Medical vs Wellness

Primary differences between Wellness and Medical Massage Therapy and how they are linked to the clinical approach, business approach, and legal definitions:


Medical Massage

Wellness Massage

  • Prescription and referral from physician required.
  •  Doesn't require a prescription or referral from a physician.
  •   Requires physician’s medical diagnosis and treatment plan.
  •  Deosn't require a physician's medical diagnosis or treatment plan.
  •  Requires a specific number of treatments.
  •  Does not require a specific amount of treatments.
  •  Insurance-based treatment.
  •  Cash-based reimbursement.
  •  Uses a specific technique to address a dysfunction or pathology.
  • Doesn’t use a specific technique to address a specific dysfunction or pathology, but is rather routine.
  •  Needs detailed documentation and requires that initial evaluation and progress notes be taken in the “SOAP” note format.
  •  Requires minimal documentation.
  •  Requires a higher level of competency and understanding through education.
  •  Doesn't require a high level of competency through years of education.