The Differences Between Massage and Physiotherapy

November 3, 2017
Ryan Barichello

Although they use some of the same techniques, massage therapists and physical therapists have very different careers. From educational and licensing requirements to work settings to income, the two occupations have little in common beyond the use of massage and educating patients about various exercise techniques, such as stretching. Both, however, require empathy and physical stamina.


In a recently published article entitled, “What is the Difference Between Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy?” author and expert, Terry Bruge-Hiplo, writes:


“Physiotherapy and Massage therapy are both practices used by professionals to improve someone’s well-being and body condition,” adding that physiotherapy is a medical profession applied by registered physical therapists that provide care to individuals with body injuries and pains, which may include therapeutic exercises and manual techniques.


“On the other hand, massage therapy is an alternative medicine comprised of structured movements that is used to manipulate muscles and ligaments,” writes Bruge-Hiplo.


The Breakdown:


Massage Therapy:

Massage therapists manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of the body to help relieve patients' pain and stress.



Physiotherapists create tailored individualized programs for each client, in order to restore movement and function to the body.


Massage therapists and physical therapists both care about helping others and try to relieve their pain. Physical therapists have much more responsibility and a longer period of education, but are also better compensated. A massage therapist can begin to practice much sooner, however, and her education is less expensive and time-consuming. Either can be self-employed or a small business owner. Both careers require constant interaction with other people and effective interpersonal skills.


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Verified by Nick Gabriele.