Wednesday, June 11, 2008

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week is October 21-27, 2007. Sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), this week is designed to raise public awareness of the benefits of therapeutic massage and encourage people to take the extra time to care for their health through massage

Twenty-five million more Americans each year are getting a massage today than they did ten years ago, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. And with good reason: beyond the relaxation that massage therapy can bring to people, massage can effectively treat a wide array of health problems including back pain, stress, low immune system, circulation, anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches & migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome and depression.

Massage therapy is also one of the most common ways people ease pain. Chronic pain affects about 1 in 6 Americans and is the third leading cause of impairment in the US, after cancer and heart disease. Chronic pain has been said to be the most costly health problem in America; the annual cost of chronic pain, including medical expenses, lost income, and lost productivity, is an estimated $100 billion.

The growth in the popularity and use of massage therapy is increasing the demand for well-trained massage therapists. In 2006 there were nearly 86,000 nationally certified practitioners serving consumers. The demand for therapists continues to rise as more dentists, chiropractors, medical clinics, hospitals, gyms and spas employ these practitioners.

The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), a non-profit institution located in San Francisco, has provided affordable, quality health care to the public and trained professionals in massage and Chinese medicine since 1980. The college offers classes and certification in Tui Na and Shiatsu, two types of Asian massage therapy. ACTCM also offers an affordable massage and acupuncture clinic open to the public, allowing clients to experience the health benefits of massage first hand.

For those interested in learning more about Asian massage and traditional Chinese medicine, ACTCM will be hosting free Open Houses on October 6th, November 3rd and December 1st from 1 – 4 pm. Guests will be invited to listen to presentations on traditional Chinese medicine, take a tour of the campus, speak with students and faculty, and arrange to sit in on a class or receive a treatment in the College’s Community Clinic.

ACTCM has been the recipient of many awards for its curriculum, faculty and clinic, and has been voted “Best of the Bay” by both the San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

For more information on National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, or ACTCM’s massage programs and clinic, please call the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at (415) 355-1601 x12.

Some Striking Statistics:

39 million American adults – more than one out of every 6 – receive a massage annually. This is 25 million more Americans each year than just 10 years ago.26 percent of massage users seek the therapy for relaxation, while 30 percent use it for medical purposes such as injury recovery, pain reduction, headache control, and overall health and wellness.

Nine million more people discussed massage therapy with their doctor or healthcare provider in 2006 than in 2001.59 percent of physicians, 48% of all chiropractors and 47% of physical therapists have recommended massage therapy to their patients.

Seventy-nine percent of 25- to 35-year-olds would like to have their health insurance plan cover massage, the highest percentage among age groups; 63 percent of Americans would be more inclined to try massage therapy if it was offered in conjunction with other healthcare treatments.

Older baby boomers (ages 55 to 64) have tripled their use of massage over the past 10 years, as did those ages 65 and older.

Companies that offer massage therapy as an employee benefit include: Allstate, Best Buy, Cisco Systems, FedEx, Gannett (USA Today)General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, JC Penney, Kimberly-Clark, Texas Instruments, U.S. Department of Justice and Yahoo.

Massage may be the oldest form of medical care – Egyptian tomb paintings show people being massaged, and “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” written in 2,700 BC recommended the “massage of skin and flesh”.

* statistics courtesy of the American Massage Therapy Association.