Cascade Massage Therapy - Natural relief from pain  
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How I Work

Therapeutic Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain Relief

What to Expect
My Approach
Treatment Techniques

What You Can Expect

1. FREE Initial Phone Consultation:

You are welcome to call me for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation, at which time we can briefly discuss your situation and decide whether massage therapy may be of assistance to you. I can answer any questions that you have and help to clarify your funding options, as therapeutic massage therapy is an insured benefit under various insurance providers. If we decide it’s beneficial for us to work together, we will book the initial session.

ONLINE BOOKING AVAILABLE: If you have already decided you’d like to book an appointment, you are welcome to book your appointment online – click here for my booking calendar:

Book Online!

2. First Session:

I will require you to complete a thorough health history form at your initial session which will help me to understand the complexity of your issues, and assist me to create therapeutic massage therapy treatments that will fulfill your goals and produce long term results. Please arrive 10 minutes early to allow yourself time to complete this form without being rushed.

Or you can CLICK HERE to download the health history form to print and fill out at home. Then be sure to bring your completed form to your first appointment!

Our initial interview will include traditional assessment techniques to help me clarify the roots of your pain and will then move into the treatment portion of your session based on what I find in our assessment.

3. Subsequent Sessions:

The ideal frequency of your massage therapy sessions is based on a treatment plan that we devise at our initial visit. Depending on your circumstances I may recommend treatments to continue as often as 2 sessions a week or as irregular as once a month.

I find that clients who need massage therapy for pain relief realize the greatest gains in their healing when they receive regular weekly appointments. We will know it is time to reduce the frequency of your sessions as your symptoms diminish, and as you gain the resources and confidence needed to continue your self-care at home. As preventative care, monthly massage therapy proves very beneficial for people and is recommended as a part of your wellness plan.

My Approach

I bring over 18 years of bodywork experience and education to the massage table! I offer you diverse and comprehensive therapeutic massage therapy sessions. Your treatment goals are foremost and your needs will be heard and addressed. I utilize both traditional and alternative treatment techniques, and recommend self care tips and exercise options that evolve with your individual healing process.

My intention is to be a facilitator in the cascade of your healing process and health maintenance. I believe that within the human body is the desire and ability to be well. I serve to act as a catalyst for this process, by providing you with massage therapy for chronic pain relief.

This is your time - I encourage you to enjoy the stillness of your session, and sense the changes occurring in your body while we work - you don’t need to be entertaining or start a conversation; that being said, please recognize that I do not read minds. I expect my clients to participate in his or her experience and give feedback as needed during the treatment.

Cascade Massage Therapy is focused on education and prevention. It is important that you know what you can do to help prevent stress, tension, and pain when you are not with me. I allow for time at the end of our session to converse, suggest self care tips and exercises that would be beneficial for you, and answer any questions that you may have.

I believe that prolonged stress, whether environmental, physical or emotional is a primary factor in dis-ease and a true obstacle to healing. Therefore, I welcome you to a peace-filled and relaxing environment for you to experience massage therapy for chronic pain relief.

“The nature of my work challenges my body, both on the farm and in providing care for my husband who is confined to a wheelchair. When my workload is increased, I get severe lower back pain due to the shifts that occur in my spine during lifting. I can usually alleviate the discomfort with Feldenkrais, a movement therapy which assists my body in staying balanced, flexible and strong, helping me to maintain wellness. I also incorporate other self-care tools into my life, such as massage therapy.

I decided to receive a treatment from Sonja during a busy time when my workload had caused some imbalance in my body. After one session I was aware of the shift in my hips and low back – it seemed that my spine was straighter! This became increasingly obvious over the next 5 months, because I didn’t injure myself once - which is unique for me because of the many awkward postures demanded of me in my daily life. I attribute much of my good fortune with a balanced and pain free body to my massage therapy treatment with Sonja!”

CR, Farmer, Feldenkrais Practitioner, Caregiver

Click here to read more success stories!

Treatment Techniques

My Treatment style includes the use of a multitude of techniques that I intersperse throughout my sessions when applicable. For example:

Swedish massage
Muscle energy technique
Strain counterstrain
Neuromuscular therapy
Hot Stone Massage (available by request)

Swedish Massage

  • Characterized by its firm, yet calming pressure that improves blood circulation, eases muscle tension, improves flexibility and enhances relaxation.
  • Dry techniques are done over the clothing or I will use oil or lotion with a series of long, gliding strokes, kneading of the muscles, and vibrational taps that are so common when one thinks of massage.
  • The sequence of strokes varies according to the client’s needs, typically beginning with broad general strokes, transitioning to more detailed specific strokes to address problem areas, and finishing with broad connecting strokes.

Muscle Energy Technique

  • Based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, a theory that explains that muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of that joint when indirect pressure is applied.
  • Is used in order to lengthen shortened or spastic muscles, to improve weakened ligaments and muscle strength, and to improve range of motion.
  • This procedure is performed when you are asked to contract a muscle for approximately 5-seconds against an anti-force applied by me. You will perform the gentle muscle contraction 2 or 3 times in a row in order to stretch and relax the muscles further each time.

Strain Counterstrain

  • After identifying tender points on your body I choose a suitable passive position in order restore pain-free movement.
  • Your joints are placed in a comfortable position for approximately 90-seconds.
  • During this time your muscles will naturally reset to their proper positions.
  • Once the muscles are in their natural position, I gently move the tissue in its normal range of motion so that the area becomes rebalanced with the rest of the body.


  • By removing misunderstanding from the body, an Ortho-Bionomy® session is a respectful and comfortable experience combining the structural principles of Osteopathy with energetic and philosophical concepts from Martial Arts and Homeopathy.
  • The gentle techniques used activate self-corrective nerve reflexes, allowing the body to regain its original patterns of health and wellness.
  • Cranial and visceral (organ) release techniques are a part of this modality, and the work is both gentle and respectful of the sensitive natures of these regions.
  • Physical and emotional healing occurs as the body remembers its natural ability to seek balance by moving from pain to comfort.

Clinical Somatic Education

  • Based on the system of Hanna Somatic Education(HSE) pioneered by Thomas Hanna.
  • A system of neuromuscular education that can help you retrain tight, sore muscles to lengthen and relax thereby relieving pain and helping you to enjoy comfortable movement.
  • To achieve this, practitioners use two methods:
    1. Hands-on techniques
    2. Somatic Exercises - a series of safe, gentle remedial exercises that reawaken the cortex's control over voluntary movement and can be done at home to enhance your treatments.


  • A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in your feet and hands which correspond to every part of your body.
  • Through application of pressure on particular areas of the hands or feet, reflexology serves to relax tension, improve circulation and promote the natural function of the related areas in your body.

Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key)

  • A Japanese light-touch, energy-based modality which works as a support mechanism to the body, Reiki re-establishes a normal energy flow of ki (life force energy) throughout the system, which in turn can enhance and accelerate the body's innate healing ability.
  • Through a series of hand positions either directly on or just above the body, I will channel the flow of energy through your body. Your body then draws off the amount of energy that is required.
  • The five principals of Reiki offer a simple guideline for daily conduct with others and self. They are:

    * Just for today, I will not anger
    * Just for today, I will not worry
    * Just for today, I will be grateful
    * Just for today, I will work hard on myself
    * Just for today, I will be kind to others

Neuromuscular Therapy

  • Use of static pressure on tender points to relieve pain and improve blood and oxygen supply to the tissue.
  • The depth of pressure is not intended to be painful. In fact, as muscles are releasing, most people describe the sensation as “good pain” or a “hurts so good” type of feeling.
  • It is important to communicate with me regarding the pressure - whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse. I will listen and respond accordingly.
  • Following treatment, any soreness that presents itself will likely fade after 24 to 48-hours.

Gift Certificates are available for all massage therapy techniques.

Hot stone massage

  • A luxurious massage, ideal for people wanting to experience deep relaxation, improved circulation and detoxification as well as relief from joint stiffness and muscle tension.
  • Heated Basalt stones are held by the massage therapist and used as a tool during Swedish massage strokes. Additional massage techniques using the therapist`s hands are interspersed throughout the treatment for enhanced focal work that is appropriate to the individual.
  • Stationary stones are placed at key areas of muscle tension and will be left on your body for localized heat penetration during the massage.
  • The stones emit a wonderfully warm and soothing dimension to a Relaxation massage. The stones also assist the client in rebalancing energetically, from both the perspective of working with the Chakra system, as well as by harmonizing the nervous system.
  • Cooled, marble stones may be incorporated into your treatment in order to facilitate further healing to specific areas of your body. The combination of cooling and warming of the body is especially comforting and effective in situations of sinus congestion or inflamed and painful muscles.

Gift Certificates are available for hot stone massage.

Please note: Hot Stone massage must be specified at the time of booking your appointment to ensure the appropriate amount of time is allotted for set up of this treatment.


  • Defined as ‘the art and science of utilizing essential oils in healing the body, mind, and spirit’, aromatherapy is both a preventative approach as well as being complimentary to treatment during acute and chronic stages of illness or dis-ease.
  • What are Essential oils?
    Distilled extracts from flowers, herbs, spices, leaves and woods, they are highly complex substances made up of many different chemical components with various healing properties.
  • Essential oils enter the body by way of olfaction, or inhaling the molecules when we breathe, and also through the skin.
  • I diffuse pure essential oils into my office, to cultivate an environment of healing and transformation. This offers you a warm beginning for your massage therapy session with me. As well, with your consent, I may choose to integrate essential oils into your massage oil for use during your treatment.

Call Sonja at 250-550-4727 to book an appointment, or click the ‘book online’ button for my online booking calendar:

Book Online!

I provide therapeutic massage therapy for pain relief.
You can achieve and maintain optimum health!

Call today for a free, no obligation 10 minute phone consultation. We will discuss your needs and together decide how I might be able to help you. I look forward to hearing from you. Contact me at:

Sonja Rawlings, RMT
phone: (250) 550-4727

Cascade Massage Therapy is a professional home office located at
1601 – 30th Avenue, Vernon, BC  V1T 2A3


Office located in Vernon, BC, Canada. Serving Vernon, Coldstream,
Lavington, Armstrong, Lumby, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Chase,
Falkland, Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan.