Recharge & Play Wellness Café began with a couple of moms looking to have a comfortable place where services could be provided while their children were close by. They saw a need in the community to create a space for both parents and kids where each can receive the treatment they need while also enjoying a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Whether you’re sipping a coffee, getting a day of pampering, or meeting up with a friend for a much needed playdate, Recharge & Play hits the spot!
Meet the Team
Our team provides cohesive treatments in order to support families through wellness.
Massage Therapist & Co-Owner
Erin is a massage therapist with a passion for treating the whole family. She treats clients of all ages from just days to decades old.
She uses her postgraduate study of Craniosacral and myofascial work to release stubborn restrictions in the body. She is known for her work with infants, children and pre/peri/postnatal clients. She often uses acupressure, manual lymphatic and sinus drainage to help restore the body to health. Her skills come in especially handy for treating headaches and TMJ dysfunction including supporting families on their tongue tie journey.
She can also include Reiki in your treatment or feel free to book an entire Reiki session for a relaxing energy rebalancing treatment.
She has a heightened sense of palpation and quickly targets the areas causing pain to eliminate your discomfort.
Click here to book with Erin!
Massage Therapist & Co-Owner
Sarah graduated from Sutherland Chan School and Teaching Clinic in Toronto in 2010. She integrates traditional Swedish massage with advanced muscle and connective tissue release, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy to help treat the root of the client’s problem. She also has experience with Lymphatic Drainage & TMJ treatments and oral restrictions in infants, children & adults.
Since becoming a RMT, Sarah has participated in the ‘Friends for Life Bike Rally’ on the Wellness team, treating both the cyclists and crew members during the 600km trek from Toronto to Montreal. She has continued her education by completing postgraduate studies in pregnancy massage, infant massage, Labour Support & craniosacral techniques.
Sarah believes that Massage Therapy can be a benefit to people of all ages, and is part of maintaining a sense of Well-being. She maintains the belief that through self care and education, clients are able to take control of their healing.
Sarah currently runs a practice at Vibrant Living in Waterloo and has also chosen to move ahead with the clinic of our dreams. She plans to continue working at both locations while still balancing family life as best she can.
Click here to book with Sarah!
Jennifer Lake – PossibilOT
Jennifer is an Occupational Therapist who has been practicing in pediatrics in the Kitchener-Waterloo area for over ten years. She is a passionate advocate for her clients, someone who knows the resources of the community and actively collaborates with others.
Jennifer has an interest in sensory processing and sensory integration, works frequently with clients with an Autism diagnosis, and an interest in sleep-disordered breathing, it’s impact on feeding and swallowing and its relation to one’s ability to function well on a daily basis.
Jennifer is a mother of two, a resident of KW for twenty years and has volunteered with the Breastfeeding Buddies, Le Leche League KW and in teaching babywearing workshops.
For more information about Jennifer or Occupational Therapy, please click here!
Click here to book with Jennifer!
Neha Panchal graduated from Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy in Cambridge, in 2019. She has always had a knack for education & continued learning and thus gained some experience in pregnancy massage, treating a variety of pre & post-natal clients (some who had high-risk pregnancies too!) She likes to integrate Swedish massage with tissue release, trigger point therapy and movement therapy to address each individual’s concern. Other techniques she likes to incorporate in her practice are: Deep diaphragmatic breathing, passive and/or active stretching, fascia, joint mobilizations and deep tissue massage. Throughout her training and practice of nearly 2 years, she has gained experience treating clients with TMJ treatments, and infant massage therapy as well.
Having a passion for labour support and pregnancy, she has completed workshops and courses for Labour Support and Becoming a Doula/RMT.
Sports massage is an area of massage therapy which still excites her. She has volunteered and worked with some athletes, including a wrestling team.
While at work, she tries her best to ensure clients feel they are in a safe & relaxing environment by engaging them in their own treatment plan so they feel confident in their approach to be a better version of themselves. She continues to grow and strive to be a better therapist by seeking further education and learning from other healthcare professionals as well.
In her time off, she loves to spend time travelling, exploring, hiking and camping, swimming, dancing, playing badminton or just going out for a drive. She believes nature helps the body’s inherent ability to heal itself and thus encourages everyone to be a part of the nature around them.
Jessie Hesch, M.S.W., RSW – Treefrog Counselling
Registered Social Worker
Jessie holds a Master of Social Work degree, has additional training in working with infants, children and families and is currently completing the requirements for certification as a Certified Play Therapist.
Through the activity of play Jessie helps children to make sense of difficult life experiences (e.g. divorce, death of a loved one) and navigate the big feelings (e.g. anxiety, anger, sadness) that are often at the root of challenging behaviour. Jessie supports children and their caregivers become more able to cope with how they are feeling, develop insight, emotional intelligence and confidence. Play is a child’s natural way of communicating; we can explore various issues they might find difficult to express in other ways.
Some of the common challenges that bring families to counselling include:
Jessie works with both the parents and the children to understand and address the roots of the problem, and interpret the behaviour with insight into the underlying emotions, in order to impact lasting change. Jessie believesthat the parent-child relationship is the foundation of children’s mental wellness. You are what your child needs. Let me help you build on that foundation.
For more information about Jessie or Child and Family Therapy, please click here! Or email Jessie@treefrogcounselling.com
Click here to book with Jessie!
Dr. Sarah Connors, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Doula
She completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Studies with a minor in Psychology at the University of Waterloo, prior to attending the four year Naturopathic Medicine program offered by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). This program is a rigorous combination of fundamental science and Naturopathic modality training. The first two years are predominantly spent studying the basic sciences (eg. Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, etc.) combined with learning the various specific tools of Naturopathic Medicine (eg. Botanical Medicine, Nutrition, Lifestyle modification, Homeopathy, etc.).
She has several areas of interest including: General Family Health, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Aboriginal health, and Mind-Body Medicine.
She also has experience working with women and their partners as a Birth Doula. She’s thoroughly enjoyed helping mothers and fathers to prepare for the arrival of their little ones, by providing full support before, during and after labour. She received training specifically in Pediatric Care during her clinical internship at the Robert Shad Naturopathic Clinic, where she regularly saw children, ages ranging from newborn to 18 years of age. She also worked with the Aboriginal population at the Naturopathic satellite clinic out of Anishnawbe Health Toronto for four months of her clinical internship.
She is a member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND) and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND).
Click here to book with Sarah!
Aliesha Dittrich, B.S.W., RSW
Registered Social Worker
Ali holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has additional training, in working with children and families, through her Child and Youth Worker Diploma. She is currently completing requirements for obtaining the Child and Youth Mental Health certificate through Laurier University.
Ali is passionate about working with individuals, and their families, and has done so in a variety of different settings over the last ten years.
Through a focus in strength-based, client-centered practice, she strives to empower individuals and assist them in recognizing personal strengths and building on feelings of self worth.
She believes change occurs when people are given the support they need to draw on their own strengths. In providing an environment of compassion and guidance Ali’s focus is to help individuals and families overcome obstacles to move forward and thrive.
Areas of focus:
*Children and Adolescents
Click here to book with Aliesha!
Melanie is a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner — aka, a Nutritionist. She’s shared her expertise and clinical insights with thousands of clients in a one-on-one setting helping them to meet their goals, reverse disease-processes, reclaim vitality, and guiding them toward optimal wellness.
In addition to her work as a clinical nutritionist, she’s also a Black Walnut Toastmaster. She enjoys pairing together her public speaking skills and nutrition knowledge to educate folks in their workplaces or at community events.
When she’s not at work she’s often delighting in time spent with her granddaughter, reading the latest nutrition-related book, or travelling throughout North America and Europe with her husband of 25 years.
Click here to book with Melanie!
Ashley Pickett is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Doula, Infant Sleep Educator, Babywearing Instructor, and Parent Coach. Her absolute passion is in helping families find targeted and practical solutions to their uniquely defined goals around feeding, sleep and parenting. And, at the same time, finding ways for the grown-ups to feel rested and find gratitude in the journey.
She has had the privilege of training with the best of the best – Dr Jack Newman (ibconline.ca). She also has worked hard to cross-train in the fields of infant feeding, attachment-focused parenting, labour and birth, infant mental health, and developmentally normal infant sleep.
Her main role is working as an IBCLC (lactation consultant), which started in 2008 after her own breastfeeding journey with her three amazing kids. They’re great – but were NOT great breast feeders! She experienced it all… and it was only the help she received at the Newman Clinic in Toronto that helped her nurse for many years. So of course, when her youngest was just 4 months old, she enrolled as a student at the International Breastfeeding Center, and have been privileged to have more than 12 years of direct mentorship with Dr Jack Newman. She loves The IBC and still work there!
She can help with any breastfeeding or parenting challenge and does specialize in a few areas:
• Tethered Oral Tissues (TOT’s) such as tongue tie and lip tie, and how to identify, support and habilitate families experiencing tongue tied babies.
• Attachment-centered parenting support. She helps parents find their very best outcomes for their children’s connected needs (sleep, feeding and behavior) in a way that honors the needs of the whole family.
• Navigating T1 and T2 diabetes in pregnancy and feeding. As a Type 1 Diabetic, she feels very connected to helping others with this.
Typically, people who visit her need support with:
• Breastfeeding – sore nipples, tongue tie, milk supply, not yet latching babies, induced lactation, weaning, and more.
• BottleFeeding – baby led bottle feeding, difficult transitions to bottles, weaning.
• BabyLed Weaning / Introducing Solid Foods
• Infant sleep solutions (attachment-focused)
• Parenting strategies – siblings, attachment and connected parenting, hitting, biting, new babysitters, daycare and starting school, potty training, tantrums, food battles, and more!
When you need help, she will share her experience and be there for your family. Although she doesn’t (always) have a magic wand, she does have the drive to help you feel confident, supported and loved through your postpartum and parenting experience.
Click here to book with Ashley!
Liz Johnston has been in the spa industry for 23 years. Graduating with honors from Conestoga College Aesthetics Program. She loves helping clients look their best so they can be confident about their skin and themselves. She specializes in spa pedicures and facials. Her clients rave about her great pedicures. When not working, Liz enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, running and camping.
Click here to book with Liz!
Victoria (Tori) Faber
My name is Victoria, but I’ve gone by Tori my whole life! I was born and raised in Guelph, and I went to school for esthetics in London, Ontario, where I graduated with honours. I have been a certified esthetician for almost six years now!! I have a passion for manicures, pedicures & fun nail art!
I got married in September 2020, (had a ton of fun navigating the Covid Bride life haha!) and my favourite thing to do is hang out with my husband, Evan, and our orange tabby cat, Bubs.
I love books, reality tv, skin care, pizza, cats, good conversation & I’m always looking for a new podcast recommendation!
I am excited to get started providing all of your favourite services!!
Click here to book with Tori
Dr. Shannon Gow
Dr. Shannon Gow completed her Bachelor of Science majoring in honours Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo in 2016. Dr. Gow then graduated with honours from New York Chiropractic College in 2020. She has received a Distinguished Service award, a Phi Chi Omega Honours Designation, a Distinguished service in Basic Sciences award, and a Human Performance and Sport Science Certificate.
During her clinical experience, Dr. Gow has encountered patients from all walks of life. She treats patients with a combination of chiropractic adjustments, manual soft tissue mobilization, and rehabilitation exercises. She creates and implements individualized treatments plans for a variety of conditions. Dr. Gow has a special interest in the pregnant and pediatric populations. She has encountered a variety of conditions, including torticollis, sciatica, disc herniations, round ligament pain, and difficulties with latching. She prides herself on being able to provide quality care to a wide variety of patient needs.
It has been a personal goal for Dr. Gow to be a chiropractor for over 12 years. When she was 14, she suffered a debilitating injury. After being told that she would never walk properly again, and that pain would likely be a part of her days going forward, all seemed lost. Manual therapy and adjustments helped her to be able to overcome herinjury, and participate in the activities that she loves. She decided to become a chiropractor with the hopes of changing other’s lives, as hers was.
Dr. Gow is a positive, energetic individual who fully commits to every task that she takes on. She believes that everyone deserves a chance to live pain free, and that a positive attitude and a helping hand can go a long way. Dr. Gow is committed to helping others reach their maximum level of health: from newborn babies, to athletes, to pregnant moms, to the elderly. She believes that everyone deserves to have a healthy, joyful, pain free experience.
If Dr. Gow is not in the clinic, you can find her with her nose in a good book, spending time with friends and family, exploring and hiking, or trying out a new recipe.
Click here to book with Shannon!
Allison McIlwraith, R.Kin, B.Kin (Hons), M.OMSc candidate
Rehabilitative Manual Therapist
Allison was born and raised in Flamborough and competitively danced in the area for many years. She is currently a local dance teacher, ergonomist, industrial sports medicine provider, and in her final semester as a student of Osteopathy. She has her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in Kinesiology and is a Registered Kinesiologist with the COKO and OKA. At Recharge and Play Wellness Cafe, you will find her providing rehabilitative manual therapy services to increase mobility and stability in the body.
Allison came across the term Osteopathy early in her undergraduate studies, and was immediately captured by the practical concept of structure governing function and treating the body as a dynamic unit of function. The body has innate self-healing and self-restoring mechanisms which can be optimized when obstructions that restrict the flow of arteries, veins, nerves and lymphatics are removed. It is the perfect marriage of Allison’s love for the art of human movement and biological science. In her spare time, she loves to paint, hike, dance and tutor Osteopathy students.
She looks forward to growing her practice as a Rehabilitative Manual Therapist in Waterloo and helping patients restore their health.
Click here to book with Allison!
Emily is a licensed hair stylist who has been in the hair industry for 4 years now. She enjoys every minute of making her clients feel beautiful. She studied hair at Aveda institute in Toronto, and afterwards joined an eco-friendly salon for two years.
She moved to Waterloo Region in 2020 to spend more time with family. She has two cats that she deeply adores – feel free to share cat pictures! When she’s not working she spends a lot of time with little ones as her family continues to expand with nieces and a nephew. She’s also recently engaged, so get ready to give your best advice!
She has spent countless hours learning new techniques to improve her skills and can’t wait to play with your hair! Her goal is to make her clients comfortable and provide a relaxing experience, whether you prefer sitting in quiet reflection during your appointment, or would rather chat! She has a listening ear and can’t wait to get to know you!
Click here to book with Emily!
Rafia Khalil, DOMP
Osteopathic Manual Practitioner
Rafia Khalil is a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner.
She has worked in Physiotherapy for just over 20 years in. During these years she found a deep desire to help people suffering from chronic pain. She kept looking at all the numerous types of therapy to treat musculoskeletal conditions. She found out about Osteopathy and instantly fell in love with this practice.
She then obtained her diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice from the National Academy of Osteopathy in Toronto and became a member of the Alliance Canadienne Medicine Alternative.
She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Karachi and a Physiotherapy diploma in Pakistan, where she had many years of work experience as well.
As a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner, her expertise will help individuals suffering from symptoms such as TMD, (TMJ issues), Jaw clenching, grinding, headaches, migraines, chronic pain, and arthritis.
She is very passionate to help you enhance your physical health to the absolute best of her ability & looks forward to meeting you!
Click here to book with Rafia!