Pain Relief with Traditional Massage

Pain Relief with Traditional Massage

colorado massage therapy

Massage can be a helpful add-on to conventional medical care for back pain. It can reduce discomfort and get you back on your feet faster.

In the United States massage is an accepted alternative medicine used for many forms of back pain.

Because massage therapy does not rely on pharmaceuticals, it has become a popular choice to alleviate chronic back pain naturally. Massage therapy can also provide a long-term benefit in the form of prevention or reduction of pain.

While massage could be done by nearly anyone, it’s important to seek out the professional experience of a licensed massage therapist.

When massage is done correctly it can help ease suffering; however, when it is done incorrectly, the pain may get worse.

It’s important to understand which methods have no effect, some mild benefits, and some very severe ones.

A Brief History of Massage Therapy

The history of massage therapy can be traced back thousands of years. Historical references of massage can be found in manuscripts from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Asia, and Middle East.

During the Renaissance, massage became widespread in Europe. In the 1850s, two American physicians who studied in Sweden introduced massage therapy to the United States, making it popular for several health reasons.

During the 1930s and 1940s, medical advancements led to a decline in massage as a treatment in the United States.

Since the 1970s, massage has regained popularity, particularly among athletes.

The Benefits of Massage Therapy Done Correctly

There are many benefits to traditional massage.

For example, massage therapy may provide release from emotional stress, tension, tension on the skin. It provides a release that can help to ease stress.

Massage can alleviate the signs of aging. Additionally, massage is also good for your circulatory system, as it helps the circulation of blood.

It provides relaxation and sleep. When done correctly, it is therapeutic and can ease pain.

Needless to say, massage is a useful and reliable treatment.

Pain Relief Through Massage Therapy

Massage is used to relieve pain, rehab sports injuries, reduce stress, improve relaxation, reduce anxiety and depression, and support general wellness.

Traditional massage may also help prevent muscle spasms and other forms of back pain. Massage can provide relief from stress or exercise.

Therapeutic massage can be used as a collaborative, supportive addition to conventional medical treatment of illness and injury, alleviating pain and stress, aiding soft tissue healing, and revitalizing the body.

massage in fort collins

Massage Therapy and Treating Depression

One study found clearly better results for people with major depressive disorder receiving Swedish massage.

Massage therapy offers relief and relaxation in the form of healing that medical treatments alone cannot provide.

Massage therapy has shown great promise in alleviating depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder, and people are becoming more aware of the benefits of a combination of treatment options.

Many people also use massage therapy as an effective treatment for migraines and headaches.

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Massage Therapy as an Integrative Solution

Massage therapy is often included in integrative medicine approaches. This makes massage a versatile component to approaching wellness in a more wholistic manner.

Over the years, physicians have become more receptive to recommending massage therapy, including to the muscles of the lower leg, as part of treatment for plantar fasciitis.

For example, instead of a whole-body treatment though, a therapeutic massage session tends to focus on your targeted area of concern — for an extended period of time.

Because of this versatility, you may also talk about what you expect to achieve from the massage session and any goals you have for your massage therapy treatments.

Massage therapists may recommend to clients personalized treatment plans, such as details on how to relax beyond sessions. Some techniques may include stretches, breathing exercise, or lifestyle suggestions into the treatment plan.

Often, learning more about the various types of massage therapy options available can determine the best treatment options.


If you’re interested in discovering how routine massage therapy can help you, we encourage you to contact us and schedule an appointment with one of our certified massage therapists.

Booking Massage Appointments After COVID-19

colorado massage therapy

After months of socially distancing, Living Arts Wellness is proud to announce that we are booking massage appointments, wellness consultations, and therapy. We know how difficult this has been for those who have relied on our services and we thank you for the continued support.

Living Arts Wellness has been complying with WHO, CDC, and state guidelines since the stay at home order was lifted in early May. We’re proud to say that we’ve been able to get back to work safely.

There are a few things anyone visiting Living Arts Wellness in Fort Collins must be aware of. While we understand this affects the availability of our therapists and, in some cases, might be an inconvenience, these guidelines are to ensure the safety of our clients and therapists.

  1. Larimer County Health Department Signage is posted at each public entrance of the facility. If you’re unsure of the local guidelines, please refer to this signage to understand the requirements for any Larimer County business. These required safety measures include:
    • avoid entering the center if they have a cough or fever
    • face coverings must be worn by all employees and customers
    • distancing requirements include maintaining a minimum 6-foot distance from others in the center, except for interaction with the therapist
    • less than 10 people are in the facility at any given time.
  2. Workforce shifts have been staggered. We are staggering our therapists to reduce the number of people in the facility at any one time. We understand this may result in limited availability when scheduling an appointment. Making sure that we maintain a safe environment is our top priority.
  3. Client appointment times have been staggered. We are doing this to limit the interaction with anyone other than their therapist. Much like our therapists, we are making sure that appointment times limit contact with any other clients. We appreciate your understanding regarding scheduling.
  4. Each therapist completes a symptom checklist before and after their workday. Therapists will record their temperature and any other conditions that might be notable. We are taking the health and safety of anyone who comes into our facility seriously.
  5. Bathrooms, common areas, and treatment rooms are disinfected in between each client. Properly sanitizing these areas allows us to minimize the risk of transmitting the disease through these “high traffic” areas.
  6. Clients must bring their own water or drink. We’re very sorry, but at this time, we’re not able to provide you with water or beverages in any way. Please be prepared and bring your own water or drink in a sealed container, such as a bottle or Nalgene.
  7. Hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant soap is available for therapists and clients. We encourage all clients to properly sanitize your hands upon entering our facility. Doing so when you arrive helps us maintain a clean environment and limit the potential for transmission of the virus from external sources.
  8. All clients coming into the center must sign a COVID-19 disclosure form. Each client must sign a statement acknowledging that they have not themselves had symptoms and have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 during the previous 14 days. Again, please let your therapist know if you’ve experienced any symptoms or have recently been exposed to anyone with a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19—we would be happy to reschedule your appointment.
  9. All client temperatures will be taken upon entering our building. Each client’s temperature is taken with a temporal thermometer upon entering the building. If a client is exhibiting signs of a fever or abnormal temperature in any way, we will not be able to accommodate your therapy session that day and you will be asked to reschedule.
  10. There is no penalty for last-minute cancellations due to health reasons. If you’re feeling sick in any way (whether it’s COVID-19 or another illness) please call us ahead of time and reschedule. We would much rather have you reschedule, than have you make the trip to our facility and us not be able to complete your massage.

We sincerely appreciate your willingness to work with us as we get through these difficult times. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Together, we can and will get through this!

Healing Massage Therapies

Massage is an Important Part of an Integrative Wellness Program

There are many reasons to book a healing massage today. Massage is often thought of as pampering, but the therapeutic benefits cannot be denied. Studies show that massage reduces pain, improves sleep, aids patients in getting through cancer treatments, increases motion and flexibility, helps to avoid colds and flus, often alleviates headache, and can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Stress Reduction with Healing Massage

Massage not only lowers your stress level, it reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is hormone that can reek havoc on your body if you are constantly stressed. Elevated cortisol can lead to blood sugar issues, weight gain, suppression of the immune system, stomach and intestinal problems, and heart disease.

Freeing the mind and recharging the body with healing massage
Freeing the Mind and Recharging the Body with Healing Massage

Massage Therapy for Pain Management

Recent studies indicate that massage is strongly indicated for pain management. More than eighty percent of doctor visits are for chronic and acute pain complaints. Massage is often an important part of an integrative pain management program.

How Does Massage Combat Illness?

It has been proven that regular massage boosts the immune system. Swedish massage studies have shown an increase in white blood cells that combat illnesses such as colds and flus. Studies have also indicate that massage can significantly increase natural killer cells that fight early stages of breast cancer.

Massage therapists that are properly licensed and trained can be relied on to develop a massage therapy plan to meet individual needs and can coordinate work with doctors, acupuncturists, and other health professionals. Many modalities are often combined to treat conditions and may include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, structural integration, joint mobilization, and myofascial release.

The AMTA and other professional organizations list qualified massage therapists in your area.

Low Level Laser Therapy for Reducing Pain, Inflammation and Edema

The low level of near infrared light generated by a laser has been shown to stimulate and repair tissues.

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is often applied to a wound or injury for short periods of time. When the light is applied at proper levels and amount of time, it can be quite effective for treating pain and inflammation, speeding healing, and even reversing some conditions. Often treatment last only a few minutes and is used multiple times.

You might ask, “How can light heal me?” Current research shows that the light. or phototherapy, stimulates certain processes in the cells that are touched by the laser. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of each cell. When the light stimulates the mitochondria, there will be an increase in respiration and more energy available to the cells.

LLLT has been widely tested in clinical trials and has been shown to be very effective for treating both acute and chronic conditions. The low level laser is effective for treating wounds, nerve issues, tendons, bones, and internal organs.


LLLT can be found in many clinical settings including physician and chiropractic offices, massage therapy centers, and acupuncture clinics. Cold lasers are being studied for their effectiveness in attacking viruses, reducing scars and burns, speeding wound healing, and much more. There are also laser devices designed to target and eliminate fat and others are used to treat and eliminate acne when an actual bacteria is responsible for the skin issue. Massage therapists incorporate this therapy into their practices to help eliminate inflammation and speed healing on multiple levels. Medical professionals and health practitioners are using these tools effectively in their practices.

Massage: Best Treatment for Back Pain

deep tissue massage for back pain
Massage for Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments among Americans.

It is estimated that nearly 85 percent of our population experiences back pain some time in their lives. It is also the most frequent cause of limited activity in people under the age of 45. Those that prefer not to use standard medical treatments, such as pharmaceuticals, find that massage therapy is the best treatment for this painful condition. Massage modalities that are effective treatments for back pain include deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, and structural integration.

Deep Tissue Massage

This modality is very effective for contracted muscle groups. The treatment includes slow and deep movements that concentrate on the areas of pain. Adhesions are broken up, circulation is increased, and stiff and sore muscles are released.

Neuromuscular Therapy

This therapy, also known as trigger point therapy,  addresses tight muscle with restricted blood flow, myofascial trigger points that cause referred pain, and nerve entrapment. The massage therapist applies varying pressure with fingers, knuckles, or the elbow to eliminate chronic pain, increase blood flow, and increase range of motion.

Myofascial Release

This is an effective technique using gentle sustained pressure to remove soft tissue restrictions, help eliminate pain, and restore function. The massage therapist assists the client with body mechanics, movement, and postural awareness.

Structural Integration

This type of bodywork focuses on the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, organs and nerves. When fascia becomes bunched and tightened, it tends to pull our muscles and bones out of alignment, causing pain and fatigue. Structural integration is used to lengthen and soften tissue, align the body in gravity, and restore functional ease.

Each of these modalities is effective for treatment of chronic and acute back pain, and they are often combined in a session as part of an integrative massage.

Note: The ABMP is a great resource for locating a massage therapist that has achieved proper certification and/or licensing requirements and follows a code of ethics.

Massage Types: Don’t Know What to Ask For?

Don’t know what massage type to ask for when booking your appointment?

Massage types that you will commonly see:

  • deep tissue
  • Swedish
  • neuromuscular therapy
  • structural integration
  • myofascial release
  • sports
  • integrative

Sports Massage

If you are an athlete, runner, or just like to participate in sports, you may want to consider a deep tissue or sports massage. Deep tissue works with specific muscle groups to release chronic tension and often pain. Sports massage is used to assess issues, aiding in rehabilitation and better performance. Sports therapy can include a variety of modalities that are valuable to the recovery, repair and healing processes.

Structural Integration

Are you having trouble moving with ease or feeling out of balance? Structural integration works with the fascia (connective tissue) that surrounds muscle, organs, and nerves. This connective tissue can become bound up and less elastic over time. As it becomes shorter and more dense, it can cause posture and movement issues. This can result in discomfort and fatigue. As you go through a series of structural integration sessions, you will notice feeling more in alignment with gravity and ease of movement.



Are you struggling with tension and looking for some relaxation? Swedish is a combination of long and kneading strokes designed to relieve muscle tension and promote deep relaxation. It also increases circulation and may help after an injury.

Neuromuscular Therapy

Do you have a repetitive movement injury? Are you having issues with circulation, nerve compression, or posture? Neuromuscular therapy is used to treat chronic pain that involves both the muscular and nervous systems. Another name for this is trigger point therapy. This type of body work is often combined with other modalities to treat the underlying causes of pain.

Integrative Massage

This type of work involves the application of several specific techniques that target the specific needs of the client. The session is designed for the client and the best therapeutic results. Often the massage professional will use Swedish techniques to alleviate stress, deep tissue to address areas of tension, structural integration to create better alignment, and neuromuscular therapy to treat trigger points. If you want an appointment designed to meet a variety of needs, ask for integrative therapy.

These are some of the more frequently used techniques. There are also mind-body techniques that can help to ease pain and depression. These include Reiki, EFT, Healing Touch, meditation, and biofeedback… to name a few. When booking an appointment it’s always a good idea to call your massage therapist or local center to discuss therapy options.

Restore Postural Balance With Structural Integration

structural integration

Structural integration is a type of bodywork that focuses on realigning and integrating the body in gravity. Fascia (connective tissue) surrounds muscles, organs, blood vessels and nerves. When it becomes bound up, movement is restricted.

During a structural integration session, the fascia is lengthened and softened in order to restore postural balance and ease of movement. Clients often report feeling more at home in their body after a session. Structural integration is based on the work of Dr. Ida Rolf and can be a series of treatments or part of an integrative massage/bodywork session.

Some of the benefits of structural integration include:

  • Ease of movement
  • Better body alignment
  • Fluidity
  • Grace
  • Energy
  • Alertness
  • Relaxation
  • Less anxiety
  • Improved sleep
  • And so much more!

Massage for Digestive Disorders

Massage is Effective for Treatment of Digestive Orders

  1. ~100 % of American adults, if they live long enough, will suffer from bowel irritation.
  2. ~The #1 cancer among both men and women is colon and rectal cancer.
  3. ~When the colon is healthy, it will produce 2 of more well-formed bowel movements per day.
  4. ~If your stools are not expelled effortless, then you are constipated!

In treating digestive disorders, massage therapists apply gentle pressure to the abdominal region, looking for areas of congestion including bloating and gas.This treatment may stimulate peristalsis, which is a rhythmic movement of the digestive tract. Abdominal massage may also help remove masses of fecal matter that have become trapped in diverticula (areas of the intestinal wall that have become weak creating pouches). 

Massage is also used to relieve tension and anxiety that can exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). During an acute flare up of IBS, therapists limit massage to neck, shoulder, back, legs and arms to reduce tension and avoid aggravation of irritation.

Therapies that induce relaxation are also important in the treatment of Crohn’s disease which results in chronic pain. Although, abdominal massage should be avoided during acute phases.


Healing Touch

Are you feeling out of balance emotionally, physically, spiritually? Try Healing Touch!

Living Arts Wellness is now offering Healing Touch Energy- Based Healing.

Kristi Buss, CMT uses light touch on or above the body to clear, balance and strengthen the human energy system. the goal of Healing Touch is to restore harmony to the energy system, placing the client in a position to self heal on many levels including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Healing Touch is endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association and the National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork, and is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

For more information about the power of Healing Touch, please visit

Call 970.472.0995 to book your session or book online

Book today and receive a $10 discount on your session.


Pregnancy Massage at Living Arts Wellness


Prenatal (pregnancy) massage can be beneficial for both mom and baby. It often helps to relieve many of the discomforts experienced during pregnancy, enhance sleep, and even boost the immune system. Massage for pregnant women may also reduce joint stress and increase blood and lymphatic circulation.

During a pregnancy massage, clients are bolstered with soft, supportive cushions to alleviate pressure on the low back, abdomen and pelvis. At the end of the second during the third trimester, moms often prefer a side-lying position with a bolster placed under the top leg and hip for support.

Massage during pregnancy often helps to alleviate headaches, reduce stress and anxiety, eliminate low back and leg pain, and promote restful sleep.

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