The number of massage schools in the U.S. has declined for the first time in a dozen years, according to a new report from the nation’s largest massage association.
The report from Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals shows there are currently 1,440 institutions that offer massage training, down from 1,600 in 2009. This is the first reported decline in the number of U.S. massage schools since 1999.
This year’s census attempted to reach every massage therapy program in the U.S. over a four-week period, gaining participation from 75 percent of programs. Among the results:
• A 10-percent decrease in the number of training programs since 2009.
• An 11-percent decrease in the number of graduates from 2008 to 2010.
• The number of students enrolled in massage schools declined, from 59,663 in 2009 to 50,008 this year, a decrease of 16.2 percent.
• Much of the loss took place in proprietary schools—institutions that are typically single-campus, single-owner and often not accredited. Only 23.6 percent of massage training programs offered by these schools were accredited and eligible for federal funding.
Read a press release about the census here.