Leisa Bellmore has been practicing shiatsu therapy since 2001, helping clients maintain and improve their health through treatment and education. She is the Shiatsu Therapist at the Artists’ Health Centre, an integrative clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, part of the University Health Network. It is the only clinic of its kind in North America, where practitioners specialize in serving the health care needs of professional performing and creative artists through treatment, education, research and outreach. Leisa also works with both private and corporate clients, which have included the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and BBDO.
A key element of Leisa’s practice is education, be it one on one with a client in the treatment room or through workshops and other speaking engagements. She regularly speaks about shiatsu, self-care and Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) to numerous audiences across Canada and internationally. She has presented for the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Natural Health Practitioners of Canada, Artists Health Alliance, Alpha-1 Canada, Canadian Pain Society, University Health Network’s Memory Clinic, the Australian Association of Massage Therapists, Shiatsu Therapy Association of Australia, International Shiatsu Congress, European Shiatsu Congress and Providence Healthcare, among others.
Passion for her work and the natural healing professions led Leisa to volunteer with the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC), of which she is a current member, after having served on the NHPC Board of Directors from 2004-2008, as President from 2007-2008 and several NHPC committees. She also volunteered at Toronto’s Ronald McDonald House for 17 years, where she offered short shiatsu treatments to the families living at the house. This provided her with valuable clinical experience in working with severe stress and serious pediatric illnesses. Leisa served on the Board of Directors for the Society of Oncology Massage 2015-2016. She currently serves on the Writing Committee of the Massage Therapy Foundation and volunteers with the Shiatsu Research Network.
Leisa’s professional interests include stress management, self-care interventions for chronic conditions and CAM research. Leisa has several published research studies on hand self-shiatsu for sleep problems. She is currently working on a book on self-care for musicians along with several research projects. Leisa was awarded a Master of Science in Advanced Complementary Medicine Research in 2020, with a dissertation on The experience of shiatsu for care-partners of persons living with dementia: A qualitative pilot study.