Massage Professionals

The Massage Source

Search for massage professionals in your area Learn about the benefits of massage Learn how massage can help alleviate various health concerns Learn about various types of massage

From the Institute for Integrative Healthcare

Have a question about massage?
Ask a Massage Therapist

About Massage

Who Gets a Massage?

Who gets a massage?
  • Between July 2010 - July 2011 18% (38 million) of Americans had at least one massage and an average of 31% have received a massage in the previous five years.1
  • In 2011, 24% of women and 13% of men reported getting a massage in the past 12 months.1

Where Do People Get a Massage? Where Do Massage Therapists Work?

Where do people get a massage?
  • In 2011, approximately 23% of persons surveyed who have gotten a massage reported they received it in a spa setting.1
  • It is estimated that consumers spend approximately $10 to $11 billion dollars on massage therapy and massage related goods/services.1
  • Most massage therapists work in more than one setting. A massage therapist may work out of his or her own home or office as well as a healthcare setting and/or a massage franchise or chain.1
  • Approximately 60% of massage therapists were self-employed in 2010. The majority of the remaining massage therapists worked in personal care services (18%), offices of chiropractors (5%), traveler accommodation, including hotels (4%), and fitness and recreational sports centers (2%).2
  • Many massage therapists work part-time, 1 out of 4 massage therapists worked full-time in 2010.2
  • Massage therapy use in hospitals is becoming more common, too. The number of hospitals offering massage therapy increased by 30 percent from 2004 to 2006.3

Why Do People Get a Massage?

Why do people get a massage?
  • 90% of those surveyed feel that massage therapy can be effective in the reduction of pain.4
  • Of those who say they have had a massage in the past five years, 40% report doing so for health conditions such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness.1
  • As of July 2011, more than 39 million American adults discussed massage therapy with their doctors or healthcare providers in the previous year.1
  • Just over 53% of adult Americans got a massage seeking relief from stress.1
  • Massage therapy would be recommended to a relative or someone they know by 69% of Americans.4

Who Are Massage Therapists?

Who are massage therapists?
  • Approximately 85% of massage therapists are female.1
  • On average, massage therapists are in their early 40s.1
  • Most massage therapists are sole practitioners.1
  • The majority of massage therapists work an average of 15 hours per week, specifically doing massage or another form of bodywork (this does not include related paperwork, scheduling, marketing or office maintenance).1
  • More than 53% of massage therapists also work in another profession.1


  • A massage therapist in the United States will graduate from a private or public postsecondary school with at least 500 hours of study completed in areas that include anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, business management, ethics and hands-on practice of massage techniques.2
  • Though requirements vary from state to state, on average, a massage therapist has approximately 619 hours of initial training.1
  • More than 97% of massage therapists have taken continuing education courses. Most have taken an average of 19 hours each year.1
  • An average of 58,000 people graduated each year from American massage schools between 2006 and 2008.5
  • There are approximately 80,000 massage therapists who are nationally certified.6


1 "2012 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet." American Massage Therapy Association. 17 Feb 2012.

2 "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Massage Therapists." Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved 06 Mar 2013.

3 "Massage Industry Snapshot" American Massage Therapy Association. 14 Jan 2010.

4 "2011 Massage Therapy Consumer Fact Sheet." American Massage Therapy Association. Retrieved 06 Mar 2013.

5 "ABMP Releases Research on Massage School Enrollment and Graduation Rates." Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. 26 Mar 2009.

6 "Consumer FAQ." National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. Retrieved 06 Mar 2013.