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Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

Golden Milk, a recipe for inflammatory conditions and much more.

Posted on: November 4th, 2016 by Mariano

Golden Milk recipe Golden Milk recipe
Its great for you! Start drinking it every evening before bed.

Golden Milk is an Ayurvedic recipe. I started recommending Golden Milk to some of my clients that suffer from inflammatory conditions in the joints, from just muscle tension to more serious condition like cartilage degeneration.

Now I recommend this “magic potion” to all my clients because it has amazing benefits:

  1. It’s an antiseptic and an analgesic, so it helps with pain relief
  2. It detoxes the liver and helps to purify the blood
  3. It helps your digestive system
  4. It’s great for joint problems, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  5. It works well for different skin problems.
  6. It offers a general immunity boost and provides you with a good dose of antioxidants.


I recommend to drink Golden Milk before bed. It will help you sleep as well. My wife and I drink it every night.

The recipe is divided into two parts. First, we’ll look at how to make the turmeric paste. Then, we’ll use the paste to make the golden milk.

Turmeric paste
½ cup of clean water
¼ cup of turmeric powder
½ teaspoon of ground pepper

Put the pan with water in it on a medium heat setting. Add turmeric and pepper and stir well, so you create a smooth paste. It takes about 7 to 9 minutes to get the paste properly cooked. If it becomes too dry, you can add some more water.

Allow the mixture to cool down and then place it in a glass container with an airtight lid. The paste will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks.

Some people take this paste directly, without making it into a concoction. It’s good for pain relief. For severe pain, it’s recommended to take half to 1 teaspoon of turmeric paste a day.

Golden milk recipe
¼ teaspoon (or more if you can tolerate the taste) of turmeric paste
1 cup almond milk (you can also use organic cow’s milk or other milk substitute)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil (you can also use sesame oil or sweet almond oil) – get unrefined, cold pressed oil
Some honey (or use another natural sweetener such as maple syrup, stevia)

Put milk and turmeric paste in a pot and cook on medium heat. Heat the mixture until steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat. When the drink cools down, add honey and oil. The oil supplies you with healthy fats and further increases turmeric absorption. It helps with joint lubrication and promotes cellular function.


Mariano Torres / director at Integrated Therapies

Are you sitting in front of a computer all day? Five yoga postures that can help

Posted on: May 28th, 2015 by Mariano

Many of our clients spend hours, day after day sitting in front of the computer. The intense focus on the matter at work in the digital device combined with poor posture can create the muscle imbalances that are the fertile ground for future injuries. In this article we will focus on upper body, specially shoulders and back.

Generally the chronically tight muscles will include the muscles that round your shoulders and internally rotate your upper arm (subscapularis, teres major, anterior deltoid, pectorals major and minor), the muscles that hold your neck forwards – side and back neck muscles (sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius, scalenes and levator scapulae). At the same time the muscles that externally rotate your arm (infraspinatus, teres minor, posterior deltoid), the ones that open your chest and draw the shoulder blades down (serratus anterior, rhomboids, middle and lower trapezious) are not worked at all and may become weak.

The beauty of yoga postures is that, when done with proper alignment they stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak ones, helping the body create a more balanced pattern of posture. This can prevent chronic neck and back pain and rotator cuff injuries.

Five Yoga Postures to Balance your Upper Body after a long day sitting in front of the computer

photo 1Savasana with bolster along the spine and hands under the neck (photo) Lie on a bolster positioned directly under the first two thirds of your spine with the shoulders hanging on the sides and the palms of the hands facing up. Your legs are extended forwards resting on the floor, with your toes resting outwards. Bring a rolled towel under your neck so that your chin is perpendicular to the ceiling and your jaw is relaxed. Allow your body to rest here for seven minutes to fifteen minutes. Take out the towel. If you are experiencing lower back pain in this posture, place another bolster under your knees or bend your knees. This posture helps open the chest, stretching pectoral muscles and brings space in the back of the neck.


photo 2

Gomukasana – Cow Face pose (photo) Sit on a block or a pillow with the spine long and the legs crossed (you can also sit on a chair), bring your right arm up beside your right ear and bend the elbow, placing the right hand in between shoulder blades. Bring your left are up beside your left ear and hold your right elbow with your left arm opening your chest. Take a breath there. Keep your right arm where it is and bring your left arm down and bend the elbow across the back so that the finger reach the fingers of the right hand. If the fingers doesn’t reach, use a strap (or scarf). Keep your shoulders down and open. Stay for seven breaths and repeat on the other side. This posture help stretch deeper shoulder muscles like the subscapularis and strengthens the infraspinatus.




photo 3Purvotanasana preparation Upward Plank pose prep (photo) Sit with your sit bones on the floor and your knees bent, your feet on the floor aligned with your sit bones. Place your hands behind your pelvis with your shoulders externally rotated and your fingers facing forward towards your pelvis. Draw your shoulders down. The weight on your hands should be distributed throughout all of your hand including your fingers. Press down and out through your hands opening your chest. Keep your pelvis on the floor. Stay for seven breaths. This posture helps open up your chest, stretching tight muscles in the front (pectorals) and streghening weak muscles that help stabilize your shoulders (rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius).


photo 4Tadasana Mountain pose with interlaced finger on the back of sacrum (photo) Stand with feet hip width apart. Feel the contact of your feet with the floor. Bring your toes up and then down. Activate your center. Interlace your fingers behind your pelvis touching the heels of your hands together. Bend your elbows and point them back. Externally rotate your shoulders and bring them down. Soften your knees and extend your elbows. Make sure that your lower back and neck stays long. Take seven deep breath here. Rest and repeat one more time. This grounding posture helps balance the effects of rounding your back in front of the desk, opening your chest and engaging the middle back muscles.





photo 5

Warrior I with cactus arms Virabhadrasana I (photo) From Tadasana bring your right foot back, your feet around 3 to 4 feet apart. Bend your front knee so that it is right on top of the left ankle, in a 90 degree angle. The back foot is turned in about 30 degree angle with the outer border of the foot on the floor. The pelvis and heart are facing forward. Raise your arms up beside your ears and keep your shoulders down. Bend your elbows so that they are in line with your shoulders. Keep your hands open facing forward. Notice your shoulder blades moving towards the midline and down your back, feel your chest opening. Take seven breaths here. This posture strengthens the middle and lower trapezius and rhomboids, as well as your legs.


If you have any questions please contact me. I could also teach you this on a one-on-one yoga class.

Soledad Torres RYT and co/owner of Integrated Therapies

a review on acupuncture and yoga

Posted on: April 28th, 2015 by Mariano

Integrated Therapies is a glorious little oasis of wellness. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. I’ve been seeing Mariano for a number of years for acupuncture and massage, and he keeps me balanced and well.

His acupuncture treatments control my irregular heartbeat so I don’t have to take stupefying betablockers, and he also keeps a couple of other chronic conditions well-mediated without medication. I take individual yoga lessons with Sole, who is an exceptional teacher – gentle and encouraging and patient. I’m not exactly athletic but she adapts to accommodate whatever challenges I’m facing, and coordinates with Mariano to support his treatments. I feel so wrap-around cared for by these lovely people.

Ali Magnum

Prenatal Partner Worskhop

Posted on: June 10th, 2013 by Mariano

Soledad and Mariano doing Yoga Connecting though movement, breath and massage

When approached mindfully, the journey though pregnancy and birth can have a profound and positive effect on a couple’s bond. The intensity of the experience provides a unique opportunity to deepen and strengthen the relationship.

Join Mariano and Soledad for a fun and informative experiential workshop for pregnant couples or birth partners. The workshop includes:

  • partner yoga
  • thai massage
  • acupressure points for natural pain relief during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum
  • tips for partner involvement during labour and postpartum
  • illustrated quick-reference handouts with key points to remember

Date: June 22 from 6:30 PM to 9 PM

write or call to:
(780) 432-4803

Investment: $60 + GST per couple

Soledad and Mariano Torres are the owners and directors of Integrated Therapies. Soledad is a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher and massage therapist. Mariano is a Registered Acupuncturist, Registered Thai massage Therapist and bodyworker and NHPC member. They have helped in the creation of a beautiful son Orel, and are expecting another little one in September.

Hormone Yoga Therapy Workshops

Posted on: June 6th, 2013 by Mariano

Hormone Yoga Therapy for women's healthHYT is a unique and powerful practice that draws on techniques from different traditions to raise hormone levels by targeting the glands involved in hormone production. It helps to significantly raise and balance hormone levels in women and works effectively to relieve and eliminate symptoms and conditions associated with low or imbalanced hormone levels experienced throughout a woman’s life through menstruation to post menopause.

The practice of Hormone Yoga Therapy can help you relieve and eliminate symptoms:

menstruation and fertile years:

  • PMS
  • amenorrhea
  • dysmenorrhea
  • painful menstruation
  • polycystic ovaries
  • infertility


menopause and post menopause:

  • hot flushes
  • uro-genital dryness
  • low libido
  • incontinence
  • bladder infections
  • insomnia
  • night sweats
  • mood swings
  • anxiety
  • thyroid imbalances
  • depression etc.


The practice is accessible to women of all ages and fitness levels and no knowledge of yoga is required.

“When I first started HYT I was skeptical at what seemed almost “too good to be true”. What I can say now is that everything about HYT is absolutely true! At 46, premenopausal, no menstruation for 6 months, I was having about 20 hot flashes a day and had been waking through the night with hot flashes for about 6 months. After just 3 weeks of practicing EVERY DAY there was a dramatic decrease in my hot flashes to just 1-2 a day!!! and 1 at night. I noticed an increase in energy, and a difference in my facial skin, texture, tone and brightness, and there is a fullness to my hair. Mentally I just feel better. After 6 weeks my daytime hot-flashes and nighttime waking completely gone!!! I do the sequence everyday, sometimes miss one day a week. This truly is one of the best thighs you can do for yourself. Consistency at the beginning is key. ” Carrie Davison Edmonton

Check other Integrated Therapies classes: CALENDAR

Hormone Yoga Therapy for women’s health – Origins and effectiveness

Posted on: April 13th, 2013 by Mariano

Hormone Yoga Therapy for women's health HYT was developed by Dinah Rodriguez, a long time yoga practitioner and therapist from Brazil. Finding that Hatha yoga alone wasn’t enough to help with conditions and symptoms women were experiencing due to an imbalance of hormones, and encouraged by her gynecologist, she set out to research and design a special practice for women that would help balance hormone levels and remedy symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause.

After much research and practice drawing on techniques learnt from different traditions, she designed a practice that she found helped eliminate symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, and also helped correct thyroid imbalances, menstrual problems (PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, polycystic ovaries, infertility), and carpal tunnel syndrome.

She has combined yoga postures, breathing techniques (pranayama), Tibetan circulation of energy techniques and yoga nidra (relaxation and visualisation) to create a unique and dynamic practice that focuses on creating energy through breath and circulating to the glands associated with hormone production (pituitary, thyroid, ovaries and adrenals). The exercises are easily done, or easily modified for all bodies and fitness levels.

Dinah recommends the practice to all women over 35 whether experiencing symptoms or not. Our hormones naturally change from this age onwards and practicing HYT can keep levels balanced and raised and prevent the symptoms that low hormones cause that gradually creep up on us throughout perimenopause and at the onset of menopause.

Beginning in perimenopause and throughout menopause and post menopause, more and more women are taking Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help relieve their symptoms and reduce the risk of diseases (breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease).

Research shows that the progesterone and oestrogen our bodies naturally produce provides the best protection against these diseases and symptoms without the danger of side effects associated with HRT or low hormones It makes sense then to help our own bodies continue to produce progesterone and oestrogen into our senior years. There is a natural decline in the levels of our hormones, and it is possible for levels to drop off gradually while remaining symptom free, with reduced risk of disease. The practice will also keep you flexible and toned and you can practice well into your 80’s!
It is estimated that 50% of women experience low or less commonly hyperactive thyroid, due to added stress in our lives, some say fluoride in our water, and other environmental toxic loads that our bodies have to navigate. HYT can help strengthen the thyroid and balance hormone production again.

There are other influences on our hormone levels of course, including diet and stress. HYT has specific breathing and visualisation exercises to soothe stress levels and help with insomnia, and the practice itself creates balance, revitalisation and relaxation.

HYT is contra-indicated in pregnancy and with certain conditions ie: active endometriosis, large fibroids, hormone dependent breast/uterine cancer or history of. Some conditions require you check with your doctor or medical professional before beginning practice. If in doubt please contact me.

My experience:
“I came upon Hormone Yoga Therapy (HYT), through a friend, at the same time I was beginning to experience hot flushes, insomnia, vaginal dryness and getting really irritable a lot of the time. This was also after years of perimenopause where my thyroid was low (Hashimotos), and my thinking and digestion suffered cyclically.

I heard Dinah Rodriguez was coming over from Brazil to Edmonton to do a workshop, and went ahead and signed up. I loved it and went on to do the teacher training with her. At 85 she’s an inspiration, fully alive, heartful, dynamic, and kept us on our toes the whole time she was here. Myself and others in the workshop and training already experienced relief of our symptoms while practicing over that time with her. After 3 weeks I no longer had any hot flushes (I’d been having at least 9 or 10 a day), all vaginal dryness disappeared, and my libido was better than its been in a long time. I was amazed. I’m completely off all fermented plant oestrogens that I was taking now and I practice 5 times a week.

I really enjoy the practice, its dynamic, energising, relaxing and has a clear format. It connects me through my breath to my body, and to my womanness. It strengthens the perineum and the core muscles and I find its a wonderful way to start my day. I understand more and am more aware of the changes my body is going through as I transition into menopause. Since starting the practice I actually have my menstrual cycle back which I’m very happy about. It is naturally becoming less and I have none of the symptoms I had before.

After 4 months of practice, my oestrogen levels have increased more than 260%, my progesterone and testosterone levels are up and my thyroid has improved.”

Katharine Hansen is a certified Hormone Yoga Therapist, Registered Massage Therapist, Cranio-sacral therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher and Certified Coach specializing in Women’s Health.