Do I Need a Spa Massage or a Sports Massage?

Sep 16, 2021

A common misconception surrounding massage therapy, is that all massages are the same. Many of us believe that if we want to relax and melt away all the stress and tensions of the day, we need to visit a spa. Now, while we all love a visit to the spa, a massage administered by a massage therapist in a spa will be very different to a massage led by a physiotherapist.

This is because a physiotherapist has an understanding of the biomechanics of the body, and are trained experts at hands-on soft tissue release to help ease tight and sore muscles to improve joint mobility. If you are someone who has a persistent pain of some kind, it’s better to see a physiotherapist over a general masseuse. They can diagnose the issue and may then recommend future massages as part of your treatment plan towards recovery from the issue. However, if you are looking to relax as part of a short-term plan, for relief from stress on that day – a massage in a spa will be fine for this purpose.

A common confusion among physio led massages is that most people only know of ‘sports massages’. The name, as it highlights, is intended for our sports people who may have suffered a recent sports injury or wish to stay injury free.  A sports Massage is a specific therapeutic technique which does target injury regions. It is designed by a Physiotherapist for each person’s individual body’s biomechanical needs, and the movements required for sports. However, despite a physio sports massage being as popular as it is – It is lesser known that physios also perform deep tissue massages to resolve chronic pain and common body aches found in non-sports people.

At ALO, our physio led massages stand out from the crowd because we use manual therapy combined with oils and Tecar therapy. Tecar helps to increase your body temperature locally to the area that is being treated, giving you a sensation of well-being and comfort while the increase in temperature heals and replenishes your body through the promotion of the natural healing process. Many athletes also use this type of treatment to recharge their muscles after a strenuous training session, because it helps to reduce muscle spasms and increase cellular and intracellular healing. However, Tecar therapy is also incredibly popular with desk job workers who commonly suffer with back pain and wish for a speedy recovery so they can get back to work without the constant pain. A physio led deep tissue massage is also perfect for those who are advanced in age as we can soothe chronic aches and pains and aid in strengthening lesser used muscles.

Ultimately, massage therapy by a physiotherapist is for everyone. Whether you are a sports person, someone who suffers with aches and pains from work, elderly or just looking to unwind and relax… You can benefit the most from this type of massage. Paired with ‘calm’ inducing oils and pain relieving technology, we at ALO would recommend massage therapy to just about anyone.

If you are someone who is looking for any of the following:

  • Improved muscle recovery
  • Relaxation
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improvements in immune function
  • Better sleep quality
  • Injury prevention
  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Relief from chronic conditions

Then, a physio led massage is for you!

If you’re craving relaxation and believe you could benefit from massage therapy, now is a great time to book in with us as for the following two weeks only, 5 session massage packages will come with a complementary 6th session!

All you need to do is call us on: 0207 636 8845 and quote ‘Massage6’ to book your package now.


Since seeing Louise (following an Achilles rupture repair), I have:

- Made it back onto tennis / squash courts to (tentatively!) celebrate 1 year anniversary of my surgery 
- Ran my fastest 10k at 43.57! 
- Ran 5k in 21:30 (vs pre-surgery PB of 20:18) 
- I increased my single leg calf lift to 59 kg (vs ~18 kg initially a few months ago) 
- I had a final appt with my consultant, who discharged me while congratulating me on a wonderful recovery

All the above is to illustrate that I'm absolutely delighted with the progress I have made since last summer when I couldn't do anything and the outlook seemed bleak. I'll be forever grateful for Louise’s guidance and support as I've navigated the long road back from my injury, and I appreciate the continued advice to help me prepare for more dynamic activity. Louise has been really fantastic and I couldn't have asked for better care.

Recovering from a full Achilles rupture. Started my work with Nina in feb and my progress has only been positive and upwards and I am almost at full speed again. Nina put me back together again almost from scratch. She is the best physio I have ever worked with and will again. Very knowledgable and very hard working. Can’t recommend enough.


What a great find! My orthopaedic surgeon recommended them and I can't rate Luigi, Gloria and the team more highly. Excellent service and very effective treatment- recovering nicely!


I am 84 years old, and have always been fit and healthy and exercised regularly. 3 years ago I underwent emergency surgery for peritonitis, and had a colonoscopy bag for 6 months and straight after surgery to reversal of the stoma. After this surgery I felt my legs very weak. To complete my drama, during the last summer I developed an abdominal hernia and had surgery for hernia repair. This made me even weaker specially at my legs. I have recovered but felt weak. I started my sessions at ALO Physiotherapy at the beginning of January, with the Vibra Machine combined with specific exercises. I have now recovered my body strength, particularly in the legs. I am now walking normally and without pain. I am delighted!


Great clinic with great people! I was so lucky to find this clinic and even more when I met Andre. He's a very talented therapist and a wonderful person who makes you feel comfortable every time. He helped me to resolve my back problems in few appointments and I will be always grateful to him! From my experience is the best clinic in London and I highly recommend them without any doubts!


One of the best physiotherapy centres in the world! The professionalism and knowledge of this centre amazed me.


I am so glad I found this clinic. Luigi has been amazing. After my 1st session I felt an improvement and now have ALOT more movement and significant reduction in pain. I couldn’t recommend this clinic & Luigi enough. So helpful and flexible whenever I have needed to amend appointments. Every one is fantastic. I will continue to come here for as long as I need.


Andre is the best physiotherapist I came across. As a dedicated martial arts practitioner, I regularly use his services. He has always managed to fix my various back and leg injuries. I would recommend Alo Physiotherapy to anyone who suffers from body pain.


Where do I begin? The journey has been too long with Andre Oliveira and ALO Clinic , as he helped me both physically and mentally to overcome an injury I had in both of my knees. A small injury , after following wrong treatment became chronic and I found myself unable to walk/stand/run and do the simplest things- the mental impact was worse. I was introduced to Andre by Eleftherios Pavlidis who runs Laertion in Athens. lefteris with his team were the first to accommodate the problem and told me what I need to do. As a Londoner, I was introduced to Andre and ALO Clinic, and the rest is history. Since February 2017 when I had the first session with Andre and he identified the biomechanic nature of the problem, along with the use of Tecar the results were visible after one month. Since then, along with personal effort and strengthening I did always guided by Andre, I the problem is restored and the pain is gone. I highly recommend ALO Physiotherapy Clinic , and Andre Oliveira for anyone who suffers from sport injuries , amateurs or professional top athletes.


Very professional staff and friendly environment. I felt a lot better after very first session. Appointment are easily available. I would definitely recommend this place


The care I received from ALO Physiotherapy was outstanding from the first session to the last. Sessions with Louise were informative as well as practical, allowing me to understand the context/logic behind treatment as well as tips to prevent future injuries. Louise was always readily available to answer my questions and the treatment process was collaborative rather than being prescriptive. Beyond the expertise of the team the quality of the equipment and facilities was incredibly high and aided my recovery significantly. I would recommend ALO Physiotherapy to anyone who requires physiotherapy treatment in the Marylebone area.

ALO is an excellent well-run clinic and Louise Hynes who looked after me is a superb physiotherapist. Louise is knowledgeable, skilled and very efficient at her job. My sore shoulder was sorted out in no time thanks to her. Thank you, Louise, and thank you ALO.

Julian Webber, Harley Street Endodontist.

ALO is an excellent well-run clinic and Louise Hynes who looked after me is a superb physiotherapist. Louise is knowledgeable, skilled and very efficient at her job. My sore shoulder was sorted out in no time thanks to her. Thank you, Louise, and thank you ALO.

Julian Webber, Harley Street Endodontist.

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