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Massage Today
December, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 12

Three Surveys Confirm Massage Relieves Pain

By Editorial Staff

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recently announced the results of three surveys that confirm more people are seeking massage therapy to relieve and manage their pain.

According to a consumer survey conducted by the AMTA, 47 percent of those polled said they have tried massage for pain relief - 58 percent of which are between the ages of 18-24 and 35-44 years. Additionally, 91 percent of the adults polled said massage therapy is effective in reducing pain.

Over half of the seniors polled who had received massage within the past five years did so for pain relief. The survey also showed that 62 percent of health care providers that had previously discussed massage therapy with their patients also encouraged them to seek massage.

Sixty-three percent of massage clients polled in a second national survey conducted by AMTA-member massage therapists said that massage therapy provides more relief from pain than chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and other forms of bodywork. Ninety-six percent of these same clients said they would use massage again for pain relief; 74 percent reported a temporary reduction in pain following their massage; and 14 percent reported a permanent elimination of pain.

A third survey, supported by the AMTA and conducted by the AHA, questioned hospitals about the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices, including massage therapy. Of the 1,007 hospitals that responded, 82 percent of those offering CAM therapies included massage therapy, while more than 70 percent used massage therapy for pain relief and pain management.

Seven years ago, when the AMTA started conducting its surveys, only a handful of consumers reported receiving a massage; however, more than one in five adults reported receiving a massage within the last year, and 28 percent polled expect to seek massage sometime within the next year (a 3 percent increase over last year).

With so many people in agreement on the benefits of massage for pain relief, it is obvious that the profession is continuing to make a positive impact through its efforts to educate the public and promote massage as a necessary part of an effective wellness plan.


  • "Massage Therapy Increasingly Sought for Pain Relief." AMTA press release. Oct. 15, 2003.


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