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2011 Massage Therapy Consumer Survey Fact Sheet

Health Benefits of Massage

90 percent of individuals surveyed perceive massage as effective in reducing pain, according to the 15th annual consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®). This number is up from 86 percent in both 2009 and 2010.

  • This increase may be attributed to the increasing number of people who consult doctors and health professionals about massage.
  • The percentage of all surveyed adults who had a massage in the previous 12 months remained consistent at 18 percent in 2011, the same amount as in 2010.
  • All survey respondents were asked what they used for pain relief and in 2011, more than 30 percent indicated that they had used massage at some point. This trend has been growing over the last four years:

Americans’ Use of Massage for Relaxation is Declining

  • 30 percent of those surveyed in 2011 sought their last massage for relaxation and stress reduction, down from 42 percent last year. This dramatic reduction is likely a combination of the economic hardships that continue to plague the nation and the increasing perception that health benefits are a main reason for paying for a massage.
  • Those with a household income of $50K - $75K (the middle income range of those surveyed) had the highest number of massages in the last year, with an average of 6.2 per household, while the highest income range of $100K+ only had 2.8 massages per household surveyed. This nods at the reduction of massage for relaxation and increased use for specific health needs.

Recommending Massage to Others

  • 69 percent of Americans have or would recommend massage therapy to a relative or someone else they know.
  • Of consumers who have received at least one massage in the last 12 months, 24 percent have heard of the American Massage Therapy Association.

How to Find a Professional Massage Therapist

Finding a professional massage therapist is vital to a positive massage experience. 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 www.findamassagetherapist.org.

About the Survey Findings

The annual consumer survey was conducted by CARAVAN® Opinion Research Corporation International during July 2011, among a national probability sample of 1,009 adults 503 men and 506 women) ages 18 and older, living in private households in the continental United States. The survey has a confidence level of plus or minus three percent. Commissioned by AMTA, this is the fifteenth annual massage therapy survey of American consumers.

About AMTA

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is a professional association of more than 56,000 members. 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 professional massage therapists nationwide, through AMTA’s Find a Massage Therapist® free national locator service available at www.findamassagetherapist.org.

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