2021 Massage Therapy Industry Update


Over the past year, the massage therapy vertical has proven just how resilient it really is. While the COVID-19 pandemic hit all business segments hard, the massage therapy industry has rebounded in a strong way, making starting a massage franchise business a lucrative decision.

The pandemic called on Massage Heights and all massage therapists across the country to respond to client concerns, developing and enforcing enhanced safety protocols. This industry response played a key role in the segment’s ability to recover.

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) took a recent look at key market data from 2021. As the following tables from the AMTA surveys recent findings indicate, the state of the massage therapy profession looks bright, making this vertical one of the best franchises to invest in.

Who is Getting a Massage?

Gender, age and income affect the likelihood of massage use.

Who is getting a massage infographic

One shift that has occurred since the pandemic began is that men are now more likely than women to get a massage.

Last year 25% of men and 21% of women got a massage. Consumers with children under the age of 18 at home are more likely to get a massage than those without children at home.

Income has an impact on how likely consumers are to get a massage. While 36% of those making $100,000 or more got a massage last year, only 19% of those making $50,000 or less got a massage.


Why Do Consumers Get a Massage?

Over half of all massage consumers got their last massage for health and wellness reasons. Just 16% of consumers list pampering as their primary reason for their last massage, and 30% of consumers received a massage for pampering in the last year. Nearly half of consumers got a massage last year for relaxation or stress reduction.

Men are more likely than women to discuss massage therapy with their doctor or health care provider. In 2021, 63% of consumers who got a massage for health and wellness reasons stated it was part of a treatment plan from a doctor or medical provider.

Why Do Consumers Get a Massage?

COVID-19 and the Massage Industry

What kinds of business changes are consumers looking for in response to COVID-19?

COVID-19 and the Massage Industry info graphic

How has COVID-19 impacted the massage profession?

As of April 2020, 86% of massage therapists stated they had stopped working. In September 2021 over 90% stated they were back at work.

Massage therapists are changing their work practices and cleaning and appointment procedures due to the pandemic. This includes more time between appointments to allow for additional cleaning.

While there is no denying the COVID-19 pandemic did disrupt the massage industry, as you can see from the AMTA survey shared here, the growth in this market is already underway. Projections for continued growth are due in part from an unlikely source: the pandemic. Facing the stress and isolation of the pandemic, consumers recognized the benefits of massage. This recognition is making owning a massage franchise an attractive option for many entrepreneurs.

Believe in your work.

Massage Heights Franchise is an 18-year-old brand in a booming $18 billion industry. Massage Heights stands out in the marketplace because we offer an experience like no other: affordable but upscale, elevated yet convenient. Our franchisee love growing a business that not only provides local jobs but also provides services that help people live better, healthier lives through massage therapy. Contact us to learn more today.

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