Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic Massage is a distinct area of health care services that is quite different from the more traditional ‘spa’ type massage we think of when we are on vacation!

Spa-type massage is often jokingly referred to as “Fluff N’ Buff”, this type of gentle massage is rarely if ever effective for patients who are suffering from both acute and chronic conditions that affect areas of the spine and the numerous muscles and ligaments that enable each one of us to move about freely and perform the numerous tasks of our daily lives and the recreational activities we love to participate in.

At Natural Pain Solutions our patients often are suffering from a wide range of ailments that often impair their ability to lead a normal life and do the things most of us take for granted. Our goal at Natural Pain Solutions is always to help our patients “Take Back Their Lives” and in this spirit we want the massage services that we provide to truly be therapeutic massage rather than the more traditional spa-type massage.

Our massage therapist Lynn Aker is a specialist in various therapeutic massage techniques that are designed to address the numerous clinical presentations patients of Natural Pain Solutions often present. From the weekend athlete to the severely herniated disc, Lynn employs a wide range of therapeutic massage approaches that facilitate healing and assist the doctors in achieving the outstanding results that Natural Pain Solutions has been able to achieve with its patients.

Deep Tissue Massage


Deep tissue massage is frequently recommended for nonsurgical spinal decompression patients to facilitate the healing process. The stabilizing muscles of the lower back are known as the multifidus muscles and in conjunction with other larger muscle groups are an important component in maintaining a health back. Natural Pain Solutions patients frequently report a long history of lower back pain ‘episodes’ that have occurred over a period of years and often as a result of a ‘weak’ supporting system as the muscles are simply not doing their job.

Deep tissue massage is similar to traditional massage, but a deeper pressure is used to release more chronic tension. The massage therapist gets deep into lower layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia to provide relief for the patient. Deep tissue massage is typically focused on one or more specific areas that are in need of therapy. Dr. Tunick and Dr. Grace recommend deep tissue massage for patients that are not responding to traditional Swedish massage or have a chronic problem area they need resolved. Wondering if this can be of benefit to your personal case? Let us know and we’ll be happy to discuss with you.

 Trigger Point Therapy

trigger point

Physical examination findings frequently identify the presence of trigger points in a patient’s musculature. So what is a trigger point anyway? Trigger points result when a muscle is overworked and not functioning properly, and is having difficulty releasing the lactic acid that builds up with repetitive sustained contractions. This build up of lactic acid can be felt in the muscle tissue.  Trigger point therapy focuses on this tight band or painful nodule in a muscle.  These tender areas can be ‘latent’ where they produce a localized pain or discomfort, or worse yet, they can be ‘active’ and produce pain that travels or ‘refers’ to another area. For example, a trigger point on the back of the head might refer pain and discomfort to the back of the head, over the top of the head or to the forehead. The massage therapist will apply pressure to the nodule and ask the patient to breath into that spot typically three or four times, until the nodule decreases or abates.

Often during a patient’s treatment protocol with nonsurgical spinal decompression at Natural Pain Solutions, it is determined that the presence of trigger points is contributing to the patients condition and will require a referral for therapeutic trigger point therapy. Don’t hesitate to inquire about whether or not this type of therapy may be indicated in your particular case.

Sports & Rehabilitative Modalities

sports rehab

As you might expect, Dr. Tunick and Dr. Grace are especially big fans of sports and rehabilitative massage. At Natural Pain Solutions we often tell patients we want to help them ‘Take Back Their Lives” so they can do all the incredible things people love to do. Whether it is playing golf, cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, whatever your personal sport or activity may be, the quality of our lives are often reflected in our ability to participate in sports.

Many of our patients who are being treated with nonsurgical spinal decompression are active individuals who participate in a wide range of sports activities and are anxious to get back in the game.

Sports massage is used to release specific areas of muscle tension that occur in one’s sport. The massage is sport-specific and focused individually for your body and your body’s needs.  This therapy helps relieve areas that are stressed or overused during both your training as well as during the performance. Sports massage helps increase range of motion, decrease pain from delayed onset muscle soreness, increase flexibility and increase ones endurance. Dr. Tunick never turns down a sports massage after a long day of riding his bike. By the way, if you are a cyclist, don’t hesitate to get on the bike with Dr. Tunick and get some miles in!

Craniosacral Therapy


Many of the patients at Natural Pain Solutions have complicated case presentations that often require additional treatment modalities beyond nonsurgical spinal decompression. The human spine encases the delicate spinal cord which is bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the entire structure is truly an engineering marvel of creation. The CSF has a rhythmic ‘flow’that contributes to the overall health of the individual. This vital flow of the CSF can often be impaired and lead to stress factors throughout the nervous system and impact overall function and wellness.

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, noninvasive form of bodywork that addresses the movement of bones in the head, spinal column and sacrum. This leads to the normalization of the rhythmic flow of the CSF. Craniosacral therapy restores the position of the bones in the head and can decrease stress throughout the spinal cord. Dr. Grace and Lynn Aker CA, LMT are both highly trained in Craniosacral therapy and Dr. Tunick and Dr. Grace often recommend Craniosacral therapy for headaches, neck pain, back pain and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).


close up cupping

Natural Pain Solutions patients present a wide range of complaints that frequently require therapeutic approaches that can be both unique and personal. Cupping has gained international attention at this year’s Olympic Games. Often performed by both Acupuncturists as well as trained licensed massage therapists, cupping is done with suction. A vacuum is created in a cup that is placed over the targeted area and skin is drawn into the cup by the vacuum. Cupping can help decrease adhesions, and in addition it can help treat pain, scar tissue, knots in the muscle as well as swelling.

This fascinating approach is practiced by both Cindy Anderson, L.Ac our resident acupuncturist, as well as Lynn Aker CA, LMT our outstanding therapeutic massage therapist. Both Dr. Tunick and Dr. Grace have found that nonsurgical spinal decompression patients that present with localized adhesions, scar tissue or muscular knotting may respond best to cupping. Wondering if this may be help to you? Don’t hesitate to ask one of the providers at Natural Pain Solutions if cupping may be of benefit in your case.

 Myofascial Release

myofascial release 2

In addition to herniated lumbar disc injuries, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome, sciatica, and numerous other conditions that the health care providers at Natural Pain Solutions are called upon to treat, patients frequently have presentations that involve multiple muscles or groups of muscles, as well as the fascial sheaths that cover the muscles. This often misunderstood relationship between the muscles and the fascial sheaths or coverings is an important aspect of care that if overlooked can result in a less than optimum outcome.

Dr. Tunick and Dr. Grace refer patients to Lynn Aker CA, LMT for myofascial release therapy when it is clear that the addition of this therapy will further facilitate the recovery process. So in broad terms, what is myofascial release?

Myofascial release is a therapy that is used to release muscle and tendon shortness or contracture. Fascia is the thin covering which surrounds muscle and becomes the tendon, where muscle connects to bone. This type of massage can help improve flexibility as well as function. Natural Pain Solutions practitioners encourage their patients to seek this care following an accident, or any time their muscles have suffered a period of not being used.