New or ongoing chronic pain can really take a toll on you physically and emotionally. Pain is a response to a threat or injury that is designed to protect us. However, the longer we experience pain that is not managed, the more sensitive the pain response system becomes. So, even if two people have the same pain condition, it should be noted that their experience of living with that pain is likely to be vastly different, and if you live with pain, you already know this to be true! If you experience pain regularly, be it once a month or every day, pain management measures should be taken to improve your overall well-being – which includes protecting your emotional health.
But pain is also much more than just a physical sensation. An individual’s attitudes, beliefs, personality, and social factors can all influence their pain perception. Why is that? Well, all of these factors affect our energy and our stress response, which then triggers our inflammatory response, and all pain originates from inflammation, which blocks energy flow.
At Red Leaf Wellness here in Edmonton, we can help. Our team specializes in reducing or relieving your pain through an integrative approach. We blend the best of modern western and traditional eastern approaches and techniques including massage, acupuncture, and more. We also leverage referral pathways and partnerships with other Edmonton pain management experts so that you can start enjoying a normal life once again.
Red Leaf Wellness provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for individuals with acute, chronic and cancer-related pain. Our expertise spans the management of pain from such syndromes as:
Orthopedic Injuries (joint, extremity, or spine)
Amputation and Phantom Limb Pain including Post-Mastectomy Pain Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (a complication of shingles)
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
Cancer Related Pain
Please note: Red Leaf Wellness does not prescribe narcotics. However, we are available to work closely with your referring doctor on determining the most appropriate medication plan for you.
Our Pain Management Services
Most patients who manage their pain successfully approach the process as if it were a jigsaw puzzle with different pieces contributing to the larger whole – their quality of life. There is no one answer when it comes to pain.
Pain Management services which we offer at Red Leaf Wellness include can help with
restoring energy flow
improving sleep, therefore, reducing or resolving your pain!
Other parts of the puzzle may include services provided by our referral partners such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, medical imaging, pain clinics, naturopathy, functional medicine, counselling, personal fitness training, yoga, and/or meditation. Every patient’s puzzle is unique, and successful pain management is often the result of painstaking trial and error.
Massage for Pain Management
Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints. It is a clinically proven healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with occupational stresses, muscular over-use, and many chronic pain conditions.
Many people struggle with tense muscles, which can be very painful and affect how they show up in their day-to-day lives. This can be caused by increased levels of stress, health conditions, deconditioning through reduced functioning, injuries, and more. Massage can help to release this tension, in turn relieving pain and increasing relaxation.
During massage, blood flow is increased, lymph is moved for drainage, and important hormonal shifts take place. The added blood flow helps your body to function optimally, while the lymphatic drainage encourages your body to release toxins, enhancing your immunity and overall wellbeing. As far as hormonal shifts go, massage decreases levels of the stress hormone called cortisol, while Serotonin and Dopamine levels increase, effectively reducing the perceived level of pain. Serotonin helps us to maintain our mood, promoting happiness and a feeling of emotional wellbeing, and Dopamine plays a vital role in how we feel pleasure and experience joy. Overall, our thoughts and feelings strongly influence our pain levels. So, increasing our positive thoughts can help us to reduce stress and negative thinking about our pain, in turn reducing pain.
Acupuncture for Pain Management
Acupuncture is a minimally invasive method that involves strategically positioning tiny needles on the surface of the skin to bring about the body’s natural healing abilities.
At the insertion site, the needles create tiny injuries, and although these are slight enough to cause little to no discomfort, they are enough to warrant a response from the body. This response involves the stimulation of the immune system which naturally promotes circulation, wound healing, and pain modulation to the affected areas. It also creates a natural “pain killer” analgesic effect which suppresses pain, and the release of your body’s own neurotransmitters helps to regulate, modulate, and block pain that comes from the musculoskeletal system.
Since each acupuncture point corresponds to specific areas in the body, a diagnosis is not necessary. Simply letting the acupuncture practitioner know of your collection of symptoms (including how well you’re sleeping) will point them to the corresponding areas of the body that need release. The increased blood flow from the release helps to reduce pain over time as necessary nutrients are brought to the areas of the body that need to heal.
While medication is effective on a short-term basis, it does have the tendency to damage vital organs in the long run – the liver in particular. Acupuncture remains a safe and drug-free way to create the same effect on the brain to reduce pain.
Caring for people is my passion and one of the greatest callings life has to offer. I am a seasoned Paramedic and Acupuncturist with extensive experience assisting patients as they cope with obvious and invisible injuries. I have been there for those in desperate medical, psychological or traumatic situations, delivered beautiful babies in vehicles parked along the side of the road, and administered care in such odd locations as on a domestic airliner at 30,000 feet or when flying emergency medevacs over Arabian desertscapes. I know full well how to care for those in true crisis but have also witnessed so many more whose illnesses and injuries could be traced back to their treatment of the body as a whole, whether through their diet, fitness levels, or neglect. As my career has evolved, so has my focus, which has shifted to helping a greater number of people early on to prevent minor issues from evolving into larger and costlier illnesses. In my practice I have found a niche offering by pairing these strengths in emergency care and women’s health with the respected skills and techniques from top practitioners in oriental medicine. All care is focused on returning the body, mind, and spirit to a whole.
My academic preparation closely incorporates oriental medicine with Western healthcare. My passions build on natural strengths in highly stressful complex interactions, care management, and treatment of anxiety, depression and PTSD – particularly amongst Armed Forces and Emergency Services personnel. Within North America and the Middle East I have enjoyed a long standing career as a respected clinician, clinical educator, fire and emergency medical dispatcher. I hold active licensure/registration with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA), the California Acupuncture Board, and the Alberta Herbalists Association (AHA). I am a past Board Director with the Alberta Pain Society and a present member of the CAA Competence Committee.
Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM), American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Master of Science (M.S.) – Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, cum laude, South Baylo University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) – Holistic Science, South Baylo University
Diploma – Emergency Medical Technician (Paramedic), Augustana University
RAc – Registered Acupuncturist of the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
RH – Registered Herbalist of the Alberta Herbalists Association (AHA)
LAc – Licensed Acupuncturist of the California Acupuncture Board
Dipl.Ac – Diplomate of Acupuncture of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
Dr. Abtahi is a well-respected and sought-after clinician who firmly believes that the greatest personal wealth an individual can have is good health. In his clinical practice, Seyed is known for addressing highly complex medical conditions with a gentle, empathetic, soft touch, and also for taking the time to translate into simple terms what may be going within each body system. His focus is on helping patients not only understand why discomfort and disease manifest in convoluted ways, but also in helping them develop balanced and holistic treatment plans to better guide their health journey.
Seyed is an avid life-long learner and researcher, always striving to understand the evolving intersections of classical Eastern and modern Western medicine. There is no doubt he has deep expertise in the delivery of complex care – he was a distinguished faculty member for several Universities and academic institutions in Iran, where he leveraged his graduate anesthesia and pain management studies to develop and deliver course curriculums for future generations of clinicians. He lectured widely on topics such as the pathophysiology of medical diseases, intensive care, pediatric and gynecological disorders and medical surgical needs. It was during this tenure that Seyed also discovered a natural curiosity for complementary medicine, as he was able to see the profound impacts it would have on helping people reach better levels of physical, mental and spiritual fitness.
His professional interests tend towards a broad spectrum of ailments, including chronic pain management, musculoskeletal pain, general health, digestive disorders, stress management, functional disorders, insomnia, emotional and psychological disorders, gynecological issues and auto-immune disease, among others. Seyed likes to incorporate different modalities to help his patients including acupressure, tuina (Chinese massage), gua sha, moxibustion, electro-stimulation, cupping, scalp and ear acupuncture.
Seyed holds a Master of Science degree in Anesthesia, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. He is an honors graduate of the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture program at Reeves College and is fully qualified with the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA). He is also a certified Su Jok Acupuncturist from the International Su Jok Academy, which is a highly specialized style of Korean acupuncture with a unique focus on those treatment patterns involving the palm and foot.
Master of Science (MSc) in Anesthesia, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Diploma of Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac), Reeves College
Certificate of Su Jok Acupuncture, International Su Jok Therapy Association, Su Jok Academy
Certificate CPR Level C – AED, HCP from Canadian Red Cross
RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAAA)
Helping people comes naturally to Michelle! As a highly skilled Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, and Advanced Care Paramedic she is widely recognized for developing unique care plans which draw on her knowledge and therapeutic touch gained across each of these specialized disciplines. Having over twenty years of combined expertise in caring for her patients, Michelle has had a front row seat to observe how stress and emotion affect the mind and body. Complementing her acupuncture services at Red Leaf Wellness, Michelle offers a variety of therapeutic and relaxation massage therapies, including pregnancy massage, myofascial release and myofascial cupping.
Michelle began her health career as a massage therapist, graduating the 2200hr Massage Program at Macewan University in 2001. Being active in competitive sport in her youth, Michelle understood the benefits of massage on sport performance, recovery and injury prevention. She subsequently branched into emergency care and became an Advanced Care Paramedic where she was able to offer a calming presence in stressful, emergent situations. Michelle has always believed that soft skills, an extra moment spent with family, or a hand to hold on the way to the hospital, can be as healing as the specific medical interventions themselves. Working as a Paramedic Michelle saw, and began to question, how it is that people differ in disease and the aging process and why the same drug benefited one person, but not the other. Her lifelong learning journey had her begin to look for these answers in the time-tested practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture, thus kicking off another quest for knowledge at MacEwan University’s Acupuncture Program.
Diploma – Acupuncture, Macewan University
Diploma – Emergency Medical Technician (Paramedic), Augustana University
Certificate – Massage Therapy Grant MacEwan College
RAc, College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
RMT, National Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC)
Dr. Yoko Masuda is a master practitioner – skilled in the rare craft of Japanese style acupuncture – where she incorporates and tailors gentle needling, moxibustion (specific deep heat), therme (heat massage) and cupping into her treatment plans. These skills, as well as her reputation for delivering tangible results, make her a sought-after provider, especially in the areas of pain management, sports injuries, orthopaedic injuries and emotional health. Yoko firmly believes that the mind and the body are intertwined in healing and she continually advocates for a healthy lifestyle alongside of the care she provides.
Yoko received her acupuncture degree in Japan and, after working at several clinics in Tokyo, she accepted a staff acupuncturist position with the world renowned Cirque du Soleil touring show. For nearly twenty years, she went on to travel the far reaches of the globe, working on several other productions, and earning the respect of an international group of artists, staff and athletes before eventually selecting Edmonton for her permanent clinical practice. As a former high school physical education teacher, and also as an alumnus of the Japanese national rhythmic gymnastics team (where she competed internationally on numerous occasions), she has amassed an impressive background in sports therapy and physical education, uniquely positioning her to address all manner of orthopedic and performance related concerns.
Outside of work, Yoko enjoys travelling, the outdoors, and spending time with her husband and two elementary-aged daughters.
Diploma of Acupuncture, Hanada College, Tokyo, Japan
RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
In a world that is constantly moving, in which we continually push ourselves to achieve more, do more, and be more, Dr. Moynihan believes that a gentler approach with ourselves and our bodies will achieve an overall greater well-being, and that all else flows from there. Acupuncture is the modality she uses to help people explore and heal deeper issues within their bodies, opening up their capacity to truly thrive.
After working in the health and fitness industry as a Personal Fitness Trainer for many years, Dr. Moynihan bore witness to the many patterns of roadblocks that clients can face in their quest for wellness. Working closely with her clients’ bodies for years she observed the undeniable and powerful energy the body has. This insight, coupled with her innate desire to help others attain a deeper level of physical, emotional, and mental healing, led her to become a certified Reiki Practitioner, Crystal Healer and Doctor of Acupuncture.
Dr. Moynihan is widely known for her therapeutic touch, gentleness and compassionate approach. Her main treatment goal is to create an environment where all her clients feel comfortable, and have an understanding of what is occurring within their body and why. Accomplished in the art of traditional Chinese medicine, she is able to assist with a myriad of ailments and disease states such as pain management, digestion, insomnia, and anxiety. Dr. Moynihan has completed additional highly specialized, Cosmetic and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture training from leading Oriental Medicine practitioners, and has also attained Subconscious Imprinting certification. Subconscious Imprinting Technique is one of the most effective ways to discover and remove subconscious beliefs, decisions and patterns that are negatively influencing your health, relationships, and the way you show up in your life.
Diploma of Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac) Reeves College
RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
Kristel loves helping people on their wellness journey and, through massage therapy, she has witnessed the impact healing touch plays within holistic care. Kristel studied massage therapy at Mount Royal University in 2003 and has been practicing in different clinical settings for the past 15 years. Over the course of her career she has experienced just how connected the body really is. Wanting to expand her knowledge and skill sets she returned back to university studies. In 2016 she attended the National Manual Osteopathic College in Red Deer, Alberta where her studies focused on utilizing all available modern manual medicine techniques to assess injury and diseases of muscles, bones, joints, organs and nerves.
Kristel uses her massage therapy skills, focusing on fascial release, visceral manipulation, cupping and craniosacral therapy to help her clients return back to being able to accomplish the things they love doing and to live in as pain free a manner as possible.
Kristel likes to treat a wide variety of neurovascular, musculoskeletal, and obstetrical syndromes such as low back/pelvic pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussions, whiplash, pregnancy, temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, structural and posture improvements. Her focus is on chronic care and rehabilitation.
Kristel loves to learn from and experience other regions. She has travelled around the world for work, studies, and personal growth. She grew up in small town Saskatchewan and has lived in Calgary, Halifax and Edmonton. Kristel also enjoys spending time with her great dane Odin.
Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy, Cardiovascular Health, Chronic Pain, Digestive Health, Emotional Health, Movement and Energy, Neurological Health, PTSD, Qigong Somatic Movement, Respiratory Health, Somatic Movement Education, Stress, Women's Health
Manuelacreates a safe space for her clients to rest and restore. She supports the body through gentle Craniosacral touch to release held tensions and constrictions and to re-orient towards health. Bringing the system naturally back into balance and vitality.
Manuela has the gift to support her clients to come into a deeper relationship with their bodies and the Intelligence embedded in it. Her gentle approach to movement and healing touch invites relaxation, sensitivity, and energy flow. The modalities she works with; Qigong and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, deeply acknowledge our physical, mental, and emotional interconnections.
Manuela grew up in Germany where she received advanced training in Somatic Movement Therapy, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Dance, and Qigong. She taught rhythm and developmental movement classes, including workshops for early childhood educators, as well as Qigong and Somatic Movement Education for adults. Manuela knows the body from the inside out and is inspired by the healing effect of the methods she teaches. Her practice evolved over the years, blending movement skills with therapeutic techniques. These learnings have led to a more integrated, holistic approach where sensitive hands are used to discover and release nerve, tissue, and orthopedic movement restrictions and support healing from within.
Somatic Movement Therapist (SMT), Moving On Center, Oakland, USA
Royston is a registered massage therapist with a two-year advanced clinical massage therapy diploma from MaKami College. This program is the highest comprehensive massage therapy program of its kind in the province of Alberta, providing 3,000 hours of classroom and practical work experience.
Over a decade Royston has practiced various forms of meditations as well as energetic and vibrational modalities. These modalities include Jin Shin Jyutsu, Acupoint Therapy, Qi Gong, Reconnective Healing and a modality similar to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy which he coined “Bio-Dynamic Energetic Therapy”. Royston specializes in chronic pain management through the balancing of the body’s energy fields and various energy systems.
These modalities help:
People who are sensitive to touch therapies and needling, reduce anxiety, stress and depression, relieve acute and chronic pain, increase the body’s energy and body awareness, and promote better circulation and improve mental focus.
Royston is also a certified NMT (Neuromuscular Therapist) and holds level III certificates in both Usui Reiki and Reconnective Healing. With both knowledge and experience, Royston uses energy and vibrational therapies to invoke the body’s natural ability to heal, bringing back balance to your mind, body, and soul.
RMT, Registered Massage Therapist Diploma, Makami College
NMT, Neuromuscular Therapist Certificate, International Academy of Neuromuscular Therapies
Traditional Japanese Reiki (Third Degree) Certificate – Usui System of Natural Healing
RMT, Canadian Massage & Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CMMOTA)