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Massage Today
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04

AMTA Releases Annual Research Results

By Editorial Staff

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recently released its sixth annual research summary on the state of the massage therapy profession, with mixed results that create a different view of the marketplace.

For example, research found that practicing massage therapists reported working, on average, more hours in 2012, but that fewer consumers actually received massages last year while still strongly believing in the efficacy of massage therapy. Research also found that the health care industry is continuing to offer a variety of employment opportunities for massage therapists.

According to the 2013 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet, the 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 United States by 37.9 million people in 2011.

AMTA - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Perhaps the most promising growth trend, was the increase in the number of referrals from health care professionals as more and more massage therapists branch out into the health care landscape. According to the 2013 Industry Fact Sheet, "more massage therapists received referrals from health care professionals in 2012 than 2011 with particular increases from hospitals and medical offices (51 percent in 2012 verses 46 percent in 2011) and chiropractors and integrated health clinics (67 percent in 2012 verses 63 percent in 2011)."

Health care environments are also offering a variety of employment opportunities. Overall, health care industry employment grew 2 percent higher in 2012 over 2011 by 17 million. "The category of 'outpatient care centers' which includes massage therapists, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, experienced 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 a health care setting in 2011."

"This research and analysis can be very important for our members and everyone in the profession," said 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 successfully."


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