Stress is Less with Massage
National consumer research released today said 81% of American adults feel as stressed (45%) or more stressed (36%) now than they did a year ago and are using a variety of strategies to cope. The research was conducted by Harstad Strategic Research and sponsored by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP).1 Despite the sour economy, the overall use of massage therapy remains consistent: 14% of adult Americans had a professional massage this year to 12% in four years ago and 16% in two years ago. Those who did not receive a massage this year were more likely to cite their pocketbooks as the reason than in previous surveys.
Massage Reduce Stress, Relieve Anxiety and Depression
Among those who had a professional massage in this year, 58% said they did so for “relaxation, restoration or stress relief,” and 85% of massage users were satisfied with the experience, predicting they would seek massage again in the coming year. “When many people are curtailing spending on vacations and other big-ticket items, massage is an ideal and lower-cost option for reducing stress,” said ABMP president and nationally certified massage therapist Les Sweeney. “Massage therapy has been shown to reduce stress hormones, relieve anxiety and depression, strengthen the immune system and improve attentiveness, so it’s an excellent strategy for challenging times.” The nation’s leading mental health association, Mental Health America, recommends massage therapy as a way to diffuse stress.
Massage Make Workplace More Productive
Some employers are turning to workplace massage to help employees cope with uncertain times and increased workloads. “As employers are looking for ways to manage workplace productivity and stress, perhaps using fewer employees to do more work, some are bringing chair massage into the mix,” Sweeney said. “At about $1 a minute, it’s an inexpensive way to maintain loyalty, and manage anxiety and lost work time.” Another Harstad Research finding was that visits to all types of health professionals, including medical doctors, declined slightly this year as compared to 2 years ago. “This is not surprising in a year of belt-tightening throughout the economy,” Sweeney said. “It may be a matter of postponing rather than forgoing care.
Massage Help Stave Off Routine Doctor Visits
Consumers should keep in mind massage could be useful in helping stave off routine doctor visits, co-pays and missed work time because of the immunity-boosting power of massage.” The proportion of adults who made at least one visit to a massage therapist (14%) again exceeded the proportions visiting a chiropractor (12%) or a physical therapist (9%). Forty-two percent of American adults have received at least one massage in their lifetime. Reference 1 The January Health Care Survey was conducted by Harstad Strategic Research, Inc., the national public opinion research firm in Boulder, Colo. The survey results are based upon 602 random telephone interviews among adults age 21 or older nationwide. Interviews were conducted early part of this year. A random sample of 602 has a worst-case 95 percent confidence interval of plus or minus 4.0 percent about any one reported percentage.