Massage: Best Treatment for Back Pain

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.

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!

Healing Touch for Injuries

When a joint, muscle or tendon is injured, inflammation occurs in an attempt to protect and heal the injured area. Classic signs of inflammation are swelling, redness, heat and pain. It is important to allow the injured area to rest and give it time to heal. Often, an injury to one area, a knee for example, causes pain and tightness in other areas, such as the hips, back and opposite leg, as your body attempts to compensate.

While massage is effective in releasing tight muscles and reducing muscle pain, it is not appropriate to use directly on an injury or recent surgery where inflammation is present. This is where Healing Touch comes in — an excellent partner to massage in the care and restoration of injured tissues, both chronic and acute. Healing Touch is an energy-based healing modality in which light touch is used to clear, balance and strengthen the client’s energy system. HT has been shown to reduce pain and decrease recovery time for injuries and surgeries.

In the case of a knee injury, massage could be used above and below the knee, as well as on the hips, back and opposite leg to release tension and restore the body to physical balance. Healing Touch is then appropriate to clear heat, pain and congestion in the energy field around the injured tissue, as well as balancing the whole energy system to promote wellness. Simple Healing Touch self-care practices may also be shown for the client to employ at home for continued support.

The following is a testimonial from a client that recently received a Massage/Healing Touch session to treat a hip injury:

“I had recently injured my hip during a workout and could tell that the joint was inflamed. I could barely walk and the pain was exhausting. This condition, in addition to the stress of everyday life, was holding me back. Not only did Kristi help with the physical condition, she helped me discover a blockage in my psychological and emotional state. I can easily pinpoint this session as the turn around in my recovery. Kristi is a gifted and compassionate healer, and I recommend her work often.”

-Fort Collins Massage Therapist

Watch for an upcoming Introduction to Healing Touch workshop where you can learn some basic healing techniques to use on yourself and your family. 

Kristi Buss is a Certified Massage Therapist and Healing Touch Certified Practitioner with over 18 years of experience. Please call (970) 472-0995, or email kristia[email protected] for information or to schedule an appointment. Massage/Healing Touch sessions can be booked for 60 minutes, 90 minutes, or 2 hours.


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.


Deep Tissue Massage Helps Relieve Muscle Soreness

Snow shoveling can lead to body aches and pains. Here are some tips to help alleviate some of these issues.

1. Try warming up your muscles a bit before going out to shovel.

2. Stretch before and after.

3. Lift heavy snow using your knees… not your shoulders and back.

4. Take breaks if there’s a lot of shoveling to be done… this will help to avoid strain.

5. Take a hot shower or bath or apply moist heat to those sore areas.

And, if this doesn’t alleviate your soreness and/or pain, consult a certified massage therapist at Living Arts Wellnesssnowshoveling

Massage Therapy Benefits and Fun Facts

Benefits of Massage

  • Alleviates low back pain and improves range of motion
  • Assists with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers
  • Enhances immunity by stimulating lymphatic flow
  • Stretches weak, tight and atrophied muscles
  • Assists athletes with preparing for and recovering from strenuous activities and competitions
  • Improves the condition of the skin, which is the body’s largest organ
  • Increases joint movement and flexibility
  • Helps to lessen depression and anxiety
  • Assists in reducing scar tissue
  • Reduces post surgery swelling
  • Relaxes tired and overused muscles
  • Relieves migraines
  • And, so much more!
Massage Facts
  • One hour of massage is equal to 7 – 8 hours of sleep for the body
  • There are nearly 5 million touch receptors in our skin
  • Touch is the first sense to develop in humans
  • Massage therapy is the third most commonly used form of alternative medicine in the United States
  • Stress is responsible for nearly 90 percent of dis-ease

Deep tissue massage concentrates on the deep layers of muscle and fascia

Deep Tissue Massage

Reduces Chronic Pain

Improves Blood Pressure

Breaks Up Scar Tissue

Rehabilitates Injured Muscles

Because deep tissue massage increases the flow of blood through the body, it helps reduce the inflammation that causes pain, and it can also help alleviate muscle tension that is often a cause or side effect of chronic pain by loosening the tight muscle fibers.

Over time, it can help break up and may erase scar tissue and can be an effective treatment for injured muscles.

deep tissue

Salt Glow With Sea Salt and Essential Oils

salt glow

A salt glow combining sea salt and essential oils can leave your skin feeling soft, fragrant and renewed!
We have three exfoliating, relaxing, and detoxifying options:

UPLIFTING SCRUB:  Regenerate, stimulate lymphatic flow, and tone your pores…

Rosemary Verbenon – Traditionally used for cellular regeneration, wrinkled, aging, burned, scarred or sundamaged skin, the treatment of oily skin and scalp, and dandruff. French authorities say that it can help balance the nervous system, support the liver and gall bladder, that it is an endocrine regulator, and useful for respiratory infections.

Peppermint – Traditionally used for stimulating lymphatic flow, cooling in low dilutions, warming in high dilutions. Mentally, it clears the brain, helps concentration, is a restorative in cases of mental fatigue, and is a mental stimulant.

Lemongrass – Traditionally considered an excellent overall physical tonic. An effective skin toner that can open pores. It is said to boost the parasympathetic nervous system which hastens recovery from illness. The essential oil is stimulating and invigorating, It is helpful for treating symptoms of jet lag, clearing the head and relieving fatigue.

DETOXIFYING SCRUB:  Eliminate toxins and smooth your skin…

Ravensara – Traditionally used for cases of edema, it stimulates the drainage of toxins. Recommended as an immune stimulant. Ravensara is used as both a tonic for the nerves, and as a remedy for physical, nervous and mental fatigue. Strongly antiviral. There is no more useful essential oil for combating the flu. 

Palma Rosa – Traditionally, Palma Rosa is very effective in blends for treating various skin conditions as it helps balance production of sebum, thus being useful for both extremely dry and oily skin. A strongly anti-infectious oil, as well as being anti-fungal. It is said to aid in the release of anger and grief.

Patchouli – Traditionally used to tone and tighten the skin, and is used in many anti-wrinkle products. Regulates oily skin and dandruff. It is known to be useful in combating cellulite. Patchouli is an effective anti-inflammatory for the skin, helpful in healing cracked or inflamed skin, acne, dermatitis, and eczema.

CALMING SCRUB:  Relieve stress, restore your skin tone, and balance your spirit… 

Roman Chamomile – Traditionally used for its sedative and pain-relieving properties. Wonderfully calming and stress-relieving. Useful for combating menstrual cramps. Effective for insomnia and headaches brought about by stress and tension. Helpful for inflamed joints and muscle and joint pain.

Rose Geranium – Traditionally used for bruises, cuts, ulcers, broken capillaries, dermatitis, and its anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to balance sebum (making it the oil of choice for combination skin) and to keep the skin smooth and  supple. Thought to bring an overall sense of balance when used in aromatherapy. Used to alleviate problems with menopause and menstruation. 

High Altitude Bulgarian Lavender – Traditionally used for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and, possibly, anti-viral properties. Lavender functions as an adaptogen, aiding in restoring the body and the spirit to balance. This particular variety of lavender has a heady, floral aroma, with much less of the bright green and camphorous smell of lesser-quality varieties.

$75 for a 60 minute treatment
Combine with oxygenated sauna for $110


Essential Oil Massage For Detoxification

palo santo
Palo Santo (Sacred Wood Tree) Essential Oil is a natural purifier and promotes deep immunity, especially during cold and flu season. It is a perfect additive to massage oil and has many benefits including immune boosting, promotion of healthy inflammatory response in the joints and muscles and skiing regeneration. It is also calming and grounding. Consider requesting it in your next warm oil massage to reduce stress and enhance spirituality. 

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