What We Do

We were first established in 2004 in Ottawa’s west end. Our mission is to provide excellent collaborative service and results while empowering our clientele in achieving their health goals. To help you return to play whether that’s sports, playing with your kids/grandkids, leading an active lifestyle or living pain free.

Return to Play Therapy is a multi-professional clinic that focuses on function and movement and is partnered with Victory Strength and Boxing.  Together we get you moving by correcting muscle patterning, mobilizing joints, releasing muscles and fascia.

How We Do

Return to Play has decades of experience applying their excellent manual skills to treat the young to the young at heart and anyone in between for their acute injuries like sprains and strains to chronic pain like in your back or neck.  We use different modalities like Swedish Massage, Cupping, Soft Tissue Release, Ultrasound, IFC, EMS, etc.

We also treat concussions using craniosacral therapy although craniosacral therapy is not limited to just concussions.  It can be applied to many different issues and is a means of releasing deep fascial restriction. Did you know that sometimes chronic pain can be caused by unhappy organs? That can be addressed by visceral manipulation.

Why We Do

“Health is wealth.” The cost of inaction is wasting time in pain and not doing what you want.  Let Return to Play Therapy help kick start your journey towards a more pain-free life of activity and enjoyment.  Let us help you return to play.

Meet Our Team
We are a team of professionals that are passionate about getting you back to living and loving your life.

Christina Rawlings

Massage Therapy

Christina always knew she wanted to be in health care. She has always had an inclination to provide comfort and care to those around her. After a few curveballs thrown her way on this journey called life, she found herself attending a private school for naturopathy. During her studies there, she took a weekend introductory course for massage. She didn’t know it at the time but a seed had been planted. After a few more months at the school, word trickled down that Algonquin College was going to be starting up a Massage Therapy Program. Christina decided to make the leap, applied and was accepted. She was one of only 54 students accepted into the flagship program. Making the Dean’s list and graduating with honours from the 3-year program, Christina has the distinction of being an Algonquin College MT OG, one of the first students to successfully complete the program.

She now has over 10 years of experience, having worked in private practice as well as in multi-disciplinary clinics. Her approach to treatment is to manage areas of complaint while maintaining a focus on stress reduction, pain relief, and overall well-being. Her techniques include traditional Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage and Trigger Point therapy. She is trained in Cupping therapy and uses cups in her practice regularly as a soft tissue and myofascial manipulation tool. She is always ready and eager to add to her arsenal of massage skills, having also taken a certificate in Gua Sha tool assisted massage technique. Christina’s most recent and current undertaking is to become a certified Infant Massage Instructor which will allow her to teach parents how to massage their babies, ultimately intensifying their parent-child bond.

Christina is a proud mother of 4 and understands the demands and stress of life and the importance of finding whole body balance and good health. She enjoys the outdoors by taking long walks and gardening. She also tries to stay active in the community by volunteering her time with her children’s school and sports teams.

Being a Registered Massage Therapist has allowed Christina to become a regulated health care practitioner, fulfilling her desire to find a career in health care and ultimately, she hopes, providing comfort and healing to those who come to her for treatment.

Kathleen De Jesus-Gauthier

Athletic Therapy, Massage Therapy

Kathleen lay motionless on the pitch crying. It was spring of 1998 somewhere in Holland, kick off had just happened but Kathleen’s playing on the tour had just ended. This was the moment that could have either made her or broken her as an athlete, and as a person, but her journey was just beginning.

Kathleen De Jesus-Gauthier became a Certified Athletic Therapist in 2004. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics, Honours, from the University of Ottawa in 2000, and a Diploma in Sports Injury Management from Sheridan College in 2004. She achieved high academic standards graduating Magna Cum Laude and the Silver Medal recipient for the highest GPA of the program, respectively. Immediately after graduating, she began working with Rugby Canada with the National Senior Women’s team. She reached one of her goals of when she was selected to be part of the team that competed at the World Cup in 2006 finishing 4th in the world. In 2014, she returned to school at Algonquin College in the Massage Intensive Course qualifying for the Dean’s List each semester. In 2016, she became a Registered Massage Therapist.

Tearing her other ACL in Holland just after rehabilitating from the previous ACL reconstruction surgery brought her to tears, not because of the pain but because she knew she would face another year of rehab. That decision to proceed with another surgery, another round of rehab, molded Kathleen into the therapist she is today. She understands and can empathize when something like an injury or pain stops one from doing what brings one joy. She understands the mindset needed to come back from torn ACLs and go on to play for Canada. She understands that easier rarely means better, and that hard work can lead to the most gratifying outcomes and experiences. Her hard work mentality translated to her athletics and brought her back to high level rugby, being a Rugby Canada U23 Women’s team member in 2000. This attitude of achievement and persistence even saw her take the field for the Algonquin College Women’s Rugby team while she was completing her Massage Therapy Program in 2015 and earned recognition as the MVP of the team.

Finding different and effective ways to get clients moving and enjoying life is what drives her professionally. She has taken courses in Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, Soft Tissue Release, and Dynamic taping to further diversify her ability to treat the needs of her clients and set herself apart with her unique skillset. Personally, she’s driven by raising her two sons and being part of a close-knit family that keeps her busy, but also keeps her grounded. She enjoys cycling, puzzle games on her phone and watching movies.

That young woman who had laid on that field in Holland made a choice. She chose to push herself towards the goals she set for herself and not be held back by fear or discomfort. She decided the path that was before her was going to be the one she made for herself, and she has now built a business structured on the same philosophy and she looks forward to working with you to help you find your path to recovery.

Vanessa Leo

Massage Therapy

Vanessa walked into work like she always did and today, like many other days, she was experiencing the start of what would have been a bad headache.Lamenting to her coworkers, an odd request was asked of her. She was then asked to remove her shoes and stand still. One hand was placed on her head and another hand on her stomach, Vanessa was very confused by what was happening to her. What was her coworker doing? How would this relieve her from this pain she was feeling? The pain that was originating in her head. A few moments went by after her coworker removed her hands, and Vanessa’s headache disappeared. Since that day, her views on how to manually treat the body had changed. She discovered a new way to manually treat the body that had nothing to do with directly treating the muscles of the body.

Vanessa discovered her career path of massage therapy a couple of years after high school. She did her massage training at Algonquin College and learned at depth the functions and dysfunctions of the body as well as anatomy. She remains a student of the profession finding better ways to improve clients as well as herself. Vanessa has taken specialized courses in Craniosacral Therapy (CST), Visceral (VM) and Neural Manipulation (NM) which have really expanded her approach to treatment. She has learned how the body is vastly connected and how treating one area of the body can affect numerous other areas in response to minimal pressure. CST, VM, and NM all use light touch to address fascial and neurological restrictions that can impede the body’s normal functioning.

Vanessa has witnessed many struggles when it came to not only her own health but the health of others and how the human body can vastly affect you in such a short amount of time. She has also seen how an injury from many years ago can also have an impact on how one’s body performs years later; for example, a sprained ankle from childhood can cause imbalance in soft tissue structures years later. With the knowledge and skills she has acquired, she has truly found her passion helping her clients return to a balanced, pain free life.

When coming in for a treatment by Vanessa, she will address the issue using a combination of traditional massage techniques, CST, VM, and NM. This allows for global changes to be made in the body to help her clients increase mobility and functioning while decreasing pain and limitations.