Differences Between Massage Therapists and Chiropractics?

Massage Therapist TechniquesThere seems to be a prevalent misconception that there is a close link between chiropractic practices and massage therapy. The truth is that these practices are completely separate from one another.

Let’s start with what massage therapists do. They work the soft tissues and muscles within the human body. Unlike chiropractors, message therapists do not touch the nervous system. Additionally, even though message therapists may release tight muscles that are connected to the spine, they would never adjust the vertebral column.

Chiropractors, on the other hand, primarily focus on the spine and treat the entire musculoskeletal system. They also have more rights within the health care field than message therapists do. For example, a chiropractor can legally provide a medical diagnosis and order x-rays and lab work. Massage therapists do not have that authority.

Chiropractors have more rights than massage therapists because they have more education. In order to become a chiropractic, one must have a doctoral or professional degree. As a result, they earn higher income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median pay for chiropractors was $32.31 per hour, the average salary was $67,200. Massage therapists only require postsecondary degrees such as certification from accredited schools. They average about $16.78 per hour or a $34,900 salary.

The two practices do share certain similarities, however. Neither a chiropractor nor a massage therapist has the authority to prescribe medicine. In addition, neither profession requires a referral process like most doctors offices. As the demand for mainstream medicine has lessened over the years, the call for more massage therapists and chiropractors has increased therefore there is a promising job market for both career paths.

It is easy to understand why people often confuse chiropractic practice with message therapy. Both originated from ancient Chinese culture and both are considered by many to be holistic approaches to health and wellness.

When deciding between a career as a chiropractor or a massage therapist, it is important to factor in the high cost for a chiropractor’s education. The programs for a chiropractic degree can cost up to $100,000. They also require several hundreds of hours dedicated to training and studying. Due to the heavy student loans, chiropractors often find themselves struggling financially throughout their professional lives.

Although the cost and time put into a message therapy certification is significantly lower than a chiropractic degree, the career is just as rewarding. Message therapists, like chiropractors, get to heal people with their hands. They get thanked endlessly for changing the way people feel and bringing vitalization back into their bodies. Message therapists do not have the pressure of paying back tens of thousands of dollars in loans and do not have to sacrifice years of their life to training.

The training provided at NC Massage School is affordable and very doable for people with other obligations such as side jobs and family responsibilities. The certification process at this institute is challenging yet rewarding and enables new massage therapists to enter the industry confident in their skills and excited about their career path.

Kristy Serdinsky, Owner, and Director of Education at NC Massage School. With a background in teaching and administration in charter and private schools, Kristy’s dedication to helping others led her to open a massage spa in Cornelius in 2015. Now, she brings her expertise in education and the massage and bodywork industry to NC Massage School, blending her two passions to create a transformative learning experience.


We provide personalized training in the art and science of therapeutic massage, focusing on advanced-level professional careers, continuing education, and personal growth. Our philosophy is rooted in a holistic approach, which encourages our students to explore personal development of the mind, body, and spirit.


“What has impressed me the most is the instructor’s teaching style. While it is accepted that certain protocols must be followed, their hands-on approach is informative and encouraging.”

– Kaitlyn Boullosa

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NC Massage School
20525 North Main Street Cornelius, NC 28031
Phone: (704) 896-2636

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