Upon first glance it may seem like neuromuscular massage and deep tissue massage are the same thing. That assumption could not be further from the truth. When you square up neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue massage, the minute differences start to stand out. While there are some shared similarities, these two therapeutic techniques are unique in their own ways. The stark contrasts that separate the treatments are not always obvious to most people. Our massage therapist wanted to clear the air and address the differences between these innovative massage therapies.
Neuromuscular Massage Vs Deep Tissue Massage
Before we dive into the differences, we should make it perfectly clear that these two therapies are similar. Neuromuscular massage and deep tissue massage both work to alleviate chronic pains. Both of these techniques are also far more intense than other relaxing massage therapy techniques, like Swedish massage. These two treatments can often feel so similar that some massage therapists will use the terms interchangeably.
Even with their similarities, the comparison of neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue can reveal some clear differences. Let’s dive into the defining differences between these massage therapies.
When you compare neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue, one of the bigger differences derives from the education of your massage therapist. In order to practice neuromuscular massage, your massage therapist needs a specialized certification. Without this education, a massage therapist cannot practice neuromuscular massage therapy at all!
This special degree can require a few extra years of school. A fair number of massage therapists will deice to not pursue that additional certification. This means that neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) can only be performed by a handful of massage therapists. At Wayfare Wellness, our talented massage therapist, Sarah, earned her degree in Neuromuscular Massage Therapy from the Colorado School of Healing Arts. Thanks to this specialization, Wayfare Wellness is fully licensed and able to provide NMT to our Denver-based clients!
Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, does not require a specialized massage therapy certification. Of course, your massage therapist still needs a formal education. This just means that deep tissue massage is more widely available that NMT.
Treatment Goals And Therapy Approaches
Deep tissue massage and NMT are also distinctly different in their approaches and overall functions. Of course, they serve the same ultimate goal of improving the well-being of the individual client. When we compare neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue, it’s clear that these methods achieve that end-goal in different ways.
Deep tissue massage is an intense form of massage therapy that treats musculoskeletal issues. The technique aims to treat muscle pains and aches through slow deep strokes and sustained pressure. Most sessions of deep tissue massage will start out with some lighter Swedish massage to warm up the muscles before increasing the intensity. Deep tissue massage has been proven to be an effective form of chronic pain relief. It’s worth noting that:
Deep tissue massage is usually sought out on an “as needed” basis.
In a single session, deep tissue massage can help treat a handful of problems across your whole body.
Neuromuscular massage therapy can basically be equated to a form of medical massage therapy. It’s a highly-specialized and extremely focused treatment method. NMT focuses on areas of muscle spasm to relieve chronic stiffness and pain. Some cases of muscle spasm might require the usage of a massage therapy tool called the T-bar. This innovative tool helps isolate trigger points and give your massage therapist the appropriate leverage to treat those tight and painful areas. As we compare neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue, we should mention that:
NMT is utilized to treat just one painful area of the body.
NMT is sought out when a specific condition needs immediate professional treatment.
It will take at least a few sessions to properly treat a given condition.
What These Therapies Treat
Which is the better option for me: neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue massage? Both of these treatment techniques are technically designed to alleviate muscular pains. However, one method might provide better results for certain aches, pains, and conditions.
Deep tissue massage is best for treating aches and pains that are rooted in your connective tissues. Deep tissue massage is best used as a treatment for:
Limited mobility issues
On the other hand, NMT is best used for those suffering from chronic pain that is caused by more serious dysfunctions. These could include:
Myofascial trigger points
Dysfunctional gait patterns
Hopefully we’ve cleared up your questions with our comparison on neuromuscular massage vs deep tissue massage. Even with our explanation, we understand that these two techniques can still cause some mild confusion. If you have any further questions on which would be best for you, then please feel free to contact us today. Our experienced massage therapist is happy to answer any of your pressing questions.
Experience Better Pain Relief With Wayfare Wellness
Too many people suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. It can interfere with every aspect of your life. Whether you’re in need of neuromuscular massage or deep tissue, one of these treatments can deliver the pain relief that you need. At Wayfare Wellness, we can help you achieve that pain relief through our effective massage therapy techniques.
Book your first appointment with Wayfare Wellness and start improving your health and well-being today!