EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately forty-seven million adult Americans received a massage within the past year, according to results of a new consumer survey released today by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). The latest numbers also show a continued increase in the number of consumers receiving a massage, with 2 million more people having received a massage than a year ago. The nationwide survey also reveals that, among those who received a massage for pain relief, the same percentage of respondents (28 percent) ranked massage therapy and medication as bringing the greatest relief from pain. This marks the first time in the AMTA survey's nine-year history that massage has tied medication as the therapy consumers use to provide them with the greatest relief from pain. Consumer confidence in massage therapy is also up sharply, with 73 percent stating they would recommend it to someone they know, compared to 65 percent a year ago. The survey also shows increases in the number of healthcare providers who promote the benefits of massage to their patients. Twenty-one percent of consumers surveyed said they had discussed massage therapy with their doctor or other healthcare provider, up from 14 percent in 2002. When asked who recommended massage therapy, sixty percent of respondents said a physician, followed by a physical therapist (50 percent) and a chiropractor (38 percent). "Along with massage therapy's continued popularity for relaxation and stress relief, this year's survey findings show higher numbers of consumers turning to massage therapy for pain relief than we've ever seen before," said Mary Beth Braun, president of AMTA. "We continue to see that physicians and pain management experts find massage to be effective in relieving pain. And, consumers are continuing to see the health benefits of including massage therapy in their regular health regimen. Clinical research shows that massage is an effective therapy in reducing pain following a variety of medical treatments, from open-heart surgery, to cancer. It has also proven to be more effective than other complementary therapies in reducing chronic back pain. This year's survey only reinforces the confidence people have in massage." The annual consumer survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation International August 11-14, 2005, among a national probability sample of 1,014 adults (506 men and 508 women) ages 18 and older, living in private households in the continental United States. The survey has a confidence level of plus or minus 3 percent. Commissioned by AMTA, this is the ninth annual massage therapy survey of American consumers. AMTA is releasing this data in conjunction with its National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (NMTAW), a week dedicated to educating consumers on the benefits of massage therapy for overall health and wellness. This year's theme is "Massage: A Key to a Healthier You." In recognition of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, AMTA massage therapists across the country will host events and massage demonstrations in their communities during the week of October 23. AMTA spokespeople would be happy to participate in interviews about the benefits of massage during this important week. Detailed consumer survey findings are available in the "News Room" of AMTA's Web site, http://www.amtamassage.org , or contact Citigate Sard Verbinnen at 312/895-4700 to receive a copy of the findings via fax. A database of massage therapy research from the Massage Therapy Foundation is available at http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org . AMTA provides consumers with information on what to expect during a massage and offers a free service to help consumers find a qualified massage therapist in their area. Simply log on to AMTA's Web site, http://www.amtamassage.org and click on "Find a Massage Therapist," or call toll-free to 888-THE-AMTA [888-843-2682]. AMTA is a professional association of more than 54,000 massage therapists. AMTA Professional members have demonstrated a level of skill and knowledge through education and/or testing and are required to provide proof of continuing education to retain membership.
SOURCE American Massage Therapy Association