Contact Pura Vida Oceanside Massage.

Phone 1.250.537.8432

Pura Vida Oceanside Massage Therapy

Pura Vida Oceanside Massage Therapy is located across form the Historic Fernwood Dock in the north end of Saltspring Island. Facing “Saltspring’s Sea Wall”  you can enjoy sunrises and sunsets with beautiful walks and dog friendly beaches.

Pura Vida offers a peaceful oceanside atmosphere that promotes healing and relaxation.Our 4 Registered Massage Therapists believe in an integrated team approach,we work together with our clients to tailor a treatment plan for each clients health and wellness goals.

Our Team of Registered Massage Therapists

Mardon Dary

Mardon DaryRMT

 “I am committed to continue learning so I can help others live to their true potential, pain free.”

Kathie Smithson

Kathie SmithsonRMT

Kathie Smithson is a 1993 graduate of the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy. She has taken post-graduate training in diverse modalities including myofascial release (John Barnes method), craniosacral, neuromuscular therapy (St. John method), deep tissue, osteopathic techniques, muscle energy technique, TMJ, muscle balance and function, and Swedish massage.

Uma Mayers

Uma MayersRMT

Pura Vida Massage Therapy Clinic at the corner of Fernwood Road and Walkers Hook.

Christine Grimes

Christine GrimesRMT

I have been a practicing Registered Massage Therapist since 2012 and have developed a consistently present, professional and sensitive approach to treatment that both impresses and helps my clients. I welcome the opportunity to work with you!

Techniques we use are:

  • Myofascial Release
  • Trigger Point Release
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Muscle Energy Technique
  • Breath work
  • Joint Mobilizations
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Cranial Sacral Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Relaxation

Some of the most common health conditions we address are:

  • Stress
  • Cancer Care
  • Sports Injury
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Sciatica
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Tendonitis
  • Pre/Post surgical Rehabilitation
  • Headaches
  • TMJ conditions


Myofacial Release

Fascia is connective tissue that provides support and protection through the whole body. Fascia envelopes all the organs, blood vessels, nerves and muscles of the body. Muscle and fascia cannot be separated. Fascia can become restricted and adhered due to trauma, inflammatory responses, surgical procedures, overuse or inactivity and emotional stress. These restrictions often result in pain, muscle tension and decreased blood flow to the area.
Myofascial release techniques aim to release and mobilize the adhesions. Myofascial stretching in one area of the body can be felt in and affect other areas of the body.

Myofascial release involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the fascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The therapist uses a gentle traction into the restricted fascia resulting in heat and increased blood flow in the area. This allows the body’s inherent ability for self correction to return. The therapist’s hands moves slowly through the layers of the fascia waiting at each barrier until there is a softening of the tissue.

Myofascial Release

~is a hands on technique
~involves manipulating the fascial connective tissue using mostly mild and gentle stretching
~is done on the skin without oils
~is dynamic
~is profoundly relaxing, and deepening
~is lasting

Myofascial Release results in,

~increased postural alignment
~increased energy
~increased body awareness
~increased flexibility and strength
~decreased pain
~feeling more balanced physically, mentally and emotionally

Evaluation and treatment work best if you bring a pair of shorts and a workout top to change into.

Fascia is tough connective tissue with a tensile strength of 2000 lb’s per square inch, it spreads through the body in an interconnected web. Fascia surrounds organs, nerves, and blood vessels
and infuses muscle down to the cellular level. Fascia made up of collagen and elastin supported in a gelatinous matrix.

Fascia responds to trauma, physical or emotional. Chronic poor posture and inflammation creates tension in the fascia causing it to stiffen. Fascia is essentially an interconnected web, hardened fascia  pulls into other areas much like when you pull the threads on a sweater causing all the other threads to organize along the lines of tension. This can create bizarre symptoms such as pain, tingling or burning some distance from the originally affected area.  The strong fascia binds down on pain sensitive structures like nerves and blood vessels. The body loses it’s flexibility and orientation in space, the body then becomes compromised so it needs more energy just to stay upright and function.  As this process continues, stress may not be as easily managed, and chronic pain can set in.

Evaluating for fascial restrictions includes:

  • a visual assessment in standing, sitting, lying and while moving
  • a tactile assessment of the tissues while treating
  • asking for feedback from the client about connected areas felt during treatment

Cranial Sacral Therapy

The cranial system is comprised of the thick fascial membrane (dura) that surrounds and separates the structures of the brain and permeates into the spinal column to cover and protect the spinal cord.

The membrane attaches itself to the inside of the cranium along with two vertebrae at the top of the cervicle spine  and one vertebrae at the base of the lower spine, essentially suspending the brain and spinal cord in a container of cerebrospinal fluid.

Fascial restrictions within the craniosacral system create imbalances through  the 22 bones of the face and skull, ultimately compromising the central nervous system and affecting the proper balances of the body.

Interrupting the flow of the craniosacral fluid can lead to and augment conditions such as:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopaedic problems
  • Stress and tension-related problems
  • Motor-Coordination impairments
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
  • Neurovascular or immune disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders

Using a soft, light touch, our registered massage therapists are able to assess and treat dysfunctions and strain patterns to release restrictions in the cranial system in order to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, which directly influences the parasympathetic nervous system and relaxes the whole body. Furthermore, because of Craniosacral Therapy’s ability to enhance resistance to disease, and because it complements the body’s natural healing processes, it is increasingly used as a preventive health measure

Deep Tissue Massage

Who can benefit from deep tissue massage therapy?

Virtually anyone. Deep tissue massage therapy is very helpful for clients who undergo hard physical training, participate in excessive sports, or have to endure prolonged sitting activities. One of our registered massage therapists can effectively treat and relieve persistent pain in the back, neck and head areas as well as stiff, tight, pulled and contracted muscles in any part of the body.

What are the benefits of deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage reduces muscle tension and releases stress within the muscles. It provides optimum relief from overuse and encourages natural blood circulation and lymph flow, which stimulates the circulatory system and dramatically increases much needed oxygen flow throughout the body. Increased oxygen promotes greater flexibility, improved range of motion and lowers susceptibility to muscle injury and/or strain. The result is an overall reduction of inflammation

Other benefits are:

  • Lengthening of shortened muscles
  • Softening and dissolution of banded muscles
  • Encouraging flexibility to tight and stiff muscles
  • Realigning of scar tissue
  • Bringing balance and elasticity to the body
  • Promoting the cleansing and flushing of toxins

What exactly happens during a deep tissue massage?

During a deep tissue massage, the registered massage therapist uses strong squeezing, pressuring and kneading movements to stimulate the internal layers of muscles. Deep tissue massage encourages the muscles, tendons and connective tissue to release acids, toxins and other body wastes. The cleansing achieved not only becomes the basis for re-invigoration and healing of the body, but also the release of stress from nerve tissues, helping with stress management.

The techniques used in deep tissue massage are direct and indirect. Direct techniques attempt to find resistance in the body and apply pressure to the muscle in order to locate it. Pressure is then applied until the muscle resistance is released. The indirect method will move in the opposite direction of the resistance. The amount of resistance will determine the amount of pressure that needs to be applied

What should you expect from a deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage is a completely safe and comfortable massage therapy, however, there are a few things you should be aware of to enhance your massage experience:

1. Be prepared for some discomfort during a deep tissue massage. The pressure and stretching techniques used may be a bit more demanding than a typical massage therapy treatment.

2.  In most cases, you will experience some muscle soreness after treatment. The soreness goes away in a couple of days, and the body is re-vitalized.

3.  As the patient, you will guide the depth, intensity and frequency of the treatment to maximize the benefits to your body.

4. The cleansing and corrective action of deep tissue massage will encourage the body to flush toxins, so please remember to drink plenty of water after each session. This being said, avoid drinking a large quantity of water at once following your session as this can be hard on the kidneys. Instead, try to supply your body with a steady flow of hydration by sipping about two liters of water throughout the day.