What’s the Difference between Massage and Bodywork?
Aren’t massage and bodywork the same thing? You may have already seen me post on my Facebook page the words “massage and bodywork studio” in describing my business. But what does that mean, exactly? You massage a body with hands, right? Doesn’t all this stuff mean touch? Well, yes, these words CAN mean touch, but there are various bodywork techniques that work in complement to each other when you’re on a massage table… some involve touch, and some do not. Here is a very simple description of what I mean, although this is NOT a comprehensive list of all the benefits that massage and bodywork offer:
Massage can be defined as the manual manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, using a variety of techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibit motor-neuron excitability, and promote relaxation and well-being. Massage is a “hands on” form of healing work.
Bodywork is a term used in alternative medicine to describe any therapeutic technique that involves working with the human body, involving manipulative therapy, breath work, or energy medicine. In addition, “bodywork techniques” aim to assess or promote awareness of the “body-mind connection”, or to manipulate a person’s “energy field” surrounding the human body and affecting overall wellness, balance and health. Bodywork can involve “no touch” as well as “hands-on” techniques.
In my clinical practice, I offer both massage and bodywork services. I do offer massage and energy work as separate treatments, but sometimes, they inadvertently overlap. Oftentimes during a massage session, I will “find” the source of pain on a client, because I am attuned to energy healing work. I actually FEEL it, even when the client can’t pinpoint it. This makes my massage practice a bit different from most, as I usually seem to quickly identify the exact spot and can work to relieve tension at the source level.
Additionally, when practicing energy work, I will very often pick up on a previous injury a client may have had, but had not previously mentioned to me. For me, having these abilities helps me tailor the session to the individual needs of the client in a powerful way.
Now some people may choose to think this is just all “woo woo” new-agey stuff, this bodywork I’m describing here. It’s not “woo woo” at all. It’s ancient wisdom combined with new science. Bodywork and massage are both very real, powerfully healing techniques. Whether practiced alone or together, BOTH massage and bodywork absolutely do work to help clients rejuvenate, achieve balance, and reach deep relaxation.
Love, Cam xoxo
Have you experienced massage, bodywork, or energy healing before? How did you feel after the session? I’d love to hear about your experience!