Results of a survey released today shows that 42 percent of massage therapists expect their practice revenues to grow during the next 12 months. The survey was conducted in April by Readex Research for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, the nation’s largest massage association. Just five percent of massage therapists expected a decline in their massage income.

The survey was conducted nationally from a representative cross-section taken from state licensing rolls. Respondents from this broad profession cross-section average 14 client contact hours weekly and 71 percent reported they would like more clients. Ninety-two percent of massage therapists said most of their new business comes from word-of-mouth referrals. Those actively practicing said their 2007 massage and bodywork income averaged $20,300—and for 40 percent of them, that figure represented their sole income. Those in their initial year or two of practice earn substantially less.

“Past surveys have indicated massage therapists pursue their careers with a sense of mission or calling,” said ABMP President Les Sweeney. “More than four in five report they are actively engaged in their work and intend to continue practicing. Just six percent disagree.”

Editor’s note: for suggestions on thriving during an economic downturn, see “Don’t Let the Economy Bring You Down” in the August issue of MASSAGE Magazine.