THE PATH IS THE GOAL ...Mahatma Gandhi

Leila Shaw RD, RMT


My Perspective

In my experience as a healthcare practitioner I have found there are four valuable queries, the answers to which shape our health and wellbeing. They relate to: what we put into our body (food, and other), what we do with our body (movement, and other), our quality of sleep, and our state of peace and happiness. Information from these form a framework to guide choices to maintain or re-establish health and wellbeing. It is from this perspective that I promote my services.





Hello, and welcome! Here are some details about me: I hold a BA from Dalhousie University, a diploma from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy (registered with MTANS), and in 2016 graduated with a BSc in Applied Human Nutrition from Mount Saint Vincent University and am registered with the Nova Scotia Dietetics Association. I practice as a Massage Therapist and Nutritionist.  

As a practicing RMT, I find that conversations with clients often include discussions about aspects of their lifestyle that factor into seeking massage therapy. As a Nutritionist and as an RMT, I engage my clients to mindfully explore health issues and consider lifestyle influences, and provide a safe, knowledgeable and compassionate environment for healing. 

I have been working in mostly clinical environments for 20 years, including (early on) the HealthSmith Community Medical Clinic (Vancouver, BC), a multi-disciplined environment.  My experience there ignited an interest in a team approach to health and an understanding that while wellbeing starts with one’s self, it also may require the input of many to be successful. I refer to and work in conjunction with other therapists and health practitioners to support and facilitate my clients’ health. 

I look forward to meeting and working with you in the future.


Massage Therapy

In order to live a higher quality life, maintaining optimal wellness is key. Everything we feel and do relates to our well-being and directly affects our actions and emotions. In order to subdue stress, reduce illness, and ensure positive moments in your life, you must achieve optimal wellness.  Massage Therapy is instrumental in facilitating improvements in: digestion and circulation, muscle imbalance, tension and restoration, sleep, as well as overall well-being.   

My attitude to massage is holistic in nature; I am curious about the input of lifestyle and self-awareness as it reflects on our bodies. Over the years I have acquired additional areas of training, focus and expertise, which help frame my massages. My treatments integrate aspects of Aromatherapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Myofascial Release, Indian Head Massage, and Thai Yoga Massage. As well, Thai Yoga Massage is offered as a stand alone (nurturing) treatment. 

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Food choices and behaviours are deeply personal and often the reasons for why are unknown. There is no one perfect answer to our nutrition needs; no one diet that will solve it all, we are all unique and our diet needs to reflect this uniqueness. My approach to nutrition counselling reflects my approach to massage therapy, focusing more on the “why” than the “what”. Why are you eating what you’re eating – is it serving you? Once the why is envisioned, a plan for change can evolve, if change is needed. I am an empathetic and candid facilitator, working with my clients to support them as they manifest change. I am a believer of the exceptional benefits of movement for our mind and body, and integrate walking into appointment times - we will walk together, talk, and find your path. As well, I have completed Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT), and integrate a mindful approach to my counselling.

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where to find me & recommendations

Total Kneads Massage Therapy Clinic - Massage Therapy

Treating from two locations: the north end on Sullivan Street (Wednesdays), and from Purcell's Cove Road (Tuesdays & Thursdays) Book directly at

Book Online

Living Well Integrative Health Center - Nutrition Counselling

On Fridays, in this wonderful multi-disciplined environment, I am providing a mindful and movement approach to nutrition counselling. It may include walking or gentle stretching. Have a look at  and if you are a patient you can book directly with reception.

Book privately with me at

Purcell's Cove Road - Massage & Nutrition

This is a relaxed home clinic complete with gentle family chaos, and a dog. There is plenty of parking at the top of a moderately long & steep driveway. Stairs lead down to a separate entrance and nature surrounds this space. I offer massages and nutrition counselling, not together ;-) , on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

Book massages at

Book nutrition counselling at

Modo Yoga Halifax

Getting a daily (or almost daily) sweat keeps me grounded and happy. The yoga instructors are exceptional and the vibe is pure coziness. I also assist in some Yogassage classes. If you haven't experienced these nurturing classes, you are in for a treat! 

For information about hot yoga, have a look at

It takes a village...

Acupuncturist: Elizabeth Heffelfinger, Lisa Gallant

Counselling: Gabrielle Cordella-Chew, and Mary Goodman

Osteopathy: Shawn Selfridge, Martha Faron

Physiotherapy: Kachan, Synergy, and One to One Wellness

Slim Gyms

Roofing: Supreme Line Roofing, Jason Gray


Abundant Acres and friends, at the Market on Isleville

Apps: HeadSpace and Calm

Blue Harbour Cheese

Casaroma Wellness Center

Du Nord Skincare

Getaway Farm

Local Source Market



Please check your extended health plan for coverage of these services: I am both a Registered Massage Therapist and a Registered Nutritionist (Dietitian). please also check if you need a doctor referral to be covered.

Contact Me

Let's Work Together

I welcome you to email (preferred) or text me to book an appointment, ask questions, or give feedback

Leila Shaw

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

(902) 225-5200


Location Dependent - please look above in the "WHERE TO FIND ME & RECOMMENDATIONS" section or send me a message or text


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other stuff

Additional Information

Leila's Professional Associations

More About Massage Therapy & Sites I Visit

More About Nutrition & Sites I Visit


What happens in a massage therapy session?

During (or before) the initial session clients fill out an intake form which is designed to gather relevant information about past and current health and wellbeing. This, along with visual, palpation and movement based assessments will provide a framework for treatment. 

Consent to treatment is required, respected, and can be revoked by the client at any point during the massage. Any personal and health information provided to your Massage Therapist is completely confidential and will be safeguarded. Your health record cannot be released or transferred without your written consent.

Treatments are usually an hour long, although 45, 75, or 90 minute sessions are also available.

During a massage the client is undressed (to individual comfort) and lays comfortably on the table under the sheet and blanket. Areas are uncovered as they are treated and tucked in when they are not. 

Usually massages are a time for quiet relaxation and restoration, but verbal input about the treatment is encouraged and welcomed.

What is Thai Yoga Massage?

Thai Yoga Massage is an ancient form of massage developed in India by Ayurvedic physician, Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha (~500BC). It reached Thailand in 200BC and has continued to travel very slowly east.

During a Thai Yoga Massage your body will be supported and moved into a variety of passive yoga postures. The massage techniques of rocking, compressions, kneading and stretching are incorporated to invite the body into a state of relaxation, expansion and rejuvenation.

Thai Yoga Massage uses no oils, takes place on the floor on a cushioned mat and you remain fully clothed throughout the treatment. No experience of yoga is needed to receive a massage. All that is required is an interest to reduce your stress and unwind. It is also appreciated if you wear comfortable loose (or stretchy) cozy clothing for your treatment. As well, it is best to give yourself an hour or two after eating before receiving a massage. I received my training in Thai Yoga Massage from Lotus Palm and also with Sharon Brown-Horton

Are massage treatments or nutrition counselling covered by insurance?

Neither massage therapy nor private practice nutrition counselling are covered by the provincial medical plan  (MSI) but most private insurance companies cover these as part of their extended healthcare plans. Please consult your policy for details about coverage and referral requirements.  

Do you direct bill?

Some plans can be billed directly, and some have apps or online capabilities for the client to send in the claim (photo of receipt) immediately after treatment.

What happens in a Nutrition Counselling session?

When you make contact and we book you in, I will email you a Nutrition Assessment Form (pdf or word) for you to complete. Initial appointments are usually an hour in length and the client intake form is carefully reviewed, questions often arise and are tackled, and a plan is constructed. The journey on which you embark is completely nonjudgmental and collaborative in nature - we work together to meet your goals. 

It is best to have completed the intake form prior to the session (I will email it to you when you book your appointment) as it is comprehensive and includes a 3-7 day (I would prefer a full week) food and beverage intake, and if done ahead of your appointment, allows solid time for review and planning. Having said that, if it's not completed, we can do it together and move forward as required.

Follow-up sessions are usually 30 or 45 minutes and involve walking and talking, and we will collaborate on their frequency.

Food Intakes.... 

They sound laborious at best and awful at worst but they are really needed. Imagine designing a map from one place to another but not being able to first view the terrain. The map would be flawed. I want your map to be successful for you. There is NO JUDGMENT - I can't emphasize this enough! Seriously - this is just a record so that we can be curious about patterns in eating, that's all. And honestly, writing things down has  h u g e  impact. Breathe - you can always take photos instead..