The very first ISPA Global Consumer Report conducted by The International Spa Association reveals that there are more than 150 million active Luxury spa consumers worldwide. Among the U.S., Australia, Japan, Thailand and Austria, it has been reported that are finding that accessing some form of massage among the top three treatments. Specifically, the study shows that 35% of Australian spa consumers, 53% of Austrians, 63% of Americans, 34% of Germans prefer fully body massages, while in Japan and Thailand, Shiatsu, aromatherapy, reflexology and Thai massages were at the top of the consumers’ preferences.
What Hippocrates defined as the ‘art of rubbing’, nowadays massage therapy is becoming increasingly popular. Regardless if people are looking to take a break from their busy lives and relax, or if they are battling various medical conditions and seeking to alleviate symptoms, massage is now an important part of routines.
In spite of the fact that hard, scientific evidence is limited when it comes to actually proving the benefits of massage therapy, the rising statistics of consumers and the soft evidence available at the moment are key. Massage therapy is drug-free and non-invasive and it approaches the body as a whole focusing on the idea that it has a natural ability to heal itself. Stroking, kneading, rubbing, pressing are all part of it. By manually manipulating tissues and joints, massage therapy reduces stress and tension which are among the main disease causing factors. The body benefits from more oxygen and nutrients being transported to organs and tissues, thus facilitating and accelerating healing.
Studies estimate that around 30% of the workforce in developed countries are affected by occupational stress. In developing countries, the numbers are higher and growing. This why we are seeing more and more companies integrating stress management in their plans. And it’s important to notice that almost all efforts include massage therapy. More days are being dedicated to wellness, mindfulness and relaxation and as part of an integrated approach, massage therapy is provided at the workplace. For instance, one study showed that staff who received 20 minute sessions of massage therapy twice a week for a period of 2 months were less anxious, reported improved sleep and a regulated blood pressure rate. Similar other studies have shown improvements and overall wellbeing for employees who received massage therapy regularly. These results pinpoint that massage therapy can be a powerful tool for immediate benefits in overall health.
Due to this, many businesses in corporate service industry are being launched. In the U.S. alone, the industry is worth almost $8 billion and expected to grow. Other countries are not far behind either, with more and more investment allocated to this. Fortunately, this can only mean good things, especially for people who have highly stressful and demanding careers and are always more susceptible to developing illnesses. Massage therapy has been seen as a luxury for years and years, with many people deeming it an unnecessary pamper and despite that it keeps growing as an industry and as a treatment option.