“Spa” Massage vs “Therapeutic” Massage?

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Corporate TeamCare Training-Irene Diamond

Is there a difference between "Spa" Massage vs "Therapeutic" Massage?


All healthy touch is therapeutic.

The distinction between "Spa Massage" and "Therapeutic Massage" has nothing to do with WHERE the service or session is performed.

"Clinical" can be provided in a spa, and 'Relaxation" can be received in a medical office...

The distinction has everything to do with the final INTENT or RESULT the provider and client seek.

It's all about the intent of the service.

Spa massage or clinical massage ...


I Distinguish Between "Spa" & "Clinical" By Knowing If Your Intent Is Providing:

  • Pampering or Treat? (Usually the longer session is preferred)
  • Problem-Solving or Treatment?  (Usually a shorter session is preferred)

Click to play

Take a listen to the video above.


The 4-Es:

When I teach The Diamond Method of problem solving for pain relief and improving mobility and function, we strive to provide the most impactful outcome in the shortest amount of time.

The 4 E's are:

  1. Effective
  2. Efficient results in an
  3. Extraordinary
  4. Experience

After you've watched, please leave your comment below to share your thoughts.

  • Do you provide a 'spa' relaxation version of your service, a clinical version, or a combo?
  • If you want to know more about selling an outcome rather than pricing your services based on the length of your session,  click here so you, too, can charge for results rather than your time.
  • If you' want to provide what many clinicians and clients believe to be the most impactful clinical results, please consider becoming proficient in The Diamond Method.
     click this link to be brought to the Diamond Method website.


4 Questions to Ponder:

  1. Do you agree with my distinction of Spa Massage vs Therapeutic Massage.
  2. When you provide massage, how do you categorize it or what do you call it? 
  3. Is what you call it based on intent/outcome, location, or something else? 
  4. When you request a massage (as a client) what do you ask for?

If you want to learn Active Modulation Therapy - The Diamond Method® contact us now to see when the next training dates and location are.


Share your answers below...

About the Author Irene Diamond

Business mentor, Educator and Inspirer to Clinic Owners & Solo Practitioners. Love to hear from you ~ Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Yulia Avdeenko says:

    This classification works for me, it raises more questions though, how do you charge for the outcome?

    • Irene Diamond says:

      I’m glad you agree with the distinction.

      The concept of charging for results is complex because many variables go into determining an appropriate (ethical) fee.

      Most educators and business consultants are only familiar with price based on modality or time.

      I’d be happy to help you on an individual basis so your fees are in integrity with your ability to deliver predictable, consistent results.

  • Irene, I agree with your explanation of the difference between a clinical session and a relaxation session. This is vitally important to know especially for new therapists.

    I work therapeutically but will on a rare occasion provide a relaxation massage for a client.

    I never combine the 2 types of sessions. Doesn’t work for me as a therapist and when explained to a client they do understand this.

    I am now beginning to reevaluate structuring my fee based on outcome and not on time of session. Such an excellent and, yes, brilliant approach for me to adopt. A game changer!

    Thank you!

    • Marion!
      I love that you see it as “Such an excellent and, yes, brilliant approach for you to adopt. A game changer!”

      Congratulations on transitioning over to the Precise Private Practice business model.

  • Lynn S says:

    I agree with your definitions and i generally prefer clinical work but 90% of my clients are very regular and sometimes they like a more relaxing approach. I catagorize my work as Restorative and I believe that covers both. When my clients book they usually let me know if they want some extra relaxing work and I book the session accordingly.
    When I get work done on myself it’s almost always clinical but occasionally I just want to be pampered so I have multiple therapist that I use depending on my needs. It’s ALL wonderful:)

    • Lynn,
      That’s perfect that you, as a client, have different providers based on YOUR needs/desires for the session.

      Obviously, the intent and end goal can be combined, it’s the savvy client and provider who knows PRECISELY why the client is there!

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