Based on questions received from the public and patients we have compiled this frequently asked questions in order to address the most common questions that we receive regarding our clinic - Renew Integrative Health here in Stouffville - Chiropractic Care, Naturopathic Medicine, Registered Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Cosmetic Acupuncture, Custom Orthotics, Compression Stockings and Supplements.

  • Renew Clinic FAQs

    Q: What exactly does “Integrative” mean from the clinic name Renew Integrative Health?

    A: Integrative relates to the multidisciplinary approach that Renew will take to ensure that each patient can achieve their individual healthy goals. The team of health professionals at Renew will take a holistic approach to treatments that can benefit the patient whether that is through Chiropractic treatments, Naturopathic Medicine, Registered Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Custom Orthotics and/or Compression Stockings. Our common goal at Renew is for the patient to reach their full health potential and to feel a sense that they have, in fact, felt Renewed to the healthy person they can be!

  • Chiropractic FAQs

    Q: When should I see a Chiropractor?

    A: Eight out of ten Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and at least one third of people in Ontario will have back pain at any given time. For many people this pain can prevent them from working, attending school, or conducting their activities of daily living. If pain is keeping you from performing tasks or enjoying activities that you enjoy then you should consult a health care provider.

    Chiropractors are regulated health care professionals, and they are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are permitted to use the title “Doctor”, with its accompanying rights and obligations.

    Chiropractors are highly educated and extensively trained to assess, diagnose, treat and prevent conditions disorders of the spine, joints, muscles, and nervous system. These disorders my include, back pain, neck pain, headaches, referring pain into your arms and legs, shoulder pain, knee pain, foot discomfort, sprained ankles, hip pain, etc.
    Many patients seek chiropractic treatments for wellness care. Others, like seniors, who find that Chiropractic treatments help them to maintain mobility and increased range of motion. Pain should never become a way of life, especially when there are qualified chiropractors to help!

    There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, rehabilitation from surgery, prehabilitation before surgery, pre-natal back pain or swollen legs, post-natal back pain, pain incurred from household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, Chiropractic care can help to maintain a healthy spine and joint function. Chiropractic is a great approach to prevent further back pain from occurring in the future as well!

    Here are some of the most common reasons why more than 4 million Canadians visit a Chiropractor each year:
    - Back Pain
    - Neck Pain
    - Headache
    - Whiplash
    - Strains and Sprains
    - Repetitive Strain Injuries
    - Work and sports-related injuries
    - Arthritis
    - Restricted movement in the back, shoulders, neck, wrists, elbows, hips, knees
    - Golfer’s Elbow
    - Tennis Elbow
    - Tendonitis
    - Plantar Fascitis
    - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    - Frozen Shoulder
    - General Health and well-being

    Q: What is a Chiropractic adjustment?

    A: The Chiropractic adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. The Chiropractic adjustment will loosen the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function in the Chiropractic patient.

    When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about.

    Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your Chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to Chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.

    Q: What are some of the benefits of Chiropractic Care?

    A: Chiropractic care can:
    - Improve movement in your neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, ankles, and torso
    - Improve your posture
    - Provide relief from headaches, neck and back pain
    - Help prevent work-related muscle and joint injuries
    - Lead to enhanced athletic performance
    - Improve your flexibility
    - Relieve Pregnancy-back ache
    - Decrease or relieve post-pregnancy back ache
    - Help with correction of gait (walking pattern) and foot problems
    - Offer support and information for valuable exercises that would benefit the patient
    - Develop a core strength training protocol for the patient and offer detailed feedback on how to perform each exercise

    Q: Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?

    A: Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of headache, neck and back pain. It has an excellent safety record. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even the most common over the counter medicines carry a risk.

    Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or possible slight swelling. Some patients may also experience temporary dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. However, adverse effects associated with spinal adjustments are typically minor and short-lived.

    Informed Consent
    Prior to starting treatment, all health professionals are required by law to obtain informed consent to treatment from their patients. Health care consumers must receive adequate and accurate information to assist them in evaluating their health care choices, and in balancing the relative risks of treatment options with the benefits. The chiropractic profession takes this responsibility seriously and has been a leader in obtaining informed consent.

    Ontario’s Chiropractors are required in their standards of Practice to obtain written informed consent prior to treating a patient.

    Neck Adjustment
    The neck adjustment, particularly the two top vertebrae of the spine, has on rare occasions been associated with stroke and stroke-like symptoms. The risk is considerably lower than those serious adverse events associated with many common health treatments such as long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers or birth control pills. While estimates vary, a range of one to two events per million neck adjustments is the ratio generally accepted by the research community.

    An extensive commentary on Chiropractic care, published in the February 2002 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is the journal of the American College of Physicians, reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. It states the following with regard to the safety of the neck adjustment: “The apparent rarity of these accidental events has made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has been noted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date.”

    A Canadian study, published in 2001 in the medical journal Stroke, also concluded that stroke associated with neck adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate an accurate risk ratio. The study was conducted by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the authors have stated: “The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with Chiropractic manipulation of the neck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associated with many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs.”

    The most recent research into the association between neck adjustment and stroke is biomechanical studies to assess what strain, if any, neck adjustment may place on the vertebral arteries. The preliminary findings of this ongoing work indicate that neck adjustment is done within the normal range of motion and that neck adjustment is “very unlikely to mechanically disrupt the VA (vertebral artery).”

    There are many risk factors for stroke including clotting problems, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, birth control pills, heart problems ad trauma such as blows to the head from car accidents, sports injuries or falls.

    Some strokes happen spontaneously with no obvious cause during activities of daily living such as backing up a car. A patient’s health history and activities have to be examined very carefully in order to determine the most probable cause of stroke.

    Q: Does Chiropractic care require a referral from an MD?

    A: Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, Chiropractors often work closely with medical doctors, many of whom refer to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient’s condition. Similarly, Chiropractors frequently refer to medical doctors when necessary.

    Q: Can Chiropractic care cure other ailments besides back pain?

    A: Chiropractic care cannot “cure” every ailment, but there is some evidence to indicate that adjustments may have a beneficial effect on a variety of conditions. Adjustments may alleviate some of the secondary or referred pain, arising from the response of the musculoskeletal structures to the primary cause.

    Q: How many Ontarians use chiropractic?

    A: Chiropractic is one of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Ontario, with more than 3,100 practicing Chiropractors. Almost 2 million Ontarians use the services of a Chiropractor each year to help them get back to performing the activities that they enjoy.

    Q: Are there many athletes who use Chiropractic?

    A: Yes. Many amateur and professional athletes use Chiropractic treatment as part of their overall health care, fitness and maintenance program. Chiropractic is often used to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement. Chiropractic care can also help athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high level performance, and may reduce long term wear and tear. Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and can decrease the amount of healing time required for injuries. Clinical Evidence has demonstrated that Chiropractic can help athletes gain an advantage over their athletic competition!

    Athletes most often select treatment to improve their performance, where as the average patient will select Chiropractic care to help manage aches and pains. In some cases treatment will be similar, but in all cases a treatment plan will be developed according to the goals and condition of each patient. In the case of the professional and elite athletes, Chiropractors often work in conjunction with other health care professionals, including medical doctors and/or sports medicine doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists.

    Q: Does Chiropractic care require X-Rays?

    A: X-Rays can play an important role in the diagnosis and are taken when there has been a need determined after taking a patient case history and conducting a physical examination. Chiropractors receive 360 hours of education in Radiology covering a full range of topics from protection to X-Ray interpretation and diagnosis. Governments in every province have recognized the training and competence of Chiropractors to take and interpret X-Rays and have granted them this right.

    Q: How do you find a good Chiropractor?

    - Word of Mouth
    - Friends, Family, and Co-Workers
    - Referrals from other Health Care Professionals
    - The Chiropractor locator on the Ontario Chiropractic Association’s (OCA) website

    Q: What is Chiropractic?

    A: The word “Chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand”.

    Adjustments of the joints of the body has been used in health care for many centuries and is at the heart of modern Chiropractic Care.

    Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustments of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body- so you can enjoy your daily activities again as quickly as possible.

    Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.

    Q: Is Chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

    A: Yes. Children can benefit from Chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Many children experience traumatic births as well. It is common for pains that children experience to be attributed to “phases that the child is going through” or “growing pains”. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle and very similar to the amount of pressure required to test the ripeness of a fruit.

    Many parents of Chiropractic care for their kids have reported that their children have responded with a decrease in colic, bedwetting, irregular sleeping patterns, ear infections, and many other common childhood complaints. Many of these parents have remarked that they have noticed quick improvements in the well-being of the child.

    Q: Is Chiropractic treatment ongoing?

    A: The hands-on nature of the Chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the Chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a Chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A Chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of Chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.

    Q: Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

    A: A Chiropractic adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same process occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.

    Q: Do I Have a Pinched Nerve?

    A: Many patients consult a doctor of chiropractic because they believe they have a pinched nerve. While commonly associated with the spine, a pinched nerve is actually rare. Research suggests that only 10%-15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on a nerve. Typically a 'pinched nerve' will result in numbness, burning, or a 'pins and needles' feeling. When a bone pushes on a nerve, this is a serious condition that requires immediate attention.
    Several other possibilities exist that can also cause numbness and/or a burning sensation. Nerves are more commonly stretched or irritated, which will produce a numbness feeling.

    If you have numbness, see your chiropractor for a detailed and thorough examination.

    Q: Do I Have a Slipped Disc?

    A: No, it is not possible for discs to slip. The disc is a pad-like tissue located between two vertebrae, which acts as a shock absorber for the spine. The centre of the disc is made of a fluid, soft, 'jelly-like' substance. When discs become damaged, tears can occur that will allow for the soft centre to leak out and push on the nerves. This is known as a ruptured or herniated disc and is extremely painful.

    While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problems. In fact chiropractic adjustments are safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers, and even aspirin!

    Discs do not slip. However, if damaged they can leak or rupture.

    Q: Can I Adjust Myself?

    A:Since a Chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint, it is impossible to adjust oneself; and also dangerous. Spinal adjusting may look easy when done by an experienced Chiropractor, but it has taken several years to master - just as a gymnast makes walking on a balance beam seem easy.

    Turning and twisting your back and neck may create a “popping” sound, however this usually causes an unstable area of the spine to become furthermore unsteady. Remember the goal of the adjustment is to get joints moving that are not moving normally, twisting your back will cause unstable joints to become more unstable. Spinal adjusting is not for amateurs!

    The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain their own proper spinal function.

    Q: What Can I do to Help My Healing?

    A: There is a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance for a quick recovery.
    Learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retrain the muscles that support the spine.

    Proper rest is an important aspect of the healing process, too. Get the appropriate amount of rest your body needs and avoid sleeping on your stomach.

    During the healing process, proper nutrition is more important than ever. Make sure you eat balanced meals, and if you are overweight, now would be a good time to slim down and reduce unnecessary stresses to your spine.

    Perhaps most important of all, keep your appointments and follow your chiropractic doctor’s recommendations for optimum results.

    Proper rest, exercise, and good nutrition are especially important during the healing process. Easier said than done but the Chiropractor is here to help you reach your goals!

    Q: Can I Be Too Old For A Chiropractic Adjustment?

    A: More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, and the long wait times at their Medical Doctor’s offices. They begin to realize why the safe and natural nature of Chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
    Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance and appetite. Many Chiropractic patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.
    The adjusting technique used by Dr. Millar will be modified for maximum comfort and results.
    As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.

  • Naturopathic FAQs

    Q: How is Naturopathic Medicine different from conventional (allopathic) medicine?

    A:The primary differences between Naturopathic and conventional medicine is the philosophical approach to health and the therapies used. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) treat patients as individuals by addressing the lifestyle, mental emotional and environmental aspects of health. This allows your ND to find and treat the cause of the disease using natural, non-invasive therapies. In contrast, conventional doctors generally address and treat the symptoms of disease, rather than the source of the illness, and use pharmaceutical therapies or surgery. Medical doctors receive little training in nutrition and lifestyle counselling and are proficient at treating acute and emergent conditions; however, due to time restrictions and current doctor shortages MDs are unable to spend as much time with you as your ND. The ND visits range between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours which contrasts the average MD visit which is between 7-18 minutes.

    Q: How are naturopathic and conventional physicians alike in training?

    A:Naturopathic and allopathic (conventional) physicians are required to study the biomedical sciences at a four-year accredited graduate medical school. Included in this rigorous curriculum are biomedical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, neurology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, cardiology, minor surgery, and others. Both are required to complete a University undergraduate degree before completing further training at either a naturopathic college or medical school. Both kinds of physicians can diagnose a disease, predict its course, and prescribe treatment. The difference is in the methods of treatment prescribed. Naturopathic and conventional medicines are complementary and can co-exist.

    Q: What treatments do Naturopathic Doctors use?

    A:Through evaluation of the whole person, Naturopathic Doctors treat each patient individually using naturopathic treatments that may include nutritional recommendations and supplementation, homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, and other modalities. NDs use these treatments to support and cleanse the body returning it to a state of health and balance.

    Q: Is Naturopathic Medicine scientific?

    A:Yes. The effectiveness of Naturopathic Medicine is backed up by solid, controlled studies. Naturopathic Medicine has evolved and been refined over centuries and continues to grow and incorporate scientific advances. It is important to keep in mind that there can be a difference between clinical effectiveness and scientifically proven effectiveness. It is interesting to note that less than 20% of procedures used in allopathic medicine have never been clinically verified. This does not mean that they are not good but simply that they have not yet been studied. In fact, the effectiveness of many naturopathic treatments reflects many decades of positive clinical results. Modern scientific studies are now validating the use of a variety of dietary supplements used by NDs, including fibre and probiotics for proper gastrointestinal health and essential fatty acids for the skin and menstrual irregularities. The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine along with the many other accredited naturopathic institutions continue to perform state of the art studies that are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals to further research in Naturopathic medicine.

    Q: Is Naturopathic Medicine cost-effective?

    A:Yes. Because NDs utilize a preventive approach that reduces the incidence of high-cost chronic conditions, naturopathic medicine reduces long-term health care costs.

    Q: Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?

    A:Yes. Safety records are monitored by State review boards. NDs most often use gentle therapies with low risk for side effects. A core principle of Naturopathic Medicine is to "first do no harm."

    Q: How do Naturopathic Doctors interact with other health professionals?

    A:NDs have an understanding of their limitations, and refer patients to other healthcare providers such as MDs, MD specialists, Psychotherapists, and Chiropractors and Massage Therapists when necessary. Most Naturopathic practices have extensive cross-referrals with other practitioners. Both clinics are integrated health centres comprising of many healthcare professionals.

    Q: Is Naturopathy the same as homeopathy?

    A:No. Homeopathy is an energetic healing method that stimulates the body's vital force to improve health – it is only one aspect of Naturopathic Medicine. Naturopathic Medicine is a coordinated healthcare approach that uses recognized methods of diagnosis and several treatment methods - including homeopathy - to treat the causes of disease and support the body's innate healing ability. Because of their qualifications, treatments by licensed NDs are covered by many health insurance plans.

    Q: How is a Naturopathic Doctor different from a homeopath?

    A:Naturopathic Doctors use a variety of treatment modalities and must complete a University undergraduate degree as well as an accredited four-year full-time Naturopathic Medicine Program. NDs in Ontario must be registered and licensed through the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy and are governed under the Drugless Practitioners Act. They must also carry malpractice insurance. Homeopaths use homeopathy as the treatment of choice to treat their patients. They must have completed high school as well as a minimum of two years at either college or university. They are not required to have a university degree. The Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine offers three- or four-year programs that consist of 18 weekend classes each year. Homeopaths are not licensed and regulated in Ontario, and do not fall under the governing of the Drugless Practitioners Act.

    Q: Do Naturopathic Doctors perform physical and other examinations?

    A:Yes. NDs take an extensive history and perform physical examinations using standard diagnostic instruments and laboratory tests. Additional information related to lifestyle including diet, emotions, stress, exercise, and exposure to environmental hazards may be requested.

    Q: How is Naturopathic Medicine different from other “holistic” treatments?

    A:Holistic centres often consist of a variety of therapists working together. Some of these therapists may be recognized and licensed (for example, Massage Therapists are regulated and Acupuncturists have just recently been regulated). Other types of therapy (reiki, herbalists, energy healers, medical intuitives, aura balancers, psychics, reflexology, iridologists etc.) are not regulated in Ontario; therefore the quality of care and level of education and training of these individuals can vary greatly. When looking for a professional in natural therapies, it is important to know whether your practitioner is licensed and regulated under either the Drugless Practitioners Act (DPA) or the Regulated Health Practitioners Act (RHPA). This guarantees that these professionals have been well educated and extensively trained in their field, and are recognized by the government and the healthcare community.

    Q: How are Naturopathic Physicians educated?

    A:After completing a standard premedical undergraduate program at an accredited university, students enter into a four-year full-time naturopathic medical program. The first two years of Naturopathic medical school consist of education in the basic biomedical sciences similar to that of conventional medical school. The second two years emphasize clinical education in natural therapeutics. Upon successful completion of the four-year program, graduates receive the degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

    Q: What is the typical ND-patient relationship like?

    A:Naturopathic physicians encourage patients to take personal responsibility for their own health. They support patients in this by teaching them the steps necessary to create and sustain optimal health. Naturopathic physicians strive to find the underlying cause of a patient’s illness, rather than treat only the symptoms. Recognizing that each body is unique, NDs tailor their treatments to meet the individual needs of each patient.

    Q: What conditions can my Naturopathic Doctor treat?

    A:Naturopathic Doctors see a wide variety of patients of all different ages and are recognized as primary care practitioners, similar to family medical doctors. As such, NDs are able to treat a range of conditions from acute conditions such as ear infections or chronic conditions such as arthritis. For those individuals who choose to have a MD for primary care, a ND can provide complementary care.

    Q: What should I expect on the first visit?

    A:The first visit to a ND may take an hour or longer because it includes a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, possible laboratory tests, and discussions about nutrition, lifestyle, emotions, exercise, stress and other significant health factors. Your particular concerns will be discussed. At the end of the visit, your ND will discuss treatment options, and develop an individualized course of therapy that is focused on addressing your health concerns.

    Q: Do I continue to see my medical doctor and other health practitioners?

    A:Yes. You can continue to see your other healthcare providers, as needed. It is also important to coordinate your care with other healthcare practitioners by communicating with them as appropriate. It is best to work as a team with other practitioners in order to give you the best possible healthcare. For example, if surgery is necessary, NDs can provide guidelines for pre- and post-surgical supplementation to prepare you better for a positive surgical outcome and a speedy recovery.

    Q: Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP health insurance?

    A:Although Naturopathic services are not covered by OHIP, many private health insurance plans will provide coverage. Since NDs use alternatives to costly techniques and drug therapies, more insurance companies are beginning to investigate expanding coverage of this cost-effective healing method. Check your benefits package or contact your health insurer for details.

  • Registered Massage Therapy FAQs

    Q: What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

    A: Your Massage Therapist at Renew will require you to fill out a confidential health history form. Please arrive approximately 10 minutes early to fill out the necessary paperwork. The Therapist will then begin by asking you general questions to understand what regions you would like focused on, if there are any conditions that are required to be addressed and to determine if Massage is appropriate for you. Your Massage Therapist may perform certain assessments to determine what condition you may be suffering from and to focus on any of the presenting complaints. This will also allow for your Therapist to develop an appropriate treatment plan that would best be suited for your condition and help you, as much as possible, to return to your normal daily activities.

    Q: Do I have to disclose all my health conditions on the Health History form for my Massage Therapist?

    A: To allow for an accurate picture of your health and any current or past injuries it is best to disclose this information on your confidential health history form. This will allow your Therapist to design the most appropriate and effective treatment and Plan of Management for you.

    Q: Where will my Massage session take place?

    A: At Renew your Massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music will be playing in an effort to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort throughout the Massage.

    Q: How long will a Massage treatment last?

    A: An average full body massage will require approximately one hour. If a half-hour massage is booked it will only allow time for a partial massage session for a specific region. To achieve optimal relaxation or benefit from massage treatments many clients prefer a 60 to 90 minute session. Please allow relaxation time prior to and after the treatment to achieve the maximum benefit from the therapy.

    Q : Should I eat before I come for a Massage?

    A: We encourage clients to not eat for at least 90 minutes before your Massage treatment and only a light meal at that time. When the body is digesting it directs blood flow away from your peripheral tissues and concentrates it on digestive tract. However, Massage draws the blood flow to the region that is being treated and will, in turn, draw the blood away from the digestive tract potentially causing poor digestion and possible discomfort.

    Q: What do I wear during the Massage? What if I am uncomfortable with my body? Do I have to undress?

    A: Let your Therapist know your comfort level. Depending on the primary technique your Therapist uses, you may or may not need to undress. For a full body massage, most people undress completely. However, you may choose to wear underwear if that will allow you to remain comfortable during your Massage. Your Massage Therapist will give you privacy to undress, and you will be covered with a sheet and blanket at all times except for the area being worked on. If you would opt to wear clothes, please bring clothes that you can get oil on like a bathing suit or shorts and a tank top.

    Q: Does the gender of the Massage Therapist make a difference?

    A: This is an issue of personal preference.

    Q: What do I do during a Massage Therapy treatment?

    A: At Renew we want you to be as comfortable as possible! If your Therapist wants you to adjust your position, she or he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; some fall asleep; others prefer to talk. It's up to you. It is your Massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax! If you have any questions during before, during, or after the Massage then please do not hesitate to ask those questions at any time.

    Q: Will the Massage oils used make me break-out?

    A: The Massage Therapists at Renew will use hypoallergenic massage oils or lotions. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to the attention of the Massage Therapist before your initial Massage.

    Q: How will a massage feel?

    A: Different Massage Techniques provide different responses. Many Massage Therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes (effleurage) that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. If you feel any discomfort or have questions during your Massage please do not hesitate to ask questions or provide feedback to allow for the Massage Therapist to use another approach or technique.

    Q: How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment?

    A: Some clients experience freedom from long term aches and pains developed from repetitive strain or tension. Most clients feel very relaxed. Following an initial experience of being slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity that can last for days. You will be encouraged to drink plenty of water following your massage as a response to the toxins that are released from your soft tissues during a Massage. Massage Therapists sometimes recommend a hot Epsom salt bath that will promote further relaxation and enhance the benefits of the massage treatment. It will help alleviate stiffness you may feel the next day.

    Q: Why should I get Massage Therapy?

    A: Regular Massage Therapy may help renew your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being and increase your quality of life. It is always encouraged to get treated earlier to be able to correct and prevent the progression of a problematic condition.

    Q: How frequently should I visit a Registered Massage Therapist?

    A: The frequency of visits will depend on your goals and what you would like to achieve from treatments. The Therapist will discuss the frequency and duration of the treatments according to the results of assessments and your personal goals. The Registered Massage Therapist will help you establish a treatment program that fits your lifestyle and physical requirements. Your Massage Therapist is on your team and is involved with your repair, rejuvenation and in the maintenance of your health.

    Q: Do I need a doctors’ referral?

    A: There is no requirement to have a referral to see a Registered Massage Therapist. However, some extended health care plans, and insurers may require a Medical Doctor’s referral before you will be covered. You need to check with your policy to see if you require this documentation to be reimbursed for the treatments.

    Q: Do Provincial Health plans (OHIP) cover Massage Therapy?

    A: Currently there are no Provincial Health plans that cover Therapeutic Massage but many work place or private Extended Health Care Insurance programs have full or partial coverage. In Ontario, Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Work Place Safety Insurance WSIB and Auto Insurance cover the cost of massage therapy for injury rehabilitation. Before you attend your Initial Registered Massage Treatment, your details of coverage should be arranged with your insurance representative.

    Q: Why do Massage Therapists Charge HST?

    A: In Canada, before a health profession can be exempted from charging HST the profession must be regulated in a minimum of five (5) provinces. Registered Massage Therapists are a regulated health profession currently in only three (3) Provinces, Ontario, Newfoundland and British Columbia. Legislation is in progress in several other provinces at various stages. These include Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

    The RMTAO, is working to ensure that Massage Therapists become regulated in other provinces and will be asking the Canadian Government to allow the exemption as soon as possible. In the meantime, most Massage Therapists are HST-registered under the rules established by the Canadian Government are required to charge HST.

    Take note: Massage Therapy is most beneficial in both acute and chronic conditions, when used over a series of treatments and then followed up with maintenance or preventive treatments. (Acute conditions are recent, occurring within a week to a month, and can be severe to mild but are sudden in onset. This could describe anything from a car accident to a muscular sprain. Chronic conditions are present for several months to years)

  • Individual/ Couples/ Marriage/ Child Therapy FAQs

    Q: What can I Expect in my First Therapy Session?

    A:Your first session is a consultation that involves: Information gathering to better understand what brings you to therapy and what you would like so that you no longer need therapy. The risks and benefits of attending therapy are explored, and the session includes the signing of a confidentiality agreement and client contract indicating informed consent. Questions to help shed light on your concerns and hopes are asked within a safe and non-judgmental environment, with honest curiosity and empathy. In collaboration we will set out a path for our future conversations with themes to explore, patterns to untangle and hopes to envision. As therapy is an emotional process, and equally outcome focused, your Therapist is sensitive to the fact that you have come in wanting to see change. We create goals and a timeline so that we can measure the success of our work. Therapy is an investment; your Therapist respects that it takes courage, time, and finances. Let’s create a difference.

    Q: Are Therapy Fees Covered By Insurance?

    A: Clients are encouraged to connect with their HR or insurance provider to determine compatibility with their particular extended health benefit package before they make an initial appointment. It is helpful to find out your coverage limit and duration. To assist in finding out if you are covered for our sessions clients can share the following information with their providers:

    Your Therapist is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist with the Ontario and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

    Your Therapist is supervised by a Registered Associate Psychologist.

    Q: Is the information shared confidential?

    A: As a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist they are professionally bound to maintain strict confidentiality regarding the personal health information that clients disclose. Your Therapist does not release any information to another person or organization without their clients’ written and signed permission. The rare exceptions to this policy are mandated by law or health care regulation, and are clearly spelled out in the document clients receive prior to beginning therapy. Your Therapist is governed by all legislation covering psychotherapy in Ontario. Your Therapist also holds themselves accountable to the Code of Ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. A Copy of the AAMFT’s Code of Ethics is available at:

    The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

    Q:What are your Areas of Specialization?

    A: Individual Therapy: loss/grief, goal setting and empowerment, struggles with anger, past hurts (abuse/trauma), turning fear and anxiety into action, pain management, examining patterns and choices, and relational issues (finding them, keeping them, being true in them).

    Through confidential and strength-based conversations, explore where you are and envision where you would like to be, and create ways to embrace change. Engage in conversations around living authentically, balanced and with a sense of purpose. Your Therapist recognizes that we are complex; and so are our problems. Our stories are layered. Your Therapist believes this does not mean intensive work but, rather, it means intentional work.  

    A: Couple Therapy: separation/divorce prevention, affair recovery, and improved communication and intimacy.

    As a trained Couple Therapist, their approach focus is on strengthening the foundation of your relationship and rebuilding friendship when there has been conflict or estrangement. In sessions, you will learn to honour each other’s feelings of hurt and distance, step outside of the situation and witness each other’s compassion and strength. You will then be able to rejoin and revisit the issue from a place of understanding and clarity.

    A: Family and Parent Therapy: parent and teen conflict, addressing challenging child behavior, parenting after divorce and remarriage.

    As an experienced Family Therapist, your Therapist thrives on bringing families together in a room. Your Therapist embraces a collaborative style which empowers families to harness their intrinsic resources to address conflict/power struggles, strengthen parenting techniques, and overcome new obstacles that present themselves at different stages of a family’s life. In the mapping of interactional patterns, and getting a rich picture of your values and goals, the goals is to realign boundaries and explore roles and rules. This is particularly helpful in co-parenting, parent-teen issues, blended family relationships and families going through a divorce.

    A: Child Therapy: identifying feelings (anxiety, fears, loss, grief), building self-esteem, divorce, adjustment issues, social inclusion, bullying and behavioral concerns.

    With over a decade of experience, your Therapist specializes in working with children using play as a means of exploring and inviting dialogue. Your Therapist is successful in helping children to better identify, understand and express their feelings; deal with fears and anxiety; and heal trauma. In honouring their feelings children feel safe and heard. This process empowers children to find healthier ways of coping so they'll no longer need to use the identified “ behavioral problem” as a means of communicating their request for help.

    Q:What Are The Differences Between Mental Health Practitioners

    This is a general overview.

    A: Psychiatrist

    Psychiatrist services are covered by OHIP. A referral by your family doctor is required. Psychiatrists are medical doctors whose focus is on prescribing medication, although some also provide counselling.

    A: Registered Psychologist 

    Psychologist services can be accessed through company benefits (see above) or paid privately. Registered Psychologists hold doctoral level degrees in psychology in the province of Ontario. They do not prescribe medication and primarily provide psychological assessment and treatment. They are governed by a regulatory body, The College of Psychologists of Ontario. The rates for Psychologists are set by the College but are at the discretion of the psychologist, currently ranging from approximately $160 to $200 per session depending on years of experience.

    A: Registered Social Worker 

    Social Worker services can be accessed through company benefits (see above) or paid privately. They do not prescribe medication and primarily help people develop the skills and the ability to use their own and community resources to resolve problems. They are governed by a regulatory body, the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers of Ontario. The rates for Social Workers vary in the area of $100-140 per session depending on years of experience.

    A: Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Marriage & Family Therapist

    These Services can be accessed through some company benefits (see above) or paid privately. These practitioners do not prescribe medication and primarily provide a broad range of psychotherapeutic services for relief of symptoms and relationship difficulties. A regulatory body is currently being established, The College of Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists. The rates for these practitioners vary in the area of $100-140 per session depending on years of experience.