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What is the Difference? Medical Massage vs. Spa Massage

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Ways medical massage is different from spa massage

Do you ever feel like you need a massage, but you're not sure what kind to book? Maybe you're dealing with chronic pain or injuries and wonder if a spa massage will relieve you. It's crucial to understand the differences between medical massage and spa massage. While both offer benefits, they are entirely different in their goals, techniques, and outcomes. In this blog post, we'll explore these differences and help you make an informed decision about which type of massage is right for your needs.

What is the Difference? Medical Massage vs. Spa Massage Riverview FL

Goals: Healing vs. Relaxation

The primary goal of medical massage is to help alleviate specific medical conditions or injuries. It involves a detailed assessment and a personalized treatment plan to address the root cause of the problem. A licensed massage therapist performing medical massage will work closely with healthcare professionals, such as doctors or chiropractors. Together, they will develop an appropriate treatment plan that helps manage pain and promote healing.

In contrast, spa massage aims to promote relaxation and improve overall well-being. While it may temporarily relieve minor aches and pains, it's not designed to address specific medical issues.


Techniques: Deep Tissue vs. Light Pressure

Medical massage typically involves deep tissue techniques, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and other specific modalities that target the affected area. A licensed massage therapist will use their hands, fingers, elbows, or even feet to apply pressure and stretch the affected muscles and tissues. This pressure can be intense, but breaking down adhesions and releasing muscle tension is necessary.


On the other hand, spa massage typically involves light pressure, long strokes, and gentle kneading of the muscles. The focus is on relaxation, so the therapist may use aromatherapy, soothing music, and warm towels to enhance the experience. These techniques are not designed to address specific medical issues but can temporarily relieve minor aches and pains.


Outcomes: Pain Relief vs. Relaxation

The outcomes of medical massage and spa massage are entirely different. Medical massage provides pain relief, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing. Chronic pain, injuries, or medical conditions can benefit significantly from medical massage. They may experience improved range of motion, decreased pain, and reduced inflammation.

On the other hand, spa massage is designed to provide temporary relaxation and stress relief. It can help you feel more relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated, but it's not intended to address specific medical issues.



Whether you're seeking relaxation or relief from medical issues, there's a massage therapy that's right for you. A licensed massage therapist can help you determine which type of massage best suits your needs and provide a personalized treatment plan to achieve your goals. Whether it's a deep tissue medical massage or a spa massage designed for stress relief, both types of massage offer unique benefits that can improve your overall well-being. So go ahead, book that massage, and let the licensed massage therapist work their magic!


Contact Our Riverview, FL Massage Clinic Today


Massages by Anna Bass LMT. Certified for many different massages and treatments. Specializing in Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage.


To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Advanced Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist and Health Coach, Anna Bass LMT, please call 412-328-4540 or Book a Massage Here.


Providing massage services to patients in Riverview, Tampa, Brandon, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Wimauma, Adamsville, Gibsonton, Sun City Center, Bloomingdale, Balm, Willow, Florida and surrounding areas.

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