Your RMT can help you find the best strategy to address your plantar fasciitis, as each case may vary. If being barefoot is painful, feel free to bring a pair of indoor shoes to switch into at the clinic so you can keep the foot supported during your visit.