Leah N.P. Castel
Leah Castel
Leah N.P. Castel, BSc, RMT


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Leah graduated with honours from ICT Northumberland College in 2000 with a diploma in Massage Therapy. She then headed to Toronto where she successfully completed her Ontario Board Exams and returned to Halifax to begin her practice as a Massage Therapist. Early in her career Leah worked in a multidisciplinary environment which afforded her the benefit of co-ordinating treatments with physiotherapists and kinesiologists. She has experience addressing the needs of athletes, facilitating recovery from motor vehicle accidents and repetitive strain injury, as well as promoting relaxation.

In March of 2004 Leah and her business partner Sarah Letcher endeavoured to open a clinic of their own, total kneads massage therapy inc.

Leah has continued to expand the techniques that she is able to offer clients. She has studied myofascial release techniques as well as Schweitzer deep tissue therapy. Leah offers Jade Stone massage which promotes tissue relaxation through the use of both heated and chilled jade stones affecting a circulatory response. She is certified in acupressure chair massage, which has allowed her to bring massage to an office space or conference environment. Most recently Leah studied the first level of Thai Yoga Massage at the world renowned Lotus Palm Institute in Montreal. The application of movement and stretch combined with compression massage has a powerful effect on overall body wellness.

Leah is also currently working towards her MBA at Saint Mary’s University.

Leah is available for treatments:

  • Monday to Friday 9:30 – 1:00
  • Tuesday and Thursday 4:45 – 8:15
Sarah K.E. Letcher
Sarah Letcher
Sarah K.E. Letcher, BScKin, RMT, CFST1, RYT


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Sarah graduated from Dalhousie University in 1997 with her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (the study of body movement). She then attended ITC Northumberland College for their 2200 hour massage therapy program and graduated in 1999. She began working in August of ’99 following successful completion of the Ontario Registration Exams. The Physioclinic in Woodlawn was Sarah’s first career opportunity where she worked for 9 months in a multidisciplinary environment. She then moved to The Massage Factor where she spent 4 years developing her skills and building a strong clientele. It was at The Massage Factor that Sarah met business partner Leah Poirier and they decided to open this clinic in March of 2004.

Sarah has taken a variety of massage therapy courses since completing her program that have enabled her to specialize in Pregnancy Massage. These courses include Massage during Pregnancy, Labour Support Provider, Advanced Techniques during Labour and Infant Massage Instruction. She has 16 years experience in therapeutic massage treatments including relaxation, sports massage, myofascial release, injury management and motor vehicle accident recovery. Sarah is also a certified Reflexologist and has completed her Level 1 Reiki. In June of 2005 she completed an intense Schweitzer Deep Tissue Therapy course instructed by Gary Schweitzer from British Columbia. In March of 2007 Sarah completed a Sports Nutrition Consulting course. In May of that same year, Sarah completed a Hot Jade Stone Massage Course which uses both hot and cold stones creating a vascular gymnastics to the circulatory system. Great for removing toxins from the body and increasing circulation. She also completed an Indian Head Massage course that has become very popular at Total Kneads. This therapy is very relaxing and restorative for the mind and body.

In 2008 Sarah completed a 200 hour Yoga teacher training through Breathing Space Yoga Studio and now offers private and semi private classes at Total Kneads. When the weather is right you may find Sarah practicing outside and offering outdoor classes to those interested. For more information please contact her at

Sarah has been teaching yoga for 9 years and currently teaches a a Hot Power Rock Steady class on Thursday’s at Halifax Yoga also at 12:10 – 1:10. She is available to teach corporate  yoga classes, where the instructor comes into your workspace to lead a class.

Sarah encourages healthy living to her clients by having an active lifestyle, eating well and taking time for herself. She also works as a certified personal trainer at Slim Gyms. She wants you to care for yourself too!

In May 2017 Sarah completed a Yogassage training and loves how it combines her passion for both yoga and massage. This is a therapeutic treatment that can be a private session (billable to insurance companies) or in a small group setting (partially billable to insurance companies). Stay tuned for classes that will be offered by her and colleague Lucy van den Brink. She is continuing her massage education with a focus on Myofascial treatments including Cupping and MFR techniques.

Two years ago Sarah became a Certified Level 1 Fascial Stretch Therapist (CFST1) and she is finding this an incredible addition for helping her clients painlessly regain lost mobility.

She is available for treatments:

  • Monday 2:15pm – 7:00pm
  • Tuesday 9am – 3:30 pm at the total kneads location in Slim Gyms Fitness
  • Wednesday 2:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Thursday 9:15 – 11:30 and 2:45 – 5pm at the total kneads location in Slim Gyms Fitness
Leila Shaw
Leila Shaw
Leila Shaw, RMT, RD
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Leila graduated from Dalhousie University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts and moved to Toronto shortly thereafter. Years later, after bartending at the Squeeze Club and working in retail and management with Body Shop Canada, she moved back to Halifax, and began a Bachelor of Science at Dalhousie. Part of the way through, she applied and was accepted to the West Coast College of Massage Therapy (WCCMT) in Vancouver, B.C. She finished the 2200-hour program and after successful completion of the British Columbia Registration Exams, became board certified in March 1998. Leila is currently registered with the Massage Therapy Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS).

While in Vancouver, Leila worked in both Spa and Clinical environments, the last experience being at HealthSmith Community Medical Clinic, a multi-disciplined medical clinic. The experience at HealthSmith ignited an interest in not only the team approach to health, but also understanding it starts with self but may require many to be successful.

Four valuable queries shape our health: what we put into our body (food, and other), what we do with the body (fitness, and other), our quality of sleep, and our state of happiness. Information from these form a framework to guide choices to maintain or re-establish health. Massage Therapy is instrumental in facilitating improvements in: digestion and circulation, muscle imbalance, tension and restoration, sleep, as well as overall well-being.

The first query, what is put into the body, resonated over the years and sparked a path of learning to complement her Massage therapy practice. In May 2016 Leila graduated with honours from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Human Nutrition (Dietetics with Internship). She is now a fully Licensed RD with the Nova Scotia Dietetics Association and is ready to provide nutrition counseling. Leila invites you to ask questions and book an appointment to assess your current nutrition and assist you in making the changes to restore your well-being.

  • Leila has taken a variety of other courses since graduation from WCCMT to deepen her Massage Therapy practice, including:
  • Systemic Deep Tissue Therapy (Level 1 with Armand Ayaltin, 1998)
  • Visceral Massage
  • Myofascial Release
  • Schweitzer Deep Tissue Therapy (Level 1with Gary Schweitzer, 2006)
  • Thai Yoga Massage (Certified from Lotus Palm Institute in Montreal, 2007)
  • BodyTalk Access, Neurokinetic Therapy, and most recently Aromatherapy
  • Thai Hand Reflexology

Leila engages her clients to explore their health issues and provides a safe, knowledgeable and compassionate environment for healing. She also refers to and works in conjunction with other therapists and health practitioners to support and facilitate her clients’ health.

Available treatment/appointment times:

  • Monday’s: 11:00am – 6:00pm at the Slim Gyms location of Total Kneads
  • Wednesday’s: 2:00 – 8:00pm at the Sullivan Street location of Total Kneads
Elizabeth Vandenberg
Elizabeth Vandenberg
Elizabeth Vandenberg, RMT

Elizabeth graduated from University of Guelph with an honours Bachelor of Science. She went on to work in research labs in the US and at Dalhousie University. Throughout the years, she was drawn to the field of massage therapy and other alternative therapies. She completed 2 separate yoga teaching trainings and has been teaching yoga since 2005. In 2007 she decided to leave academic research and go back to school for a career in massage therapy full time. After two intense years with a pregnancy and raising her son, she graduated with honours from ICT Northumberland College in 2009, and also received the award for clinical excellence and professionalism.

After passing her board exams in Ontario, Elizabeth was thrilled to join the amazing team at Total Kneads. She is dedicated to helping others obtain wellness through massage and yoga and looks forward to increasing her knowledge of myofascial release, Thai massage, cranial sacral therapy, reflexology and hot stone treatments in the future.

Hannah Baker
Hannah Baker
Hannah Baker, RMT
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Hannah graduated with honours from ICT Northumberland College with a diploma of Massage Therapy. During her schooling, she took courses on Myofascial Release, Suikodo, Craniosacral Therapy, and Pregnancy & Infant Massage. In treatments, she integrates this knowledge with Swedish Massage, as well as using trigger-point release therapy, stretching & strengthening, joint mobilizations, and deep tissue massage to provide an effective treatment plan for each client. Hannah enjoys inspiring her client’s self-care through education of how their body works, and providing helpful instruction for homecare exercises.

In 2006, Hannah received her Reiki Level 2 training, and enjoys incorporating this with Massage Therapy. Reiki is a gentle energy technique, complementing Massage by relaxing the body, calming the mind, and balancing the energy field. Combining these techniques works full circle with Hannah’s belief in the body-mind-spirit connection, encouraging the body’s natural capacity to heal.

Hannah also loves to motivate fitness through hula hooping, and has organized presentations and workshops in the city for adults and children. Not only is hula hooping a productive workout, but it is also a fun workout, inspiring both a positive attitude and healthy body image.

Hannah believes that everyone can benefit from massage, and is adaptable to be able to meet each client where they are, providing the opportunity for open communication to find the best route of wellness for every situation.

Savannah D'Entremont
Savannah D'Entremont, BA, RMT
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Savannah graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2005. She furthered her studies becoming a certified yoga instructor, and later graduating as a Registered Massage Therapist from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy.

While specializing in pregnancy massage therapy and cupping therapy, Savannah also has experience and takes special interest in manual lymphatic drainage,  relaxation massage, and repetitive sprain injuries in athletes. She will continue to further her expertise this year embarking on the Dr. Vodder Manual Lymphatic Drainage training.

When treating patients, Savannah wants to know more about her patients than what treatment they are simply coming in for. She believes truly overcoming a physical ailment requires getting to the source of the problem, not just treating the symptoms. Creating the mind-body connection within patients in order to help them harness their body’s own ability to heal itself is essential. Savannah’s background in yoga has been invaluable in helping her tune into not only the physical aspect of massage therapy, but the mental aspect – helping clients relax, tune into themselves and create balance.

Empathetic to each and every client who walks through her door, Savannah’s ability to meet her patients exactly where they are, guide them through their treatment and home care is what makes her treatments therapeutic, relaxing and enjoyable.

Available treatment times:

at Sullivan Street location
Tuesday and Friday 2:15-8:30pm
Wednesday and Saturday 9-1pm
Every second Sunday 10-2pm

Arianna Lehr
Arianna Lehr
Arianna Lehr, RMT

Arianna is a graduate of the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy. While in school she worked in Neuro clinic working with people with various neurological disorders, as well as an Addictions Outreach clinic working with people going through detox programs. She also attended many sporting events doing pre and post sports massage.

Arianna believes in the power of providing clients with a safe space to feel heard, supported, relaxed, and comfortable. She believes in approaching healing work by offering compassion to our bodies and nurturing all parts of ourselves. She also aims to help empower her clients to heal and get in touch with their own bodies through providing information and home care.
Arianna is trained in Swedish Massage, Trigger Point Release Therapy, Deep Tissue, and Relaxation Massage. She is also excited to further her training in Myofascial Release Therapy over this coming year.
Treatment times available:
Sullivan Street Location
Wednesdays  9-2
Thursdays  2:15-8:15
Saturdays 10:30- 3:15
Slim Gyms Location
Fridays 10:30-4
Lisa MacAlpine
Lisa MacAlpine, BSc., RMT

Lisa has a Bsc in Health Promotion from Dalhousie University and graduated with honours in Massage Therapy from Northumberland College in 2003. Since that time; she has been practicing in multidisciplinary settings and has studied post-graduate courses in myofascial release; direct and osteopathic techniques; Thai Yoga Massage with the Lotus Palm School based in Montreal; pregnancy massage; stone massage and most recently; MIPA- Myofascial Integration for Postural Alignment.
The majority of her massage career has been working in clinical settings; specializing in treating a wide variety of athletic injuries and imbalances. Lisa’s main areas of interest are in deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, sports massage, and TMJ dysfunction. Lisa’s treatments are focused on restoring balance, mobility and helping clients achieve their health and wellbeing goals.

Lisa is available for treatments at the Sullivan Street location

Alternate Saturdays 9am-4pm

Pauline Surkan
Pauline Surkan, RN, RMT

Pauline’s Massage Therapy Bio

Pauline’s background is quite diverse when it comes to caring for others. From her Recreation Administration Diploma in Nanaimo, BC to her 2017 BScN graduation from Dalhousie University, she is passionate about personalizing treatment for those in her care. 

Originally from out west, Pauline moved to Nova Scotia in 2004 to put roots down and start a family. Now she works part-time at the Dartmouth General Hospital on the Surgical floor and one day a week at Total Kneads. 

Her massage treatments combine therapy & relaxation using deep tissue techniques.

Pauline’s certification is as follows:

  • 2002 – Graduated with honours from Kikkawa College of Massage Therapy in Toronto
  • Gary Schweitzer Deep Tissue Therapy Course
  • Deep Tissue Massage with Alois Nikodym
  • Pregnancy Massage 
  • Yoga Teacher Training with Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio, Halifax (Pre/Post Natal & Chair Yoga)

Pauline is available for treatments upon request only one day a week. Please email or call if you have seen her previously.


Cell: 902-225-4181

Siggi Laupus
Siggi Laupus, RMT

Siggi graduated with an Honours Diploma from the Massage Therapy Program at the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy (CCMH) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In addition to his regular student clinic, he also participated in the arthritis, neurological conditions and sports clinic, which gave him much insight into various types of conditions and how to treat them.

Siggi enjoys using myofascial release and deep tissue techniques in his treatments. However, he is very versatile in his approach, tailoring each treatment to each individual’s needs and preferences, in order to achieve the goals of his patients. He would like to assist his patients to reach their health goals, to return only for maintenance when necessary.

His primary focus is to encourage his patients to improve their health, through self-care and self-awareness, so that patients can use massage therapy as a complimentary therapy in their health practices, rather than just when they have discomfort. He strongly believes that everyone should get a massage when they want it, not only when they need it.

His primary goal as a therapist is to facilitate his patients be pain-free in their daily activities. He accomplishes this through his therapeutic approach to treatment: a postural and orthopaedic assessment and a tailored, progressive treatment plan which targets the root cause of an issue and provides patients with fun home care to improve their health and see and feel the results.

Outside of his massage practice, Siggi loves to bake bread and cakes! He was inspired by his German roots to make high quality breads, and has fun experimenting with new and challenging loaves! Siggi also loves to dance salsa and bachata and hopes to travel to keep exploring the dance culture behind these two dances styles. You can also find him at the Abundant Acres Farm stand and talk to him about veggies and our food cycle!

Erin O'Neil
Erin O'Neil, RMT

Erin graduated with an Honours Diploma from the Massage Therapy Program at the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy (CCMH) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Her course training included arthritis, neurological and sports clinic experience, as well as participating in public wellness and sporting events. Erin believes everyone can benefit from a therapeutic massage, and likes to develop a unique treatment plan for each client to address their unique situation. She is certified in cupping therapy and uses the latest treatment techniques which include trigger-point release therapy, fascial techniques, joint mobilizations and stretching during her treatments.

Erin treats in a holistic approach, integrating the full body and is committed to providing the best treatment for her clients’ individual needs. She will be entering an osteopathy program this fall to further her education to continue to offer her clients the most effective treatments.

Lisa Gallant- R.Ac, TCMP, B.A
Registered Acupuncturist
Lisa Gallant- R.Ac, TCMP, B.A, R.Ac, TCMP, B.A

Registered Acupuncturist

Lisa Gallant

Registered Acupuncturist

Lisa graduated with a major in Psychology from Saint Mary’s University in 2001. She had always been drawn to the field of health care and a passion for natural nutrition. After some experience as a personal care aid and some travel abroad in Europe and Korea Lisa returned home and began her studies in Chinese Medicine. Lisa received a three year diploma of Acupuncture from the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Victoria, British Columbia, the oldest Chinese medicine school in Canada. She completed her fourth year of study with high honors at Pacific Rim College, from which she received her diploma of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She eagerly moved back to Nova Scotia in 2011,and has since built a successful practise in Dartmouth and Halifax, treating a multitude of disorders and health concerns.

In Lisa’s 7 years of practise, she has seen amazing results in treating each person holistically and according to their own constitution.  Lisa treats patients using a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, diet therapy, tui na massage, cupping therapy, gua sha. She is also trained in facial rejuvenation and has recently taken courses in essential oil application in TCM. She is known as being personable, compassionate and thorough, always taking the time to get to know her patients.


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Yoga Classes

Private and semi-private yoga classes with Sarah, outdoor classes available for groups when weather permits. Email Sarah for more info.