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Why Consumers Get Massage

Although pampering is still one of the top three reasons consumers receive massage, this year marked a slight increase in massage being used for medical reasons-up 32 percent in 2009 from 31 percent in 2008. Relaxation/stress relief rounded out the top-three list.

At 32 percent, medical reasons tied this year with stress reduction as a top reason consumers seek massage therapy. Males seeking massage therapy for medical reasons saw a 12 percent increase, rising to 45 percent.

Additionally, its older Americans who are most likely to seek massage for medical and health benefits rather than relaxation or stress reduction.

A full 86 percent of Americans believe that massage therapy can be effective in reducing pain, and 85 percent feel that massage can be beneficial to health and wellness. To this end, this year’s numbers seem to suggest that consumers are talking to their health care providers in increasing numbers-and their providers are responding. Of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44, 25 percent talked to their doctor about massage therapy, compared to 14 percent in 2008. Of those who discussed massage therapy with their health care provider, 52 percent say their doctor strongly recommended them to get a massage.

Massage Therapy Journal
Spring 2010