Naomi Nicholson at Secluded Wellness Centre in Port Alberni uses massage to help promote wellness. Photo by Trisha Thomas/

Make the most of your massage!

Award-winning Shiatsu massage provider in Port Alberni uses various methods to promote healing

Did you know that therapeutic and relaxation massages are different?

Massage can serve a variety of purposes, whether you’re hoping to just relax, or alleviate discomfort from acute or chronic injuries/accidents by getting the knot out.

Therapeutic benefits of Shiatsu Massage

At Secluded Wellness Centre in Port Alberni, when Naomi Nicholson, Registered Shiatsu Therapist (R.S.T.) provides a therapeutic Shiatsu massage, she looks at what other muscles may be causing you pain rather than simply massaging what hurts. There are many successful bodywork techniques she has learned to get your tight muscles to relax.

Although your muscles are tight or tense and cause pain, “training them to be relaxed can be a different type of discomfort. Muscles have a memory and it can take time to retrain from chronic issues,” Naomi says.

Massage shouldn’t hurt, although you may feel the “hurt so good feeling” from a therapeutic Shiatsu massage. If you’re not getting the results you want from a particular style of massage, she says, it may be time to investigate alternatives such as Shiatsu.

Using massage to open up the ‘parking lot of pain’

Naomi explains that your skin has receptor cells such as cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 that act like “parking stalls,” each of which is designed to fit only certain “vehicles” ( hormones).

“Often those stalls are filled with the wrong vehicles that don’t allow inflammation/pain reduction vehicles to park in the proper stall” she says, which is why pain relief can be a tough cycle.

Topical treatment drives wellness

Using infused topical massage oil gets the skin’s receptor cells involved and removes those vehicles taking up the wrong stalls, so the right ones can park and provide long-lasting relief, Naomi says. She adds that medicinal properties found in topicals such as terpenes can increase circulation and blood flow and reduce pain. That can help alleviate inflammation and opens the door for your body to heal itself.

Give the gift of massage

If you or a loved one like the idea of treating yourselves to a massage, it can make a great Valentine’s Day gift. Secluded Wellness has gift certificates online to help make Feb. 14 memorable for your special someone, even if it’s yourself!

While Naomi was voted Best Massage Provider by Alberni Valley News readers in 2018 and 2019, she has other services available. For a complete list of options, visit and for other information call Naomi at 250-724-6998 or visit her Facebook page.

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