Kinesiology - fit girl running on beach

The Benefits of Kinesiology

Kinesiology is the scientific study of movement. The word comes from the Greek, -kinein, which means ‘to move’ and -logia, ‘study’. Kinesiologists are movement specialists offering a wide variety of assessments and services to assist with both injury and illness prevention as well as injury management. Kinesiology is based on the core sciences of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and psychomotor behaviour. At Kelowna Medical Massage we use kinesiology to help you develop a therapeutic fitness program to maintain your fitness during injury and substantially reduce the risk of re-injury. Please read on to learn more about the benefits of seeing a kinesiologist and what they can do to help you lead (and continue to lead) a healthy and active life.


If you’ve experienced a mobility or sports muscle injury and haven’t been able to regain your active lifestyle without fear of re-injury then you should see a kinesiologist. We focus on maintaining your strength and stamina during injury as well as preventing re-injury by helping you regain flexibility. Our goal is to restore efficient movement in your everyday life, whether this be a regular or a more intense sports-focused lifestyle.

Kinesiology doesn’t just aid in the prevention and healing of muscle injuries. It can also help people with chronic conditions. Many people with chronic conditions and diseases are known to attain a higher quality of life when an applicable fitness regimen is used as part of their treatment plan. People suffering from cancer can benefit from a therapeutic fitness regimen prior to receiving treatment, during their chemo or radiation therapy, and following surgery. We will work with you before, during and after your treatment to help reduce tiredness and stiffness in the muscles, assist in your overall recovery, and manage any problematic side effects you may be experiencing. We take into account your age, state of health, and overall fitness, and design a regimen that is specifically tailored to your goals and requirements. Getting you fit and healthy, and keeping you that way, is our number one priority.

You do not need a doctor’s referral to be treated by a kinesiologist, but if you have a chronic health condition it is always best to make your physician is aware that you are engaging in a therapeutic fitness regimen. This will ensure all of your medical practitioners are fully cooperating towards your recovery.


We provide all our clients with advanced rehabilitation programs, personal training programs, and combined programs. Our assessments include cardio vascular testing, biometrics, body composition (weight, BMI, body fat and muscle percentages), blood pressure screening, range of motion testing (for flexibility), and functional movement screening (FMS). We also provide strength endurance testing and cardio vascular endurance testing for our athletically-driven clients. We’ll discuss the results of your assessments and design a tailored exercise program and provide lifestyle advice.

For your appointments, please wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes that allow you to move freely. We recommend comfortable running or hiking shoes for your feet. After your initial appointment, and depending on your personal requirements, we can work with you on a regular basis in our clinic or design an independent fitness program tailored to help you achieve your goals from home or at the gym.

To learn more please call 250 575 0120, or to book an appointment with Justin, our highly trained and experienced kinesiologist, please click here to contact us for your free 45-minute consultation.

Kelowna Massage Therapist Naomi Erhardt

Meet Naomi Erhardt – Registered Massage Therapist

While playing volleyball in high school, Naomi Erhardt experienced a hamstring strain and was sent to a massage therapist to aid in her recovery from the injury. Naomi was always interested in nutrition and exercise, so it was no surprise that she fell in love with massage therapy while being treated. When she realized how massage played an essential part in her overall health- she knew that she needed to turn her passion into a career.

Graduating from the Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy 3000 hour program in 2014, Naomi quickly realized that her favourite part of the job was seeing the results as she helped people overcome their physical pain. Every client to her is unique and benefits from individual treatments that are best suited to them. She aims to see that the entire healing process remains fulfilling to her clients as she helps them though problems such as shoulder pain, lower back issues, whiplash and more.

When she isn’t in the clinic, she’s most likely enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. Nature and Naomi have a good relationship that involves running and hiking. She keeps a very active lifestyle overall. However, when she’s looking for some down time at home, a good book and a home cooked meal will easily suffice.

We are proud to have Naomi as one of our team members. Her diligent approach to isolating a client’s problem and tackling it with clever therapy tailored to them, makes anyone who walks into the clinic feel at ease. You can come into your appointment feeling confident that everything being implemented has been thought through and planned out just for you.

If you feel that connecting with Naomi is your first step to healing after your injury, contact us to set up an appointment. We know her massage therapy techniques will help you reach a fast recovery.

Massage Therapy Kelowna - photo of Rietta Brisco

Meet Rietta Brisco – Registered Massage Therapist

Rietta Brisco is one of our registered massage therapists here at Kelowna Medical Massage. She is new to Kelowna and since moving here she has been enjoying exploring all that the sunny Okanagan has to offer. Rietta graduated from the Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy 3000 hour program in 2014, she practices in all areas of massage therapy including deep tissue massage, sports massage, myofascial release and more. Low back pain and hip pain are two very common problems she treats. Rietta particularly enjoys working with athletes since she herself has been a devoted athlete for most of her life and has experienced first hand the impact that massage therapy can have on athletic performance and recovery.

When Rietta was quite young, she participated in a lot of competitive biathlons. Her friend’s mother was a registered massage therapist who travelled with them to many of the races and would perform sports massage on the girls. Rietta noticed right away how much the massage positively impacted her performance, this was the first time she became interested in massage therapy. As she continued participating in everything from competitive horse back riding to running to ski racing she continued to use massage to recover faster after hard training sessions and events. Eventually she decided to become a registered massage therapist to turn her passion for health and her belief in massage therapy into a career.

Rietta treats a lot of clients who experience postural issues or chronic pain, as well as athletes who have experienced injury or are interested in integrating massage into their training programs. She finds it gratifying to work with clients who are pro-active in their treatment and she loves having a part in getting them back on their feet after an injury or helping them improve their performance. Her background in sports makes her the ideal RMT to help prevent and recover from sports injuries.

Rietta is a very active person and enjoys hiking and backpacking. Her favourite trip was a 4 day hike along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on Vancouver Island. It was a 47-kilometre wilderness hike along the southwestern coast of the island which she says was absolutely beautiful. Her other favourite activity is stand up paddle boarding, she is patiently waiting for her father to make some finishing touches to the board he made for her so she can get out onto Okanagan lake as soon as possible.

The number one thing Rietta would like her clients to know is that their massage is tailored to them and that they should communicate with their therapist. Sometimes treatment can be a bit painful, but it should not be unbearable. Massage therapists are here to help you, they want you to have get the most benefit out of your treatment but they also want you to be comfortable and not feel like your appointments are something that simply must be endured. She also emphasizes the importance of following through with your home care as directed by your RMT. Following the instructions for home care are critical to your improvement!

Interested in connecting with Rietta to learn more about how massage therapy can help you? Contact us to set up an appointment.

Massage Therapy and Kinesiology Kelowna - photo of Justin Philips

Meet Justin Philips – Kinesiologist

Justin Philips is our resident Kinesiologist at Kelowna Medical Massage. Justin first encountered the study of Kinesiology late in high school.  Being a competitive athlete in hockey and soccer as well as recreational snowboarding, mountain biking, skateboarding, and playing rugby throughout his youth he experienced his share of sports injuries.  He was always interested in determining the cause of his injuries, what structures exactly were injured, and furthermore how to fix them to get back to sports! It was a natural progression for Justin to become a Kinesiologist. He completed his Bachelor of Kinesiology with Honours at Brock University in 2010 and has also completed the CAN-FIT-PRO personal trainer program. His experience as an athletic trainer, personal trainer, and kinesiologist gives him a versatile skill set.

Justin is passionate about providing his clients with well rounded programs, combining rehabilitation & fitness to reach their goals without causing pain. He believes in a long term approach to health, fitness, and overall mobility. His background as a personal trainer combined with his education and experience as a Kinesiologist provides him with detailed education and rehabilitation knowledge to help his clients tackle their fitness or rehabilitation goals.

Justin provides his clients with in depth & advanced rehabilitation programs, personal training programs, & combined programs. Assessment includes cardio vascular testing, biometrics, body composition (weight, BMI, Body fat %, muscle %, etc.) blood pressure screening, range of motion testing (flexibility), and functional movement screening (FMS). Strength endurance testing & cardio vascular endurance testing can also be done for those athletically driven clients.  He really invests in his clients, helping them not only during sessions in the fitness facility but also by providing them with direction on things they can do at home to support their progress.

He’s not just all about Kinesiology, Justin is an active person and thoroughly enjoys rock climbing, snow boarding, hiking, team sports, and exercising in his spare time.

Interested in connecting with Justin to learn more about how kinesiology can help you? Your first 45 minute consultation is free! Contact us to set up an appointment.

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - MLD massage

MLD for Mastectomy and Lymph Node Removal

Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system that works alongside your arteries and veins. Arteries bring blood to an area, veins bring blood back from an area but this system is not perfect and some fluid gets left behind. This fluid is called lymph and the lymphatic system is responsible for bringing this fluid back to the bloodstream.

Role of Lymph Nodes

On its way back to the bloodstream lymph passes through lymph nodes. These lymph nodes are similar to on ramps on a highway. Lots of little lymph vessels enter into the lymph node and merge into one large vessel that travels towards the bloodstream.

Difficulties resulting from lymph node removal

When lymph nodes are removed the lymph can no longer move from the small vessels to the larger “highways”. Without access to these large vessels the flow of lymph slows down. This can cause fluid buildup (swelling). Because old fluid is not leaving the area, new fluid is no longer able to make it into those areas either. This can lead to a variety of issues including pain and discomfort, dermatitis and cellulitis.

How Manual Lymphatic Drainage helps

Just like a road system in a city, there is more than one way for the lymph to get to where it needs to go. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) can encourage the lymph to take another route back to the bloodstream. MLD works by gently increasing the flow of lymph towards the healthy lymph nodes. It is estimated that MLD can encourage lymph to flow up to 10 times faster than normal. This increased flow can help reverse and prevent swelling.

Want to know more? Contact us for a consultation! Our therapist Brianne Kokayko has undergone extensive training and is a Dr Vodder certified MLD / CDT Therapist.

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - woman with neck pain from whiplash

Dr Vodder’s Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Acute Whiplash

Acute Whiplash Definition

Whiplash occurs when the head experiences a forceful jerk. The most common causes of whiplash are car accidents, but it is also seen in sports. “Acute” simply refers to the early stages of an injury. Acute whiplash refers to the first stage of whiplash which normally lasts from 3-6 weeks. During this time whiplash symptoms are generally “sharper” or more intense than at any other stage.


Acute whiplash symptoms include pain, swelling, heat, limited range of motion and mild to extreme sensitivity to touch. Because of the intense pain and increased sensitivity often associated with acute whiplash many people find that even moderate treatments can actually increase the pain before making it better. For many this increased pain leads to less sleep and ultimately a slower recovery time in the first few weeks after the accident.

How Manual Lymphatic Drainage Helps

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle approach that encourages proper blood flow to the injured areas without increasing the pain. Most treatment approaches encourage blood flow INTO injured areas. This is normally very helpful but in cases of swelling and inflammation it can often increase pain and actually slow the healing process. MLD works by increasing the flow of fluid AWAY from the injured areas encouraging a decrease in inflammation and swelling. This decreases the pain and also allows new blood carrying fresh nutrients can enter the area. This increase in healthy circulation can speed the healing process dramatically and significantly reduce the acute stage of the healing process. Once the injured areas are past the acute stage, more aggressive treatments can be used to help with full recovery of the injured areas.

Biranne Kokayko, one of our registered massage therapists, has undergone extensive training and is a Dr Vodder certified MLD / CDT Therapist. To make an appointment, contact us.

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - woman blowing her nose

Allergies: A Case Study

Clogged Sinuses and Runny Nose

Elsie [1] was a woman in her late 20’s who had been suffering for years with allergies. Clogged sinuses, difficulty breathing, decreased sense of smell and a running nose were a daily battle for her. For the past decade or more she has been on allergy medication and although it helps, allergy symptoms are always present.


The constant inflammation in her nose causes scar tissue to slowly build up, which makes breathing more difficult. Her doctor told her that every 5 years she will need surgery to correct this. After her first surgery she felt great relief for a while but within a few short months her breathing became as bad as it was pre surgery. A year after the surgery she and her doctor both wondered if she would need another surgery in only 2-3 years. During a visit to our clinic for her shoulder, her therapist recommended that she try a new massage treatment for her allergies.

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - woman breathing clearlyAllergy Relief

Elsie commenced a treatment program that involved Manual Lymphatic Drainage, regular nasal rinsing with a neti pot [2] and continued used of her allergy medication. Within a month her symptoms decreased and she regained her sense of smell (something she couldn’t remember having for most of the last decade). With this program Elsie is confident that it will be a long while before she will need surgery again.

[1] Names have been changed for privacy

[2]A neti pot is used to pour water into the nose to rinse it out

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - woman with jaw pain

Headaches and Jaw Pain: A Case Study

Headaches and jaw pain

Carlee [1] was a runner in her early 20’s. One spring she started having mild pain in her jaw, throat and teeth. Eventually the pain became constant and she started have headaches as well. Her doctor diagnosed a throat infection and gave her antibiotics but they made no difference. Her doctor referred her to a specialist who recommended she have her tonsils removed.


The surgery went well but a few months afterwards the pain returned, sometimes even worse than before. Eventually someone recommended that she see an orthodontist in Kelowna named Dr. Bishop [2] . He immediately diagnosed a temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ or TMD) and made two mouth pieces for Carlee, one for day and one for night. After 4 months of using these appliances the pain and headaches dissipated substantially but she was still unable to remove them without the pain returning. It was recommended she try massage [3].

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - smiling womanLong Term Relief

When Carlee came to Kelowna Medical Massage it was clear that her poor posture was aggravating her TMJ. She began a treatment program that included massage, stretching, exercise, postural training and self-massage before bed. Within two months she was completely symptom free and able to remove her daytime mouth piece.

[1]Names have been changed for privacy

[2]Dr. Bishop has a great reputation for treating TMJ. More info:

[3]Carlee was the first of many clients that Dr. Bishop now sends to us for treatment.

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - man with shoulder pain

Shoulder Pain: A Case Study

Pain and weakness

Jake was an active man in his mid-40’s who regularly trained in martial arts. One day he began to experience sharp burning pain in his shoulders while he trained. At first he ignored the pain but it continued to get worse. Within a few months the pain was so bad that he couldn’t train anymore. What was worse was that he was no longer able to do a single pushup.

Surgery Suggested

He took a visit to his doctor and although the doctor was not sure of the cause of this pain, he recommended surgery to treat it. Jake was hesitant to go ahead with surgery and started looking for other options. He tried different treatments but was unable to get any relief. Eventually a friend at his martial arts club recommended that he go to Kelowna Medical Massage for treatment.

Massage Therapy Kelowna Medical Massage - man doing shoulder pressRelief

Jake’s initial assessment revealed bilateral rotator cuff tears and poor posture. Jake began a treatment program that involved massage, stretching and exercise, postural training and ergonomic advice for his workstation. At the completion of his treatment program the pain in his shoulders was completely gone and Jake is once again able to do 50 pushups without pain.

*Names have been changed for privacy