Vancouver Osteopathy: Treatment of IBS?

| Categorized: Broadway Wellness News.

Photo credit: Jannes Jacobs


14% of Canada’s population suffers from IBS and only 40% of them will seek medical attention. The estimated cost to the Canadian healthcare system for IBS alone exceeds $6.5 billion each year. Irritable bowel syndrome is also a frequent cause of work and school absenteeism which can represent another $8 billion of lost productivity in our workforce. Link to full article here.

To further complicate the IBS picture, conventional treatment has low success rates. General practitioners prescribe antidiarrheals, laxatives, or antidepressants. All of which ignores the underlying or root cause. Vancouver osteopathy presents a more affordable , gentle technique to assist those with IBS.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

IBS is a chronic disorder that can involve the small and/or large intestines of the digestive tract. More specifically, irritable bowel syndrome presents with motility problems (how the bowel moves contents through our intestines). Motility problems can be either too fast (diarrhea/loose stools), too slow (constipation), or a combination of the two. In addition, irritable bowel syndrome affects how your brain interprets signals from the nerves in the bowel. This can result in abdominal pain, bloating, and/or anxiety.

Diseases have known causes, IBS is a collection of symptoms. Therefore, it is classified as a syndrome.

The symptoms of IBS include:

  • Anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowels
  • Diarrhea (passing three or more stools per day, and/or urgent need to have a bowel movement)
  • Constipation (passing three or fewer stools in a week or passing hard, dry stools and/or straining during a bowel movement)
  • Abdominal pain and/or cramping

Vancouver: Can Osteopathy help IBS? 

Osteopathy is a hands-on therapy which aims to restore the function of the body by treating the cause of the imbalance. Its philosophy was founded on the belief that the body is naturally capable of healing itself. Practitioners work through manipulations of the tissues to enhance this natural ability of self-regulation and healing.  The goal of an osteopathic treatment, in relation to IBS, is to improve proper communication between the gut and brain is both restored and maintained.

Osteopathic techniques have demonstrated highly effective results in treating IBS symptoms. A small study set out to establish if osteopathic treatment was effective in treating IBS in a hospital environment. Forty IBS patients were diagnosed by a gastroenterologist and received either allopathic or osteopathic treatment. Osteopathic treatment was found to be effective in both the short and long-term, and it was found to be significantly more effective than allopathic treatment.

A study showed an overall improvement in 68% of IBS patients who received osteopathic treatments vs 18% of IBS patients receiving allopathic care up to 6-months after treatment.

How does Osteopathy help IBS?

Abdominal Adhesions

While not commonly cited in the medical literature, visceral adhesions can be a primary cause for IBS. Almost all patients develop adhesions after abdominal surgery, although not all are necessarily symptomatic. They occur when the fascial tissues heal improperly.

Adhesions can form between every organ and damaged tissue layer. Though they most commonly occur between the omentum and the incision/wound.  Adhesions can also develop during inflammation as seen with infections. Unfortunately, the traditional treatment for visceral adhesions is surgery – the very thing that likely brought about the adhesions in the first place. Fortunately, osteopathy is well positioned to offer a non-surgical approach to removing visceral adhesions.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral osteopathy can help irritable bowel syndrome by manipulating the bowel and the mesentery through the abdominal wall. These techniques create improved blood flow and nerve innervation to the gut by releasing the mesentery. Mobilization of the spine can also help to improve the function of the nerves which supply the intestine. This can lead to calming the nerves and relaxation of the smooth muscle of the gut.

Chronic Inflammation

In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, one study showed that the body’s ability to heal adhesions can be interrupted by a chronic inflammatory state. In these situations, the immune system actually maintains the adhesion instead of dissolving the dense connective tissue.

Remember, this chronic inflammatory state can be caused by elevated long-term stress levels. These states can cause elevated levels of cortisol. Those with irritable bowel syndrome are prone to this state. Thus, effective treatment must always include stress-reduction techniques.

In conclusion, the research clearly illustrates the failing of conventional health care to properly manage IBS.  Osteopathy presents successful treatment outcomes with minimal negative effects. Osteopathy should be considered as a go-to therapy for those with IBS.

Article written by Mark Volmer in Canada, Alberta.

Here at Broadway Wellness we have Alison Ritchie who is a Vancouver based Osteopathic practitioner. She is able to apply the techniques mentioned above to aid in healing process of IBS. Alison works Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday here at Broadway and Willow. Book in your appointment today to begin your path to healing. 

CranioSacral Therapy for Mental Illness

| Categorized: Vancouver Massage Therapy.

Vancouver Massage Therapy Article of the Week: Cranio-Sacral Therapy for Mental Illness

Present focus around depression and mental illness seems to be shifting toward, recognition, and finding solutions.

Vancouver Massage Therapy: Craniosacral Therapy

photo credit:
“Medical & Anatomical” by KJA Artists

With this in mind, diet, supplements, cognitive, talk, and somatic therapies are receiving more recognition as highly effective approaches.  Also, Craniosacral therapy is an increasingly common approach.

What is craniosacral therapy?  It is the gentle manipulation of the cranial bones and associated membranes.  This creates movement, space, and increased circulation to the brain and cranium.  Restrictions, limiting circulation and movement, can be present from previous injury.   Examples include concussion, whiplash, and birth trauma.   If something structural is a main factor, it’s important to treat the structure.  Otherwise the efforts through diet, and therapy may be limited in their effectiveness.

Please click the link below and read the informative article written  Link to article here


Vancouver Massage Therapy: Massage Therapy for Headaches

| Categorized: Broadway Wellness News, Vancouver Massage Therapy.

Vancouver Massage Therapy Article of the Week:  Massage Therapy for Headaches

Headaches come in 3 common categories: Tension headaches, often related to neck tension; Sometimes very painful migraines headaches; and sinus headaches.  Massage therapy can help, and a treatment approach can be focused based on the type of headache presenting. A craniosacral, osteopathic, or muscular focused massage focused on the cranial base, and musculature and connective tissue layers of the neck can often help with tension headaches.  Some migraines can be alleviated by craniosacral therapy.  Sinus headaches can be sometimes alleviated with craniosacral therapy techniques focused on the cranial base and frontal sinus areas to promote drainage.

Many Vancouver RMT’s and practitioners at Broadway Wellness are able to focus their treatment approaches to help alleviate different types of headaches as they present.

For more information on different types of headaches and how they can be treated please click below to link to the article and read on.

Link to article here.

Article credit: Melanie Gallant at Myocare in Toronto.


Broadway Wellness is an integrative healthcare clinic founded in 2004, focused around a group of Vancouver Registered Massage Therapists, also offering Osteopathy, Registered Acupuncture, and Naturopathic Medicine, in Vancouver BC, along the Broadway Corridor.  Broadway Wellness moved and expanded to 3 blocks East to 610 2525 Willow Street in Summer of 2019.

Vancouver Massage Therapist: Craniosacral Therapy

| Categorized: Broadway Wellness News, Vancouver Massage Therapy.

Vancouver Massage Therapist Article of the Week: What is Craniosacral Therapy?

What is Craniosacral therapy?  Craniosacral therapy a modality or approach focused on manually releasing the cranium, spine, and meninges (layers of connective tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord). This modality is used by trained practitioners across many healthcare professions.  At Broadway Wellness, and other Vancouver clinics, practitioners such as Vancouver Massage Therapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, may take post-graduate training to offer Craniosacral therapy as a technique.  Craniosacral therapy is considered to be an Osteopathic technique.  It was developed by an Osteopath, A.T. Still, in the late 1800’s, further developed by another Doctor of Osteopathy, W.G. Sutherland, and brought to the mainstream in North America by J. E. Upledger in the 1970’s.

You can read further about Craniosacral Therapy in the article linked below, quoted from The Cranial Therapy Centre based out of Toronto.

Link to article here.

Article credit: The Cranial Therapy Centre 2 Carlton St, Suite 1004
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3

At Broadway Wellness, a Vancouver Massage Therapist clinic which is Integrative, also offering Naturopathic Medicine, Registered Acupuncture, and Osteopathy, several of our practitioners – both Vancouver RMT’s and RMT’s in the Osteopathic Training program, work with their clients using Craniosacral Therapy.

Vancouver Massage Therapists that offer this modality at Broadway Wellness are:

Cara Marks – RMT

Char Hunter – RMT

Jennifer Keene – RMT

Laura Rivere – RMT

Laura Schroeder – RMT

Mai Holmes – RMT

Maya Bleiler – RMT

Monica Cleland – RMT

Pia Sutter – RMT

Alison Ritchie – RMT,


Broadway Wellness is a multi-disciplinary healthcare clinic that has been serving the Fairview and VGH area’s of Vancouver, BC since 2004. Our Vancouver clinic provides the services of highly trained and well-reviewed practitioners in the areas of Registered Massage TherapyNaturopathic Medicine, and Registered Acupuncture.


Vancouver Acupuncture Article: Pain Management

| Categorized: Vancouver Acupuncture.

Vancouver Acupuncture Article of the Week: Acupuncture for Pain Management by Brian Kushnirik, R.AC at Broadway Wellness.

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), whenever there is pain, there is some sort of a blockage in the system. Whether the blockage is from a physical source (such as trauma or overuse) or whether the blockage is from some sort of an emotional disturbance, pain equals blockage.
Vancouver Acupuncture

Vancouver Acupuncture Article: Pain Management

Physical and emotional blockages will affect each other. In TCM acupuncture, one of the keys to treating pain is to calm the mind. By using acupuncture to calm the mind, the body will be able to more easily help to repair itself, and the use of other acupuncture points will be more productive.


An acupuncture treatment helps to facilitate the movement of energy in the system, thereby breaking up both physical and emotional blockages. Released blockages will result in reduced physical and emotional pain and an increase in vitality.

Areas of the body that are treated can either be local (close to the physical pain), distal (away from the pain), or in the ear (as the ear acts as a microcosm for the body, anatomical and functional points on the ear allow for the treatment of the entire system).

Acupuncture can be an excellent alternative or compliment to pain medication as it has no side-effects, does not counteract pain medication, and unlike most pain medication, it treats the root cause of the pain instead of just temporarily masking it.

Read Brian’s full article here. 

Brian is a Vancouver Acupuncturist who has practiced in Vancouver since 2002. He has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), German Auricular Medicine and Laser Acupuncture Therapy, while he is also a National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) trainer. His combination of TCM, auricular and laser acupuncture approaches allow for the treatment of a wide range of issues including chronic and acute pain, and concerns related to mental health, addictions and PTSD. Besides training in Canada and USA, he has also travelled and studied extensively in China and speaks Mandarin.
Brian’s wholistic approach to healing, compassionate heart, and dedication to ease suffering establish a safe environment for the return of physical, emotional and spiritual balance. Treatments are personalized for each patient, where for example, laser therapy can be used successfully for clients who have an aversion to needles. His extensive studies in qigong, meditation, martial arts and yoga also allow him to guide patients to work with individualized mental and physical techniques to aid in their ongoing wellbeing and health.

Brian is available at Broadway Wellness on Mondays and Wednesdays (2:15-8:15pm)


Broadway Wellness is an integrative healthcare clinic founded in 2004, focused around a group of Vancouver Registered Massage Therapists, also offering Acupuncture, and Naturopathic Medicine, in Vancouver BC, along the Broadway Corridor.  Broadway Wellness moved and expanded to 3 blocks East to 610 2525 Willow Street in Summer of 2019.