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This selection of massage news articles will help you keep on top of what’s happening in the massage therapy industry

Help Enact the Interstate Massage Compact

Massage therapists could be allowed to practice under one license in any U.S. state that enacts the Interstate Massage Therapy Compact (IMpact). Model legislation is now available for states to consider enactment of the compact, and massage therapists may participate in getting IMpact enacted in their state:

• Read the full text of the model legislation here.

• Contact your state legislature to advocate for IMpact.

• Get involved in the stakeholder review process and learn more about advocating for IMpact here.

Cancer Patients Want Access to CAM

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people with cancer want to know about complementary therapies such as exercise, nutrition counseling, massage, and meditation before starting conventional treatment, but only 33% of oncologists agree with that timeline, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of Samueli Foundation.

“Patients want more information about their options so they can make informed decisions about their overall treatment—both traditional and complementary together,” said Wayne Jonas, MD, executive director of Integrative Health Programs at Samueli Foundation, in a press release. “It’s up to providers to engage in conversations with their patients to better understand the ‘whole person’ who is coming for care and to foster treatment plans catered to individuals.”

Fifty percent of patients and 60% of oncologists strongly agree that integrative oncology can help manage side effects and improve overall well-being, both during and after treatment.

Additionally, 40% of patients and oncologists alike believe that adding complementary therapies improve treatment outcomes and overall survival compared to using medical treatments alone. Urban patients (55%) and patients ages 18-50 (72%) say this much more often than rural patients (35%) and those 75 and older (23%).

More than three-quarters of oncologists said they want to learn more about the benefits of complementary therapies combined with traditional treatments. But many cited barriers to pursuing integrative approaches, including lack of insurance reimbursement (49%), lack of staff (39%), a misperception that patients are not interested (32%), and a lack of time to fit these options into conversations with patients (31%).


The average number of hours an American would have to work to pay for a four-day hospital stay, up from 374 hours in 2004 (a 98% increase).

—Source: Value Penguin Research Hub

New Tool Takes Aim at Human Trafficking in “Massage” Businesses

A new tool is intended to help authorities determine which businesses posing as massage practices possess risk factors related to human trafficking, in order to determine which sites to focus their investigative efforts on.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have collaborated with a counter-human trafficking organization, Global Emancipation Network, to develop computational models to help fight human trafficking, according to a news release from the university. The models draw on publicly available data to identify those businesses posing as massage practices that are most likely to be violating laws related to sex-and-labor trafficking.

“It is difficult for law enforcement or other organizations to determine which businesses are legitimate and which are fronts for illegal activity,” said Margaret Tobey, a PhD student and corresponding author of a paper on the project.

The tools are intentionally user-friendly, to be practical for both law enforcement and organizations help victims of sex-and-labor trafficking. The researchers developed two computational models that provide users with probability scores on the likelihood that any given “massage” business is engaged in illegal activity.

The researchers are now developing a decision-support tool that can be deployed to law enforcement and nonprofit organizations to aid investigations of trafficking.

“We’re optimistic that this tool can empower trafficking victims, improve public safety and contribute to the development of evidence-based public policy that addresses these issues,” said Sherrie Caltagirone, co-author of the paper and executive director of Global Emancipation Network.

Use These Three 2023 Wellness Trends to Market Massage

Self-Care: National polls show that Americans took better care of themselves in 2022 than in preceding years, and this trend shows no signs of braking. The number of Americans who said their health was a priority rose from 42 percent in 2020 to 50 percent in 2022, according to a report from McKinsey & Company released in September. Why not market to this growing cohort with messaging that rests on the many benefits of massage therapy, to both the general public and specialized clientele?

Facial Cupping: This bodywork technique employs cups that are smaller and softer than those used for full-body cupping. Facial cupping stimulates and skin and muscles, and also promotes lymph flow for a less-puffy look. A massage therapist can add this specialty to their practice and sell cups to clients for at-home facial cupping between sessions.

Mindfulness: Being here now continues to grow in popularity. Mindfulness, often cultivated through a meditation practice, is the act of being in and appreciating the present moment. With a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry in November, researchers found that people who engaged in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program experienced relief from debilitating anxiety symptoms at a rate comparable to a group who took Lexapro. Lying on a massage table receiving nurturing touch provides a 60- or 90-minute respite from life’s stressors, allowing the client to cultivate mindfulness. Let people know that.

Preventing Chronic Low Back Pain “A High Priority”

Of Americans, 8.2% suffer from chronic back pain, and of that number 75% have difficulties with mobility, social participation, self-care or work participation, according to a new analysis of national survey data.

“Low-back pain is a very common problem,” reads a statement from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). “It’s the most frequent cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work-days and visits to physicians. Preventing low-back pain from becoming chronic is a high priority.”

The analysis, conducted by researchers at the Université de Montréal and the NCCIH, was based on data from the 2019 National Health Interview Survey and was published in The Journal of Pain. The analysis found:

• The majority of those who reported having chronic severe back pain were women or people who were overweight or had obesity. 

• Almost all those who had chronic severe back pain reported having at least one coexisting health problem, most commonly arthritis, other musculoskeletal conditions, anxiety or depression.

• One-fifth of the participants reported that they were not using any pain-management strategies that were captured in the survey.