Doctors, patients use massage as therapy

Oct. 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM

EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Seventy-five percent of U.S. adults say their main reason for getting a massage in the past 12 months was either medical- or stress-related, a survey indicates.

The survey by the American Massage Therapy Association indicated 87 percent of individuals view massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness.

Association President Cynthia Ribeiro said medical reasons included pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines and general well-being.

"The findings from this year's survey display a growing sense of awareness among consumers about massage being an effective tool for a variety of health conditions," Ribeiro said in a statement. "Physicians are recommending massage therapy to their patients for stress-related tension, pain relief and injuries, as well as to help maintain overall health and wellness."

Fifty percent said their doctor either strongly recommended or encouraged them to get a massage.

This suggested consumers and healthcare professionals regard massage as a viable option to address health concerns, Ribeiro said.

"A growing body of evidence shows that massage therapy can be effective for a variety of health conditions and massage is rapidly becoming recognized as an important part of health and wellness," said Dr. Keri Peterson, a board certified internal medicine physician. "Many of my patients come to me with chronic pain including back and knee pain, as well as migraines and injuries after exercise. I am now referring more people than ever to meet with massage therapists as an alternative, before considering surgery or prescribing prescriptions."

Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed said massage was effective in reducing pain, while almost 30 percent have used massage the therapy at some time for pain relief.

No survey details were provided.

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