Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In the News: Massage as Medicine

The March 13 issue of The Wall Street Journal features as its top health story, “Don’t Call it Pampering: Massage Wants to be Medicine.”
The article reports that massage is now recommended by physicians for back pain and knee pain, and is being studied by the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to the tune of $2.7 million dollars. Jack Killen, the NCCAM’s deputy director, says in the article that "There is emerging evidence that [massage] can make contributions in treating things like pain, where conventional medicine doesn't have all the answers."
Reporter Andrea Petersen cites evidence that massage is gaining in popularity: “About 8.3% of American adults used massage in 2007, up from 5% in 2002, according to a National Health Statistics report that surveyed 23,393 adults in 2007 and 31,044 adults in 2002, the latest such data available. Massage was expected to be a $10 billion to $11 billion industry in 2011 in the U.S., according to estimates by the American Massage Therapy Association, a nonprofit professional organization.” Read the article, including comments which debate whether or not massage should be covered by insurance.