Spa massage and medical massage may appear similar, but their techniques are distinct. During a spa massage, the focus is usually on relaxation. On the other hand, a medical massage therapist will use a wider range of therapies to promote muscle health and recovery. The primary difference between a medical massage and a regular massage is that medical massage seeks to address the cause of the issue, not just treat the symptom.
Treating the symptom is akin to putting on a band-aid. The work of a medical massage therapist differs from that of a general massage therapist. Medical massage therapists have specialized training and experience that allows them to provide care that is focused on healing injuries, improving function, or increasing circulation. They typically work in hospitals or clinics, can take orders from a doctor about the type of massage treatment they should give their patients, and can even be paid for through the patient's health insurance.