Is Manual Therapy The Same As Massage Therapy?

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is characterized as a therapeutic approach using specific hands-on procedures, including but not limited to manipulation/mobilization, used by the physical therapist to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain; enhancing range of motion (ROM); minimizing or removing soft tissue inflammation; inducing relaxation; improving contractility.

Consensus study of U.S. chiropractors described manual therapy (generally referred to as “chiropractic adjustment” in the profession) as “Procedures by which the hands touch the body directly to treat the joints and/or soft tissues.”

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a scientific stimulation of the body’s soft tissues, consisting mainly of manual (hand-on) procedures such as the application of fixed or movable pressure, gripping and shifting muscles and body tissues.

Massage is typically done to increase the flow of blood and lymph (fluid in the lymph glands, part of the immune system), minimize muscle tension or flaccidity, influence the nervous system by relaxation or sedation, and improve tissue healing. Therapeutic massage can be prescribed for the benefit of children and adults.

The Similarity and Differences

Both manual therapy and massage therapy are intended to help mobilize or reduce stress in soft tissues. Manual counseling, however, is also used to aid in several ways. Joint mobilization movements are a form of physical therapy, and these movements are designed to improve people’s ability to move arthritic or damaged joints. Another form of manual therapy known as muscle energy techniques can also help to minimize joint movement restrictions.

Massage therapy is usually used to treat tight muscles, but is not typically used to figure out whether muscle pain is linked to any physical problems. On the other hand, manual therapy is also used to help physicists evaluate and treat both muscle and joint issues. For example, the therapist will use his hands to search for tense muscles around your sore knee. If the muscles are stressed, different forms of manual therapy can be used to treat them.

Reflexes are the involuntary reaction of the muscles to certain external stimuli. Think of how your leg swings when your doctor strikes your knee with a triangular rubber mallet. This kind of reaction is called a neuromuscular reflex.

An irregular reflex will be if the leg did not react at all when the knee was hit during a reflex test. Physical therapists may help people cope with muscle disorders that can cause irregular reflexes by using a manual therapy called strain-counterstrain.

Both massage and manual therapy can be used as part of an individual’s overall health and wellness plan. However the level of education and expertise necessary for the practice of manual therapy is much more extensive. Physical Therapists are highly trained health care professionals who receive comprehensive training on the use of manual therapy methods to assess and treat patients.

Are You Looking for Help with Your Pain?

Sports massage from Schemata Bodywork helps people who are active or desire to be active. Who can benefit from manual therapy from Schemata Bodywork? Individuals who have careers that are restricted to working at a desk, all athletes that are looking to improve their performance or physical gains, people who have community service jobs such as firefighters, law enforcement, or military personnel. If you are suffering from injuries with acute or chronic pain, or someone who wants relief from mental or physical stress, we can help change your life. Contact us now for your appointment.