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Wellness Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Jan 2023

Benefits of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy for Back Pain

Back Pain ☹

Back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the world. That’s a shocking statement! Everyone eventually feels some type of back pain or weakness, whether it is from over-exertion, stress, injury or any other issues. Combined, Americans miss about 264 million workdays per year due to intense back pain. Back pain can be caused by many factors including, muscle injury, bad posture, obesity, prolonged sitting or lying, over-stretching, exercise, and more. 

Depending on your age, stage, health, and the cause of pain, your doctor may prescribe medications or recommend specific treatments like exercises, stretches, surgeries, physical therapy, and massage therapy.

Many people use massage therapy to treat their back pain. Massage therapy involves many different treatments and techniques like sports massage, deep tissue, Swedish massage and more. A type of massage therapy we find effective, that many people do not know about is neuromuscular massage. While the name may seem intimidating, its results are helpful for many individuals. 

To help you better understand the benefits of neuromuscular massage therapy for back pain, keep reading below.

What is neuromuscular massage?

Neuromuscular massage therapy is a form of soft tissue massage that aims to alleviate chronic muscle and nervous system disorders and problems. It is mainly used to negate trigger points, increase circulation, relieve nerve compression, correct postural problems, and heal repetitive movement injuries. The aim of a neuromuscular massage is to go straight to the source of your pain and alleviate it.

This form of massage therapy came to light in Europe during the 1930s. Stanley Lief and Boris Chaitow developed it with an emphasis on palpation to gain access to sensitive soft tissues. Neuromuscular massage therapy was introduced to the United States between the 1940s and 1950s. As an example, Dr. Janet Travell worked her way up from a neuromuscular therapist to become the first female personal physician to a president of the United States when President John F. Kennedy needed trigger point palpation to relieve stress and spinal cramps.

The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes that the neuromuscular massage method is an effective treatment for soft tissue injuries, especially in the back. With the advancement of technology and education, this method is more readily available in many areas of the country. We are grateful to offer this pain relieving method at Sage Wellness in Rochester MN [ ]

How is neuromuscular massage different from a deep tissue massage?

Many people confuse neuromuscular massage with deep tissue massage. While they both dive deep into troubled spots and alleviate back pain, neuromuscular massage focuses on reaching the neuromuscular source of pain, while deep tissue massage focuses on relieving stiff muscles, tendons, and tissues deep under your skin. Deep tissue massage can be an occasional therapy while neuromuscular therapy as a medical treatment is comfortable to receive more often. 

Neuromuscular massage therapy also treats more ailments than deep tissue massage, as the focus of a deep tissue massage is solely to relieve tension and alleviate back pain.

Neuromuscular Therapists take years perfecting their technique. Since neuromuscular therapy targets the main source of pain, therapists need to know where the muscles are, how the fibers flow, understand posture and stress, and how the muscles work together. The more experience a technician has, the better your experience and reduction of pain will be. Therefore, always research your therapist before you visit them. Ask as many questions and talk to past clients and read past reviews.

What does neuromuscular massage treat?

Neuromuscular massage therapy treats a wide range of problems. Most people recognize neuromuscular massage therapy for its ability to relieve back pain or any other muscle pain, but there are more disorders and symptoms it treats, including:

•Carpal tunnel symptoms

•Sciatica symptoms

•Calf cramps

•Hip, knee and jaw pain


•Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ disorders)

•Iliotibial band friction syndrome

•Plantar fasciitis


Scientists, doctors, and massage therapists continue to study and test neuromuscular massage therapy to determine if this method of massage therapy can treat other ailments and pain areas. Before settling on neuromuscular massage therapy, if you have any of the disorders or issues above, consult your doctor to make sure it is the right treatment for you.

What are the benefits of a neuromuscular massage?

Thankfully, there are many benefits that come with neuromuscular massage therapy. The main one is that it reduces or alleviates muscle pain. Neuromuscular massage focuses on trigger points and releases the pain.

Another major advantage of this form of massage therapy is an increase in flexibility. Once muscles contract or tense up, they have very limited movement. These contracted muscles also lack blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients. Specific neuromuscular massage techniques break up these tensed areas and let your muscles receive the right amount of blood and oxygen.

Other benefits from neuromuscular therapy include an increase of energy levels, improvements to your balance of musculoskeletal and nervous systems, lowered body toxin levels, and improvements in overall posture. It can also help you relax and feel less tension days after an appointment. Neuromuscular massage patients tend to feel happier and less stressed as well. However, every person is different, and you may feel some or all these benefits.

What can you expect during a neuromuscular massage?

Just like any other massage appointment, you will go into your treatment room and follow your provider’s instructions. The provider will apply alternating amounts of pressure to the area of pain or muscle spasm. When contact is made with the muscle spasm, the pressure will not vary for 10-30 seconds. Many different techniques, tools, or moves will also be used dependent on the location and the severity of the pain or muscle spasm.

Massage therapists providing neuromuscular work spend years perfecting all these techniques. The methods used will differ for each patient. Before the massage begins, your therapist will evaluate your case and make a judgment on what to perform.

After any massage appointment, drink a lot of water and follow your therapist’s aftercare instructions. You may also feel pain and soreness after the massage, which is normal. It will fade away after a few days.

Neuromuscular massage therapy requires consistent treatments. You cannot just come and go like people do with deep tissue or Swedish massages. The regular consistent treatments will help your problem areas in the long run. You will feel pain and tension relief after every appointment, but the goal is for treatments to progress to the point of becoming preventative.

Neuromuscular massages are not for everyone. If you are extremely sensitive or have intense pain whenever you touch the areas, you will need a medical pain specialist to look further into your pain. You may need additional scans and bloodwork to truly know what your issue is. And in some cases, you may need surgery to help relieve pain. Your doctor can go into further detail about what your body needs.

If you are ready to give neuromuscular therapy a try, we will be glad to see you! Jump on our online calendar 24/7 thru the booking link and just schedule a ‘timed massage’ meaning, choose if can you stay for 30,45,60,75,or 90 minutes. That’s it! We will customize your care from there – every time.

Wellness to you, Tina Ridler - Wellness Practitioner– Sage Wellness 2023


Discovering the healing powers of this ancient practice.


Cupping Therapy has stood the test of time and continues to be used today as a healing therapy. If you're looking for a non-invasive, drug-free way to reduce pain and muscle tension, or to improve your respiratory function, cupping therapy may be worth considering. 

The practice can be traced back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, European and Middle Eastern cultures, where it was used to treat a variety of ailments. 


Traditionally, Cupping Therapy is performed by a trained practitioner using glass cups that are heated to create suction.

However, because of the innovation in material and technology, cupping can now be performed using quality medical grade silicone cups. 

Cupping is most commonly used to treat pain and muscle tension in the back, neck, and shoulders, promote relaxation as well as to help with respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis. Cupping can also be used on the hands and feet to treat pain as well as other areas of the body to treat pain, lymph flow and tissue congestion.

If you are ready to give Cupping Therapy a try, I will be glad to see you! Jump on our online schedule 24/7 thru the booking link here on the website and just schedule a ‘cupping massage'  That’s it! I will customize your care from there – every time.

Wellness to you, 

Tina Ridler - Wellness Practitioner

Sage Wellness 2023


What Are Plant Terpenes?                                                                April 2024

Terpenes are a diverse and widespread class of organic compounds found in various plants. These molecules are responsible for the characteristic scents and flavors associated with different plant species, contributing to the overall sensory experience of fruits, flowers, and herbs. Terpenes also play crucial ecological roles by attracting pollinators, deterring herbivores, and protecting plants from pathogens.

Chemically, terpenes are derived from isoprene units, a five-carbon building block, and they are classified based on the number of isoprene units they contain. Monoterpenes consist of two isoprene units, sesquiterpenes have three, diterpenes have four, and so on. The arrangement and combination of these units give rise to the vast array of terpenoid compounds found in nature.
In plants, terpenes are synthesized in specialized structures called glandular trichomes, where enzymes catalyze the conversion of precursor molecules into various terpenes. These compounds serve multiple functions for the plant, such as attracting beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies, repelling herbivores through their distinct aromas, and protecting against microbial infections.
One of the most well-known sources of terpenes is the cannabis plant. Cannabis produces a diverse range of terpenes, contributing to the distinctive scents of different strains. Some common cannabis terpenes include myrcene, limonene, pinene, linalool, humulene, and caryophyllene. Each of these terpenes not only contributes to the aroma but may also have potential therapeutic effects. For instance, myrcene is believed to have sedative properties, while limonene is associated with a citrusy scent and potential mood-boosting effects.
Terpenes are also used in various industries, including perfumery and food. Many essential oils, derived from plants, are rich in terpenes and are widely used for their aromatic and therapeutic properties. In the food industry, terpenes contribute to the flavors of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, enhancing the overall sensory experience of different cuisines.
Terpenes have been studied for their potential health benefits. For instance, limonene, commonly found in citrus fruits, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties in preclinical studies. Pinene, found in pine trees, has shown anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator effects and may have potential applications in respiratory conditions.
Many aromatic plants contain these compounds with diverse biological activities. Essential oils derived from lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint, among others, are rich in terpenes and are used for their calming, respiratory, and digestive properties.
The effects of terpenes can vary depending on the individual and the specific combination of compounds present. Research is ongoing to better understand the mechanisms of action and potential applications of terpenes in medicine.

In summary, terpenes are a fascinating and diverse class of organic compounds found in plants, contributing to the characteristic scents and flavors of various species. Beyond their role in sensory experiences, terpenes have potential therapeutic benefits and play essential ecological roles in plant protection and reproduction. As research continues, our understanding of the complex interactions between terpenes and their effects on human health will likely deepen, providing new insights into their applications in medicine and wellness.

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