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Massage Today
January, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 01

Massage Therapy Awareness Week "Extremely Successful"

By Editorial Staff

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) celebrated National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (NMTAW), Oct. 24-30. This year's theme, "Manage Pain With Massage," was marked by the release of AMTA's eighth annual massage therapy consumer survey.

According to the survey, 90 percent of respondents believe massage therapy is effective in reducing pain. Other survey findings indicated:

  • Massage is second only to medication as the next best form of pain relief.
  • Nearly half of the respondents have used massage to relieve pain.
  • More than one in five respondents had received massage in the prior 12 months.
  • Sixty-five percent of respondents would recommend massage therapy to someone they know.

The survey also found that more than one in four respondents in the African-American community said they had visited a massage therapist at least once during the previous year, representing a 12-point increase from 2003. One possible explanation for the jump is the increase in doctors and health care providers recommending massage to their African-American patients: 83 percent compared to 47 percent in 2003.
For more survey findings, visit the "News Room" at

The AMTA also held a national satellite media tour to commemorate NMTAW. On Oct. 28, Immediate Past President Brenda L. Griffith was interviewed live via satellite by six television stations to talk about the benefits of massage therapy. Three other stations taped interviews with Griffith for future broadcasts, and 350 stations received a taped feed of the interviews via satellite for use in future stories.

"National Massage Therapy Awareness Week was extremely successful this year," said AMTA Communications Manager Ron Precht. "Tens of millions of Americans learned more about the benefits of massage, especially for relieving and managing pain."

In Florida, Gov. Jeb Bush declared Oct. 24-30, 2004, Massage Therapy Awareness Week in the state, which coincided with AMTA's NMTAW. As part of the celebration, the AMTA-Florida chapter joined the Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) to host a reception honoring massage therapists who volunteered their services to victims and relief workers following the recent hurricane disasters. The work was coordinated through the Massage Emergency Response Team (MERT) and the Florida Immediate Response Stress Team (FIRST).

The reception was held in conjunction with Florida's Department of Health and Board of Massage Therapy meeting on Oct. 27. Florida AMTA MERT Director Jerry Konrad and FIRST Regional Coordinator Sheila Provost gave presentations showing the devastation of the hurricanes. FIRST; MERT; the AMTA Florida chapter; and FSMTA's Big Bend, Brevard, Flagler/Volusia, Southwest, Sarasota Manatee, Tampa Bay, and Treasure Coast chapters were recognized for their outstanding service. Performance Health, Scrip Massage Products and the FSMTA were also recognized for their generous donations.

Florida Board of Massage Therapy Chair Dave Quiring, LMT, presented a letter of commendation to the volunteer massage therapists at the reception. "On behalf of the Board of Massage Therapy, I would also like to express my appreciation to all of my fellow massage therapists who provided their services to hurricane victims and response team personnel, to relieve their strain and tension during such a stressful time," he said.

"These Florida hurricanes were disastrous," noted FSMTA State Treasurer Maureen Gilbert, "but they also restored deep feelings of community and fellowship; we will continue to rebuild with compassion," she said.


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