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?