All massage is therapeutic.

So what’s the difference between medical and relaxation massage?

Although these two categories are distinct in their practical approaches to healing, they both promote the basic benefits of massage, such as: decreasing stress, reducing muscle tension, supporting healthy blood and lymph circulation, and increasing range of motion.

In contrast: a relaxation massage is typically a full body Swedish-style massage with the goal of overall relaxation, whereas a medical massage focuses on specific areas of dysfunction with the goal of relief from pain and/or regaining range of motion. (Other terms for medical massage include: sports massage, therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, etc.)

You may find yourself falling asleep or zoning out during a relaxation massage. During a medical massage, I may request your attention and assistance for various techniques (such as a resist/relax sequence). In this regard, relaxation massage tends to be more of a passive experience while medical massage is often more of an active session. During a medical massage, I will rarely use cream (so I can use techniques such as myofascial release), whereas I will always use cream for a Swedish relaxation massage.

While these distinctions aren’t true 100% of the time, I hope these differentiations give you better understanding of these two approaches to therapeutic bodywork. Before your massage session, we will always discuss your goals and agree on a treatment plan together. Ready to book an appointment?