Survey Confirms: Consumers Use Massage for Stress Relief Americans Also Would Use Massage to Manage Stress of Terrorist Threats And

Poor Economy



    EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- American consumers recognize that
 massage therapy is an effective tool to reduce stress.  According to the
 American Massage Therapy Association's(R) (AMTA(R)) annual consumer survey
 released today, of those adults who had a massage in the past five years,
 nearly one quarter (23 percent) did so for stress relief and relaxation.  When
 asked what would motivate them to get a massage, more than one third
 (35 percent) of all those surveyed said it would be to reduce stress or for
 relaxation.
     Another timely survey finding is that a majority of Americans (57 percent)
 who said they feel greatly stressed because of the threat of terrorism or the
 state of the economy would consider massage as a way to relieve that stress.
     The benefits of massage for stress relief are very real.  Research shows
 that massage therapy reduces heart rate, as well as systolic and diastolic
 blood pressure.  Massage also boosts the body's immune system by increasing
 the body's natural "killer cells," which tend to break down during stress.
     AMTA releases this data in conjunction with its National Massage Therapy
 Awareness Week(TM) (NMTAW), October 20 - 26.  This year's theme of "Massage
 Relieves Stress," affirms what research supports and what consumers and health
 care providers are realizing -- that massage is a stress buster.
     "These survey results confirm that consumers now realize what we've known
 for a long time -- that there are real, measurable stress-reducing benefits to
 massage therapy," said Brenda L. Griffith, AMTA President.  "Since as much as
 80 percent of disease is stress related, reducing stress through massage can
 provide a significant boost to someone's overall health."
     Consumer use of massage therapy continues to steadily rise.  Conducted
 August 1-4, 2002, this year's survey shows more than one-quarter (28 percent)
 of consumers received a massage from a massage therapist in the past five
 years, up from just 17 percent in 1997.   Eighteen percent said they had a
 massage in the past 12 months.  That's 10 percentage points higher than was
 reported in 1997.
     Consumers are not the only ones recognizing that massage may be good for
 their health.  AMTA's survey found that of consumers who discussed massage
 with a health care professional, more than three-quarters (76 percent)
 reported favorable conversations.  Also, of those who discussed massage with a
 health care professional, more than half (57 percent) received a
 recommendation to massage therapy from a physician (30 percent) or
 chiropractor (27 percent).
     The most dramatic increase in use of massage was among seniors (ages 65
 and older).  The percentage of seniors who received massage within the last
 five years has nearly tripled (21 percent compared to 8 percent in 1997).
 Seniors indicated they seek massage for health reasons other than relaxation
 and stress relief more than any other age group (41 percent).
     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 the AMTA's Web site,
 www.amtamassage.org , or contact Citigate Communications, 312/944-7398, to
 receive a copy of the findings via fax.
     AMTA wants to provide consumers with information on what to expect during
 a massage and tips to help them find a qualified massage therapist.  Consumers
 can find this information on AMTA's Web site, www.amtamassage.org.  AMTA also
 offers a free service to help consumers find a massage therapist in their
 area.  Simply log onto the AMTA's Web site and click on "Find a Massage
 Therapist," or call toll-free to 888-THE-AMTA.
     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.
 
 
                      2002 MASSAGE THERAPY CONSUMER SURVEY
                                   FACT SHEET
 
     Following are findings of a survey conducted by Opinion Research
 Corporation International, Princeton, NJ, and commissioned by the American
 Massage Therapy Association(R) (AMTA(R)).  The survey was conducted in August
 2002 among a national probability sample of 1,021 adults (511 men and 510
 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.
     This is the sixth annual survey of American consumers commissioned by
 AMTA.  Opinion Research Corporation conducted its first survey of consumers on
 massage by telephone in June 1997.
 
     More People Getting Massage
      -- More than twice as many adult Americans report receiving one or more
         massages from a massage therapist in the past year (18 percent) as did
         in 1997 (8 percent).  The number who report getting a massage each
         year has steadily increased.  In 2001, 17 percent said they had a
         massage in the past year; in 2000, 16 percent said they had; in 1999,
         15 percent said they had; in 1998, 13 percent said they had done so.
 
      -- Eighteen percent of adult Americans in 2002 say they had a massage in
         the past year compared with 17 percent in 1997 who said they had a
         massage in the previous five years.  In 2002, 28 percent of Americans
         say they have had a massage in the past five years -- an increase of
         11 percentage points since 1997.
 
      -- Twenty-five percent of Americans expect to get a massage from a
         massage therapist in the next 12 months.
 
     Seniors Use of Massage Shows Rapid Growth
      -- Twenty-one percent of seniors in 2002 say they had a massage in the
         past five years, compared to 8 percent in 1997.  While the general
         population increase between 1997 and 2002 was from 17 percent to 28
         percent, no other age group showed a higher growth rate in use of
         massage for a five year period.
 
      -- Among those 65 years and older who got a massage in the past five
         years, 41 percent got their last massage for health reasons other than
         relaxation/stress relief.
 
     Why Get a Massage?
      -- Of the 28 percent of adult Americans who got a massage in the last 5
         years, 23 percent sought massage for relaxation or stress reduction,
         while 53 percent received their last massage for other health reasons,
         and 15 percent to pamper themselves.
 
      -- Thirty-five percent of adults surveyed report they would seek
         therapeutic massage for relaxation or stress reduction.
 
      -- Of the 28 percent of adults surveyed who say they are greatly stressed
         because of the current economic situation or the threat of terrorism,
         57 percent say they would consider massage as a means to help them
         relieve/manage that stress.
 
      -- Twenty percent of adults surveyed say that such health reasons as
         muscle soreness/stiffness/spasm, reduction of pain, greater joint
         flexibility or range of motion, or injury recovery and rehab would
         motivate them to get a massage.  Only 5 percent say they would seek
         massage just to feel good, to pamper themselves or as a special
         indulgence.
 
     Where Do Americans Get Massage?
      -- Nineteen percent who got a massage from a massage therapist in the
         past five years received their last massage at a spa, while 13 percent
         got their massage in the massage therapist's office and 11 percent say
         they received their massage in their own home.
 
      -- Males changed their most common choice for where they got their last
         massage from a massage therapist this year.  Seventeen percent (the
         highest percentage) say they received their massage at a spa and an
         equal percentage (17 percent) say they received massage in the
         therapist's office, while 14 percent got their last massage at home.
         In 2001, males reported that the most common location (16 percent) for
         having received massage was from a massage therapist at their home.
 
      -- Women mostly (20 percent) got their last massage in a spa.
 
      -- Americans also report getting their last massage from a massage
         therapist in the workplace (7 percent vs. 3 percent in 2001), a
         hotel/resort (7 percent), a chiropractor's office (7 percent), a
         beauty salon (5 percent), a physical therapist's office (3 percent), a
         health club (3 percent vs. 7 percent in 2001), alternative therapy
         clinic (3 percent), student clinic (2 percent), hospital (2 percent),
         an airport (2 percent), a retail outlet (1 percent), physician's
         office (1 percent), and a medical clinic (1 percent).
 
     Where Would Americans Prefer to Get Massage?
      -- Of the 64 percent of adults who see massage as beneficial, the highest
         percentage (30 percent) say they would prefer to receive massage from
         a massage therapist in their homes, 27 percent at a spa and 19 percent
         in the therapist's office.
 
      -- Thirty-two percent of men would rather get their massage at home
         (compared to 44 percent in 2001), while 28 percent of women would
         prefer the massage at home (compared to 36 percent in 2001).  Women
         listed their first choice (34 percent) as the spa to receive a
         massage.
 
     Positive View of Massage By Doctors
      -- Of the 14 percent of adults who spoke to their healthcare providers
         about massage therapy, 76 percent report that the conversation was
         favorable about massage and 19 percent report the conversation was
         neutral.  Only 2 percent say the discussion with their healthcare
         provider was in any way negative.
 
      -- Of the 14 percent of adults who spoke to their healthcare providers
         about massage therapy, 30 percent were recommended to massage therapy
         by their physician and 27 percent were recommended to massage by their
         chiropractor.
 
     Take Time for Massage
      -- Nineteen percent of Americans say that a primary reason they don't get
         a regular massage is that they are too busy.  This figure has varied
         little since 1997, with 21 percent giving this reason in 2001, 20
         percent in 2000, 21 percent in 1999, 18 percent in 1998, and 24
         percent in 1997.  Clearly, many people understand its benefits, but
         say they are too busy to take the time to get a regular massage.
 
      -- Forty percent say that the cost of massage is a reason they don't get
         a regular massage.
 
     Regional Differences
      -- West Coast residents had the highest percentage saying they had a
         massage in the past 12 months (23 percent).  Figures for the rest of
         the country were 18 percent in the South, 17 percent in the Northeast,
         and 15 percent in North Central states.  In 2001, 20 percent of
         respondents in North Central states had a massage in the previous 12
         months, while only 13 percent of respondents in the South said so.
 
      -- The West (11 percent in 1997 vs. 23 percent in 2002) and the South (7
         percent in 1997 vs. 18 percent in 2002) have seen the fastest growth
         in use of massage reported in a 12-month period.
 
      -- More people in the West, Northeast and South expect to get a massage
         in the next 12 months (31 percent in the West, 25 percent in the
         Northeast and 23 percent in the South).
 
     Public View of Massage Therapists
      -- Sixty-six percent of Americans think of massage therapists as
         providers of a stress-reducing service outside of medicine.
 
      -- Fifty-three percent say massage therapists are providers of
         alternative or complementary health care.
 
      -- Forty-eight percent say massage therapists provide a non-medical
         service.
 
      -- Thirty-nine percent view massage therapists as complementary members
         of a healthcare team.
 
      -- Thirty-six percent think massage therapists are healthcare
         professionals.
 
      -- Thirty-one percent think of massage therapists as members of a team of
         healthcare professionals led by a doctor.
 
     Health/Medical Insurance Coverage of Massage
      -- Fifty-five percent of adults would like to have their health/medical
         insurance cover massage.
 
      -- Fifty-one percent would be interested in their health plan offering a
         plan by which they pay a massage therapist directly at a discount.
         This compares to 43 percent who responded this way in 2001
 
      -- Thirty-eight percent are willing to pay extra for massage to be an
         add-on to their health/medical insurance policy.
 
      -- Thirty percent are not willing to pay extra through their health plans
         to cover massage.
 
      -- Twenty-four percent are willing to pay higher premiums to their health
         plan to have massage as a covered benefit.
 
      -- Fifty-three percent say they are more likely to get a massage
         regularly if it is covered by their health plan.
 
     The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is a professional
 organization of 46,000 members in 30 countries.  AMTA Professional members
 have demonstrated a level of skill and knowledge through education and/or
 testing.  New Professional members must be graduates of training programs
 accredited or approved 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.
     The American Massage Therapy Association provides information about
 massage therapy to the public.  The association also helps consumers and
 healthcare professionals locate qualified massage therapists nationwide,
 through its Find a Massage Therapist(R) national locator service.  The free
 national locator service is available via AMTA's Web site at
 www.amtamassage.org and toll-free at 888-843-2682 [888-THE-AMTA].
 
                      The American Massage Therapy Association
                 820 Davis St., Suite 100, Evanston, IL 60201-4444
                   Telephone: (847) 864-0123  Fax: (847) 864-1178
                           Web site: www.amtamassage.org
 
                      Make Your Opinion Count - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14166720
 
 

SOURCE American Massage Therapy Association

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