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Difference between massage and bodywork

What is the difference between a Relaxation Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork?

Relaxation massage is what most people think of when they hear the word “Massage.” It incorporates various strokes from the Swedish style of body work such as effleurage, (Long gliding strokes, usually with lotion or oil) petrissage, (kneading strokes) tapotement, (think karate chops) and compression (pressing the muscles into a hard surface such as the bone underneath.) This style of massage is usually performed with oil or lotion and soft music to encourage a state of deep relaxation. Sometimes Aromatherapy is also used to deepen this relaxed state.

Therapeutic or Bodywork is all about getting to the cause of pain and reducing it. This work can be done with draping or in comfortable clothing. Sometimes muscles get strained, over-tightened, over-lengthened or stuck together. Sometimes parts of the muscle get ischemic (lack of blood flow) and create tender spots or trigger points (which refer pain to other areas) and need to be worked out and loosened. This work can be extremely difficult to do on your own and sometimes a detailed knowledge of anatomy is necessary so you are not stretching already over-lengthened muscles. A qualified bodyworker can help reduce pain enough to eliminate the need of prescription pain killers in some instances. Therapeutic Bodywork can also be very gentle. Myofascial work can feel very light and still be extremely effective at relieving chronic pain. A good bodyworker will listen and respond to the needs of your body. Sometimes the muscle needs to be re-educated or trained to do what it is supposed to do.


When treating the body for chronic pain (lasts more than three months), bodywork sessions are usually scheduled on a weekly basis for a period of 4-6 weeks and sometimes longer and can vary from 30 to 60 minutes.  Sometimes stretching and strengthening exercises are given to help re-educate muscles to help reduce the pain.

If you have chronic pain (lasts more than three months), schedule an appointment TODAY to get you back into pain free movement.  We are always accepting new clients.

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