Difference Between Massage Therapy & Physiotherapy
Our clients often ask us what the difference between massage therapy and Physiotherapy is. You may also wonder how massage therapy can help you too. Doing massage therapy can be used independently by a massage therapist or by a Physiotherapist as part of the overall treatment.
What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy involves relieving your tension in specific muscles that have built up due to injury or stress. These massage techniques help you to get the blood flowing which speeds up the recovery process. Doing massages can help you with:
- Helps circulation
- Reduces muscle tension
- Reduces pain
- Removes toxins and waste products from your body
Why would you go to a Physiotherapist for a massage?
When a Physiotherapist uses massage therapy, it is only one part of the overall treatment. Doing massage therapy is focused on your injury or on a particular problematic area. Your muscles and tissues around the area will get massaged.
Additionlly, the Physiotherapist will apply other techniques such as:
- Mobilising the joint
- Stretching the muscles
Massaging your soft tissues or the joints
Other specific techniques may be applied to change how your muscles around the joint are working. As a result, massage therapy will be one component of the whole treatment and the process. It’s also quite specific and targeted on correcting and fixing your problem.
How does massage fit in with Physiotherapy?
Initially, massage was a large part of Physiotherapy. It helped to form the beginnings of Physiotherapy. The beginnings of Physiotherapy included massage as one of the main therapies that Physiotherapists in the early 1900s. This treatment was offered to clients that were coming back from war who needed to rehabilitate and recover from injuries.
Today, massage therapy makes up an integral part of Physiotherapy. This is because it forms part of the hands-on component of Physiotherapy. Doing massage therapy is used to:
- Relieve muscle tension
- Take away trigger points
- Improve circulation
- Move lymphatic fluids through the system
- Reduce swelling and issues around joints
Is there any training for soft tissue massage techniques?
Soft tissue massage techniques are a big part of today’s Physiotherapy treatments. Our Physios are trained to use their hands as part of their undergraduate degree. Massage and soft tissue techniques are a part of that training. Physiotherapists take part in professional training after they’ve graduated from their degree. This means that they are taking part in courses and professional development that involves:
- Components of massage
- Using our hands to apply soft tissue techniques
- Stretching methods during a treatment
When would you see a Physiotherapist instead of a massage therapist?
You would consult with a Physiotherapist instead of a massage therapist when you have a specific problem that needs to be managed and corrected. Our Physiotherapists will use techniques to assess your condition first. From there, they will develop a plan with you to focus on correcting and fixing the problem. This will help you to prevent the injury from returning again.
Seeing one of our Physios for a massage is focused-based. This is because it aims on correcting the symptoms and fixing a problem that has recently occurred. Providing you with more of a long term solution to your problem.
If you would like to learn more about massage therapy and Physiotherapy, make a booking with one of our Physios at a practice near you.