With so many different types of massage therapies available, finding out which is the best for your wellness goals can feel overwhelming. Each kind of massage therapy has its own unique benefits and techniques.
Massage therapy is a great way to relieve and help alleviate many kinds of symptoms and conditions. But, sorting through all of them is a time-consuming process. To help you understand the difference between two of the most common massage therapies, we’ve created the following guide.
What Is A Therapeutic Massage?
One of the most common kinds of massage therapy is therapeutic massage. A therapeutic massage typically focuses on a specific region of concern. Therapeutic massage is designed to target and treat any pains you’re experiencing, regardless of if the pain is acute or chronic.
When you get a therapeutic massage, your massage therapist may use various techniques to treat you. This can include techniques like passive-resistive stretching, myofascial release, trigger point manipulation, different movement therapies, or deep tissue massage.
Benefits of Therapeutic Massage:
Reduces Muscle Pain and Soreness
There are many benefits to getting a therapeutic massage. It’s a good option for those experiencing muscle soreness or pain after exercise, trying to recuperate after surgery, or who have a chronic pain condition. Your massage therapist will use precise techniques and muscle manipulation to relieve stress and encourage recovery. These focused massage techniques help individuals move and function more easily and help alleviate pain. Therapeutic massages can also help improve your range of motion and reduce the amount of discomfort you feel.
Increase Your Flexibility and Range of Motion
By working on muscles, connective tissues, ligaments, and joints, therapeutic massages can help improve your flexibility when done regularly. By keeping your joints more fluid it also helps make them less injury-prone. Additionally, therapeutic massages help increase flexibility in stiff, tight muscles by increasing tissue elasticity. The friction and movements of therapeutic massages raise the muscle’s temperature, allowing the muscle fibres and tissues to loosen and stretch.
Relieves Post-Operative Pain and Helps Manage Chronic Pain
Therapeutic massage is an efficient way to manage postoperative pain and pain that is a symptom of a chronic condition. For those who have undergone major surgery, massage therapy can help address many different elements that occur after surgery. Things such as distinct scar tissue development, hyper-toned muscles around the surgery site, and more can all be treated by a registered massage therapist. Their training will allow them to release the tension in the surrounding muscles around the incision and lower the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
What Is A Relaxation Massage?
A relaxation massage differs from a therapeutic massage in that it intends to help patients relax. Instead of focusing on a specific region, this massage therapy focuses on the whole body. Your massage therapist will gently use their full hands over the skin, following the muscle contours of the body.
Many of the techniques used in this massage therapy are performed with light pressure that aims to increase the temperature of the muscle, increase blood flow, manipulate the soft tissues, and stimulate positive chemicals to be released in the body. This massage therapy is designed to relax and soothe, not to relieve chronic pain or other underlying conditions.
Benefits of Relaxation Massage:
The techniques used in this massage therapy, such as gentle kneading or stroking movements, can improve blood flow circulation. As blood carries oxygen and nutrients, increasing your circulation enhances the delivery of nourishing compounds to muscles, skin, and connective tissues. This improves the recovery of soft tissue injuries and enhances physical performance and recovery.
Reduced Muscle Tension
Regular relaxation massages can reduce muscle tension. Relax massage therapy can decrease things like postural problems from sedentary routines like sitting at a desk for many hours. Your massage therapist can help disperse any built-up tension and tightness in these areas.
Muscular fatigue from overuse during exercise can also benefit from massage therapy. The techniques used in a relaxation massage help the muscle fibres relax and disperse lactic acid buildup, reducing fatigue, discomfort, and recovery time.
Alleviates Anxiety and Depression
In our society, we often feel tension, stress and pressure in everyday life. Massage therapy creates a shift where our parasympathetic nervous system is triggered, which calms your body and mind. By creating a calming atmosphere, massage therapy can alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
How Do I Know Which Massage Therapy Is Best For Me?
Therapeutic massages focus on treating specific conditions and injuries, like chronic pain or limited mobility. On the other hand, relaxation massages are designed to promote relaxation and reduce stress. These two kinds of massage therapy have their own benefits. In order to make the best and most informed decision, it’s recommended to speak to a registered massage therapist.
A massage therapist will be able to assess your concerns and goals and then recommend which kind of massage therapy would be best fitted for you.
Find the Right Massage Therapy for Your Needs With Otium Wellness
Depending on your wellness goals will influence which kind of massage therapy is best for you. It can be a little daunting to accomplish this on your own, but this is why our registered massage therapists are here. Our team of experienced massage therapists can help you create a customized massage therapy plan that will alleviate your symptoms and promote your wellness. Here at Otium Wellness, our goal is simple. We strive to create a space that connects our clients with quality services and therapists to best support their wellness goals.
To learn more about our massage therapy or massage therapists, contact us at
(403) 222-0579, or if you’re ready for the next step, book an appointment today!
Blog posts from Otium Wellness are for general information only. The content should not be considered medical advice.