All over the world, for centuries, massage has been an accepted and highly valued practice enjoyed by folks from all walks of life. The American Massage Therapy Association recently conducted a survey to discover the chief motivators leading clients to seek massage therapy. Among the participants, 85 percent noted that their main aim was either for medical reasons (52%) or to relieve stress (23%). The AMTA has been conducting this survey (Americans’ Reasons for Getting Massages Are Changing) for 19 years in order to identify ways in which to improve client/therapist connections, the overall massage experience, and increase physician referrals.
The survey acknowledged the following as medical reasons: pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, pregnancy or pre-natal, and to improve general well-being. The subjects represented two groups: those who’d received a massage in either the last 12 months or the last 5 years. Seventy-two percent of them were in agreement that massage therapy should be included as a health care treatment. Only twenty-five percent of them viewed massage as a form of pampering. Over half of the subjects reported that they had received a massage for one or more of the following: “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, pregnancy/prenatal, or to control headaches or migraines.”
The topic of healthcare providers recommending massage as an accepted form of treatment to alleviate health concerns was also addressed. In the survey group, among those who discussed the value of massage with their doctors, fourteen percent said their physician had referred them to a massage therapist. Fifty-four percent noted that their family doctors had suggested seeking out the services of a massage therapist.
The specific medical conditions that most respondents were dealing with were pain management and injury recovery (61%). Another eleven percent discussed the issues of muscle spasms; soreness and stiffness with their doctors prior to seeking out massage therapy. In the final analysis, it was revealed that ninety percent of individuals see massage as a beneficial driver to overall health and wellness. Massage is also regarded as a major treatment tool for reducing pain. Ninety-one percent of those surveyed stated that they have used massage therapy for pain relief.
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