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Massage Therapy. Relaxing Revenue. The Rub on the Industry. Massage therapy is the practice of using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia regulate massage therapists or provide voluntary state certification.
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Massage Therapy Relaxing Revenue
The Rub on the Industry Massage therapy is the practice of using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia regulate massage therapists or provide voluntary state certification. Most massage therapists work as sole practitioners. Massage therapy is provided in a number of settings, including the client’s home, a spa or salon, the therapist’s office, a healthcare setting, a health club, athletic facility, or franchise/chain location.
Who’s on the Table? About 18% of U.S. adults had at least one massage in 2010, down 4% from the year before. About 25% of women get massages, compared to 10% of men. Spas are where most people receive a massage. 24% of those surveyed said they had their last massage at a spa.
Who’s on the Table? • Almost 30% of Americans report receiving a massage for medical or health reasons; 54% have used massage therapy at least once for pain relief. • 31% reported seeking massage for health conditions such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness.
Trends • Last year, 40% percent of Americans said they had at least one massage in the past five years to reduce stress or relax. This is up from 22% in 2007. • 86% of Americans agree that massages are beneficial to health and wellness, including pain relief; 40% say their primary drive is for stress relief. • 62% of Americans would recommend massage therapy to a friend or family member.
Trends • The average cost of a one-hour massage is about $60. • The most popular techniques/modalities are as follows (based on percent of clients receiving at least one massage of that type in the past five years): • Swedish massage – 88% • Deep tissue massage – 84% • Trigger point massage – 55% • Sports massage – 53%
Trends • Recent studies continue to show the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy, including for the following conditions: • Cancer-related fatigue & pain • Lower-back pain • Osteoarthritis of the knee • Post-operative pain • Immune system support • Carpal tunnel syndrome • High blood pressure
Relaxing Marketing The use of massage for stress reduction or relaxation has nearly doubled in the last several years, making it a great marketing focus. There are an increasing number of massage chains that offer competitive pricing, helping them appeal to a wider range of customers. Marketing discounts for first-timers and clients’ friends and family may help bring in new clients and increase market share.
Future Wellness • 96% of Americans agree that massage therapy should be integrated into health care for patients, who see physical and psychological benefits. • The industry will continue to grow at a rate of 12% between now and 2018. • Therapists and businesses will focus on education for both staff and clients. • As individuals seek more natural sources of treatment and relief, it is expected that massage therapy will see a significant boost in sales.
Advertising Strategies Pain relief is the primary motivator behind massage therapy purchases. Advertisers should focus on the pain relief and health benefits of massage to dispel the notion that massage is only a luxury experience. To boost sales among women, focus on women’s health needs, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, prenatal massage, and massage to treat muscle strain caused by carrying a child. To target men, focus on sports-related treatments. Partnering with local gyms that don’t have on-site massage therapy is a great way to spread the word among men and women. Perhaps massage clients can get a one-time one-week pass to the gym. Similarly, new gym members can receive a voucher for a free massage. Not only does this bring in new business for both of you, but it presents an opportunity for advertisers to share costs and broaden their appeal.
Since referrals can provide a significant amount of business, it is recommended that therapists focus on referral programs, such as rewards and promotions for clients who bring a friend that has never visited the business before. Consider offering a first-timer buy-one-get-one-free promotion to encourage new clients to visit and old clients to spread the word. These should be promoted in all television ads. The recent report by the American Journal of Psychiatry regarding the link between massage and a decrease in depression symptoms has heightened awareness and interest. Businesses should leverage this data in their TV ads and elsewhere, to present massage as an economical, effective, and natural stress and depression remedy. Advertising Strategies
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