our family

TEAM

We're a close team that resembles a family. We're known for our friendliness, welcoming energy and positivity. Our therapists and practitioners are passionate about always putting your health and wellness as top priority. You will be cared for from the moment you walk through the door until the time you leave. We strive for your experience to be as personalized as possible, regardless of if this is your first experience with massage and acupuncture, or if you're a returning client.

TAYLOR DIRSTEIN

CEO, RMT, CMMT

 

I’m obsessed with everything Health & Wellness! In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors and in nature as much as possible with my dog Oliver. My favourite place to be is in Bruce County as I’ve spent most of my life up there exploring & appreciating what the great outdoors has to offer us. Locally, I enjoy going to any trail or natural area, Victoria Park, Laurel Creek, The Grand River & Bloomingdale. I love to hike, walk, run, bike, swim & do light resistance training for exercise. I practice yoga & meditation daily. I also enjoy reading all types of books and listening to all genres of music & podcasts. I spend most of my spare time connecting with my spirituality & higher power to allow for constant personal growth. I’m obsessed with astrology, the moon phases, planets, nature, plants, animals, boho decor, boho fashion, and anything to do with the universe! I’m super close with my family and enjoy spending as much time with them as possible, along with my closest friends. I believe what we fuel our body with makes us who we are. I LOVE water and focus on eating whole foods! 

 

I decided to become an RMT when I was very young. In the summertime, my family would spend our time between my mom’s parents' farm and my dad’s parents' cottage. I saw how much effort and physical labour had to be put into the upkeep of both properties and especially all the hard work that farming entailed. Since I had the gift of healing, small & strong hands, I would offer to massage my grandparents' hands, shoulders, and feet after a long day of work. When I was around 10 years old my Grandma had mentioned that Massage Therapy was something I was good at and should look into it as a career when I was older. I didn’t believe it was a real career, I just thought it was something kind you did for the people you loved. That planted the seed & it just continued to grow from there!

 

My favourite part about working at Knots is the community. It was a dream of mine to cultivate a space that felt like a home away from home. Somewhere you’d visit & all of your worries would disappear from the moment you walked in the door, as if you were entering your home or safe space. I wanted to provide a place to let everything go & just relax. Knots attracts really awesome people with great energy, including my co-workers. I believe that the kind of energy you hold in a space makes all the difference in the environment and attracts the energy that you want to be a part of.

 

My favourite self-care tip is to schedule in time for yourself! This is an absolute MUST in my life. My life is set up to work for me and around my health and wellness. If it doesn’t fit with my values or beliefs, I don’t do it. I always dedicate Wednesdays & Sundays into my schedule as self-care days. Those days focus on renewing & revitalizing my soul so that I can be ready for the week. Doing it on Wednesday allows for a mid-week decompression & Sunday allows me to enjoy the day before another work week gets started. My favourite relaxation tip would be dedicating a self-love & self-discovery routine into your life. The biggest one for me is an evening of aromatherapy, candles, Epsom salts, a bubble bath, an at-home facial, relaxation music, crystals, meditation & yoga. This allows me to focus purely on my wellness before bed and allows me to unwind, practice gratitude, and dream without being interrupted. I splurge every once in a while on a bath bomb, bubble bath, Epsom salts, tea or kombucha to keep the routine exciting & something to look forward to. It’s important to create an experience for yourself to keep it interesting and as something you know is good for your soul! It’s hard to pick one tip so I do have to add another one. It’s been crucial for me to focus on my breath and my posture all the time. Breathe in & out of your nose using your diaphragm & expanding your core. Focus on your thoracic spine (middle of your spine) and pushing it forward through your chest. Watch your posture change, tension subside & your breathing will be a lot easier too!

 

My favourite part of the KW community is the on-going support of local businesses. The heartbeat of a local business is the neighbours, friends, family, connections & referrals within the KW community. Without our generous and gracious community, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Without you we wouldn’t be able to be ever-expanding, changing, or growing to serve you better!

Please note: at this time Taylor will only be offering relaxation massage services, but the rest of our team will still be offering deep tissue. 

MICHELLE BAKER

RMT

 

Michelle graduated from the massage therapy program and became licensed in 2015. She used to spend hours sitting in an office chair, and coupled with declining physical activity and healthy nutrition, this caused her to develop pain. After an amazing massage therapy treatment, her pain was gone, and she decided to become an RMT. Michelle has taken extra courses, including cupping, fluidity of fascia, Clinical Methodology and assessment courses.

The wealth of knowledge each therapist brings is why she loves working at Knots, and the camaraderie displayed creates a wonderful work environment. 

Michelle finds having her own regular massages keeps her tuned up and primed for daily life. She believes in injury prevention by not pushing her body beyond its limits. As a self care tip, she recommends everyone strengthen their muscles, preventing aches and pains that lead to potential injuries. 

Michelle loves that KW is full of amazing businesses, and loves to support knowledgeable and compassionate business owners.

CAROL CULHANE

RMT

Carol has lived in the UK, USA, South Africa, Kuwait and Australia, but has now happily settled in KW with her partner, 7 year old son, and 2 cats. Her hobbies include playing guitar, gardening, reading and drinking good wine.

Carol was an experienced shiatsu therapist when she decided to become an RMT to deepen her knowledge and skills to help others. She genuinely enjoys using hands-on techniques to help people feel better. Carol's  favourite part about working at Knots is getting to

work with wonderful clients and colleagues in a relaxed, collaborative environment. 

Her best relaxation tip would be

to take a nice bath, and to find practical ways to incorporate self-care into your day to day life. 

Carol's favourite thing about the KW community, after moving from Toronto, is the access to gorgeous wild spaces and a slower pace of life.

ERIC VANDER HEIDE

RMT

Eric enjoys online and offline gaming, and watching a good movie or nature/history documentary. He wanted to become an RMT to make a positive impact in the lives of others. As a child, Eric massaged family members because he found the tissue responses interesting, and it allowed him to stay up past his bedtime.

Eric loves working at Knots because of how friendly, down-to-earth, and welcoming everyone is. It never feels like going to work, and instead feels like coming home.

Eric's best self-care tip would be to remember that everyone is different in what they find most effective to unwind. The best way Eric can decompress is to go on a walk through the woods, and to really focus on that experience. His favourite thing about the KW community, beyond its rich history, is how collaborative and welcoming everyone is during times of need. 

AMY GIBSON

RMT

 

Amy has been an RMT for almost a year, after completing her diploma in Massage Therapy at Fleming College in Ontario. She decided to pursue a career in massage therapy after realizing she really enjoyed learning about physiology and anatomy in school. She also has a passion for helping people, and loves that she can do that every day as an RMT.

Amy loves working at Knots because she's constantly surrounded by amazing people - an awesome group of talented RMTs as well as amazing clients that she gets to know quite well. 

Her top self care tip would be to get massages! Through experience, Amy's learned just how important massages are. Whether you have a specific problem you need address, or if you just want to de-stress with a relaxation massage, everyone can benefit from getting massages!

JOSH DEVINS

RMT

Josh graduated in 2017 from Mount Royal University in Alberta. As an RMT, Josh has a passion for helping clients be the best version of themselves, and helping wherever he can, through massage, to allow his patients to enjoy their lives to the fullest extent. Josh enjoys working with clients who are experiencing back, shoulder, and neck pain due to working in an office setting, or in any career that isn’t allowing them to work at their full potential. Josh also enjoys working with clients who suffer from postural issues due to their daily activities and workplace habits. Additionally, he enjoys treating anyone who is looking for relaxation and to de-stress. Josh's top self-care tip would be to be aware of the physical demands of your job, and to work to prevent potential pain.

KAREN PARKER

RMT

Karen is a mom to two girls - one human and one fur baby. In her free time, she likes to read and to work on her house renovations. Teaching has become a passion of Karen's, and she's loved instructing Massage Therapy at TriOS College since 2018.

Massage Therapy is a second career for her. After working in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years, Karen knew it was time to make a change when she stopped loving her job. The science of the human body is fascinating to her, but she didn't want to sit at a desk anymore. She finds it very rewarding when she is able to come up with a solution to help her clients solve a problem. Karen's favourite part of working at Knots is that the team is a family. She can always turn to them for ideas and help.

Karen's self care tip: prevention is better than reaction. It's better to do daily stretches to prevent a problem from starting than having to treat the problem after it developed. 

ASHLEY SWARTZ

RMT

Ashley had always been interested in the healthcare field. Her mother was a nurse, which inspired Ashley to want to help others. While nursing wasn't her calling, Ashley knew she loved science and wanted to know more about the human body. She saw an ad on TV about Massage Therapy School, and the rest is history. 

Ashley loves working at Knots because of her co-workers, the environment, the freedom to work in her own space, and the ability to grow not only as a therapist, but as a person. 

One of Ashley's self care tips is to take the time to do the things you love, whatever they may be. There's something out there for everyone, and you can't forget about yourself and your own personal needs. One of Ashley's favourite things to do is to get outdoors by playing sports, going camping, going to waterparks, hiking, and walking trails.

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