4:17 pm

We asked Calgary’s industry leaders to forecast 2019’s wellness trends; here is a look at their ideas and insights.


'Not just another Class'


I am getting used to hearing people at the Yoga Shala comment on the “friendly, warm community” we offer. People feel safe and not judged in our space, and this is key to making changes that are oriented towards well-being. These days there is an increase of workout offerings mixed in with yoga practice, and many people have expressed a desire to do “JUST yoga”, and to experience something deeper in their lives. People are searching for experiences or techniques to increase mindfulness and to manage stress and anxiety better. As so many of us are suffering in some way, we can benefit in environments where others are focusing on increasing quality of life, health and a level of contentment. Often we think about wellness as an individual endeavour, but a supportive social community is of undeniable importance.

Dana Blonde

Yoga Shala Calgary




“Integrating a HIIT style workout into you fitness routine”


This interval-based workout will give you the biggest “bang for your buck” for time strapped athletes. Runners, swimmers, cyclists in fact any long distance athlete will see their performance increase simply by integrating HIIT into your workout. These are intense anaerobic exercises that boost your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, improve insulin sensitivity, and burn off fat even after the exercise is finished. HIIT is an acronym for high-intensity interval training. It is a training technique where you give a 100% effort through quick bursts of energy. This is followed by a short and active recovery period. These short, very intense workouts all help you maintain lean muscle mass, and of course make you faster and stronger on the bike. One reason why exercise bikes are better than other machines to train HIIT is because of its low impact and it's an easier recovery in between the intervals. However, you do not even need a bike to get them done (though, of course, a bike is best since training on a bike is the best way to get fitter and faster on a bike). Additionally when participants can measure and visually see their power output during each interval, by way of a power meter, they are more aware and educated about their own personal ability - they are likely more motivated as well. 


Martine Yzerman






“Medicinal Mushrooms are Popping up Everywhere”

Medicinal mushrooms were once a unique supplement at a health food store but now can be found in many departments of any grocery store. Medicinal mushrooms are not the psychedelic mushrooms that our parents experimented with in the 70s! They are dried mushrooms that are adaptogens that tailor to what our bodies need to help us relax or get energized and supports our immune system. With the popularity of medicinal mushrooms growing, you can now find them in everything from hot chocolate powders to granola bars, teas and tinctures. There are many different kinds of medicinal mushrooms but our favourites include chaga (for energy), turkey tail (for immune support) and reishi (for stress relief). Keep your eyes peeled for Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Chocolate, Purica Immune 7, and Host Defense Peppermint Mushroom Throat Spray. These are all that great medicinal mushroom products for those wishing to start their mushroom exploration in 2019.


Kelsey Williams, C.H.N.C., Culinary Nutrition Expert




“Move your DNA”


For 100’s of years we have thought diet was the key to wellness, today we know that regular full body movement gives us long-term physical and mental health. Katy Bowman has started an international trend called “Nutritious Movement”.

She says “I propose that movement, like food, is not optional; that ailments you may be experiencing are simply (and complexly) symptoms of movement hunger in response to a movement diet that is dangerously low in terms of quantity and poor in terms of quality—meaning you aren’t getting the full spectrum of movement nutrition necessary for a baseline human function.”

We are not talking about exercise.

If you are exercising for one hour a day, that is still only 6% of your awake hours. This level of activity makes you an outlier in today’s’ sedentary life-style but it does not really fill you up. She makes the point that a lot of people drive to work, sit all day, drive to the grocery story, purchase chopped up vegetables, drive home, spend 30 minutes making a meal and then sit in the same chair or sofa to read or watch a favorite show. The trend is how to change the way you wake up, sit at your desk or watch your favorite show by incorporating slight rotations of your joints or sitting in a different way. More and more people are having knee and hip surgery because the joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and all the fluids in these areas are not getting flushed by daily full range of motion activities. Our effort to move every part of our body into full flexion, extension and rotation to optimize our well-lived life is trending in 2019.

Visit her website to see what all the hub-bub is about.



Shelly Macgregor

Owner of Apex Massage Therapy ltd; Founder of Spagoes and Spa901





“Getting more done with sleep”

The sad reality is many of us are not getting enough good quality, uninterrupted sleep during the night. Lack of sleep can impact our mood, energy levels, skin and a long-term lack of sleep can have serious mood and health consequences.

 There has been a huge increase in interest in wearable fitness trackers and sleep monitors in the last few years and the trend continues to grow.  Experts are predicting the global market for sleep technology will hit $77bn in three years time with almost 60% of the demand for sleep technology coming from the US alone.

 For many, investing in a sleep tracker is the first step to understand their sleep patterns. Some of the devices will not only give you insights on how well you are resting during the night but also help you work out what will improve the quality of your sleep by offering personalised tips.

Here is a link to an article published by Techradar.com listing 8 best sleep trackers to buy in 2019: 



Monika Longworth,

Marketing Manager at Apex Massage Therapy ltd




Return to a balanced “diet”


Most diets start from the belief that something is wrong about your body. Something you don’t like needs to be fixed. We then restrict, deprive and try to control.

How about just loving our body enough to want to nurture it healthily. Not to force feed or starve, but to feed it a healthy nutritious, balanced diet that also gives us pleasure. To become aware of and listen to our bodies’ signals of hunger and satiation.



Tim Woolley, RMT

Lead at Apex Massage Therapy Ltd



4:02 pm

Interview with Tim Woolley,RMT - one of our Leads at Apex.

We sat down with Tim few days ago to talk about his approach to massage therapy, hobbies outside of work and his first days at Apex. 


Tim, you are a senior therapist, one of our Leads at Apex, with a significant number of regular clients. What has been your biggest success in terms of restoring someone’s health/well-being?

Tim: I must say my biggest success is actually in educating the clients and influencing them to make a change in their own lives as well. Massage will start the healing but often it is really up to them to introduce changes in their lives.

 There was one time, when for ages, I was pestering this one particular client to start stretching  and telling him how important it was every single time he came to see me.  One week he just decided to go to a yoga class. Came back the next time just talking about how he felt absolutely fantastic after that and became fairly dedicated Yogi!


I know that outside of work you are have few hobbies – playing guitar and woodwork are few of them.  What do you like to play, how did this passion start? I am dying to know more about woodwork – what did you build/create recently?  

Tim: I started listening to music thanks to my dad who had a collection of various rock records and types. I listed to a lot of Queen, a lot of Deep Purple and some Sex Pistols, the bands my parents listed to, and I enjoyed that! I found them much more enjoyable than a lot of the music that was coming out then, in the early 2000s and late 90’s. In my teenage years I decided that I really didn’t like any modern music, and started looking back to the 80’s and really started listing to a lot of heavy metal. So, I wanted to play guitar – that’s what you do when you see these guys playing solos, you want to do it too! So, I started trying to play guitar. I was terrible! Very, Very bad! I had some lessons and I was still terrible…

I found a particular teacher who really helped me to change few things, showed me a lot more and I started improving a lot from there! I have been playing since I was 14.


And woodwork?

Tim: The woodwork comes from my desperation to be able to be creative. I am not the best with my hands, well… apart from massage, but I am not very good at creating with my hands. I was never very good at drawing, painting, my writing is terrible, but I always enjoyed trying to do that kind of stuff. It really comes from working on something, basically starting it from scratch, and having this finished product in front of you.  It is really satisfying.


What have you built or made recently?

Tim: So far the main two finished things are a sign for my niece to go over her crib (it has her name carved in it) and a small side table that I made, it was a part of the course I took.


You have recently participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. This year’s race unfortunately was stopped by the organisers because of poor quality of the air (BC fires). How did you prepare yourself for this event? Are you planning to participate in other events, now that you are in the best shape of your life?

Tim: I prepared myself by basically by riding my bike as much as I could.  This year I couldn’t really wait to start to ride my bike after the winter, there was still ice on the ground and about -1C. I started off being able to do about somewhere between 5 to 10km and I felt pretty exhausted. I kept doing it and every day I have noticed myself improving in the speed and distance. Because I come from the south of the river I have to come up the big hill so at the beginning it was tough, I had to get off my bike and push for probably the first month, after that I had to stop at least once, and towards the end of the year I could get up to the top of the hill without stopping, and it felt fine!

I am looking at the Ride to conquer Cancer again next year and other rides as well.


Do you remember your first day (or early days at Apex)? – I like to ask this question, people usually have funny stories to tell... 

Tim: I have been working for a year when Apex opened at this location in Briar Hill. My friend Fraser got a letter delivered to his the door advertising the opening “meet and greet” and wanted someone to come along with him, so I offered to come. I thought it was a really nice clinic. I met Shelly MacGregor and was really impressed with everything here.  But I had just started working somewhere else so didn’t think about it for a while...

I used to come here to get massages from Fraser, so I knew the place, I knew few people here, I really liked it, and one day Fraser just said “Why don’t you come here?”  So, I did! I am glad to be here!


What motivated you to become a massage therapist?

Tim: I do not know! It definitely wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t something I grew up wanting to do.

I knew I wanted to come to Canada. I looked at a few different courses for a few different careers and thought …massage – that’s seems interesting!

I grew up playing all the sports and I got few massages but not in the traditional sense as it was just the coach beating your legs up after a game.  So I thought massage…it could be something I could do I guess… I like sports, I exercise… During the course I found that it gave me a fantastic opportunity to get absolutely obsessed about details which I really like doing and also allowed me to really think about what I was doing. I am not a fan of learning something and repeating what I have been thought. I really want to understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. A lot of my techniques are not necessary techniques I learnt at school, most of the time these are techniques I have developed, or techniques I learned at school and  changed to suit me and my approach, based on what I found was effective.


You are one of the Leads at Apex, tell us about your transition from being a therapist to being a lead?

Tim: I think when I started at Apex we had about 15 Massage Therapists. We have just hired a 32nd.

One of the things that really appealed to me at Apex, when I came here as a client, and also when I started here as a Massage Therapist was that it always seemed to have a happy, positive feeling to the place. For me that is a major, major part of why I enjoy working here. With the growth the one thing I didn’t want Apex to lose was that feeling, the culture. It is potentially very difficult when you are growing so fast.

For me as a lead, this was what I really wanted to focus on - keeping that culture. I think it was what originally made Apex a success and as we are growing it should continue to make Apex a success. I really hope everyone, therapists and clients who come to Apex feel that as well!



Tim Woolley, RMT studied at Mount Royal University, graduating from the two year diploma program in June 2012.

Through his experience in many different sports, including cycling, rugby and soccer, he understands people’s aches and pains as he has experienced them himself and also understands how to help relieve them. He incorporates many different techniques into his massages including relaxation, therapeutic, deep tissue techniques and frictional therapies. He prides himself on being flexible and always meeting each client’s needs, specializing in treating pain, chronic injuries, postural dysfunctions and sports injuries.