Massage Therapy Growing in 2010 (according to the AMTA)

The American Massage Therapy Association came out with its 2010 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet. And while it was released in February of this year, I’m just now beginning to look it over. There are a lot of interesting statistics and trends outlined in the document, as always, but today I want to focus attention on the economic health of the massage therapy field.

The AMTA seems to think that the industry is growing and that massage therapists are making increasing amounts of money. This, of course, flies in the face of conventional wisdom as the recent economic downturn should mean that consumers are spending less on massage therapy.

Indeed, the fact sheet does show a decrease (from 24 percent in 2009 to 22 percent this year) in the number of Americans who say they have received a massage within the past year. However, the AMTA portrays the massage therapy field as one that is growing quickly, now a 16-to-20-billion-dollar industry, an impressive jump from the 6-to-11-billion-dollar industry the organization estimated it to be in 2005.

Furthermore, the AMTA says that massage therapists are working more now than last year, doing, on average, 20 hours of massage therapy (not including paperwork, billing, etc.) each week, up from 19 hours per week in 2009, and that massage therapists now give 44 massages per month, up from 41. The organization estimated that massage therapists make, on average, $37,123 per year for 16 hours of massage per week, and that 62 percent of massage therapists say they would not want to work more than they do presently.

What do you think? Do these numbers sit well with you? Or do you have a different experience to share? One other interesting figure from the latest fact sheet: 76 percent of therapists said they receive referrals from healthcare professionals, receiving, on average, 1.5 referrals a month. This, coupled with massage therapy at hospitals, seems to be an area where massage therapy is growing, a topic we have written on (click here) and will write about in the future. In the meantime, let us know what you think about this year’s fact sheet or the massage therapy field in general!

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