EVANSTON, Ill., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- As stress rates increase, more
people are turning to massage therapy for relaxation, according to the 12th
annual consumer survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy
Association(R) (AMTA(R)). The survey found that 59 percent of Americans are
more stressed this year than last year, and stress and relaxation are the
top reasons Americans received their last massage. These survey results are
announced in advance of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, October
"People continue to seek massage because it provides multiple
therapeutic benefits, including stress relief, at an affordable price,"
says M.K. Brennan, RN, AMTA president. "Massage therapy has not only been
shown to reduce anxiety and depression, but it can also relieve stress
symptoms like chronic migraines and high blood pressure."
Thirty-six percent of Americans received massage for stress reduction
and relaxation in the last five years, compared with just 22 percent last
year. Additionally, 38 percent of Americans say they have considered
regular massage to manage stress.
The state of the economy has been a major stress trigger for Americans
this past year. Forty-five percent of Americans say they are greatly
stressed by the current economic situation, or other factors. Younger
Americans and women have felt particularly affected by the economy.
Fifty-five percent of those ages 25-34 say they are greatly stressed by the
economic situation, and 51 percent of females agree.
Finding a professional massage therapist is vital to a person's massage
experience. AMTA offers a professional massage therapist locator service
(http://www.findamassagetherapist.org) and encourages consumers to look for
an AMTA massage therapist.
Age and income impact massage therapy perceptions and usage
Young Americans and those in lower income groups are the most likely to
consider massage for stress. Fifty percent of 18-24 year olds and forty-six
percent of those making less than $25,000 a year say they would considered
massage to manage stress.
While lower income and young Americans are more likely to seek massage
for stress, people with higher incomes are more likely to discuss massage
therapy with their doctors. This year, 16 percent of those making $50,000 a
year or more, discussed massage with their physicians, which is nearly
twice as many as those making between $25,000 and $35,000. And more than
half (57 percent) of those who talked to their doctor about massage
reported that their doctor strongly recommended or encouraged them to get a
"As perceptions regarding the multiple benefits of massage evolve, it's
interesting to note that some of its most prevalent evangelists are
doctors," said Brennan. "This trend will continue as more doctors refer
patients to massage therapists and see how it can help their patients
recover from injuries, alleviate pain and ease stress."
Despite recommendations from doctors, massage therapy is not always
covered in health insurance plans. Sixty percent of Americans reported that
they would like to see massage covered by their insurance plans.
The American Massage Therapy Association(R) (AMTA(R)) is a professional
association of more than 58,000 members. AMTA professional members have
demonstrated a level of skill and knowledge through education and/or
testing and must meet continuing education requirements to retain
membership. AMTA provides information about massage therapy to the public
and works to improve the professional climate for massage therapists. The
association also helps consumers and healthcare professionals locate
qualified massage therapists nationwide, through AMTA's Find a Massage
Therapist(R) free national locator service available at
http://www.findamassagetherapist.org or toll-free at 888-843-2682
SOURCE American Massage Therapy Association