Meet Our Members
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Leslie Young
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Who is Today's Massage Therapist/Bodyworker?

Our members are a diverse group of caring practitioners who serve clients in all 50 states. Meet some of them here.

Maggie, Missouri. Maggie enjoys the fact that her dual licensure as an esthetician and massage therapist are both covered by a single ABMP membership. She's seen great growth in the awareness people have of alternative health.

Neusa, California. Neusa was interning in a convent in Brazil when she first started to learn about massage. She believes that allowing the body to rest can empower it toward natural tools for healing.

Roberta, Colorado. Once involved in theatre and education, Roberta says she listens with ears, eyes, hands and heart to create a healing session. In 2009, she's celebrating her tenth year with ABMP.

Rosemary, Washington. Rosemary strives for balance as a self-employed massage therapist and "enjoys her work to her heart's content." As a healthcare provider with other training, she believes her practice is unique.

ABMP Surveys — Membership Snapshot
  • Practitioners often see themselves less as business people and more as individuals who view their work as something of a mission. Practitioners report they are motivated by a genuine desire to improve the well-being and healthfulness of clients. Many have left other careers to pursue the opportunity massage therapy offers to help people on a one-to-one basis.
  • The vast majority are independent practitioners, which creates the usual challenges in operating a business and marketing of services. Research suggests many are hesitant to embrace aggressive, sustained marketing tactics.
  • For many, massage therapy is a second or third career. Many name "lack of fulfillment" in previous careers and a desire to be their own boss as reasons for choosing massage therapy and bodywork.
A 2007 ABMP member survey reveals the following:
  • The average age of ABMP members graduated in 2005 and entering the profession is 44.. The median age is 45. (We believe profession-wide average and median ages are a few years lower.)
  • Close to 83 percent are women and 54.5 percent are married.
  • Massage therapists had an average of 14.4 client contact hours (12 hours median) in the week prior to the survey.
  • 65.6 percent wish they had more clients — 21.2 percent indicated that (more clients) was the one change they would most like to make to their practice.
  • Nearly half of the respondents (51 percent) report supplementing their income with another job, a job at which they spend an average of 25 hours per week. The top five second occupations include: office/secretary/clerks; massage instructor; medical, including nurses; teacher/education; and sales/retail.
  • 90 percent have at least some college.
Predominant Focus of Practitioner Work
  • 33.1 percent — deep-tissue/neuromuscular therapy.
  • 31.4 percent — Swedish massage.
  • 5.0 percent — energy work.
  • 3.6 percent — myofascial therapy.
  • 3.1 percent — orthopedic.
  • 18.1 percent — other or not specified.
Most Common Secondary/Additional Practice Techniques used by ABMP Members
  • 97.3 percent — Swedish massage.
  • 83.5 percent — deep-tissue/neuromuscular therapy.
  • 48.1 percent — on-site, such as chair massage and kiosks in malls and airports
  • 46 percent — energy.
  • 45 percent — reflexology
  • 44.5—hot stone
  • 44.3—sports massage
Location of Service Delivery
In the week prior to the 2007 ABMP Member Survey, members reported locations where massage had been performed:
  • 35.9 percent of total massages were delivered at the practitioners' office.
  • 13.7 percent of massages were delivered in practitioners' homes.
  • 12.2 percent were delivered in chiropractic offices.
  • 10.9 percent were delivered in day spas.
  • 7.4 percent were delivered in massage-only clinics.
  • 7.0 percent were delivered at clients' homes.
47.2 percent of therapists said they spent their professional time overall in one location, 29.8 percent at two locations, and 10.6 percent at three locations.

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