More Americans Turn to Massage for Health Needs

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week strives to educate about massage

A good massage has the immediate benefit of relaxation, but did you know that massage can also lessen back pain, boost the immune system, improve sleep, decrease migraine headaches, and lower blood pressure?

October 23rd marks the beginning of the 15th annual National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, an advocacy event endorsed by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) meant to educate Americans about the benefits of massage therapy.

The number of Americans using massage as a means of pain relief and management of other health issues is on the rise. According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, respondents indicated that Americans view deep-tissue massage, along with yoga and Pilates, as effective as prescription medication for the relief of back pain.

However, there are some Americans who don’t know the benefit of massage therapy, or what to expect during a massage appointment. The AMTA has published a list of expectations for the massage recipient and the massage therapist.

The client should expect:
>> A clean, safe and comfortable environment before, during and after the massage
>> Respect, courtesy, confidentiality and dignity
>> Privacy while changing and right to remove clothing only to their level of comfort for the massage
>> Draped appropriately by a sheet, towel or blanket, with only the area being massaged exposed
>> A licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner
>> Option to ask questions of the massage therapist and receive professional responses
>> Determine if there will be conversation, music or quiet during the massage
>> An explanation of the nature of the massage and techniques to be used in advance of starting the massage
>> The right to consent to the massage techniques and approaches, including manual pressure, used in the massage

A massage therapist should expect from their client:?
>> Respect, courtesy and dignity
>> Treated as a healthcare professional
>> Timely arrival at massage therapy appointment
>> Complete and accurate disclosure of health/medical conditions during intake process
>> Communication of expectations of and concerns about the massage
>> Payment at time of service
>> Reasonable notice (usually 24 hours) in canceling a massage appointment

“National Massage Therapy Awareness Week is a great time for consumers to have a discussion with a massage therapist about the best massage approach for their health needs,” says Glenath Moyle, AMTA president. “People can find a professional massage therapist through our free national online locator service.”

For more information about the AMTA, please visit