Breathe Easy

Muscle of the Month: Diaphragm

“Use your diaphragm! Speak from your belly!” my drama teacher always used to say. The teenager in me had no idea what she meant, but now years later I find myself saying the same things to my clients.

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The Power of Relaxation

Ellen SymonsEllen Symons, RMT is an avid recipient of relaxation massage.

Relaxation is all about softness, right?

Well, kind of. Relaxation is a powerful technique. The repairing and rebuilding that your brain and body do when you’re relaxed are essential to your ability to live a strong and healthy life.

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Pesky peroneals

Muscle of the Month: Peroneals (Longus, Brevis and Tertius)

Your peroneals are the three muscles that sit on the outer side of your lower leg. They are also known as fibular muscles, as they run along your fibula, the outer bone in the lower leg. The three muscles are categorized by lengths: longus, the longest of the three; brevis, the shorter one; and tertius, the third of the peroneals that attaches to the lower third of the fibula.

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Online Booking 101: Logging on and Booking in

First time on our booking site? Need a refresher on how to use it? Read on to find out how to book the right appointment at the perfect time with your favourite therapist!

Be sure to click the images to view them larger.

Making an account: 

To make an account if you haven’t opened one before, make your way to the online booking site from – you’ll see the “Book Online” circle on the right side of the page.

register - ottawa massage blogOnce you’ve made it to the online booking site, click “Register as New User,” found on the lower left hand side of the page.




Make account - ottawa massage blogYou will then be prompted to fill out all necessary information. This includes your full name, your email address, and your phone number. Please use a phone number where we can most easily reach you, in case we need to call about your appointment. Then click “Sign Up”.

Once you’ve completed this step, you will receive an email with your login information and password. Check your Spam box, as your email server may not recognize us yet! Email account info - ottawa massage blogThese are computer-generated usernames and passwords, and you can change them once you’ve logged in.

Booking Your Appointment: 

When you login each time, your first screen will be the current calendar.

Calendar - Ottawa massage blog

Find the date you would like to book, and either select the name of the therapist you wish to see, or click “View All” to see all appointments for the day.

Day view - Ottawa Massage BlogOnce you have chosen a day and a therapist you’d like to see, you can book a session. You will see the therapist’s name in the upper left hand corner. You will also see their contact information if you wish to get in touch with them directly, before the appointment. We also include the therapist’s common pressure range. All therapists can accommodate your specific needs, but some have more affinity for the pressure ranges specified.

Appt select - Ottawa massage blogTo select an appointment, click one of the categories on the left (“New Client”, “Massage”, etc.) to view a drop-down menu. In the drop-down menu, click the small box next to the appointment option you wish to book. This will then show you which time slots (on the right) are available. Note: Time slots will be grey if they are not available for that length of appointment. In the example on the left, 3:45 and 4:00 are not available times.

Details - Ottawa Massage BlogOnce you have selected the time slot you wish to book, you will be prompted to fill out details of the appointment. Your personal account information will be automatically generated in the appropriate fields. Note: If you are booking an appointment for a friend, please make a new account for them rather than using your account, to save confusion.

The other text boxes let us know if you are paying through one of our direct billing entities, if you are using a gift certificate, or if there is anything your therapist should know before treatment (i.e. disabilities, areas of concern, etc.)

When you have filled everything out, click “Book”.

Appt Confirmation - ottawa massage blogThe next screen will confirm the appointment you just booked. Be sure to review it to make sure you’ve booked the appointment you wanted.

If you notice something isn’t right, click “Cancel Booking” and rebook the appointment you were hoping for.

You will also receive an email that confirms the appointment.

Email confirmation - Ottawa massage blog

If you are experiencing any issues with booking, don’t hesitate to call us at 613-222-0465 or email We are very happy to help.

Forgot your Password

If you have already been to the clinic, then you have an online account, regardless of whether you made it or we booked for you. If you can’t remember your user name and password, find your way to the login page on the online booking site. Click “Forgot Password” located in the lower left corner. Forgot password - Ottawa massage blog

email forgot password- ottawa massage blogYou will then be prompted to provide you email address.  This will email you the usernames and passwords linked to that email.

Don’t remember your email on the account? Send us an email to, or call 613-222-0465, and we can remind you, or change it for you.

And don’t worry if you are not a tech-savy individual, we are always happy to book your appointment by phone or email.

Be sure to check our blog again for more online booking guidance. Leave a comment below if you have specific questions!

How to: Take an Epsom salt bath

One of the most frequent and popular bits of homecare advice we give as RMTs is to take an Epsom salt bath after (or even before) your massage. So why is this?

Epsom salts are magnesium salts. As we discussed in our previous blog about calcium and magnesium, magnesium helps with 300 biomechanical reactions in your body. Many of these are to do with muscle recovery and nerve health. When you take a bath with Epsom salts, magnesium diffuses through the skin with the water and loads the body with an adequate supply of the mineral to help relieve stiff, sore and painful muscles.

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A mouthful of hurt

Muscle of the month: TMJ muscles

You might have heard the term TMJ being passed around lately. TMJ headaches, TMJ clicking, TMJ pain. But what exactly is TMJ and why is it causing pain? The TMJ is your jaw, or better known in the medical field as your temporomandibular joint (now that’s a mouth full!). The jaw is a complicated joint that is easily overused and can cause pain. Read on to discover if the muscles of your TMJ could be the cause of your headaches or jaw pain.

Masseter: The great restrictorOttawa Massage blog masseter

Actions: Closing an open jaw, clenching

Common Pain Culprits: Excessive grinding of teeth or clenching of jaw.

The masseter is the most superficial muscle of the jaw, and is easily felt by placing your fingers on your cheeks and clenching your jaw. The bulge of muscle that moves your fingers is your masseter. For those who clench their jaws during stressful situations or grind their teeth, this muscle is over-engaged, causing it to become irritated and to cause pain. Below are common pain patterns from trigger points in the masseter. Tooth, jaw and ear pain can all be caused by an irritated masseter. This muscle is also the strongest of the jaw muscles, so when it becomes irritated, it can restrict the opening of the mouth far more than any other muscle.


Temporalis: Ottawa massage blog temporalis

Actions: Closing an open jaw, retracting the jaw.

Common pain culprit: Chewing

Found on either side of your head, the temporalis helps to create the shape of your head. Easily felt by massaging your temple area, the temporalis can be treated during a face massage. The temporalis attaches into the jaw, so in order to treat the entire muscle during TMJ dysfunction, intraoral massage will be necessary. Trigger points in this muscle can refer into the teeth, and can also cause temporal headaches (as seen below).


Medial and Lateral Pterygoid: The deviators

Ottawa massage blog pterygoidsActions: Deviating the jaw from side to side. The medial pterygoid also works to close the jaw.

Common Pain Culprit: Grinding teeth

Those who grind their teeth are at highest risk of aggravating these muscles. This is because the medial and lateral ptreygoids work together to shift the jaw from side to side, an action commonly seen during tooth grinding. Trigger points in the muscle can cause ear pain too, which might mask the real dysfunction.

Medial pterygoid trp - ottawa massage lateral ptreygoid trp - ottawa massage







jaw massage - ottawa massage therapyIf you have been diagnosed with TMJ dysfunction, or believe it to be an issue, talk with your RMT about TMJ massage. Acupuncture is also a useful modality to treat TMJ dysfunction. Don’t let your jaw cause any more pain: get treatment today!

Dealing with your Delts

Deltoid - Ottawa Massage BlogMuscle of the month: Deltoid

The most known shoulder muscle, the deltoid makes up the majority of the shoulder girdle. The deltoid is a triangular shaped muscle that spans the top of the shoulder joint. It provides excellent stability for the upper part of the shoulder joint, as this joint is naturally unstable.

Actions – Anterior fibres: flex, medially rotate, and horizontally adduct shoulder

Middle fibres: Adduct shoulder

Posterior fibres: Extend, laterally rotate, and horizontally abduct shoulder

Common Pain Culprit – Tearing from overuse or excessive force

We’ve all heard of rotator cuff tears. Though the deltoid technically is not part of the rotator cuff (which consists of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis), the deltoid can still be affected along with the rotator cuff: with enough force in an injury, the deltoid can tear and cause pain. Even when the deltoid is not torn during a rotator cuff injury, the strain on the muscle can be enough to leave lingering pain during shoulder movements.

The fix: Ice, massage, strengthening.

Ice during acute pain (1-2 days post injury) helps decrease pain and inflammation caused by the tear.

Massage in the sub-acute stage (3 days+ post injury) helps release taut fascia around strained muscles to allow proper recovery. It will also help relieve trigger points and high muscle tone that might have formed during injury.

Strengthening the shoulder once the pain has subsided or (even better) before injury occurs is a great way to obtain optimal shoulder function. Overhead presses and dumbbell rotations are both great exercises to strengthen the shoulder joint and deltoid.

Talk with your RMT if you are concerned about your shoulder stability.