Michelle first discovered the power of massage in her early teens, after meeting a pain specialist who finally took the debilitating chronic migraines she had been suffering with from the age of 11 seriously. It was the first time anyone had thought to alleviate the pain in her head by providing hands on treatment to her neck, rather than prescribing her even heavier-duty painkillers. This sparked her passion for unravelling the connections between seemingly-disparate parts—and ailments—of the human body, and eventually propelled her into a career in bodywork. A few healing crises later, Michelle was honoured to speak as valedictorian upon her graduation from Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy.
Working with horses from childhood taught Michelle to notice meaning communicated through touch and gesture, to listen deeply, and to trust her intuition and palpation (gathering information through touch.) She grounds these experiences in an ever-growing, fine-detailed understanding of human anatomy and biomechanics, and the latest in pain science, to deliver a caring space and effective treatment to her patients.
While happy to treat anyone who wants a massage, Michelle is particularly passionate about LGBTQ+ and women’s health, and the diverse and often misunderstood care needs of people living with chronic illness, (invisible) disability, neurodivergence, and persistent pain. She has experience working with populations including: women living with mental illness, athletes, seniors, stroke survivors, migraine sufferers, cancer patients and survivors, patients recovering from major and minor surgery, perinatal and high-risk pregnancy, connective tissue disorders and hypermobility, and more. Whether your goal is to optimize your posture, get out of pain, experience safe touch and pleasure in a non-sexual context, take a breather from raging against the machine, or simply to spend your benefits getting a nice massage, there is something in Michelle’s practice for you.
Incorporating a variety of oil- and non-oil based massage techniques, as well as breathing, proprioception, and visualization exercises, Michelle tailors each treatment to patient needs and preferences. She works with her patients to develop treatment plans and self-care protocols they can fit into their lives, understand, feel good about, and actually use. Together, you’ll figure out what your body needs to walk or roll back out into the world feeling better.
A big believer in the bio-psycho-social model of care, Michelle understands the impact each person’s unique experiences living in the world can have on how their body feels and functions, and vice versa. She makes space in her practice to acknowledge the harm and disruption caused to the whole person by various systemic oppressions, normalized abuses, and individual traumas—and holds just as much space for her patients to reconnect with their embodiment of peace, pleasure, power and joy. She is passionate about empowering her patients through building body awareness and kind regard, and by moving safely through barriers to deep relaxation (always at your own pace!) to interrupt cycles of pain and injury, and support the body’s innate healing process. Whether you want to dive deep or keep it light, Michelle will follow your lead, staying attuned to your consent as it evolves, moment-to-moment. She advocates fiercely for everybody’s capacity to know best what their own needs are, but understands firsthand that sometimes a little help is needed along the way.
Michelle is a member in good standing with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) and the Registered Massage Therapists Association of Ontario (RMTAO).
Ready to get started? Book your Massage Therapy Appointment with Michelle online today by clicking here on this link.