Massage Therapy Today
These days massage isn't just for feeling good anymore. It has lost the ancient stigma
associated with blue light districts. It is a holistic therapy that reduces the heart
rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles,
improves range of motion, and increases endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.
Therapeutic massage enhances medical treatment and helps people feel less anxious and
stressed, relaxed yet more alert. It had been said that, "Massage is to the human
body what a tune-up is for a car."
Fueled by the popularity of the alternative therapies, consumers are using more and
more services of licensed massage therapists:
|Consumers spend $2 billion to $4 billion a year on visits to massage therapists,
according to an American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) analysis of a study by Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School published in the New England
Journal of Medicine in 1993.|
|Current research shows that people are getting more massages, and that therapeutic
massage is becoming more mainstream, appealing to everyone from young adults to
seniors. People are experiencing the therapeutic benefits of massage. They are
getting massages mostly to relax, to relieve aches and pains, and to help
|A national survey conducted by the State University of New York at Syracuse found 54
percent of primary care physicians and family practitioners said they would encourage
their patients to pursue massage therapy as a treatment, and a third of those said they
are willing to refer patients to a massage therapist.|
|The American Massage Therapy Association's membership has increased nearly four-fold in
the past decade, to more than 28,000.|
More and more employers are offering massage during break times to their employees.
They have found that massage therapy isn't just a perk, but actually increases employee
productivity and morale. For example, according to a 1996 survey of employees who
regularly receive therapeutic massage on-site at Reebok International Ltd., 98
percent said it helped them reduce work-related stress; 92 percent said it increased
alertness, motivation and productivity; 83 percent said it had in some cases sufficiently
addressed a problem so medical attention was not necessary; and 66 percent said it had
enabled them to stay at work when they would have otherwise gone home sick.
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