Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why Massage?

I've been meditating on the nature of my business lately--the massage business that is. As I end each month, not only do I calculate my income (very important to make sure I can pay the rent!), but I consider who is making appointments to see me and why. Are more people wanting sessions for stress relief and relaxation? Energy work? Mind-body therapies? Is chronic pain and injury management a significant aspect of my business? Are people attracted to spa treatments? Just as I was examining my practice in this way, I stumbled upon an article in the latest issue of Massage Magazine.

In it I found some statistics regarding who gets massage and why. A 2007 survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), revealed that approximately 24% of all Americans received a massage in the last year. The percentage jumped to 34% for those who received massage in the last five years. This same survey indicated that "85% of people believe that massage is beneficial to health and wellness, and 87% agree that massage can effectively reduce pain."

Some other interesting findings related to age and gender:
  • 43% of women and 25% of men have had a massage in the last year
  • People 45-64 years old had an average of seven massages in the last year
  • People 18-44 years old had an average of five massages in the last year
  • 38% of people ages 45-64 said their massages were for medical reasons
  • 25% of people ages 18-44 said their massages were for medical reasons
As massage is gaining more credibility in the traditional medical community for pain management and stress reduction, more people are trying massage as a form of complementary care. And more importantly, they're finding it helpful. According to the AMTA survey, of the 20% of people who discussed massage with their doctors, 58% of doctors encouraged the use the massage in their patients' health regimen. This is good news!

So I ask you, dear readers, how do you relate to massage therapy? What does massage do for you? Do you seek massage for relaxation, stress reduction, emotional release, pain management, injury treatment, pampering, or all of the above? I thought I would conduct a little informal survey of my own.

To participate in my online poll, click HERE!

Thank you for your participation!

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