Alternative Health: Pain Relief – Part 2 (My Massage)

After bending down the wrong way, I had been having low back pain. But let me be honest: 20 years ago, there was no wrong way to bend. But now, after about three days on Ibuprofen, I had decided to put my money where my mouth, (or I should say my writing is) and get a deep tissue massage.

I work at the Beauty Spa and have experienced the quality of bodywork (massage, facials, reflexology, etc.) you can receive there. I scheduled my appointment, the day before, with Chris Dashnaw, massage therapist and esthetician. Fortunately for me, she had an hour available.

During my treatment, I spoke to Chris about the benefits of regular massage. She talked about using massage as stress relief and what happens when we hold stress in the body.

Dashnaw noted an article about stress and how it can age the body. Dashnaw went on to tell me that massage can be a part of reducing stress and slowing the aging process. But, she says that she has seen massage remove pain (especially neck and back pain) from the body.  Dashnaw says, “I have seen people come in with neck pain, get a massage and the pain goes away.”

“When you do work like we do [physical labor/massage therapy] you could almost get a massage once a week”, Dashnaw says with a laugh. “Alot of my clients come to me for stress related tension. To keep themselves healthy, I would recommend getting one [massage] every other week.”

Tracey Brown writes an alternative health column for the Harrisonburg Times.

Tracey Brown writes an alternative health column for the Harrisonburg Times.

The Beauty Spa has seven massage therapists and it is the job of the Spa Coordinator, Emily Smith, to help the client find the right therapist. “Some people call the Spa because they have had a Spa therapist recommended to them,” Smith said. “Sometimes I ask if they prefer a male or female therapist,
because we have both. I ask people what type of massage they need; a light relaxing massage or a deeper massage to ease tension in their muscles,” Smith said. “I look at the specialties of each therapist and try to fit the needs of the client to the therapist that is best for them. For example, I recommend Jen for pre-natal massage because she enjoys it.”

As for my massage with Dashnaw: She said I had waited too long between massages. She was right. My muscles were tight and I felt sore and tender during the massage. After the massage, I felt like I had a new younger back. Maybe I should schedule another massage for next week.

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This post was submitted by Tracey Brown.


  1. says

    Hello Tracey: Thanks for writing about the importance of self-care, and non-medical ways to do so.
    I would add that in my experience, and the experience of my students, yoga is one of the best ways to prevent and care for low back pain. Not just any kind of yoga, but an alignment-based yoga such as taught in the Iyengar system, is not only safe, but often more effective in treating chronic low back pain than conventional medical treatment. See for example this study by John Hopkins:
    I welcome your questions and feedback. . .

    • says

      Hi Diana,

      Sorry for the delayed response but I have been out of town. I would love talk to you about the benefits of yoga and how it has affected your life. Yoga is on my list of topic to write about. Are you a yoga teacher? Do you live here in H’burg.

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