The Demand for Massage Therapy

The massage therapy profession and the public's use of massage therapy continue to grow in quantity as well as quality. The most significant growth is in medical practitioners and consumers interest in the apprecia tion for massage therapy as an effective integrative and complementary modality. Mainstream acceptance of massage therapy continues its strong trend. Since 1997, the number of adult Americans who say they had a massage from a registered massage therapist in the previous 12 month jumped from 8% to 18%.

A total of 18% of the adult U.S. population had some type of sensual massage therapy by a registered man or woman therapist. The percentage of American adults receiving one or more massages from a massage therapist in the previous year more than doubled since 1997.

Among both males and females who had experienced severe back, neck or shoulder pain, the rate of use of massage therapy increased from 14.6% in 1996 to 19.4% in 1999.

The massage therapy explosion can be attributed partly to the growing population of tired, aging, not-quite-as-limber-as-they-once-were baby boomers, partly to an increased awareness of the effects of stress and of the physiological benefits of "pressing the flesh".

Doctors and consumers are turning more and more to massage therapy as an adjunct to regular health practices.

More working-class professionals are using massage therapy to relieve stress and treat sore muscles. The massage therapy that once served only elite professionals or athletes see a wider range of clientele.