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Meet Our Staff

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.

As of November 2018 we have two locations for your convenience. Beside each Therapists’ name is listed the clinic location. See “Contact” for a map of each clinic’s location.

We have 7 Registered Massage Therapists available throughout the week to accommodate your busy schedule.

Please see below for each Therapist and their respective hours: 

Wendy Louks, RMT (EAST clinic)

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 – 8:00
Wednesdays: 2:30 – 6:00
Thursdays: 10:00 – 7:00
Saturdays: 9:00 – 3:00 (first 3 Saturdays of the month)

Julie Shawano, RMT (EAST clinic)

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 infringements, 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, Tuesdays and Fridays:  9:00 – 3:00
Wednesdays and Thursdays:  9:00 – 5:00
Saturdays:  10:00 – 4:00 *
* fourth of each month only

Mary Kolosowski, RMT (EAST clinic)
Mary is currently on maternity leave.

Mary has worked an RMT since 2010 and an MR practitioner since 2012.  Massage Therapy is her passion and loves to help people using a myriad of treatment techniques including myofascial release, deep tissue work, trigger point therapy and Matrix Repatterning (MR) therapy.

Matrix Repatterning is a gentle manual therapy that releases restrictions at the molecular level. Developed over the past 15 years by Dr. George Roth, Matrix Repatterning uses a form of muscle testing to identify lesions in the tensegrity matrix of the body and then corrects them using light manual pressure.

Mary has studied directly under Dr. Roth, whose contribution to the treatment of concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been recognized by Dr. Norman Doidge in his book, The Brain’s Way of Healing (Penguin, 2015).

In her practice, Mary focuses on posture and structual alignment, the myofascial structure of the body, pain relief, relaxation, stress management and therapeutic exercise. Mary enjoys explaining the anatomy, physiology and, biomechanics of the body to her clients so that they have a clear understanding of the treatment process and how the body heals.

Comprehensive assessment, keeping up-to-date with evidence based research and taking the time to understand her clients’ goals, are the values to her massage therapy practice. 

She also treats adults and children including those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Mary had her baby May 12th and they are both doing well!

Erin Basso, B.Kin., RMT (EAST clinic)

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.

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?

Erin is not currently accepting new clients and will only be seeing people she has treated in the last year.  All other appointments will be cancelled and asked to reschedule.

Erin’s hours:
Mondays: 9:30 – 9:00
Tuesdays: 9:30 – 2:00  and 6:00 – 9:00
Wednesdays: 9:30 – 2:00
Fridays: 9:30 – 1:00
Saturdays: 9:00 – 2:00

Bonnie Snyder, RMT
(EAST clinic) – moved to the EAST clinic July 1st!

I have over 28 years of experience in Massage Therapy working on my own and in clinic settings. I graduated from Sutherland-Chan Massage Therapy School in 1990. 

I began my practice in Toronto working at the Sutherland-Chan Professional Massage Therapy Clinics. During that time, I also worked with the University of Toronto Swim Team and the York University Track Club gaining valuable skills working with elite athletes.

I returned to the Waterloo Region where I bought an established practice in New Hamburg and worked out of this clinic for 12 years. I then joined several clinics in Kitchener -Waterloo, most recently, An Essential Knead Massage Therapy Clinic in Kitchener. I enjoy working with people of all ages to promote movement, healing and relaxation. I have a firm touch but like to work with clients to find a comfortable depth of massage for each individual.

I have taken continuing education in Esalen Deep Tissue Work, Strain Counter-strain, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Advanced Myofascial Release as well as other related courses.

Bonnie is returning to An Essential Knead beginning in September 2019.  While she enjoyed being overseas with her husband, financially the Massage industry is not thriving there yet.  She has decided to return to Canada and continue a long distance relationship with her husband. 

Bonnie’s hours: 
Tuesdays, Wednesdays:  11:00 – 6:00
Thursdays: 9:00 – 6:00
Fridays: 9:00 – 2:00  

Rachel Metherel, RMT (WEST clinic)

Rachel has been a member in good standing with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) since 2010, after attending 3 years at Georgian College in Barrie.  She has been working in the Kitchener Waterloo region since 2012 at a variety of multidisciplinary clinics, with Chiropractors, Naturopaths, and Physiotherapists.

Along with traditional Swedish techniques for relaxation, Rachel also has training in Esalen Deep Tissue Massage, Acupressure and Positional Release Techniques.  Rachel believes self-care plays an integral role in your recovery from whatever you are coming in with, whether it’s an injury, a postural imbalance, or stress.  She will also give stretching and strengthening exercises to aid in your journey to wellness. 

In her spare time, she enjoys her own self care of yoga, fitness training, trail running and biking as well as painting and journaling.  Rachel is also an avid traveller, her favourite destinations including England, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. 

Rachel’s hours:
Mondays: 3:00 – 9:00
Tuesdays: 9:00 – 2:00 and  3:00 – 9:00
Wednesdays: 3:00 – 9:00

Christina Shorey, RMT (WEST Clinic)

* Christina will be leaving our clinic after December 4th. She is moving out of town.

Dan Weber, RMT, B.Sc. (Kin) (WEST clinic)

Dan graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology before furthering his education at the Canadian College of Massage Therapy and Hydrotherapy. As a Registered Massage Therapist, Dan has experience working in rehabilitation clinics assisting clients with injury prevention and recovery, as well as providing exercise instruction to assist with further healing. Dan brings this knowledge as well as his interest in sports into treatments, assisting individuals with physical imbalances and/or muscular issues.

Dan is passionate about helping individuals on their health journey. As a result of his own struggle with health issues in the past 5 years, he has gained an appreciation for the body’s incredible ability to heal. Massage Therapy is one method to aid in this healing process, assisting the body back to health and balance. Believing strongly in preventative healthcare, he is passionate about empowering individuals to discover and pursue their own innate health. He incorporates various techniques to help individuals with their goals, whether they are relaxation, decreased muscle soreness, or recovery from injury. In his spare time, Dan enjoys playing guitar and singing, as well as playing squash, volleyball, and baseball.

Dan’s hours:
Mondays &  Wednesdays: 9:00 – 2:00  &  3:00 – 9:00
Fridays:  3:00 – 9:00

Kassie Harker, RMT (WEST clinic)

Kassie is from the KW region. She graduated from the College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in 2006 and the College of Acupuncture and Therapeutics in 2008. She is a member of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and a part of the Registered Massage Therapy Association of Ontario (RMTAO). Kassie’s acupuncture training is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques. She has advanced her health science education through progressive assessment training, myofascial release and craniosacral therapy.

Kassie believes in treating the body as a whole. Providing rehabilitative based treatment plans involving direct manual techniques, acupuncture and remedial exercise to restore optimal physical function. She is a volunteer within the YMCA Neurological Wellness programs and seeks to develop treatment programs to reduce barriers to recovery and foster improved quality of life and wellbeing across all aspects of health. Treatments combining acupuncture, cupping, massage, craniosacral therapy and restorative exercise are available. She has experience in treatments for TMJ/sinus dysfunction, migraine prevention, sports/post-operative rehabilitation and neurological injuries. She looks forward to becoming a part of your healthcare and wellness.

(Note- Acupuncture is practiced within/under the Scope of Practice of Massage Therapy)
* Treatment service fees: 30 minutes- $60, 45 minutes -$75, 60 minute- $90

Kassie’s hours:
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 3:00 – 9:00
Fridays: 9:00 – 2:00
* Kassie is currently only treating clients from her previous clinic.