National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, an event sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), launches on Sunday. The week runs from Oct. 19 to 25 this year and has a special focus on massage for stress relief and stress management.

The week is designed to raise public awareness of the benefits of therapeutic massage and encourage Americans to use massage therapy as a healthy tool for stress relief.

AMTA began active celebration of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week in 1997 to promote public awareness of the massage therapy profession and the benefits of massage therapy. Each year AMTA members and chapters hold public demonstration massages, public education programs and other activities to promote better public awareness of the value of massage therapy.

“People continue to seek massage because it provides multiple therapeutic benefits, including stress relief, at an affordable price,” says M.K. Brennan, RN, AMTA president. “Massage therapy has not only been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, but it can also relieve stress symptoms like chronic headaches and high blood pressure.”