Stress brings many clients to massage; in fact, the latest survey from the American Massage Therapy Association shows that as stress rates increase, more people are turning to massage therapy for relaxation. A new study shows that nearly 5 percent of the U.S. population suffers from persistent depression or anxiety.

In the study, published in the December issue of the peer-reviewed journal Psychiatric Services, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles found that approximately 4.7 percent of the nation’s population suffers from persistent depression or anxiety disorders, with a minority of those afflicted receiving adequate medication or counseling.

“Persistent depressive and anxiety disorders are remarkably common in the U.S. population and are associated with substantial morbidity. There are significant problems with the quality of care received by this population, and these problems persist over time,” the researchers concluded. “In the population with persistent depressive and anxiety disorders, increasing the rate of appropriate care from its current low level could result in substantial improvement in individuals’ lives.”

The AMTA survey found that 59 percent of Americans are more stressed this year than last year, and stress and relaxation are the top reasons Americans received their last massage.