Massage Therapy Industry Trends Difficult to Predict (Part III)

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at general trends in the massage therapy industry (click here for earlier entries). So far we’ve been able to conclude that the industry is generally growing rapidly (especially from 2005 to 2009 – click here), but that 2010 was most likely a bad year. What does that mean for massage therapists and the massage therapy industry?

More of the same…but that’s a good thing! Despite a shrinking in the number of massage therapy recipients this year, in total, the popularity of massage therapy has grown quickly in the past 15 years (click here). Furthermore, according to the AMTA’s consumer and industry fact sheets, massage therapy is appealing for a broad range of reasons:

–       In 2009, 32 percent of respondents to the AMTA survey said they received massage therapy for stress reduction and relaxation.

–       That same year, 32 percent also said they pursued massage therapy for medical purposes.

–       Seventeen percent of respondents, meanwhile, said they got massage therapy to pamper themselves.

So, while we don’t know whether the rate of workplace massage is increasing, we do know that workplace massage has been shown to reduce stress and increase office productivity (click here or here). While we don’t know if more and more men and women will start receiving massage therapy again this year, we do know that there are many medical reasons to do so (which is why it’s used at hospitals, and prescribed for conditions ranging from knee pain to cancer, among others). And we all know that massage therapy is a great way to pamper oneself or a friend.

Therapists should continue to market massage therapy as what it is: A therapeutic way to reduce stress, ease pain, increase workplace productivity, and indulge. As the profession and industry grow, hopefully some more detailed statistics will come out showing the exact cause of massage therapy’s dramatic increase in popularity. For now, though, let’s agree to say that massage therapy is increasing in popularity because it is great in so many ways.

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