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
"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, www.amtamassage.org , 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 ( www.amtamassage.org ) 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 www.amtamassage.org -- 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