Massage vs Musculoskeletal Therapy – What’s the difference?

A massage is a massage right? Anyone who gets massage regularly knows that this is definitely not the case! Massage therapist vary in their skills, expertise and techniques. Personal preferences and experience are part of the reason why there is variation, but a large part of it lies with the education that a massage practitioner can have.

A remedial massage therapist has studied massage, including hands on techniques, physiology and muscular anatomy. It is possible in Australia to get a certificate in massage in just 6 months. Of course, at Brisbane Natural Health we require our massage therapists to have a minimum of and Advanced Diploma in massage (usually 1 1/2 years in a reputable institution) to ensure they have the background training to help our patients. There are many fantastic massage therapists who get great results with patients.

Serious issues are often better dealt with by a MST.

Musculoskeletal Therapy (MST) differs from Remedial Massage in that they are trained to critically evaluate and assess a presenting musculoskeletal condition, identify the causes and contributing factors, and develop a holistic management plan that will provide an effective result. As well as the hands on treatment you may also get an exercise prescription, be coached on postural awareness and have your condition explained to you in greater detail. Although there are massage therapists which do these things it is usually self taught rather than learned in their studies. A Musculoskeletal therapist studies for 3 years to obtain a Bachelor degree in MST.

Both Remedial Massage therapists and MSTs can help you with tight muscles, pain and discomfort. If you have a specific or chronic condition, often seeing an MST first will help you gain a better insight to the cause of the issue and what you need to do to fix it. MSTs are often better at finding the cause of the issue and identifying if you need to be referred to other therapists. This is particularly helpful if you have a chronic condition that is slow to respond to treatment.

If a relaxation massage is what you’re after then a Remedial Massage Therapist is the way to go. We usually find even in our relaxation massage patients there is some tightness and knots to work out – so it ends up being a combination of both!

To make an appointment with a Remedial Massage Therapist or MST at Brisbane Natural Health, call us on 07 3367 0337 now!

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