massage therapy

The Difference between Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy

Massage therapy and Physiotherapy are very similar in terms of application techniques; both procedures are intended to improve a patient’s body condition by applying pressure and stimulating blood circulation. While physiotherapy is more exclusive to body pains and injury, massage therapy focuses on applying structured movements to stimulate the ligaments and muscles.

Here is a detailed look of both techniques – Physiotherapy

This is entirely a medical profession that follows scientific approach to treat pain and body dysfunctions. A registered physiotherapist cares for the patient by restoring the natural body functioning by enhancing healing through manual techniques (hands on) or therapeutic techniques (exercise and movement) or through the combination of both.

Some of the common techniques used in physiotherapy include –

  • Movement control
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Interferential therapy
  • Electrical motor stimulation
  • Stretching and strengthening
  • Soft and deep tissue massage
  • Joint mobilization and manipulation
  • Individualized home exercise prescription

Advantages of Physiotherapy

All of the techniques mentioned above helps to improve the functioning of our body by reducing swelling and increasing the blood flow. It reduces pain and enhances the mobility of the joints. This practice is beneficial for those who suffer from athletic injuries such as sprains, fractures, neck injuries, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Sports people work with physiotherapists and develop personalized programs to correct frequent injuries, prevent loss of mobility and to restore normal functioning.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a pertinent part of Ayurvedic treatments where a therapist uses his/her elbows, forearms and hands to release tension in the muscles.

Some of the common massage therapy techniques include –

  • Shiatsu
  • Sports massage
  • Basic reflexology
  • Passive stretching
  • Myofascial release
  • Deep tissue release
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Lymphedema drainage

Advantages of Massage Therapy

A deep massage helps to release muscle tension and enhance blood flow to affected parts of the body. The intention is to ensure that sufficient amount of oxygen is delivered to the body cells along with lymph. The lymphatic system plays a very crucial role in our well-being as it regulates the flow of proteins which helps to maintain our immunity. Therefore, increasing the following of these nutrients helps the body heal quicker.

Massage therapy is known to be beneficial for a wide range of ailments such as depression and anxiety. But the core objective is to reduce muscle spasm and remove muscle stiffness. You can also benefit from muscle therapy if -

  • You have low immunity
  • You experience low blood pressure
  • Suffer from pregnancy discomforts
  • Discomforts from workouts
  • Need to enhance your stamina and resilience

Although massage therapy is a more holistic approach, the therapists need to obtain extensive training. Before you sign-up for a massage session make sure the person is qualified and has been trained at a reputed college.

To wrap it up, physiotherapy is more oriented towards curing whereas massage therapy aims at providing instant relief from spasms and muscle tension.