massage and adjustment

The Difference Between A Massage And An Adjustment

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Massage and chiropractic adjustments are two popular forms of complementary and alternative medicine that many people turn to for pain relief or overall wellness. While the two practices may seem similar, they differ in their techniques, goals, and applications. It is important to understand the differences between a massage and an adjustment so that you can choose the right treatment for your specific needs. In this article, we will discuss the nuances between these two practices, explore why it is essential to know the difference, and delve into the details of how each technique works. So, let’s dive in! 


Therapeutic massage has been utilized for generations, involving the manipulation of the delicate tissues of the body such as muscles, connective tissue, and skin. This can facilitate relaxation, improve circulation, and reduce stress by means of long movements, kneading, rubbing, and other massage techniques. This can reduce stiffness in the muscles, and augment suppleness, while also producing endorphins to help ease pain and enhance one’s mood. By comparison, a chiropractic adjustment is a specific process that centers on placing vertebrae and other joints in the back and limbs in proper alignment to forestall or do away with nerve impediments. This system is based on the conception that disruption to the nerves along the spine can lead to medical issues, so making changes to the curve of the spine can enhance total body functioning.


It’s important to know the distinctions between a massage and an adjustment in order to choose the right therapy that addresses your health needs effectively and promotes overall well-being. We believe this article will offer insightful information on these two complementary practices and assist you in making informed choices concerning your health.

What is a Massage?

A massage involves kneading and manipulating the body’s soft tissues, aiming to provide comfort and improve overall health, both mentally and physically. Massage therapists use different techniques like kneading, rubbing, and applying pressure to ease tension and discomfort in the body. A lot of people find massage therapy advantageous due to its ability to diminish muscle strain, decrease stress levels, and uplift overall health.

Different massage techniques are used for specific purposes. Swedish massage is the most common and involves long strokes, kneading, and circular movements to relax muscles. Deep tissue massage involves the use of slow and deep pressure to alleviate chronic muscle pain and tension. Sports massage is designed to help athletes recover from injuries and improve their performance. Shiatsu massage involves the use of finger pressure on certain points of the body to relieve tension and pain. No matter which technique is used, the benefits of massage are numerous and often long-lasting.


Massage not only relaxes you physically but also improves your mental health by decreasing your levels of stress and anxiety. Massage boosts the production of serotonin, a chemical that promotes feelings of happiness and well-being. Additionally, it can help to alleviate symptoms of depression by reducing cortisol levels in the body. Other physical benefits of massage include improved circulation, increased flexibility and range of motion, and improved immune system function. With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that massage is a popular way to relax and improve overall health.

What is an Adjustment?

A chiropractor or physical therapist performs an adjustment by manipulating the spine or joints to align them properly. The purpose of this procedure is to relieve pain, enhance mobility, and hasten healing. This is achieved by restoring proper alignment and movement to the spine and other joints of the body.


An adjustment can involve various techniques such as manual manipulation, mobilization, and traction. Manual manipulation involves using the hands to apply pressure and force to specific joints. Mobilization uses a gentler, less forceful approach to repositioning the joints, while traction involves stretching the spine to relieve pressure and increase mobility.


The advantages of an alteration are abundant. Not only will it provide relief from aches and enable motion, but it can also improve blood flow, diminish muscular stress, and support overall well-being. It can even protect against future damage by guaranteeing the right positioning and activity of the body.


Various types of adjustments can be made, such as cervical, thoracic, and lumbar adjustments. The specific adjustment type given to a patient depends on their situation, like where the problem is located and how severe it is. If you want to feel better and enjoy life to the fullest, getting an adjustment can help whether you have chronic pain or want to improve your overall health and wellness.

When to Choose a Massage or an Adjustment

Many people often confuse going for a massage or an adjustment when dealing with aches and pains. Though massage and adjustment are both beneficial in their unique ways, it’s crucial to understand when to choose which therapy. 


Massage is an excellent choice for relieving muscle tension and promoting relaxation, making it ideal for those experiencing stress, tension headaches, and chronic neck or back pain. Moreover, massage therapy has proven effective in reducing anxiety, and depression, and improving sleep quality. It is prudent to converse with your medical care provider prior to reserving a massage if you have any preexisting medical issues, ailments, wounds, or injuries. A massage is not recommended in such cases.


On the other hand, chiropractic adjustment is an effective therapy for those experiencing joint pain and restricted mobility. It involves the use of controlled force to adjust the spine and other joints to improve the range of motion and reduce pain and stiffness. Chiropractic adjustments can address conditions such as sciatica, lower back pain, and even migraines effectively. However, individuals with conditions such as osteoporosis, or cancer, or those using blood-thinning medications are not advised to undergo chiropractic adjustments.

Ultimately, choosing the right therapy for your condition depends on the root cause of your discomfort. If you are dealing with chronic muscle tension, a relaxing massage can help soothe achy muscles. If you have joint pain or stiffness, a chiropractic adjustment may be the right treatment to improve your range of motion and relieve pain. Be sure to speak to your therapist or medical professional to determine which therapy is best for your unique situation.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it is clear that there are significant differences between a massage and an adjustment. While both aim to improve overall health and well-being, a massage primarily focuses on relaxing and loosening tight muscles, while adjustments are designed to align the spine and improve joint function. The practices employed in massage therapy and spine manipulation differ tremendously, as adjustment tactics require specific knowledge and instruction. It is important to point out that both massages and adjustments bring forth many advantages which can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and emotional state. However, when discussing therapy options, it is important to comprehend the discrepancies between these two techniques and pick the suitable one for your individual healthcare requirements.