Massage Therapy for Regular Health Maintenance 75 percent of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past 12 months was medical (43 percent) and stress (32 percent) related, according to the 17th annual consumer servey, sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®). Medical reasons include pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, prevention, and general well-being. • 88 percent view massage as beneficial to overall health and wellness. • 88 percent believe massage can be effective in reducing pain; with 24 percent saying they have used massage therapy for pain relief.
• The overall mean (excluding none) was 4.1 massages for those receiving massage in the past 12 months. Those whose primary reason for getting massage was medical got a mean of 5.7 massages. Americans’ Reasons for Getting Massages are Changing More people are turning to massage therapy to assist with medical conditions.
• As few as 34 percent of those surveyed believe massage therapy is only a form of pampering.
• In the previous 12 months, 17 percent of respondents received a massage at a spa compared to 19 percent in 2012. This decline, and the presence of chiropractor’s offices, health clubs and physician’s offices/medical clinics on the list of locations where people receive massage, indicates consumers identify massage as an important component of overall health and wellness.
• 56 percent of people received a massage for one or more of the following reasons: soreness, stiffness or spasms, to relieve or manage stress, for prevention or to improve quality of life, injury recovery or rehabilitation, to keep fit or healthy/ maintain wellness, or to control headaches or migraines.
• 39 percent indicated that medical benefits would be their primary motivation for having a massage. Health Care Providers Recommending Massage as a Viable Form of Treatment Health care providers and doctors are more commonly viewing massage therapy as a legitimate option to address health concerns.
• 48 percent of respondents indicated that they were encouraged by their doctor to receive a massage.
• 53 percent of respondents said their physician has recommended they get a massage.
October 2013 AMTA Consumer Survey Fact Sheet
AMTA massage therapists have demonstrated a level of ability through education and/or testing, adhere to a code of ethics and must meet continuing education requirements. AMTA offers a free professional massage therapist locator service at findamassagetherapist.org.
About Survey Findings This annual survey, conducted for AMTA by ORC International, involved 1,007 adults, 18 years of age and older living in the continental United States.