Understanding the Difference Between Spa Massage and Clinical Massage

| Categorized: Vancouver Massage Therapy.

What comes to mind when you hear the term “Massage Therapy”?  Do you think of an occasional treat for yourself at a hotel spa after a hard week of work, or are you more inclined to imagine a focused treatment of a bothersome health condition or injury that may be causing you headaches, stiffness, or range of motion issues?

Whatever the reasons you have to make an appointment to see a massage therapist, understanding the differences between the two major industries – Relaxation (or Spa) Massage and Clinical (or Therapeutic) Massage – will help you get the treatment that best suits your needs.

Comparing Therapeutic Massage to Relaxation Massage

A spa massage is a straightforward session using the classic Swedish techniques.  Your therapist will usually use light to medium pressure, at your preference, and the goal of the session is help you relax.  The environment of this kind of massage is generally that of a spa or resort and is geared towards creating a blissful experience with soft lighting and soothing music.  There are usually add-on treatments such as body scrubs, mud applications, and hand and foot treatments, and may be scheduled in packaged visits.

Therapeutic massages are different.  The setting is more likely to be in a clinic, private practice office, or hospital.  First time clients may spend part of the session, or extra time, providing details of current and past health issues and complaints.  Although this kind of treatment may provide a strong element of relaxation, the many advanced techniques employed by a registered massage therapist are designed to address chronic health and pain issues.  It is also likely that subsequent, and frequent, sessions will be recommended to improve the status of the conditions in question.  Your therapist will design a treatment plan catered specifically to your needs.

Both areas of massage therapy can have tremendous benefits to your overall health and wellness, and the more you know about the specific differences between the two will help you get exactly the treatment you are seeking.  Please read this informative article written by a clinical massage therapist who condones both areas, and details the differences.

Vancouver Massage Therapy / Broadway Wellness Article of the Week


Broadway Wellness is a multi-disciplinary healthcare clinic that has been located in the Fairview area of Vancouver, BC since 2004. Our Vancouver clinic provides the services of highly trained and well-reviewed practitioners in the areas of Registered Massage TherapyNaturopathic Medicine, and Acupuncture. We have recently moved into a new beautiful location filled with lots of natural light. We look forward to seeing you here!

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