Appointments available
Monday - Saturday, daytime and evenings
online appointment booking
181 Highland Rd. East
Kitchener, On N2M 3W1
Phone: 519.570.0444
Email:
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About Us

An Essential Knead strives to offer excellent client-centered care in a clean, friendly and professional environment.
We offer a dynamic group of Therapists who all work
differently drawing from their diverse backgrounds.  This helps to create our unique environment that Kitchener-Waterloo has grown to know and trust since 2011.

We have 7 Registered Massage Therapists available throughout the week to accomodate your busy schedule.
Please see below for each Therapist and their respective hours:

Erin Basso, B.Kin., RMT


I graduated from Sutherland-Chan School in Toronto in 2001 after completing my Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University.  In my time at school I was able to take classes in anatomy, neurology, hydrotherapy, remedial exercise but also the more focused outreaches such as spinal cord injuries (at Lyndhurst Hospital) and high-risk pregnancy (at Women’s College Hospital). Since moving to Kitchener, I have had the pleasure of working in all different settings from a spa, chiropractor clinic, physiotherapy clinic and multi-therapist clinic.
As a Therapist I treat adults for relaxation and in all stages of injury and rehabilitation. My approach is to work longer on an area of concern versus using deeper pressure (I do not do "deep tissue" work). I find my clients get optimal results with this approach with far less pain following the treatment. Also, using my Kinesiology background we may discuss other areas of your life to determine why your pain is happening. These areas may include the pillow you use for sleeping and your sleeping positions, your shoes (do you need orthotics?), your work station and computer ergonomics for example. I love a challenge! Have you been to other therapists without success? Book an appointment with me and let’s work together to get on the road to recovery!

Erin is available:

Mondays: 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesdays: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Wednesdays: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Fridays: 9:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Adam Fridenburg, RMT


Throughout my life I have had a great number of physically and emotionally traumatic experiences, both of my own doing and of others, and found much relief in massage and chiropractic; this is why I chose to become a therapist. Before becoming an RMT I wandered through Conestoga College and picked up a couple diplomas, Business Management and Radio Broadcasting, then ended up fixing/building computers for a few years. In my personal life I am a father of a wonderful 5 year old boy, a gamer, a nerd and one of those crazy people who do something similar to parkour.  I also happen to be androgynous which should tell you that I’m pretty open minded and have a love for shoes and beautiful clothing.

As an RMT in two multidisciplinary clinics I have a lot of experience with clients who have been in some sort of traumatic incident (ex. car accident) or have been dealing with chronic pain and/or loss of function for a long time.  I’ve also worked many hours with clients who have brain injuries or degenerative diseases during outreaches at places like MS Society and BIAWW. Treatments are tailored to the client and usually provide deep therapy for muscles, fascia and joints; focusing on restoration of breath, function and posture. Often I will invite clients to actively participate in the therapy in order to speed the healing process, though some treatments are purely relaxation where stress/anxiety is the main concern. When I see a client less and less because they feel better and better it’s always a rewarding feeling!


Adam’s hours:
Tuesdays: 11:00 - 2:00 and 4:00 - 7:00
Wednesdays:  11:00 - 2:00 and 4:00 - 7:00
Fridays:  11:00 - 2:00 and 4:00 - 7:00
Saturdays:  11:00 - 2:00 and 4:00 - 7:00


Elisa Colantonio, BKin, RMT 


My passion for massage therapy is derived from a lifetime of athletic involvement.  At the University of Western Ontario, I obtained my Honours Specialization Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, and I was also a member of the women’s varsity swim team for four years.  During that time I learned to appreciate the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy body.  After finishing my swimming career at Western, I decided to enroll in the Sutherland-Chan massage therapy program in Toronto.

I am experienced in treating a wide range of clients in different stages of healing including spinal cord injuries, cancer patients, scoliosis and much more.  I am competent in Swedish massage, myofascial release, pre and post natal massage, sports injury treatment and treating everyday aches and pains.  I adapt every treatment to your specific needs whether you are in pain, or simply want a relaxation treatment.

Elisa’s hours:

Tuesdays:  1:30 - 9:00
Wednesdays:  9:00 - 3:30
Thursdays: 1:00 - 8:00
Fridays:  9:00 - 12:30
Saturdays:  9:00 - 12:30


Daniela Vilela, RMT


I am an honours graduate of the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have recently moved to the KW area and I am very excited to join the team at An Essential Knead.
While in Halifax I took a special interest in sports massage while working in the sports community clinic and volunteering at local sporting events.  I also enjoy treating a wide variety of conditions and I incorporate a variety of techniques including Swedish massage, myofascial release, trigger point release, joint mobilizations and proprioceptive techniques as well as remdial exercise to customize the treatments according to each individual’s needs, and provide them with the most effective treatment plan, as well as home care to help my clients meet their needs both in the treatment room and the comfort of their home.
I have also received a post-graduate diploma in Cupping Massage and Hot Stone Massage (not available at the moment but please feel free to ask me about it).
Hope to see you soon!

Daniela’s hours:

Mondays:  2:00 - 8:00
Wednesdays:  2:30-5:30
Fridays:  1:00 - 8:00
Saturdays: 1:00 - 7:00

Wendy Louks, RMT


I grew up near Sarnia, ON, moving to Kitchener for school, graduating from Medix School with a diploma in Massage Therapy.  Growing up I was active in sports, playing baseball for 7 years.  For as long as I can remember, I wanted to explore a career in the health care industry.  It took some encouragement from family before I chose to become and RMT.  I believe in a mutually beneficial relationship between a Therapist and a client.  I enjoy the challenge that a career in Massage Therapy brings and I look forward to helping clients achieve their health care goals.  I am proficient in Swedish massage techniques.  I have also taken courses in the following areas:
* Causes and treatment of low back pain and SI joint dysfunction
* Understanding the treating the TMJ
as well as other courses designed to help me achieve my goals as a Massage Therapist.
Whether you are looking to relieve everyday aches and pains or simply looking to relax, I am willing to work with you.  I look forward to meeting you!

Wendy’s hours:

Mondays: 10:00 - 7:00 
Thursdays: 10:00 - 8:00
Fridays: 1:00 - 7:00
Saturdays: 9:00 - 3:00 (first 3 Saturdays of the month)


Julie Shawano, RMT


My interest in whole body wellness began 22 years ago when I realized just how far an effective therapeutic touch could go when healing from my own personal injury. Since then I have pursued a variety certifications in order to encompass many aspects of whole body wellness (mind, body, soul).   

I graduated from the RMT program with “honours” at Medix College in 2015 giving me a solid base in anatomy, physiology, treatments and rehabilitation. My treatments are client specific and can be gentle yet effective allowing a natural release of the tissue or slightly more aggressive as the client’s situation calls using modalities like fascial techniques to release bound up tissue or peripheral joint mobilizations  to increase joint health.  I also have extensive experience in youth massage using a more delicate touch when needed.

My career thus far has given me the diversity to work with many different types of clientele and conditions ranging from 8 yr old athletes, to those who suffer from chronic pain due to injury or conditions such as frozen shoulder, nerve impingements, including sciatic nerve, thoracic outlet or carpal tunnel. I have developed a strong skill set for relaxation or treatment work including General Swedish Massage, Massage Cupping, Remedial Exercise and Trigger Point work which allows me to work intuitively and effectively to service my clients goals of healing, maintenance or relaxation.

Some of my other certifications are as follows:
Pranic Healing Level 1 certification in 2006
Reiki Level 1 in 2009
Holistic Life Coach Certification in 2010
Energy Psychologist specializing in EFT (emotional freedom technique) in 2011
Shamanic Healing Apprenticeship 2009-2011
Massage Cupping in 2016
I am currently enrolled in a Reflexology course as part of my continuing education

I am passionate about helping people live more rewarding and stress free lives and I look forward to meeting you!

Julie’s hours:

Mondays:  9:00 -6:00
Tuesdays: 9:00 - 5:30
Wednesdays:  10:00 - 8:00
Thursdays: 9:00 - 6:00
Saturdays:  10:00 - 4:00 *
    * fourth of each month only

Thomas Black


Thomas grew up playing competitive sports such as basketball, cross country and ultimate frisbee, the latter competiting at National and Internation level in 2008 and 2010. 
 Injuries at a young age led him to seek treatments with an RMT.  Upon receiving treatment he found great results and was able to get back to the activities and sports he wanted.  Now, Thomas wanting to return the favour, is giving back with a focus on deep tissue, chronic pain, sports and relaxation massage.
Thomas will be joining An Essential Knead beginning in January.  More details to come.

Thomas’ hours:

Tuesdays:  11:00 - 8:00
Wednesdays: 4:30 -9:00
Thursdays:  11:00 - 8:00
Fridays:  11:00 - 8:00

Bonnie Snyder, RMT


Bonnie is still in the process of moving overseas but will be in Canada for awhile starting mid June so will be working at An Essential Knead while she is here.  Her schedule is available to book online.