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AMTA – State of Massage Therapy Profession

Feb. 19, Evanston, IL – The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) sixth annual summary research on the state of the massage therapy profession demonstrates mixed indicators for the massage therapy marketplace.

March 5, 2013  By Massage Therapy Canada

consumers continue to strongly believe in the efficacy of massage therapy,
fewer of them received massage in 2012 than the year before. But, practicing
massage therapists reported working, on average, more hours this past year,
while the health care industry continues to offer employment opportunities for
massage therapists in a variety of settings. So, it is likely there were fewer
massage therapists actively practicing than in the year before.

detailed report focused on the meaning of the research for massage therapy
schools and their students was released and discussed today at the AMTA 2013
Massage Schools Summit in Chicago.

Based on
four surveys conducted for AMTA in recent months, and data from government
agencies, the research continues to show that consumers ultimately determine
the health of the massage therapy profession and that they accept the value of
massage therapy as part of health and well-being.


research and analyses can be very important for our members and everyone in the
profession,” says AMTA President Cynthia Ribeiro. “It’s invaluable to all of
us. Our profession and how massage therapy is accepted by consumers and those
in health care keeps changing and evolving.  If we massage therapists don’t know what is happening in the
marketplace, we may be at a real disadvantage in knowing where we can practice

percentage of adult American consumers who received a massage declined to 16
percent in 2012 from 18 percent in 2011 and the average number of massages
received went from 4.5 in 2011 to 4.2 in 2012. Approximately 34.5 million
people had a total of 145 million massages in 2012, a 15 percent decline from
the 170.5 million massages received in the U.S. by 37.9 million people in 2011.

As part
of a major multi-year commitment to public education on the benefits of massage
therapy and to increase the number of people seeking massage, AMTA launched its
Consumer Awareness Program and Massage Therapy Tour in five major metropolitan
areas in the summer of 2012. Data collected from consumers after receiving
massage at these tour stops showed 89 percent were more likely to recommend
massage to their family or friends and 78 percent reported they would be more
likely to look for an AMTA massage therapist.

average, massage therapists worked 21.6 hours per week in 2012, up
significantly from 19.6 hours per week in 2011. Massage therapists saw an
average of 41 clients each month in 2012, up from 38.9 clients per month in

health care industry continues to offer employment opportunities for massage
therapists in a variety of settings. Overall, health care industry employment
grew 2 percent higher in 2012 over that for 2011 to 17 million. The category of
“Outpatient care centers,” which includes massage therapists, as defined by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, experienced a 5.8 percent growth in the past year.
Twenty-seven percent of massage therapists reported working in a health care
setting in 2012 (19 percent in a chiropractic office / integrated health care
clinic and 8 percent in a hospital / medical office or clinic) slightly less
than the 29 percent of therapists working in health care settings in 2011.

massage therapists received referrals from health care professionals in 2012
than 2011 with particular increases from hospitals and medical offices (51
percent in 2012 versus 46 percent in 2011) and chiropractors and integrated
health clinics (67 percent in 2012 versus 63 percent in 2011).

growing number of referrals from health care professionals indicates increased
integration of massage therapy in health care environments.

To read
AMTA’s 2012 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet, visit


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