AMTA Releases 2021 Research on the State of the Massage Therapy Profession

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 9:41 AM MDT

EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) released its 2021 research summary on the state of the massage therapy profession. While massage therapy was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the profession has rebounded in a strong way. The majority of massage therapists are working again with enhanced safety protocols in place. Therapists have used their creativity and adapted - changing work environments, cleaning and appointment procedures, and listening to feedback from their clients who are increasingly looking to massage for pain and health reasons.  As we look at key market data from 2021, the state of the massage therapy profession looks bright based on these latest findings from AMTA's recent surveys, data from agencies and information related to COVID-19.

To find a qualified massage therapist in your area, visit
To find a qualified massage therapist in your area, visit
In 2021, consumers are increasingly looking to massage therapy for pain relief and health reasons

Consumers State That Massage Therapy Can Be Effective in Reducing Pain The newest research indicates that 92% of consumers state that massage therapy can be effective in reducing pain and 91% feel it can be beneficial for health and wellness. In addition, more consumers than ever before (83%) agree that massage should be considered a form of healthcare while few perceive it as just a form of pampering.

More Consumers Are Discussing Massage Therapy With Their Health care Provider  
In 2021, the highest number of consumers of all time (26%) discussed massage therapy with their health care provider. Of those consumers, 35% said their doctors had strongly recommended it. And, more consumers are getting massage at medical locations than in previous years – these settings include chiropractor's offices, physical therapist's office, alternative therapy clinics, hospitals, and physician's offices.

Why Massage For Pain Is More Important Than Ever
During the pandemic, many chronic pain services were disrupted as healthcare systems throughout the country were forced to redistribute resources for non-urgent, outpatient care towards intensive care units for COVID-19 patients. This delayed access exacerbated the pain crisis in the U.S., contributing to drug over-reliance and substance abuse. Now that massage therapists are practicing again, non-opioid pain therapies, such as massage, are more important than ever.

How has COVID-19 impacted the Massage Profession?
Although COVID-19 continues to impact the country, consumers are back getting massages again. Research shows that of those consumers who have ever gotten a massage, 92% expect to get one in the future, with most expecting to get one in the next 6 months. However, the pandemic has created change among consumer behavior; consumers are now paying closer attention to cleaning and safety procedures. Almost half of consumers (44%) indicate they would ask their therapist about sanitation standards prior to making an appointment.  In addition, 44% of consumers prefer to wear a mask during a massage, and 36% would also like the therapist to wear a mask.

Overall, massage therapists have changed their work practices, and cleaning and appointment procedures due to state regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the latest consumer trends and data, visit AMTA's 2021 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet.

About The American Massage Therapy Association
The American Massage Therapy Association, the most trusted name in massage therapy, is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools.  The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.  To find a qualified massage therapist in your area, visit AMTA's Massage Therapist Locator Service.

All research data comes from the 2021 AMTA Consumer Survey.

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SOURCE American Massage Therapy Association

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