#ASKAMIRA Chiropractor VS Massage
I’ve received a few questions asking the difference between chiropractor VS massage therapy so I’ve decided to break down the differences in this post!
Are you familiar with touch-based therapies for pain and relaxation? The three most common are chiropractic, massage, and Reiki. But what exactly are they? Each of these treatments and practices rely on touching to produce the desired results, but the method of the touch is very different and deliberate for each type. The best way to understand the differences and to determine which would be most effective for your specific needs is to explore each one individually, look at the processes, and the way they work on individual physiology.
Chiropractors and massage therapists use hands-on therapy to treat patients with pain and muscle tension, although a chiropractor has a much broader scope of practice. They need some similar skills, such as dexterity and empathy, and use some of the same techniques, such as massage and heat therapy. Unlike massage therapists, chiropractors are considered medical professionals. There are significant differences in educational preparation, professional standing and salaries between chiropractors and massage therapists.
Chiropractors are formally educated, with undergraduate education as well as a four-year chiropractic program. Some chiropractors may have master’s degrees. Chiropractic education includes topics such as physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology. In the third and fourth years of a chiropractic program, students receive extensive training in diagnosis and spinal manipulation. Chiropractors may also go on to a residency program for further training. Massage therapists usually complete 500 hours of training, although requirements may vary by state. Chiropractors must be licensed, while massage therapists need a license or a certificate, depending on their state’s regulations.
Less controversial is the use of massage therapy to treat muscle and chronic pain. Massage is performed by trained professionals who have attended school to become certified. It is not as intensive as medical school but practitioners must be licensed in most states. Massage not only loosens muscles and relaxes the body, but it can also help with sleep, digestion, and overall mood. There are multiple forms of massage but some of the most common include deep tissue, reflexology, shiatsu, and sports massage.
According to American massage therapy association, 21% of women and 11% of men indicated they had a massage in the year leading up to July of 2013. Forty-three percent of these people said they sought out massage therapy to help with pain management or soreness and stiffness of the muscles. Eighty-eight percent said that the therapy was effective in helping alleviate their pain.
Massage, much like chiropractic care, does have some risks but they are very minimal. Most people who seek massage therapy treatments do so in a spa setting and also rely on the relaxation aspects of the practice. Massage in this environment is typically performed in a quiet, darkened room with relaxing music and aromatherapy to help set a soothing tone. Massage therapists want to work with each individual to make sure that the right areas of the body are treated and the treatment does not become painful or unbearable in any way.
On the other end of the spectrum from massage and chiropractic care, this hands-on healing technique is surrounded by a lot of controversy. Reiki is an energy based healing technique that manipulates the energy of the body through touch. While many practitioners like to place their hands on the body or just off the skin, some practitioners claim that Reiki can actually be performed through long distances. It promotes relaxation, aids the body’s natural healing properties, reduces pain, and improves overall wellbeing.
There is no regulation for the training of Reiki practitioners. Reiki is not necessarily learned but rather transferred from teacher to student through a process called “attunement.” For those who receive it, attunement is considered a powerful spiritual experience. The energies are channeled into the student through a Reiki Master. Once a student has received Reiki they will possess it throughout their lives.
A Reiki session involves relaxation and can be accompanied by the sensation of heat or no sensation at all. Because the practice is not regulated it is important that you are extremely comfortable with the person you’ve chosen to work with. At your appointment you may be asked to lie on your stomach so the practitioner can have access your body’s entire energy center. There has been very little scientific research on Reiki, but some individuals have found pain relief through treatment.