Learning with laughter


2015 PDConference- “This was my first time seeing Cathy Russell speak and it was by far one of the most informative lectures I attended at the PDC with the greatest amount of “take away” knowledge to implement into clinical practice. We refer many clients on the North Shore to Cathy for help with TMD issues and I now feel confident in my ability to help greater assist those with acute, chronic or the beginning signs and symptoms of TMJ issues. Cathy broke down the complexity of how the tempormandibular joint works in a way that was easy to understand and relay to clients. I learned ways to better manage clients with TMJ issues during hygiene appointments by having them support their jaws, utilizing bite blocks and allowing for frequent breaks. I am also able to identify that clicking means the jaw is unstable and the use of less pressure when flossing the mandibular arch can make all the difference in client comfort and preventing flare-ups. As a hygienist, we are taught in school that the main causes of TMD are bruxism and maloccusion, when infact Cathy points out that the cause can be so much more complex than what we as dental professionals attribute it to. Tongue issues such as a short lingual frenum attachments, narrow vaulted clients and recalling traumatic events all contribute to bruxism. Cathy discussed that pelvic issues, leg length and basic posture can all change the way we bite and become a huge influence in tempormandibular issues. I feel confident assessing clients presenting with TMD using the five key areas Cathy pointed out including: temporalis in 3 spots, masseter muscles, medial pterygoid, checking the bite and noting the clients active range of motion
Shannon-Certified Dental Hygenist


“During the last two National Conferences for Jan-Pro, Cathy has
entertained our audiences with great enthusiasm, and has made us all leave with
a smile on our faces when she was through. Her high energy is contagious and
she will definitely make you laugh!!”

Rich Kissane President & CEO

Jan-Pro Franchising International


“The World’s #1 Fastest Growing
Franchise 2008-2009-2010”

Cathy, Your skit was hysterical. How fun it was to watch the Canadians dance routine –

Anita H. Claringbole, Vice President of Field Services JAN-PRO International Inc.

What a wonderful way to begin a day of meetings at a business conference! The Canadian Skit was so energizing and I am still laughing at the dance routine. Now I am looking forward to yo next performance.

Trudi Pierami of Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems of Memphis

“Cathy did an awesome job for a skit we, the Canadians, put on at an international
conference.  She took on the leadership with endless enthusiasm. When we defined the content she put ideas together and wrote the script. It was creative and very funny. The audience really appreciated it. Proves that one doesn’t have to live in LA to have talent in skit scripting!

Jean Roberge Jan-Pro Canada Inc

Thank you so much for everything Cathy. I still have “cherishable” thoughts about
this whole Canadian skit. The idea, the first steps, the drafts, the reviews,
the videos, the telephone runs, the practice and the real show. And I still
remember my lines!!! You are greatly responsible of the good time we Canadians
had in Florida and want to express my warmest thanks to you. It was great and
really enjoyable to see your talent and I am proud to have been part of it.

François Carmichael MBA Vice-président Jan-Pro du Québec


2011 Dental groups

Cathy Russell gave us great lecture….she is a wonderful and knowledgeable speaker.

Amanda – Ladner Dental Hygienist Group

2011 February -Comments after Dental Assistants Teleseminar

  • The symptoms for–TMJ, I didn’t realize there were so many.
  • The effect that the body alignment can affect TMD
  • How we as CDAs can help access our patients in
    this area. From now on I will start to notice if the patient has a narrow
    jaw/face and ask if they are experiencing any symptoms.
  • TMD  can be caused by so many factors that seem not to have any relationship to the jaw.
  • To identify patients with narrow palates possibly having TMD.  Also, not to
    extract teeth that have no dental problem, but refer to a TMD physiotherapist for
  • Only 50% of TMJ problems is related to dental. Other
    50% to rest of body and both must be treated

2010 Testimonials from Toastmaster Humour competition

Cathy is confident and smiling and ready to speak about risky subject with “good grace”. She created the background of the story with voice modulation and hilarious gestures that matched the material- I
counted 26 laughs in 5 minutes! Bozena

Cathy is a pro at using very descriptive humour during her animated presentations.-Gisela

What I particularly liked about your entertaining speech were your actions and astonishingly descriptive story line that really engaged the audience- Carol Anne

Cathy is very good at telling funny stories and she has mastered the use of gestures to enhance the whole experience for the audience.-Kathy

Cathy gave a hilarious as well as dramatic delivery of a true story. Her jokes and delicate innuendo added to the audience’s whole enjoyable experience.- Amanda

Cathy is excellent at telling her personal funny stories. Not only does she tell the story but acts it out as well–Jonathon

Cathy is very engaging as she tells her stories. The audience was enthralled with the words which were well selected adding extra strength and humour. What a fabulous story teller and so entertaining!- Joyce

The introduction to the “honeymoon” story made us feel like you were in a haunted house which made it funny for all of us.  Your facial expressions were priceless. Thank you so much as I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time- Isobel

Cathy has the amazing ability to create suspense and at times, be hilariously funny during her speeches. Her delivery of stories is truly entertaining- Daniel.

……and again, your dance activity, and the
lead up to it was a definite highlight. You are really good -Dorothea DTM

Pacific Dental Conference 08 testimonials

I wish to thank you for the informative and inspiring lecture you presented at the recent Pacific Dental Conference entitled ” The TAMING of the Jaw”.

Your emphasis on the importance of past and present psychological and physiological factors in dealing with TMJ Dysfunction issues is helpful in understanding the pain and suffering I see in some of our patients in the dental practice where I work.

You also offered some excellent ideas for self stress reduction techniques to pass onto patients so they have something tangible to aid in their own recovery.

Your lecture itself was entertaining but also serious and the information presented provides a great resource to help me perform my duties as a dental hygienist.
— Abby Myles BA., BEd, Dip. Dental Hygiene

..Cathy spoke at the Pacific Dental Conference in March 2008. Her subject matter was regarding the role of the physiotherapist in the treatment of dental patients’ TMJ concerns. Her presentation was very well received by dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. She is an excellent speaker, who brings humor and education together to shed light on the very difficult issues around the treatment of TMJ patients. I would recommend her highly as a speaker, and as a fine clinician.
— Bruce Ward, Scientific Committee, Pacific Dental Conference

Cathy does part of her presentations dressed up as “the tooth/jaw fairy” when giving talks to the Dental profession. This helps to lighten up what can sometimes be a fairly serious and heavy task! Therefore:
F is for Fabulous.
A is for Academic
I is for Inspirational
R is for Radiant
Y is for Yahoo

Of course this only scratches the surface. I could go on for ever. To know her is to love her. Her energy and enthusiasm is boundless.
Edith Russell, Business woman

Cathy’s entertaining presentation is full of stories and imagery that will stay in memories for a long time. I completely enjoyed her lecture on the complex subject of treating chronic TMD from a physiotherapists’ perspective with an emphasis and understanding of the important of psychology in chronic pain issues. I hope to ally her treatments and techniques to help my own TMD patients.
— Jack Fletcher B.Sc., D.M.D.

Urban Tea merchant Talk in 07 testimonials

You have a natural flair for speaking about topics on which you are an expert. You knew how to engage the crowd and hold our attention – which isn’t easy when you have a group of 30+ women of all ages who know what they want! We had a wonderful evening at the Tea Merchants “doing facial exercises”, having a good laugh at your humour and outfits, especially your red boa and your “bra crowning glory”!!!
Cathy you took a serious issue, learning to live, relax and enjoy life and overcome whatever hurdle comes our way – what we cannot control we need to embrace.

In my humble opinion, Cathy, YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT! which I know is the mantra you live with each day.
Thank you for exuding so much positive energy and for being such a “magnificent” role model.
— Jill Luyt.

I had the opportunity to attend an evening of ‘Tea and Laughter’ with Cathy Russell at the Urban Tea Merchant in early 2006. Cathy was a windstorm on fresh air on an otherwise very drab winter’s evening. Her presentation was engaging and entertaining. She came dressed for the part in her hat and gloves ready to share her delicious stories of tea time in Scotland. I invited a selection of girlfriends who all came away with smiles on their faces and ideas on how to make the very most of every moment of every day. A delightful and informative evening.
— Sally Toft. Physiotherapist

2013 For upcoming PABC course for physiotherapists

1. Run, don’t walk to the TMJ course taught by Cathy Russell! With 20 years of experience dealing with this difficult caseload, she is a gold mine of information. I always learn something new from Cathy with every encounter, and how many people can you truly say that about?

She can make treating these difficult patients a joy, and vastly enrich your treatment repertoire, and efficacy. If you deal with chronic pain patients of any variety, struggle with what exercises to give them, struggle with what manual techniques would be effective and / or where to even start, or just want to know a little more about what our bodies do under stress, you will benefit from this course. Hey, she’s a “top toastmaster” too, so you’re guaranteed to be entertained.

Lisa Price PT FCAMT SPC Cert. (Owner: 8 Rinks and Burnaby Heights Physiotherapy Clinics)

2. ‘Cathy clears up the mystery of TMD disorders and their related…sometimes ambiguous symptoms in an entertaining and thought provoking manner’ She will help you become competent in the diagnosis and treatment of TMD…no need to refer on anymore! At the end of course you will be more thorough in your treatment of the head and neck by adding this clinically relevant course to your tool box! Jen PT

3. Cathy Russell is a highly qualified, motivated and inspiring Physical Therapist.  Her aptitude, warm personality and multilevel approach to TMD, combined with intuitive understanding of the body, results in unique and specialized treatments.  She is diligent in keeping up with the latest research and takes pride in treating her patients with up to date evidence based practices. Cathy enthusiastically shares her expertise with other clinicians, always ready to learn and share her knowledge.

Cathy’s clinical and life experiences make her an excellent clinician, colleague and teacher.

Cheryl Registered Physiotherapist

As a physiotherapist testimonials

2011 Physiotherapy

About a year ago, I began experiencing trouble with my left shoulder.  It was painful whenever
I tried to move it backwards which made everyday tasks such as putting my car
seatbelt on and putting on a jacket quite difficult and I also had pain when
reaching up for things.  I was told that the shoulder was probably
starting to “freeze” and that I should try to do range of motion exercises
daily to prevent it from getting worse.  I did the exercises and saw a
number of people for treatment, but the shoulder pain continued and eventually
got worse.  I was also getting more and more sleep deprived as I could not
lie on my preferred left side.  When I went to the dentist many months
ago, I was told that I was clenching my jaw to the extent that vertical cracks
were appearing in my teeth.  I had jaw surgery a number of years ago and
always wear a night guard as I used to grind my teeth as well.  I have
also experienced pain from carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands.

After trying many things, I finally went to see Cathy for help.  She assessed the situation
and started initial treatment on my neck – at this point, I did not notice any
difference.  However, at my next appointment with Cathy, she began working
on my jaw as well as my neck.  After this one treatment, I experienced a
vast improvement in my shoulder discomfort and what’s more, my carpal tunnel
symptoms lessened considerably as well!  It seemed that the combination of
work on the neck and jaw together had done the trick.  So, my shoulder pain
was apparently connected to the tension/bite in the jaw – who knew?
Looking back now, I wonder why I didn’t connect the dots and figure this
out!  Thankfully, Cathy was able to put it all together and I am very
grateful that she was able to help when I was close to giving up on ever
getting better.  She’s one amazing gal and I always enjoy my time with her
–  I appreciate her sense of humor, her positive attitude, and her
openness.  Thanks Cathy – you’re the best

Kennedy, B.A.R.A. Supervisor Therapeutic
Recreation Services / Sunny Hill Daycare

Many Thanks.Cathy

I have to say that I am most grateful for the return of my mobility.  It is such a talent
to be able to help people in this manner and I think it would be such a shame
not to continue, even if only for even more reduced hours each week.  I know
I have benefitted immeasurably.  (I look forward to water skiing again in
2011 – which would have been foolhardy with my knee in 2010 – such a loss for
me.) In short thanks for the broadening experience of connecting with you this year.

. ..eternally grateful Colleen


  • I  have noticed when bike riding my helmets need to be adjusted after each
    ride. I have never experienced this before my jaw clicked. I feel like my
    opening has reduced after my jaw started to click.
  • Jaw
    clicking is like holding a golf club. If you strangle a golf club bad
    things happen If you put too much pressure on the jaw bad things happens-
    lighten up!
  • When
    my tongue is centered on my palate when I open my jaw does not click-good
    exercise to train the jaw alignment.
  • I  am amazed when Cathy torques the bone above my ear my bite becomes heavier
    at the back -Paul Chapman


I have had 20 years of TMD, companioned with severe shoulder and neck pain. Resolutions I pursued were exercise, heating packs, Pilates, yoga, acupuncture and massage. I was terrific at disguising to the outside world that there was anything amiss and found that my stress and arthritis had taken up “permanent” residence in my shoulder/neck/jaw area.

On recommendation from Dr. Michelle Williams, I sought out Cathy Russell. Her clarity in the initial assessment of my problem was a major turning point for me. After the first 3 treatments I went back to my car and cried. For the first time in almost 20 years I could feel my shoulders and neck settling into a place of relief and ease that I had thought would never return!

In preparation for surgery that was needed on my jaw, Cathy diligently worked with me, to progress towards retraining my bite and increased flexibility, to strengthen my neck and facial muscles so that I would be positioned for a solid recovery. She worked collaboratively with my Orthodontist and Surgeon every step of the way. Results have continued to progress towards increased flexibility in both my neck and jaw. Most importantly I am being coached to use exercises at home that will build new healthy habits to replace the old ones.

I feel blessed to have the hands on benefit of Cathy being my physiotherapist. She is wholly engaged in working with me to get the long term solution I so need. Her professional skills are enviable and only outshone by her genuine zest for making a difference for her patient.
— Delighted client

I have had chronic back, shoulder and neck pain for 20 years. Prior to Cathy treating me, I had tried various forms of therapy but none with the lasting results that her treatment has provided. Before I began treatment with her, my neck muscles were taut like guitar strings and I was having pain in my jaw with chewing and yawning. Infact, I avoided chewing gum and meats that regularly required heavy chewing. I thought it was stress related and I would get relief from weekly massages and yoga. However the pain always returned. Now after 2 months of her treatment I have increased range of motion in my neck, less jaw pain and feel much more empowered to avoid positions that might aggravate my neck. I have also appreciated her prescribed personalized exercises that produce results that encourage me to stick with doing them.
— Sara Bishop, Bsc, OT, Msc OT

I had no idea TMJ Dysfunction could affect so much of the whole body. With physiotherapy applications to the TMJ Cathy isolated and relieved the pain in my right ear, improved the sight of my left eye, increased the hearing in my left ear and even helped with my sinus.

Due to my husband’s two strokes there has been a lot of stress in my life recently but Catherine has worked wonders. My whole person, my body and soul, and thus my health improved enormously from her administrations.

Also, with her insightful and inspirational ideas I was motivated to focus on both my physical and mental health and develop an improved and happier lifestyle.

I would be delighted to recommend her to everyone.
— Marjorie Henson