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The Differences Between Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture or Massage Therapy

Last updated: December 1, 2023 | Author: Dr. Samantha Coleman

The Differences Between Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture or Massage Therapy

Many people tend to put chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy in the same category. While there are benefits to all of these treatments, they’re not the same.

At ChiroSolutions Center, we understand that each modality has its own unique advantages for healing and revitalizing your body. In this blog post, we’ll be diving into the differences between chiropractic care and acupuncture/massage therapy.

Chiropractic Care vs Acupuncture & Massage Therapy


Chiropractic care is a natural form of health care that focuses on correcting misalignments in the spine. A chiropractor will use their hands or other tools like spinal traction to manipulate the joints of your spine in an effort to restore proper function and alignment. This can help relieve pain caused by subluxations in your spine, as well as improve overall range of motion. Chiropractors may also provide soft tissue massage or other therapies to help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Chiropractors are experts of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, meaning that they address the nervous system, muscular system, and skeletal system.

At ChiroSolutions Center in Virginia Beach, VA, Dr. Samantha Coleman and her talented team diagnose and treat neuro-musculoskeletal issues such as neck pain, back pain and headaches. Similarly to massage therapists or acupuncturists, a chiropractor is able to provide an overall assessment of your health by examining specific aspects of the body that they are trained to analyze, understand, and treat. Chiropractors specifically rely on assessing the spine for misalignments that may be causing pain or discomfort, whereas massage therapists and acupuncturists may be looking at other signs that they are trained to recognize.

By addressing underlying problems with realignment techniques as well as providing tailored exercises to restore strength and balance in the body, chiropractors can improve a patient’s mobility while also providing relief from chronic pain. Chiropractic can treat so much more than spinal misalignment—in fact, spinal misalignment is often the root cause of many conditions and symptoms. For example, at ChiroSolutions Center, our patients may enter our clinic with back pain, neck pain, lethargy, stomach upset, nausea, IBS, acid reflux, shoulder pain, and migraines. In so many of these cases, spinal alignment has contributed significantly to the severity of their symptoms.

By receiving chiropractic care, you may be amazed to discover that some of your most pernicious, stubborn, and previously untreatable symptoms begin to disappear. We see it with all kinds of symptoms, including excess body weight. At ChiroSolutions Center, in addition to our cutting-edge, non-invasive treatments, we also coach and guide weight loss in Virginia Beach. Chiropractic complements healing all parts of our body, including our metabolism and nutrition!

Acupuncture & Massage Therapy

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine based on the belief that energy flows through our bodies along specific pathways called meridians. When these pathways are blocked or out of balance it can cause pain or other issues. During acupuncture treatment, thin needles are inserted into specific points along the body’s meridians in order to unblock these channels and restore balance to the body’s energy flow. Acupuncture is often used together with massage therapy to provide relief from musculoskeletal pain as well as improve overall health and wellbeing.

When practicing acupuncture, your acupuncturist will insert very thin needles into strategic points on the body to stimulate energy flow and reduce inflammation associated with chronic pain. This doesn’t usually cause pain, although it may result in some sensation, depending on each individual case. These needles are left in place for a specific amount of time, as determined by the acupuncturist. When the needles are removed, circulation of energy is thought to be restored. Indeed, often people can feel significant relief of symptoms through this type of treatment.

Massage therapy is a form of manual therapy used to treat a variety of physical ailments including muscle tension, chronic pain, stress-related conditions, sports injuries, and more. During a massage session, a therapist will use their hands to apply pressure on certain areas of the body in order to alleviate pain or discomfort caused by muscle tightness or knots. Massage can also be used for relaxation purposes or simply for pampering yourself after a long week!

Massage therapy focuses on relieving physical tension in soft tissue areas like muscles by using techniques such as deep-tissue massage or Swedish massage, which helps improve circulation to reduce stress levels. Both acupuncture and massage therapy are beneficial for those looking for relief from acute or chronic pain. Massage therapy can be very effective in treating the muscles and tissues, and acupuncture can be effective in reducing pain, but neither can address underlying problems like misalignment in the spine that may be causing imbalances throughout the body.

What Makes Chiropractic Care Unique?

Many people mistakenly think that chiropractic care is in the same category as acupuncture and massage therapy. While all three treatments offer significant benefits to their patients, there are some key differences between them. At ChiroSolutions Center, we provide comprehensive chiropractic care and a variety of other treatments that can help you achieve your health goals. While acupuncture and massage therapy can be very helpful modalities in treating various symptoms and conditions, we choose chiropractic care because it gets to the literal root cause of many issues—the spinal cord.

The spinal cord is a main hub of the central nervous system, which is responsible for initiating all kinds of chemical and electrical processes in the body. The central nervous system regulates just about every body system, so when the spine is not functioning or positioned properly, it can start disrupting all kinds of normal body functions. By correcting the spine, the body’s proper function can be restored.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic care focuses on correcting misalignments in your skeletal structure, which can improve your posture and reduce pain. We use gentle manual adjustments to realign the vertebrae of your spine, which helps restore balance in your body. This approach to healthcare is based on research that suggests when the spine is properly aligned, it allows the body’s natural healing processes to work more effectively. It also helps reduce stress placed on joints and muscles throughout the body, which can help alleviate chronic pain conditions like sciatica or back pain.

Chiropractic care can be particularly effective when combining manual manipulation of joints with personalized exercise plans, addressing both systemic issues and lifestyle interventions like nutrition advice for long-term health management. When combined with other forms of treatment such as acupuncture or massage therapy, chiropractic care can provide even better results by addressing both physical symptoms associated with injury or illness along with underlying issues that may be contributing to those symptoms.

Should I choose acupuncture, massage therapy, or chiropractic care?

It depends on what type of results you’re looking for!

Acupuncture can be a powerful reliever of symptoms, clearing energy and increasing vitality. Keep in mind that acupuncture does not make physical changes to the body’s function.

Massage therapy can be a very relaxing, rejuvenating treatment for the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and tissues of the body. It can also help detoxify the body.

Chiropractic care can do all of the above, while also restoring proper alignment in the spine and making concrete changes to the body’s physical function.

Chiropractic Care in Virginia Beach, VA

At ChiroSolutions Center, we offer various forms of wellness modalities such as Chiropractic BioPhysics®, personal training, and nutritional counseling—each tailored specifically for every individual patient, so they can live their healthiest life possible!

It’s clear that while chiropractic care shares some similarities with acupuncture and massage therapy, it is its own distinct form of treatment with its own set of benefits. If you’re looking for an effective way to address chronic pain conditions or improve your overall health and wellness, then it may be time for you to consider trying chiropractic care at ChiroSolutions Center. Our team can evaluate your condition and recommend specific treatments tailored to meet your individual needs so you can start getting the relief you need from pain, indigestion, inflammation, injury, and any lifestyle obstacles you may be encountering.

As we’ve said before, a lot of people put chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy in the same category. While there are benefits to all of these treatments, they’re not the same. At ChiroSolutions Center, we offer chiropractic care, Chiropractic BioPhysics®, personal training, nutritional counseling, ScoliBrace® and some other specific options designed to help revitalize and heal your body. We’ve curated the perfect combination of treatments to address every part of your body, and get all of your wellness goals met. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for health and wellness in Virginia Beach, VA, we’re it!

Chiropractors are qualified medical professionals who combine manual manipulation techniques with tailored exercise plans addressing systemic issues associated with poor posture, allowing them to provide comprehensive treatment plans for long-term health management. If you’re looking for a holistic approach to managing your overall health, make your appointment with us here at ChiroSolutions Center, where Dr Samantha combines her expertise in multiple modalities of care so you can live your healthiest life!

Dr Samantha Coleman Chiropractor

She is the only Advanced Certified CBP Chiropractor in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

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The information on this website is for reference only, is not considered medical advice, and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For appointments to see a Chiropractor in Virginia Beach, or for other wellness services, please contact our office at 757-271-0001. Thank you.