Seniors' Use of Massage Nearly Triples in 5-Year Period
EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Seniors today no longer consider massage therapy "alternative" health care. According to the American Massage Therapy Association's(R) (AMTA(R)) annual survey released today, the percentage of seniors (ages 65 and older) who received a massage from a massage therapist in the past five years has almost tripled (21 percent compared to 8 percent in 1997). Why do seniors get massage? For health reasons, according to the survey. In fact, seniors indicated they seek massage for health reasons (other than stress relief and relaxation) more than any other age group (41 percent). Seniors aren't the only ones recognizing that massage may be good for their health. AMTA's survey indicates that physicians often recommend massage therapy to seniors for health reasons (19 percent). Baby boomers (ages 45 - 64) are the age group most recommended by physicians to massage therapy (33 percent). "Survey results this year indicate a significant shift in seniors' understanding of massage therapy," said AMTA President Brenda L. Griffith. "This realization is incredibly important, considering seniors often have the greatest health needs. It's even more encouraging that their physicians are affirming the health benefits of massage and are recommending massage therapy to their patients." AMTA's survey also revealed that overall consumer usage of massage therapy continues to climb. The number of consumers seeking massage has risen steadily every year since 1997, when AMTA began collecting consumer data. The data confirms that consumers are using massage to help relieve stress and as an overall complement to their health care. Of the 28 percent of adult Americans who had a massage in the last five years, nearly one-fourth (23 percent) sought massage for relaxation or stress reduction, while more than half (53 percent) received their last massage for other health reasons. When asked what would motivate them to get a massage, more than one third of all people surveyed (35 percent) said it would be to reduce stress or for relaxation. AMTA releases this data in conjunction with its National Massage Therapy Awareness Week(TM), October 20-26. This year's theme "Massage Relieves Stress," affirms what research supports and what consumers and health care providers are realizing -- in addition to its other health benefits, massage is a proven stress reliever. In addition to stress relief, massage has been shown to aid in injury recovery, boost immune function, speed recover from some illnesses and surgery, lower blood pressure and ease symptoms of arthritis. While massage has many health benefits, there are some conditions when the use of massage therapy is not appropriate. Seniors who suffer from any of the following conditions should discuss whether or not massage is right for them with their massage therapist or physician: -- Inflammation of the veins (phlebitis) -- Some skin conditions -- Infectious diseases -- Cardiac problems -- Cancer -- Diabetes Because massage therapy has become a popular form of health care among seniors, it is important for them to know what to expect when visiting a massage therapist for the first time: -- The massage therapist will ask questions about what prompted you to get a massage. -- The massage therapist will want background information about your physical condition, medical history, lifestyle, stress levels and any painful areas. -- The massage therapist will ask about your health goals and will discuss how massage may help you achieve those goals. Only 30 states regulate the profession of massage therapy. AMTA wants to provide seniors with tips to help them find a massage therapist who is trained and qualified. Seniors should ask the following questions before getting a massage, to verify the credentials of their massage therapist: -- Are you licensed to practice massage? -- Are you a member of AMTA? -- Where did you receive your massage therapy training? -- Are you Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork? In honor 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 20. AMTA spokespeople would be happy to participate in interviews about the benefits of massage during this important week. Detailed consumer survey findings and clinical research citations are available in the "News Room" on AMTA's Web site, www.amtamassage.org, or contact Citigate Communications, 312-944-7398, to receive a copy of the findings by fax. Finding a qualified massage therapist is easy. Simply log on to AMTA's Web site at www.amtamassage.org and click on Find a Massage Therapist, or call toll-free, 888-843-2682. AMTA is a professional association of more than 46,000 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. AMTA commissioned the annual Consumer Attitudinal Survey through Opinion Research Corporation International. It sampled 1000 American adults living in private households. It carries a confidence factor of plus or minus three percent. Make Your Opinion Count - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X27597314
SOURCE American Massage Therapy Association
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