Massage or Massage Therapy – What’s the difference?
Is there a difference within the massage profession of what type of massage you will get? Most definitely!
A fully trained therapist, approaches your massage with a completely different outlook, compared to say a mall or spa massage.
Massage has been typically defined as a movement which follows a pattern and manipulates your muscles, fascia and ligaments using fingers, hands, forearms, elbows and in some massage sessions knees and or feet. Massage uses oil, heat or cold and sometimes tools. All these factors create therapeutic change.
All our therapists at Top Notch perform ‘massage therapy’. This is where we take the above and combine it with discussing how we can help you to obtain better health. We also explain what is may be going on for you and together we will discuss any self-care such as stretches or activities.
So, you can see as your massage therapist, I’m taking a lot more into consideration than manipulation of soft tissues. Rather than walking in and plonking yourself down on a chair, we are considering your needs for massage therapy from:
Massage therapy, has a deliberate pattern, a purpose and therapeutic intention to manipulating your tissues. Essentially the ingredients that go into what we deliver as part of our massage therapy is both hands on and hands off.
Importance placed on health and wellness
In addition to your massage, our top priority is your health and wellness. After your session, we discuss ways in which to improve your own self-care outside of the massage session; this can range from postural awareness, breathing patterns, messages about mindfulness, and helpful stretches (if required). I think by not discussing this, it would not serve you well. Becoming an active part of your health is essential to getting better.
In contrast to a walk in ‘massage’, these aspects of your treatment are likely to be missed - you end up receiving a massage that doesn’t address the root cause of your symptoms. It will definitely make you feel better, but for how long?
Environment of Massage Therapy
In order for massage therapy treatment to be effective, the environment requires you to feel safe and relaxed in order to be in the right state of mind emotionally or psychologically, otherwise this limits your ability to receive the outcome you desire. The lighting, the sound and the temperature of the room all play a pivotal role with the therapeutic touch that you receive. Placing phones on silent really ensures you can get the full benefit, so you can switch the mind off from the outside world for the duration of your session.
Safety in Massage Therapy
Safety is a central component in massage therapy. Most harm is caused by therapists who are unqualified. This is because they lack the appropriate training and anatomy knowledge, so they are not aware of particular areas to avoid with deep pressure, for example. This can become extremely unsafe to you as the client. Professionally trained massage therapists have this knowledge and experience. You may not realise this, but every tertiary trained massage therapist are trained in personal safety where we are taught boundaries and adopt a high standard of ethics. At Top Notch we pride ourselves on the fact that all our therapists have tertiary qualifications in Massage Therapy - if you haven’t been to us before book an appointment to experience the difference!