February 12, 2024 Zoey Glavicich 0Comment

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started your business here?

I love being a massage therapist! My practice has changed a lot since I started 14 years ago. For one, I’m fortunate to live here, in the magic of Sayulita! I think my migration is a pretty standard ‘burbs-to-beaches story. 

I started as a Registered Massage Therapist in Toronto, Ontario. There, I worked as an independent contractor, gradually moving into my home practice. Loving what I do meant I overworked myself. A little burnt out, I booked a vacation, tagging along with some Vancouver friends to meet up in Sayulita. The very first thing I noticed? Green plants! Especially during the winter months when Canada is so grey. I wanted to open my eyes to this every day. Over the next two years, I planned my immigration.

I love a good project. To more effectively treat my clients, I integrate my knowledge and skills from all of the training courses I've taken. I call my business "Sayulita Sports Massage" to let people know I want to address their injuries through the scope of massage therapy. 

I'm very active as a lifelong runner. I learn from my injuries and get to apply them to my practice. I am so incredibly lucky to have found it so soon in my adult life and so excited to keep it growing and expanding. 

How did you become a massage therapist and what kind of services do you provide?

I graduated from Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy - a two-year diploma program, taking extra teaching clinics where I could. I chose the school because it is renowned in the country for having the fullest education in massage therapy. It's rare to come across a condition I'm unfamiliar with or can't apply other physiological knowledge to create a treatment plan. I can't get bored, there's always so much to learn! 

I went back to Ryerson University for some mental health and addictions courses - having seen the direct effects of massage therapy on the nervous system. Followed by Doula/Labour Support Coach training, Equine Massage, onto more athletic aspects like Kinesio-Taping and Thomas Meyers' Fascial Release, back to High-Risk pregnancy, post natal and infant massage, breast massage post mastectomy/lumpectomy/alteration, Medical Acupuncture, and most recently Thai massage and Yoga Teacher Training. I already have my next courses planned out so I can keep offering clients new, scientifically proven methods to help them return to their activities and help manage new injuries/traumas. I get so excited talking about the future of massage and how it can help absolutely everyone.

What can a client expect when working with you?

People are still warming up to massage therapy as healthcare. It's still thought of as this fluffy extra, a treat or indulgence. There have been plenty of studies proving many benefits, including improved sleep, improved mood with oxytocin release, and decreases in pain receptivity from massage therapy treatments. The body needs more than food, water, sleep and sunshine; we need touch! That's the most basic and important aspect of massage therapy. Of course, it can help work out knots and sore muscles, help with circulation and swelling,  decrease scar tissue etc, but for me, the neurological effects that result are so interesting. Our neurons and their signals control breathing, muscle resting tension, heart rate, digestion, everything! All of these have a huge effect on our physical and mental health as well. 

A massage from me will depend on your presentation physically and mentally. It will depend on the setting; ie if you are about to compete at an event, we'll be using short and rapid movements to stimulate neuromuscular connection and target circulation, maybe joint mobilization. Or maybe you took a fall last week or pulled something and I'm coming to your home. In this case, we want slower movements, treating your neurological system as the ruling aspect of your muscles. Meaning, slow, intentional, predictive movement are best. I think of a muscle in spasm like a wild animal, or maybe a crab will do well for this imagery. If the movement is startling, the injured muscle, like a hermit crab, will respond accordingly by retreating/tensing up. Another fun analogy is "magic mud." If you’ve played with cornstarch and water, you know that if you tap it quickly, it responds as a solid. But move slowly and it engulfs your hand like a liquid. That is a lot like a muscle.

What about your service sets you apart from others? 

As a Massage Therapist, I was registered with the province of Ontario and still follow the guidelines put forth by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, and the Health Care Professions Act, (1991).

For my clients, my goal is to get them back to their active lives ASAP. If you want regular maintenance, relaxation, etc, I'm here for you, but for the rest, I want your treatment plans to be as short as possible. Progress is a must, and if we aren't seeing it, I am happy to refer to different practitioners with different modalities for a faster recovery. The massage is also goal-oriented. If decreasing discomfort in your neck and shoulders is the main focus, that's where the massage stays. However, if you want attention to those areas and full body, that can also be accommodated. It's a give-and-take with the time allotted. And of course, you can change your mind at any time throughout the massage for new goals. 

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, which is practiced by an Acupuncturist, works with energetic lines in the body called 'meridians.' It can address all sorts of ailments ranging from too much of an element in the body to the organs' coinciding systems. Medical Acupuncture, which I practice, focuses mainly on soft tissue and releasing adhesions in muscles. The basic principle behind it encourages the body to heal itself through "micro-injuries." Kind of like an alarm for the body to signal vasodilation and increase blood flow to the affected area. I learned this type of acupuncture for my practice because it was so effective when applied to my own muscles. I knew it would be a way to help clients recover even faster, especially those stubborn areas unable to release.

I'm just so excited I can be super nerdy while simultaneously helping people :)

Any client memories in Sayulita you can share with us?

Yes! I bring my dog to the clinic. Recently, as I started to work on a client, I could hear a scratching sound across the floor in the other room. I couldn’t match the sound with anything. I paused the treatment and found my dog dragging a baguette out of a paper bag across the floor. 

“So…You had a baguette,” I said, returning to the treatment room. 

“Yes! And dog food. They’re in my bag on the floor.”

She laughed, then I laughed, then Desmond the dog laughed as he eyeballed the bread again. 

I drove my client to the bakery to buy a new one as soon as we finished the treatment.

Thats such a cute moment. Anything else you would like to add?

My clinic space is the newest part of my practice, along with a hydraulic massage table with six inches of Aero cell padding! Getting that table down here was mission impossible, made possible by the best friends in the world! The space is enclosed, spacious and air-conditioned. With parking and fairly accessible entrance (small step) and naturally lit. It’s a poco a poco project, making sure I get what’s right for the clinic and my clients.


You can book with Emily by clicking here.