Where do you go when your family doctor recommends that you receive massage therapy for your neck pain? Perhaps you want to treat a friend to a relaxation treatment of her choosing, but you don’t know where to begin your search. Although there are many types of facilities where you can find wellness services, it can be difficult to choose the right location for your needs. Wellness centers and day spas are great places to begin your search. Below is a comparison these two sub-types of the wellness industry:

Wellness Center

  • Focuses on personal health and wellness with a self-care and educational component.
  • Atmosphere tends to be either clinical like a medical office or professional like a therapist’s office. There are some ambiance features but they are muted by the professional vibe. For example, our medical massage practice does have some lowered lighting in the treatment rooms but we also incorporate medical anatomy posters for educational purposes.
  • Tends to incorporate a whole health model that integrates allied medicine from East and Western healing methods. For example, a massage therapy center or a chiropractor’s office that also has Acupuncturists and Naturopaths.
  • Services commonly associated with wellness centers and massage clinics: neuromuscular or medical massage, sports massage, yoga and Pilates, adjunct bodywork therapies, martial arts such as Tai Chi, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy, physical therapy.

Day Spa

  • The in the moment experience is key to the day spa experience. Aesthetics should play on all your senses. With muted lighting and rich textures and smells, you leave behind the tedium of daily life.
  • Massage therapy services tend toward relaxation and soothing sensory methods. Therapists medical massage skills are muted and often discouraged or reserved for regular visitors so as not to confuse the public’s perception of a pleasing day spa experience.
  • Common services found in a day spa: mud wraps, hot and cold soaks, seawead wraps, relaxation massage, sensory deprivation rooms, pleasant aromatherapy, pools, facials.

Keep in mind that many wellness based companies offer overlapping services that combine Wellness Center and Day Spa activities. There is much more overlap than is apparent in this comparison guide. Practitioners at wellness centers are often highly skilled at promoting relaxation and offer many aesthetically attractive features such as lowered lighting, some therapeutic hydrotherapy, and warm treatment tables. Wellness centers often combine their services with Chiropractors or Eastern medicine practitioners. When searching for the place that is right for you, know what you are looking for and look for the best place that meets your individual needs. To learn more about wellness centers or day spas in your area, use theses keywords for your internet searches: massage in Cary; Cary day spa; massage wellness center; yoga center; medical massage. In addition to receiving the benefit of these services, most importantly, enjoy your sessions!