Modern medicine is a business and that’s fine, but patients have suffered. Principle has been abandoned for principal.
What I want to see.
I want to see a better triage process for people seeking health care needs. I want to see an enlightenment and better understanding of alternative and complimentary therapies including diet/nutrition, exercise, etc. I want to see more accurate referrals. Better communication between practitioners and more accessible patient notes and history of treatments and medicines used in order to narrow the chances of prescribing mistakes. A more holistic consideration and application of the causes and root sources of disease. An integrated mind-body approach. Healthier practitioners. A slower pace of patient intake and historical inquiry. Openness to the possibility of how healing may occur. I want the erasure of viewing disease as something to combat and disassociate from to accepting it as a reality and using it as a catalyst to move forward in various human aspects. I want to see people grow and become empowered by their experience of illness, trauma, etc.
The following is a compilation of data gathered by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) from U.S. government statistics, surveys of consumers and massage therapists and recent clinical studies on the efficacy of massage.
Who Gets Massage, Where and Why?
According to the 2010 AMTA consumer survey, an average of 18 percent of adult Americans received at least one massage between July 2009 and July 2010, and an average of 28 percent of adult Americans received a massage in the previous five years.6
In July 2010, 25 percent of women and 10 percent of men reported having a massage in the past twelve months.4
Spas are where most people continue to receive massage, with 24 percent of those surveyed in July 2009 saying they had their last massage at a spa.4
While the use of massage decreased in 2010, people still recognize it as an important element in overall health and wellness. 4
Twenty-nine (29) percent of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2009 and July 2010 received it for medical or health reasons.
Of those that have ever had a massage, fifty-four (54) percent say they’ve used massage therapy at least one time for pain relief.
Of the people who had at least one massage in the last five years, 31 percent reported they did so for health conditions such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness.
Eighty-six (86) percent agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain.
Eighty-five (85) percent agree that massage can be beneficial to health and wellness.
Consumers are increasingly seeking massage for stress reduction and relaxation.
In July 2010, 40 percent of adult Americans said they had at least one massage in the last five years to reduce stress or relax—up from 22 percent reported in 2007.
Massage and Healthcare
Healthcare providers promoted the benefits of massage to their patients slightly less in 2010.
In July 2010, over thirty-nine million American adults (16 percent) had discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care providers, compared to 18 percent in 2009.4
Of those 16 percent, 31 percent of their health care providers strongly recommended massage therapy, compared to 35 percent in 2009. While physicians led the way in recommending massage (50 percent vs. 55 percent in 2009), chiropractors (35 percent vs. 48 percent in 2009) and physical therapists (42 percent vs. 40 percent in 2008) also recommended massage therapy when their patients discussed it with them.4
Nearly three quarters of massage therapists (73 percent) indicate they receive referrals from health care professionals, averaging 1.5 referrals per month.
Massage therapists and consumers favor integration of massage into healthcare.
More than half of adult Americans (58 percent) would like to see their insurance cover massage therapy.4
The vast majority of massage therapists (96 percent) believe massage therapy should be considered part of the health care field.5
Massage Therapy Research
The therapeutic benefits of massage continue to be researched and studied. Recent research has shown the effectiveness of massage for the following conditions:
Low back pain.12
Osteoarthritis of the knee.13
Reducing post-operative pain.14
Boosting the body’s immune system functioning.15
Decreasing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.16
Lowering blood pressure.17
Reducing headache frequency.18
Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.19
Decreasing pain in cancer patients.20
The American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) is the largest non-profit, professional association serving more than 56,000 massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.