EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- More people get massage therapy
for medical purposes than for relaxation, according to a survey conducted
by the American Massage Therapy Association(R) (AMTA(R)). The survey also
showed that baby boomers have more massages than their younger counterparts
-- and are more likely to use massage for medical reasons.
Thirty percent of all people who received a massage in the last five
years got it for medical reasons, compared to 22 percent who sought
relaxation and 13 percent for a simple indulgence. Almost one-third (32
percent) of Americans say they've used massage therapy at least one time
for pain relief -- just behind those who have turned to chiropractic (38
percent) and physical therapy (44 percent).
"It's no surprise that people are turning to massage therapy to improve
their wellness," says Dr. Leena S. Guptha, president of the AMTA. "It's a
proven way to manage pain, recover from injury, and improve one's quality
of life, often reducing the need for medications or invasive treatments."
Survey respondents said they most frequently sought massage therapy for
medical reasons including pain management, injury recovery, soreness,
general wellness and control of headaches or migraines. These benefits of
massage are also being revealed by a growing body of medical literature. A
scholarly review of scientific studies published in the July 2007 issue of
Evidence Based Complementary Medicine has shown that professional massage
therapy can be more effective than some other therapies in managing certain
types of pain, particularly lower back pain, shoulder complaints and
"With the prevalence of massage for health conditions, it is important
that consumers find a professional massage therapist," says Dr. Guptha.
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.
Boomers See Wellness Benefits of Massage
Respondents aged 45 to 64 have had an average of almost 7 massages
during the past 12 months, while those aged 18 to 44 have had an average of
five. Among those who have had a massage in the past five years, boomers
have had an average of just under 20 massages compared to an average of
about 10 for those aged 18 to 44.
The tendency to seek massage for health conditions was stronger among
people from the immediate postwar generation as well. Thirty-eight percent
of those aged 45 to 64 said the massages they've received were for medical
reasons, while 25 percent of people 18 to 44 cited that reason for massage.
In addition, 23 percent of those 45 to 64 have discussed massage therapy
with their doctors or healthcare providers, compared to 18 percent of those
18 to 24.
Doctors and Public View Massage Therapy Positively
The AMTA-sponsored survey showed that 87 percent of people agree
massage can be effective in reducing pain, and 85 percent agree massage can
be beneficial to health and wellness. Fewer than half (39 percent) believe
massage is "just for pampering." And 59 percent said they would like to see
massage therapy covered by their health insurance plans.
Nearly one in five people said they had discussed massage therapy with
their doctors or healthcare providers, and among those who had, more than
half (58 percent) said their doctors had either "strongly recommended" or
"encouraged" the use of massage.
"Healthcare providers and consumers are finding out what professional
massage therapists have always understood -- that massage is not only
relaxing, but also an important tool for pain management and overall
wellness," Dr. Guptha said.
The American Massage Therapy Association(R) (AMTA(R)) is a professional
association of more than 57,000 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