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Massage Therapy or Manual Osteopathy?

Deciding Which Treatment Is Right For You

It’s a common occurrence at our clinic: a customer calls asking whether they should make an appointment to see a massage therapist or an osteopath. The truth is, both registered massage therapy and manual osteopathy are highly effective treatments. Still, it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you.

You may want to ask yourself a few questions before calling to make your appointment. For example, do you have any injuries in your past? Is your pain located in one specific area, or does it radiate to other parts of the body? Does it hurt to apply pressure? Do you have a history of arthritis, inflammation, or any other chronic pain conditions? 

If you think your pain is more than muscular, you may want to see one of our osteopaths.  An osteopath ensures that the body’s joints are properly aligned, restoring the range of motion in the area of concern. Osteopaths check to see that the skeletal system is not exerting any strain on nerves or muscle tissue by being out of alignment.

Massage therapy session

On the other hand, if you are experiencing pain in one specific area, then you will want to consider seeing a massage therapist. Like manual osteopaths, massage therapists are trained to manipulate the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. R.M.T.s are also trained to do health intakes to help determine the root cause of your discomfort.

Can I Do Massage Therapy and Manual Osteopathy Together?

Yes! The advantage of alternative therapies is that they work best holistically, in combination with one another. In most cases, patients who pursue both massage therapy and manual osteopathy are the patients who have the best chance of healing themselves!

To recap, here’s how to tell the difference between massage therapy and manual osteopathy: 

1) Massage therapists primarily help with occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.

2) Manual osteopaths primarily address structural alignment using gentle manipulations which rebalance the body. This includes muscles, bones, joints, fascia and the soft tissues.

We advise you to visit the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners and the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario websites for more information. If you would like to learn more about the individual therapists we have on staff at NEWS, click here.

We are open 7 days a week for your convenience. As always, we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions via phone or email!


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