Compiling Data from the AMTA’s and ABMP’s 2010 Massage Therapy Fact Sheets: Money

Forgive me again for being late in exploring this (we’re way into 2011 already!), but I wanted take a look at the industry fact sheets for massage therapy of 2010 from two major professional organizations, the AMTA and the ABMP. Both organizations provide really great statistics and data each year in their fact sheets, presenting an industry that is both widely used by Americans and, as a result, highly lucrative.

Indeed, both fact sheets start out with information attempting to show massage therapy as an industry utilized by broad portions of the U.S. population, and one that generates a lot of money. And here they make some compelling cases, even though the numbers don’t always match up perfectly.

For example, the AMTA estimates that as of 2009, the massage therapy industry produced $16 to $20 billion per year, a large jump from the $6 to $11 billion generated in the massage therapy industry in 2005. The ABMP, meanwhile, estimates that the U.S. spa industry generated $10.9 billion in 2009, with massage therapists (especially those performing Swedish massage) making a large portion of that.

So even if a precise figure is hard to pin down (the closest we can get is within a $2 billion range), it is safe to say that the massage therapy industry in 2008/2009 is a multi-billion-dollar one, most likely generating an annual cash flow of more than $10 billion.

Both fact sheets also point out that a large portion of the U.S. population receives massage, with the AMTA estimating that 22 percent of Americans have had at least one massage in the past year. The ABMP, meanwhile, says that 13 percent of 210,000 business surveyed (approximately 27,300 businesses in the survey) provide workplace massage to their employees.

So far, so good, right? But, as we know, massage therapy industry isn’t a guaranteed financial windfall for its professional practitioners, a subject we’ll explore next week.

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