Massage Therapy vs. Sports Massage vs. Manual Therapy

We’ll begin with the basics: Massage Therapy

The term is very broad and can include many techniques. The most common form of massage therapy is Swedish or classical massage, which forms the core of most massage training programs. In our specific version of massage therapy, which focuses on easing a condition, we strive to address the clients’ needs and concentrate on the area currently causing pain or discomfort.

  • Does it hurt? Not really, maybe a little in specific areas.
  • Needs oil? Yes.

Let’s step up a notch: Sports Massage

Like massage therapy, sports massage targets a specific area of the body that is in need of healing or relief by increasing blood flow. Sports massage is generally stronger and deeper than massage therapy; it can also be used pre-competition (to increase blood flow in the muscles) and post-competition (to help get rid of toxins and lactic acid).

  • Does it hurt? Depends on the status of the muscle; sometimes, it can be painful in the beginning.
  • Needs oil? Yes.

Now we go deeper: Manual Therapy

Every professional will give a different definition of it according to the studies he or she has completed. So, I will stick with what is practiced in the studio: a mix between deep tissue massage, trigger point release, and myofascial manipulation. The primary goal is to reduce pain and stiffness in the body, and improve posture and flexibility by releasing chronically tight and shortened muscles and fascia. This is accomplished by applying a combination of slow compressive and lengthening strokes on the affected musculature. The technique is designed to relieve severe tension and stiffness in the muscles and the connective tissue (fascia). It is particularly recommended for individuals who experience chronic pain, limited mobility, postural problems, are involved in heavy physical activity, or for clients who have sports injuries or any other kind of sustained physical injuries.

  • Does it hurt? Yes.
  • Needs oil? No.

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