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  • Writer's pictureVicki Cala

What is the difference between therapeutic and relaxation massage?

Have you ever experienced a super light massage where oil is applied and then lightly spread around the whole time - when you crave a little more pressure, this can be super frustrating! (Lots of people do like this and it's what their body needs- there is nothing wrong with that!)

On the other hand, have you had a massage where you are gritting your teeth the whole time, holding your breath and afraid to speak up about the pressure? In this case, the client often is holding on and contracting every muscle to the point where the therapist may not be doing anything useful.

I prefer and aim to provide a session with a middle ground! Therapeutic massage can be very relaxing- I often hear from my clients they like the combination of focused deep work but are able to relax and let everything go. By being in a relaxed state, the parasympathetic nervous system will kick in (the opposite of the "fight or flight" state we are often in these days!). This is why I usually end a session with a scalp massage. Clients may not realize how much tension is held in the jaw, base of the skull, and the scalp, and spending some time in this area will affect their overall feelings of relaxation so they feel less "tight" by the end.

Tell me what you think, do you like having a scalp or foot massage to have a few minutes of relaxation during a massage? Or are you more of a grit your teeth and the " more pain the better" type?


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