The term "massage therapy" encompasses many different techniques. In general, therapists press, rub, and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. They most often use their hands and fingers, but may use their forearms, elbows, or feet.

Suzanne Brazau is a clinical certified massage therapist practicing in Laval. She wanted to share with our readers her knowledge and her rewarding experience from massotherapy.

Ms. Brazau explained that massotherapy is a treatment by massage and she offers a personal follow-up massage treatment which is not found in spas. Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including private offices, hospitals, nursing homes, studios, and sport and fitness facilities. Some also travel to patients' homes or workplaces. They usually try to provide a calm and soothing environment.

She described the different types of massage therapy. In Swedish massage, the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping. Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, adapted specifically to the needs of athletes. Among the many other examples are deep tissue massage and trigger point massage, which focuses on myofascial trigger points -- muscle "knots" that are painful when pressed and will release tension throughout the body.

She does reflexology and acupressure because she prefers the touch approach instead of acupuncture, the Asian practice of using tiny needles. She has done reflexology where the client sees results two or three days later after a full massage. She said, “I explain what I’ll do and how it’ll affect them. I understand their needs and they trust me. It’s an exchange. I’ll go as deep as your muscles will allow me to.”

Patient-physician communication is an integral part of clinical practice, and this is one of Suzanne’s philosophies. “Without it, I wouldn't have the success I have. I communicate with my clients before and after the massage.” Therapists usually ask new patients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results. They may also perform an evaluation through touch, to locate painful or tense areas and determine how much pressure to apply. “I care about my clients and I ask questions whether they’re new or regular clients,” she added.

Relaxing means different things to different people. Suzanne reiterated that it is paramount to ask her clients to fill out a detailed questionnaire in order for her to get a better idea of what they need. Once they fill it out, she goes over it with them. She clarified by saying, “Sometimes they come to treat an ailment such as lower backache but after filling out the questionnaire, they discover they need massage in also other areas.

I assess clients' soft tissue condition, joint mobility and function, muscle tension, and range of motion. I personalize every single massage.” In other words, she changes the massage to what the person needs so they don’t get the same type of massage every time they come in. The massage varies depending on each individual’s response to the treatment. Their bodies react to the massage so the follow-up is not the same as the initial treatment.

Wherever you are in Canada the requirements for massotherapists are different, but in Quebec you don’t have to be certified. Suzanne is certified. “It is important to be certified in order to understand the body, the tendons, skeletal and muscular system in order to treat clients properly,” she explained. A massotherapist needs to know what conditions or diseases people have. For instance, you can treat someone that has high blood pressure, but if the person is not taking medication the massage can increase blood flow and can result in adverse effects. That’s why for Suzanne, asking a lot of questions before starting treatment, is extremely important.

Although some statistics show that only 11 percent of all conventional treatments are actually estimated to be beneficial, Suzanne believes that the recovery rate varies. It depends on what you’re recovering from; for instance, they could be recovering from breast implants, cancer, surgery, etc. That depends on each person. She always sees improvement and clients feel better. Nowadays, more and more people are seeking alternative medicine in order to avoid taking pills. Massage therapy is also considered preventative medicine since it helps regulate hormones, stress, and is also useful for stimulating the lymphatic system to boost the immune system and get rid of toxins in the body. However, chronic diseases are a different story. Before treating anyone who suffers from a chronic disease, she requires a doctor’s approval.

A session can last anywhere from 60 minutes, 90 minutes, to 120 minutes. One person is different from another. “After the treatment, I will see my clients on a need-to-need basis. I assess how the body reacts between massages,” she explained.

Massotherapy is covered by a wide range of insurance companies which benefits the entire family.

Suzanne also specializes in pregnancy massage and massage for children. She said, “The amount of children that come to see me is incredible.” An adult is present at all times while she gives massage to the child. She also gives advice to parents on how to improve their kids’ well-being and wellness maintenance.

There are tremendous benefits to be achieved through regular massage therapy treatments by a certified massage therapist as is Suzanne Brazau. Whether your need to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension, or attain relief from chronic pain, a massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being.



For a consultation or further inquiries, contact Suzanne Brazau via e-mail at: suzanne@sbmassages.com or via phone: 514-654-3839 you can also visit her website sbmassages.com

Business Location: 1034 rue Carole, Laval, QC, H7X 2E4