Broader Cross-Section of Population Seeks Out Massage, Survey Says

Results Released as Part of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week,

October 22 - 28

Oct 23, 2000, 01:00 ET from American Massage Therapy Association

    EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Who's "taking time for massage?"
 A broad spectrum of the American population -- that's who -- according to the
 American Massage Therapy Association's (AMTA) latest consumer data.  The
 survey, conducted in late July by Opinion Research Corporation International,
 reveals that the "face" of today's massage consumer is broadening to include a
 cross-section of the population and all income groups.
     "Data collected this year indicates that many people who may have
 previously considered massage an out-of-reach 'luxury' item are changing their
 habits," said Steve Olson, president of AMTA.  "I'm glad this perception is
 changing.  The proven medical benefits of massage aren't limited or restricted
 to particular populations -- it's beneficial for everyone."
     The number of American adults who report getting a massage in the past 12
 months has steadily increased in recent years -- twice as many had one or more
 massages from a massage therapist in the past year (16 percent) as did in 1997
 (when AMTA began tracking consumer data).  Massage consumers, whether they are
 White, Black, Hispanic, young, middle-aged, or senior citizens, are getting
 massage more than they did just a few years ago.  While people earning at
 least $50,000 annually still lead the pack of those who got a massage in the
 past twelve months (23 percent), people who earn under $15,000 annually tied
 with those earning between $35,000 - $50,000 annually (15 percent) as the
 income groups with the next highest percentage.
     AMTA releases this latest data in conjunction with its National Massage
 Therapy Awareness Week, October 22 - 28.  This year's theme, "Take Time for
 Massage," serves as a reminder that massage helps relieve the pressures of
 everyday life and has proven medical uses.  Results from this year's consumer
 survey indicate that people who are "taking time for massage" are more diverse
 than in years past.
     Although the number of people receiving massages is on the rise, Americans
 say there are reasons why they don't get a regular massage.  Approximately 20
 percent of Americans surveyed this year said they understand that massage has
 proven medical benefits, they simply don't have time to make regular
     "Juggling work, play, family, and life in general can take a physical and
 emotional toll on the body.  People who say they are too busy to get a massage
 are probably the ones who need it most," said Olson.  "Feedback gleaned from
 the survey reinforces perfectly why AMTA chose "Take Time for Massage" as this
 year's National Massage Therapy Awareness Week theme."
     Nearly one third of adults surveyed (29 percent) say that medical reasons
 would motivate them to get a massage.  [Some medical reasons include: muscle
 soreness/stiffness/spasm (10 percent); to reduce pain (6 percent); for injury
 recovery and rehab (4 percent); for wellness and prevention (2 percent);
 greater joint flexibility or range of motion (2 percent); or because of a
 prescription or physician recommendation (2 percent).]  Of people who receive
 massage, 42 percent perceive massage as therapeutic, 23 percent say it feels
 good, 27 percent believe massage is both therapeutic and feels good.
     Another finding of interest is that more and more physicians are
 responding positively to questions from their patients about massage.
 According to the survey, 71 percent of doctors whose patients asked them about
 massage responded positively to their questions.  Among Americans ages 65 and
 older who spoke with their doctors about massage therapy, 84 percent report
 favorable conversations.
     "It is encouraging that when people talk to their doctors about the
 benefits of massage, they are usually getting positive responses," said Olson.
 "I expect that in the future, more physicians will recommend massage for their
     To celebrate National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, AMTA massage
 therapists across the country will host events and massage demonstrations in
 their communities.  AMTA spokespeople are happy to participate in interviews
 about the benefits of massage in conjunction with this special week.  Detailed
 survey findings are available on AMTA's Web site, , or
 contact MSI Strategic Communications, 312/944-7398, to receive a copy of
 findings via fax.
     TV reporters: AMTA massage therapists can demonstrate various massage
 techniques in-studio -- on news personalities or on members of a studio
 audience.  B-roll also is available to complement stories; please visit AMTA's
 Web site ( ) to preview available b-roll.  To obtain
 copies, please contact MSI Strategic Communications, 312-944-7398.
     AMTA's Find a Massage Therapist(SM) national locator service -- toll-free
 at 888-THE-AMTA or through AMTA's Web site at -- helps
 consumers and health care professionals locate qualified AMTA massage
 therapists in their area.
     AMTA is a professional organization of 43,000 members.  All AMTA
 Professional members have demonstrated a level of skill and knowledge through
 education and/or testing and are required to meet continuing education credits
 to retain membership.  New Professional members must be graduates of training
 programs accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation
 (COMTA); be graduates of AMTA Council of Schools member-schools; be Nationally
 Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork; or have a current AMTA-accepted
 city, state or provincial license.
     AMTA's Consumer Attitudinal Survey sampled 1006 American adults living in
 private households.  It carries a confidence factor of plus or minus three

SOURCE American Massage Therapy Association