The scope of massage therapy in a nut shell.

By Nathalie Bertrand (now registered in BC). This article first appeared in Golden This Week in September 2016


Starting with an appreciation note

I treasure my community and it is a pleasure to connect with so many outdoor enthusiasts, mothers and fathers, health and life seekers at every stage in their journey. The clinic has thrived since the opening day and we thank you all for your dedication, investment and interest in your journey to live in better health with the use of alternative health therapies.

The pain that seems so familiar:

As we all experience different quality and intensity, pain seems to show up as something we’ve felt long time ago, usually combine with other areas, often familiar. Eventually, we come to adapt and live with these pains as part of our normality. Our bodies are composed of living cells which none are separated from an other. How many time have we heard: “it is all connected”! This very true concept explains why our pain and discomfort shows up in very similar patterns over the years … and as many know, it gets worst as we age! As we experience day to day activities, have our unique sequences of injuries and physical demands, systems of compensations are created so to make up for the compromised structures, which can either be symptomatic or not. At this stage, the human body is usually capable, efficient and performs without too many discomforts. Often seen, all of the sudden, a new pain shows up as we didn’t sleep well, shoveled for the first time in the season, had a bad fall or simply moved too fast. It is usually at this point that we get in need of relief. Here are two concepts to consider, the structures associated with an injury gets inflamed and create pain, and, each of our individual systems of compensation are no longer adapted to a new demand.

Who am I and how I can help

I have practiced massage therapy for 14 years using multiple manual therapies since graduating in 2002. I am a registered massage therapist in B.C. and currently enrolled in a six-year degree at the Canadian School of Osteopathy. My goal is to release and resolve pain and chronic conditions that have otherwise not responded to treatment. I believe in an approach focused on targeted tissue release, underlying causes and long-term change, rather than temporary symptom relief, tailoring a treatment to the individual and discovering the root causes of physical imbalance.

I developed massage therapy in something I have named “Core-Relation”. If you imagine your spinal column as the trunk of a tree, you can then see that as the trunk bends one way, the side of the bend has become shortened, also contracted, while its opposite side has to have capability to flex and elongate. It is that relationship that needs to happen to create movement without pain. The contracted muscle must after demand release and lengthen, so to allow the elongated and stretched muscle to return to its normal resting state. Otherwise, one will cry to the other as it constantly is being pulled.

I often get the comment: “I have never gotten a massage like that, how is it called?” I believe I differ from conventional massage therapy because my focus is to re-established deep inside tissues, down to the core of the limb or the trunk. My studies in Osteopathy have also validated and reinforced my principles. I use techniques that reaches the core, yet the palpation is non-invasive and is defined to be releasing discomfort.


What is the best approach?

Not only we are connected from head to toe via livings cells, we also are connected via matter, whether we can touch it or not. As Emoto has proven in his work: a given word, which holds a given vibration, changes molecule shapes in water. Our body is made of 60-70% water, each cells containing from 50 to 90%, we expect our thoughts having direct and tremendous effect on the health of all living tissues. The food we eat of course also contribute in great deal the conditions we run into.

We seem to all understand the principle of changing the oil in our car, it is not a choice if you want to keep your vehicles! Our blood can’t be changed, although with the right nutrition, free moving tissues allowing vessels to travel to their destination, and importantly, the right state of mind, we renew its content and maintain our own vehicle, our amazing body!

Q&A with Kerri Lautamus

This interview with Kerri Lautamus was originally published in Golden This Week in February 2016.

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Q. What services do you offer at Nourish Clinic?

A. I offer relaxation and deep tissue massage sessions during which I combine various modalities that I’ve studied over the last 13 years – deep breathing techniques, Ayurvedic massage, Thai massage, Jin Shin Do (acupressure) and Reflexology. By incorporating the awareness that each thought communicates with every cell in the body, I also encourage the use of positive visualizations and words. I use different techniques in each treatment to meet the needs of each individual client.
   A popular choice of treatment amongst my clients is the 60 minute massage followed by 15 minutes of Reflexology. Reflexology stimulates all areas of the body including the organs and glands by applying pressure to corresponding areas on the feet.
   Prenatal massage is also available for the mother-to- be. The treatment focuses on the areas of her choice, while relaxing tension along the whole spine as well as the hips, neck and shoulders.
   The massages are complemented by warmed oil and towels. The encouragement of a deeper breath helps to create state of relaxation. Clients are left feeling rebalanced and calm as well as relieved of their muscular tension.

Q. Where did you complete your training for these techniques?

A. I completed my initial massage training at the Foothills College of Massage Therapy in Calgary in 2002. I studied reflexology with Joan Cosway-Hayes in Calgary. My Jin Shin Do certificate comes from the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Victoria, BC. A month long course at Wat Po in Bangkok, Thailand learning Thai massage was an incredible cultural experience. My doula certificate was acquired during training in Tofino and through volunteering at a number of births. I learned the art of abhyanga and shirodhara with an Ayurvedic Practitioner. Last but not least, in 2015 I spent 5 weeks at Shanti Yoga in Nelson, BC completing my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training which focused on spinal alignment and pranayama (the regulation of breath through various exercises and techniques).

Q. Who is your typical client?

A. My clients range in age from 5 – 75 and everywhere in between. Some are elite athletes looking to resolve injuries or get rid of lactic acid, others have chronic illness they are seeking to grow out of. Parents find their children are able to focus and relax more easily after a massage. Some people simply see me as part of their regular health and wellness program. The common thread is they all enjoy the quiet and healing environment which is created for them and they appreciate the complete focus they receive.

Q. Is there a principle or concept which unites your work?

A. Yes. I believe true healing begins when we find a tranquil space to breathe deeply and are able to completely relax our body and mind. Nestled in this place, the nervous system feels safe and nurtured, and knots begin to slowly unwind. This is a process which absolutely involves the dedication and commitment of the person seeking change within their self.

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to Golden?

A. I spent my childhood on a farm in Saskatchewan. The day after high school, I moved to Canmore, following my dream of living in the mountains. I have called both Galiano Island and Victoria home as well. World travels have taken me to New Zealand, the Kingdom of Tonga, the Cook Islands, Spain, Morocco, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysian Borneo. I moved to Golden almost six years ago after spending a season couch surfing between shifts while working for CMH.
   An avid gardener with a deep love for cooking, I am passionate about all things food. I have a diploma in textile design, play the accordion and love to sing and dance. Outdoor pursuits of biking, skiing, ski touring, and hiking keep me healthy and happy. I also teach a weekly drop in yoga class on Saturdays at 4:30 at Golden Lotus Yoga, which is above Element Therapeutics.

Q. Is there a phrase or quote which inspires you?

A. There is a beautiful quote which I often bring to my mind throughout the day from Thich Nat Hahn, “Smile, breathe and go slowly”. I like the simplicity and gentle reminder to enjoy each moment fully and remain present through the breath, sharing that joy with others through a genuine smile.

Please get in touch through Nourish for more information, or to book an appointment with Kerri.

Q&A with Nathalie Bertrand

This interview with Nathalie Bertrand was originally published in Golden This Week in February 2016.

Q. Nourish Clinic is your brainchild . . . tell us all about it and what inspired you to bring it into creation?

A. I am a firm believer that working collectively with other health practitioners creates a better chance for an individual to have their needs for healing met more fully. It also creates huge support for each other as practitioners, bringing in new perspectives and the opportunity to learn from each other. I wanted to create a clinic which offers people healing that focuses on getting to the core of a problem so as to break patterns & move past the compensatory ways our minds, body and spirit hold us stuck, so as people can find a more healthy equilibrium. My intention is that Nourish Clinic brings support so as people can heal on all the levels needed. One person can do lots to change the world and collectively we can create miracles! We have a practitioner to support you at each level.

Q. What are your hopes for Nourish Clinic as it flourishes and nourishes people of Golden?

A. My ultimate goal is that we, at Nourish can offer a space where people can come and find their way back to equilibrium. Our body’s pain is its language for help to restore imbalance, whether it stems from physical or from our energetic realms. When our bodies can’t compensate anymore and the timing feels right, I am thrilled to offer a space at Nourish Clinic where people can come and unravel the causes of the problem.

Q. What is the modality you offer to Nourish clients?

A. Right from the moment I started working as a physical therapist I was able to feel restrictions and pulls in people’s bodies. Gifted with listening hands, my wish has been to put it to work in genuine service to reverse discomforts and dis-ease. I have dedicated myself to not only help reduce pain and discomforting symptoms, but aim to break through the cause that creates it. I recently have engaged as a student at Canadian Osteopathy College to better serve you. I believe in working at the core, thus explaining the name I like to associate with my work, Core-Relation Therapy. I welcome all those that have lived their lives with pain, whether it is your back, head, neck or joints that gives you grief. I can help or direct you to the best direction of healing!

Q. What is osteopathy and how does it differ from chiropractors?

A. The mistake most often made by people when they hear the word osteopathy is to relate the word osteo and bones, the word osteon which in latin refers to living cells. Osteopathy deals with all living cells in the body. Alignment of bones, organs, and their fascia and cells are restored. With the osteopath’s advanced fine palpation skills, each structure is assessed individually. The osteopath listens to find out how structures live on their own. Once the problem (what an osteopath call a lesion) is normalized it then exists in all of its motility, therefore serving and nourishing all adjacent tissues optimally leading to a harmonious body. “The entire body, if adequately nourished, functions to maintain, repair and heal itself.” Magoun

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to Golden?

A. I’m an outdoor enthusiast and life seeker ! I was drawn to the Kicking Horse to live out my passion for rivers where I was a raft guide for a short decade. I fell in love with nature and all the ways she invited me to playing outdoors. Another big part of why I made Golden home is how the community felt right from the get go, thank you all for your trust and to your warm souls! I worked as a massage therapist in a rehab center in Montreal for 6 months and thought I’d never give another massage again! It is a different matter in Golden where the community in general is so much more uplifted. People are alive here and want to heal!

Q. Anything to add?

A. Yes! A huge soulful thank you to our friends from Element Therapeutics for their warm welcome. We are all excited to join force and resources for the community!

Contact Nathalie through Nourish for more information or to book an appointment.