The Massage Therapy team at Spa Utopia North Vancouver
KELLY SLAKOV, RMT
Kelly has been a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) since 2009 after graduating from Utopia Academy.
Massage Therapy sparked Kelly's interest at a young age as she admired her mother's career as an RMT. Growing up with scoliosis and recovering from spinal surgery at the age of 13, she received massages regularly and experienced first-hand how massage can greatly enhance the body's healing capacity. Kelly places great value on health and wellness and sees massage as an integral component in a holistic healthcare plan.
Kelly has observed that the best therapeutic results take place when the mind and body are relaxed. She incorporates a variety of modalities in her treatments, including Swedish Massage, Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular Therapy, and Deep Tissue work. She enjoys helping people through a wide variety of challenges such as stress and anxiety, muscular tension, and various stages of rehabilitation. Taking care of your body between massages is essential and Kelly's complete approach involves recommendations for an improved work environment, sleep ergonomics, hydrotherapy, stretching and breathing techniques.
Outside of her practice, Kelly enjoys exploring nature and the beautiful outdoors with her friends and family.
TONY DELCHEV, RMT
Tony graduated from the WCCMT 3000 hour massage therapy program in 2010. He developed a strong interest in working with individuals who need specific work and focus via moderate to deep therapy, mobilizations, end range loading and MET, while working as a Physiotherapist in hospital settings and private clinics in Bulgaria and Germany, since 1995, when he graduated as a physiotherapist from the University of Bulgaria.
His focus to provide the best possible treatment utilizing a variety of techniques, along with the consideration of the individual needs of each person, is what provides the satisfaction that comes with developing and implementing safe and effective treatment planning.
"I strongly believe in the positive effects of massage therapy in injury prevention and post injury related complications. Massage therapy can play a key role in many joint and muscle pain, sport injury and chronic conditions".
ASHLEY DITOMASO, RMT
Prior to graduating from WCCMT in 2012, Ashley had spent the previous 3 years studying human kinetics. It was her strong interest in human anatomy and physiology that sparked her desire to follow with a practical application of her knowledge into a career in Massage Therapy. Ashley believes in tailoring each massage to meet the specific needs of the individual and it is through this approach that she gets great satisfaction in seeing positive changes through treatment planning and outcomes. Her desire to have strong communication and connection with her patients is only part of what makes Ashley such a highly sought after therapist and a valuable part of the massage therapy team at Spa Utopia Health and Wellness Centre.
JASON FANNIN, RMT
Jason completed his massage training at Kawartha Centre School of Integrated Health and Education in Ontario in 2000. Throughout his career he has worked and studied with Doctors, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Nutritionists and many other health care specialists where he gained valuable and applicable knowledge and experience. Through his clinical work and ongoing education, he has acquired a working knowledge of soft-tissue injuries and disorders, including extensive experience with clients who suffer from chronic and acute pain, sports injuries, and injuries from motor vehicle accidents. Jason's massage expertise integrates from several modalities including Sports and Deep Tissue Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Release, Injury Rehabilitation, and Postural Assessment. As a former competitive swimmer, Jason has worked through several injuries, during which he discovered a passion for the health industry and eventually turned his passion into a career. He maintains an active lifestyle with yoga, mountain biking, and swimming, and believes that by properly assessing and addressing his client's needs, he is able to tailor the right treatment plan to achieve measurable improvements.
PETER TRACHSEL, RMT
Peter graduated from VCMT in 2012. His views of applying Massage Therapy as a means of promoting wellness and encouraging the process of pain free, functional healing, along with the philosophy of using Massage Therapy in the prevention of injury have made him a great fit ito our team of RMT's at Spa Utopia Health and Wellness Centre. Peter has a passion to work with sports and the related injuries, scar tissue and preventative care.
TED HILL, RMT
Ted has been a Registered Massage Therapist since 2010, graduating from the 3000 hour Massage Therapist Program at the West Coast College of Massage. As a outdoor enthusiast (Running, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Snowboarding) with a few indoor activities as well (Kickboxing, Yoga, Swimming) he is well acquainted with the aches and pains that our muscles acquire. With the effective combination of massage, stretching and home care, it is Ted's goal to keep us all moving and doing the activities that we love. While he has a great passion for focused clinical style treatments, he doesn't forget that sometimes we just need to be pampered and have the daily stresses of life flow out of our bodies and minds. If you need to get back to the activities you love doing, or making the daily work grind easier, or to just get away from it all for awhile, he is happy to help!
DERICK WEATHERBY, RMT
A 2002 graduate of WCCTM, 3000 hour Massage Therapy Program. Derek believes Massage Therapy is an integral part of ones health care, not only for treating acute complaints and maintaining the body but as a key aspect of preventative care. He was drawn to Massage Therapy as a career due to a desire to help people and to make a difference in their lives. Derek enjoys the corrective application of treatment that deals with immediate issues but also helps in preventing further long term dysfunction associated with adaptation and compensation. He believes in addressing current issues in combination with identification of potential exacerbating issues, to provide the greatest opportunity to achieve the highest level of success through Massage Therapy.
MIRO SABEV, RMT
Miro's superior knowledge of human anatomy and kinesiology in combination with his long-time passion for body-building help him to understand various types of sports injuries. Spa guests and colleagues are equally amazed by his positive outcomes with treating tension headaches, neck and low back pain. His result- and patient-oriented attitude along with genuine hard work has made him the top requested therapist at NV Spa Utopia.
In 1998, Miro obtained his Certificate of Massage from the National Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since then, he has been practising Classic Swedish and Sport/Deep Tissue massages. He also has a degree in Bachelor of Animal Sciences from Bulgaria prior to immigrating to Canada. In 2010, he graduated from West Coast College of Massage Therapy with 3000-hour program and outstanding performance on Registration Examinations.
AARON BAKER, RMT
Since graduating from the 3000 hour Massage Therapy program at WCCMT in 2001, Aaron has accumulated over 10,000 clinical hours of practice. It is this practical experience that has allowed him to identify, and successfully treat a large variety of musculoskeletal concerns. In a society of hard workers and highly stressed individuals, we see the accumulation of these stresses on a daily basis. Headaches, anxiety, chronic muscle tension, fatigue and others tend to be common as a result. The benefits of Massage Therapy is often overlooked when dealing with these issues and Aaron feels strongly that, at Spa Utopia Health and Wellness, we provide an ideal, relaxing environment to help set the stage for the addressing and successful treatment of individuals that are affected by the manifestation of stress related concerns. Whether it is an acute pain issue, postural muscle fatigue, anxiety or need for general preventative maintenance, Aaron's goal is to tailor a treatment to best suit the needs of the patient in order to achieve the most effective outcome possible.
MARTIN LUM, RMT
Martin graduated in 2006 from the 3000 hour Massage Therapy Program. Prior to becoming an RMT, Martin had also completed his BA and teachers diploma from UBC. With an extensive history in sport that includes competitive wrestling and coaching youth sports, Martin is able to combine his practical experience, his talent in teaching, and his skill as an RMT to provide a balanced and educational approach to treatment. Believing " touch is a lifeline to humanity" and the benefits of massage in recovery, Martin strives to compliment his patients by empowering them through knowledge and the physical application of Massage Therapy.
JARED NG, RMT
Jared attended the West Coast College of Massage Therapy and graduated in April 2013. He views massage as part of a holistic approach to health and wellness. He became interested in massage when he experienced it's healing benefits first-hand and was witness to it's effectiveness in the lives of his own parents and their well-being. Jared gets great satisfaction when guests leave feeling better than when they came in and have a clear idea of how they (we) can continue to improve their health. He believes that effective treatments combined with adherence to home-care (good body awareness, stretching, posture) offers the best chance for success.
BERNARDA SCHRAM, RMT
Bernarda earned a Master's Degree in Environmental Protection (Ecology) in 2001, in her birthplace of Poland. In Sydney, Australia her passion for alternative medicine began and she gained Diploma's of Remedial Massage, Sport Athletic Support Services and Advanced Aromatherapy, as well as Certificates in Shiatsu. In 2007 she moved to Canada where she achieved her designation of Registered Aromatherapist and Essential Oil Therapist and became part of Utopia Spa Health & Wellness Centers, in British Columbia. Later she returned to West Coast College of Massage Therapy to become eligible to write the BC boards and in 2011 passed with exceptional achievement.
It is the wide range of experience, worldwide studies and commitment to continuing education that has equipped Bernarda with the knowledge and skill set that allows her to assist a diverse demographic of patients. Through personalized care her main focus is on the end goal; immediate relief and long term solutions for her patients to achieve optimal health.
She employs a vast array of massage techniques in her treatments, depending on assessment and the particular requirements of each individual. Bernarda is particularly passionate about breathing techniques, diaphragm release, joint mobilization, deep tissue techniques, active and passive stretches as well as hydrotherapy. She has successfully used these techniques in her practice throughout her career.
"10 years ago I started a journey that I believe will last my lifetime and include ongoing, exceptional education which I feel is the key to my success and my greatest tool for my patient"
Andrey Burkovsky, RMT
Graduate of Sutherland Chan School and Teaching clinic in Toronto since 2004. Andrey is vastly experienced from working in a variety of multidisciplinary clinics, hospital and spa environments and is currently also an instructor at Vancouver College of Massage Therapy. Believes that massage therapy is one of the most effective and gentle approaches for treating a range of musculoskeletal conditions and believes in establishing the most practical and efficient plan of treatment to address clients goals. Personal interests include: mixed martial arts and rock climbing.
Josie Weatherby, RMT
Since graduating from W.C.C.M.T in 2011, Josie has pursued advancement of her education in the areas of: Post Caesarean Section treatment, Muscle Energy techniques for cervical and thoracic spine and Osteopathic techniques. Josie's long time interest in healthcare and desire to help people, led her to pursue a career in massage therapy, where she feels inspired to share the many benefits of massage therapy such as relaxation, pain relief, joint health and promoting pain free functional healing.
Connor Carruthers, RMT
Graduated from the Vancouver College of Massage Therapy, April 2016. My passion for massage therapy was sparked when I took a course on Bodywork and got a sneak peek into the world of anatomy, pathology and kinesiology. Since then I knew I wanted to continue to expand my knowledge of the human body and how massage therapy could positively affect it. My love for physical fitness is a key driving force behind my massage therapy style which incorporates a variety of techniques to ensure that all aspects of the body are moving and working fluidly. I also understand the importance of giving the body and mind a safe and calm environment so that the work being done can be best received. I believe that empowering individuals to recognise the impact they have on their own recovery is essential to any treatment plan.
Catherine (Kate) Hounsell, RMT
After graduating from a 2200 massage therapy program in St. John's, NL in December 2010, Kate successfully completed the Newfoundland Labrador board exams in April, 2011. She began her massage therapy career traveling the world aboard a luxury cruise ship, enhancing people's vacations by promoting relaxation and alleviating travel related muscle tension and aches, as well as chronic stress and pain.
Upon completion of a nine-month contract, she returned to Newfoundland and began a career in a clinical setting, working closely with a chiropractor and other healthcare professionals. Kate believes a multidisciplinary approach between healthcare providers is important for clients to obtain the most effective results.
Having relocated to Vancouver in September 2016, she was excited to join the Spa Utopia North Vancouver team and put her diverse knowledge of the spa industry as well as the clinical setting to use together for a comprehensive understanding and application of skills and techniques.
Whether you are an athlete, musician, manual worker, or stay at home parent, Kate looks forward to working with you to develop a treatment plan and home care recommendations suited to your individual needs and lifestyle.
Doina Pislari, RMT
Doina is a graduate of the 2200 hour program from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy. Through her training she has worked with a variety of people and conditions. Some of her past experience includes treating patients at VGH, Burns Plastics and Trauma Unit, GF Strong rehabilitation centre, Vancouver Friends for Life Society, Multiple Sclerosis outreach and Prenatal massage. Doina combines manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, stretching and patient education to develop a personalized program for her patients because she understands that every patient presents uniquely; therefore a specific, individualized treatment must be provided to target their needs. To achieve her goals, she utilizes myofascial release, trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage, joint mobilization and Swedish techniques. In her spare time, Doina loves spending time with her family, hikes with her dog and enjoying the wonderful outdoors.
Catherine Ward, BA / CR / RMT
Catherine Ward moved to the West Coast in 2008 after too many years of dealing with humid summers and bitter winters in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. She has worked as an RMT since 2007 in several clinics and high-end spas in Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, West Vancouver and now at Spa Utopia in North Vancouver.
Catherine has a diverse background: She graduated with a BA in Music from the University of Ottawa, gained an E-Commerce Web Developer Certificate from Ottawa's Willis College, worked in web development, retail sales, and direct sales, and finally settled on a path of wellness after finishing the 3-year Advanced Diploma Massage Therapy program from Algonquin College in Ottawa. She also spent a year at UVic in their Fine Arts Writing program. She is intrigued by Aromatherapy and is a Certified Reflexologist, believing that a foot massage can work wonders in almost every massage session.
Catherine loves working with people dealing with pregnancy related discomfort, general stress, headaches and migraines. "Never underestimate the therapeutic benefit of relaxation" is her motto.
Spare time ( what spare time?!?) finds Catherine reading, writing, pretending to be an artist, and otherwise supporting the arts.
Catherine Ward regularly works afternoons, evenings, and weekends at Spa Utopia. Book your next RMT massage with Catherine and feel for yourself her relaxing yet therapeutic style.
Patrick McAnuff, RMT
Patrick graduated from the human kinetics program at the University of British Columbia in 2012, with a minor in psychology. His degree incorporates exercise, activity education, and skills into patient rehabilitation and recovery programs, and also how exercise, movement, and fitness intersect with disease, fatigue, and disability. Patrick went on to work with medical equipment in combination with prescribing remedial exercises to clients and patients, before deciding to enlist in a massage therapy program to improve different aspects of his abilities, primarily being assessment and treatment skills. After graduating a six-semester massage therapy program in Ontario (2015) with honours, Patrick sought out an active community where residents wouldn't view exercise prescriptions as homework, but rather as integration into their active daily lifestyles. Patrick has an all-encompassing approach he uses to improve quality of life, including techniques that improve range of motion, reduce stress and anxiety, decrease pain and tension, increase soft tissue and joint health, and take-home care to ensure optimal and maximized results for each individual.
While working in the finance industry, Vanessa decided to make a change to her career path and to follow her passion. She graduated from Vancouver College of Massage Therapy in 2014, and has been enthusiastically treating patients since. She believes that massage is an effective and enjoyable way to treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries and address the body as a whole. She employs numerous techniques, particularly myofascial release, Neurokinetic therapy, neuromuscular technique, Swedish massage and assisted stretching. She loves to help people feel better, be that a relief from pain or by providing a deeply relaxing massage.
Taylor graduated from the 3000 hour program at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 2007.
For 8 years, he was a passionate, and dedicated teacher at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy where he served on the administration and was a senior instructor in both the classroom and in the public clinic. He was head of the practical department, spearheaded intercampus curriculum changes, and taught upper level classes (in clinical sciences) as a primary instructor.
Taylor is an evidence informed and research literate practitioner. He excels at assessment. Better assessment = better treatment.
He integrates traditional manual therapy with modern treatment approaches.
Post graduate education includes, but is not been limited to:
Over 200 hours of human dissection to enhance his knowledge of anatomy, exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, Biomechanics, Pain Science, clinical research methodology including special techniques, such as: Osteopathic MET, Joint Mobilizations, DNS, MET, MLD, and Myofascial Release Techniques.
Jenna earned her diploma in Spa Therapy from the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage in 2009. While working in the field of holistic bodywork and hydrotherapy, Jenna decided to further her education and career. She graduated from Vancouver College of Massage Therapy in 2013 and shortly after became an RMT. She found her niche within Spa Utopia and believes that everyone should feel relaxed and pampered while receiving the best treatment possible through mind and body. Jenna prides herself on treating each patient with care and comfort. Using a strong foundation of Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release, Jenna loves to see effective and positive results with her patients.