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Whether it’s to unwind the mind or relax the body, there are many reasons people choose to get a massage. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), one of the most trusted names in massage therapy, conducted a consumer survey on the practice of massage therapy. The results of this survey offer fascinating insights into current consumer views and habits surrounding the use of this practice. 

Here’s a look at what the respondents of the AMTA survey had to say and what’s driving consumers to the practice of massage therapy.

Top 5 Reasons People Get Massages

Health and Wellness

It comes as no surprise that consumers view massage therapy as an important part of health and wellness. It was one of the top reasons reported in the survey with a whopping 95% of respondents conveying the view that massages are beneficial for health and wellness.

Pain Relief

The second largest reason people cited seeking massage therapy was for pain relief. While 25% of respondents stated they had sought massage therapy specifically for pain relief, 94% also indicated that they believed massage therapy could be effective in reducing pain. Some of these respondents also sought massage therapy under the directive of a doctor or medical provider for pain management.

Stress Relief

Another notable reason that consumers partake in massage therapy is stress relief. In fact, 31% of respondents specifically cited stress as the primary reason for receiving their last massage. On top of that, 47% of respondents indicated they got a massage for overall relaxation and stress relief.


Only 18% of respondents listed pampering as their primary reason for obtaining a massage; however, 31% indicated they believe massage therapy to be a form of pampering.

Medical Care

Trends show that doctors and other medical providers are increasingly viewing massage therapy as supplemental treatment for certain health conditions. 

According to the survey, 49% of the respondents that listed health and wellness as their reason, did so as part of a treatment plan from their doctor or medical provider. Of the respondents that discussed massage therapy with their doctor or medical provider, 27% indicated they were strongly recommended to get a massage. Of this category, 20% were also referred to a massage therapist.

Of the reasons respondents discussed massage therapy with their doctor or medical provider, pain relief and pain management took the top spot with 49%. Another 31% of respondents cited injury recovery or rehabilitation as the reason. Other conditions that consumers discussed massage therapy with their medical providers included pregnancy, headaches, and stress reduction.

Regardless of the individual reasons cited for seeking a massage, 86% of respondents believed that massage therapy should be considered a form of health care.

For more on the latest massage therapy trends and stats, check out the AMTA’s Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet.


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