top of page
  • asymes2

Bodywork vs Massage: what's the difference?

Have you ever been in a situation where you hear someone say they had bodywork done, or heard your friend talking about the superb massage they just received and wondered, "what on earth is the difference between bodywork and massage???"

You're not alone!

The good news is they can be used interchangeably, so you're not too far off if you thought they were the same. There's no formal definition available to distinguish them.

Typically, massage is more focused on relaxation, increasing sense of wellbeing, and stress relief. Bodywork is a more targeted form of massage, with less focus on relaxation and more focus on pain relief. Bodywork is used more for addressing an issue/dysfunction such as pain, discomfort, or tightness in a certain area or during a certain movement.

How does this look in practice? Let's say you've been having pain in your low back whenever you bend down to pick something up. If you come to a bodywork session, we'd spend the session focused on your low back, glutes/hips, and upper back as all those areas are related to your low back. We may incorporate stretching/movement into our session as well. Unlike traditional massage, we wouldn't spend time on your neck, legs, or arms, as they're not directly related to your low back.

And if you come see me, as a physical therapist and licensed massage and bodywork therapist, I can help you to not only decrease pain, but to keep that pain away. I have a plethora of tools available including dry needling and cupping, as well as traditional exercise prescription to help you stay pain free.

Questions about how I can best help you decrease pain and get back to doing what you love? Email me at or TEXT me at 919-205-3550 to set up a time to chat! I'm located in Hillsborough, NC, convenient to Raleigh, Durham, Mebane, and Chapel Hill!

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Will physical therapy help my TMJ pain?

Big question! The answer is what comes out of every PT's mouth: "it depends" Luckily, there are diagnostic tests that can be run to determine what is causing your TMJ discomfort, as well as different


bottom of page