Poll Establishes that Consumers Receiving Massage are Concerned with Ethics

MCLEAN, Va. — October 22, 2001 - The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), a not-for-profit organization that fosters high standards of ethical and professional practice for therapeutic massage and bodywork professionals, today released the results of a national study conducted in partnership with Harris Interactive. The purpose of this survey, released during National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (October 21-27), was to ascertain the knowledge, attitudes and opinions of a sampling of the 20 million Americans receiving massage therapy and bodywork treatment each year.

In the study, consumers were asked a variety of questions on topic of massage therapy such as why they received massage, if they inquire about a practitioner's training, what things were most important when considereing massage therapy and their thoughts on ethics. Fifty-two percent of the consumers questioned received massage therapy to relieve stress, while 36% received massage for rehabilitation from an injury (part of an on-going medical treatment). A surprising 50% always or usually inquire about the practitioner's training, while 71% responded that the ethics of the practitioner's of the practitioner is extremely/very important when choosing a massage therapist. Finally, most respondents, or 37% responded that the most important thing to know before receiving massage is if the practitioner has a license or credential.

'Based on the results of the survey, the need for a high standard of practice in ethics for massage therapy is paramount,' said Christine D. Niero, Ph.D., executive director, NCBTMB. 'NCBTMB's mission is to foster high standards of ethical and professional practice in the delivery of services through a recognized credible credentialing program that assures the competency of practitioners of therapeutic massage and bodywork. Today, there are more than 45,000 Nationally Certified practitioners who work every day to uphold this standard.'

National Certification strives not only to protect the profession, but also to protect consumers and employers by ensuring that individuals who obtain this credential possess the core body of knowledge and skills necessary to perform safely and effectively at entry-level. In addition, consumers who chose Nationally Certified practitioners have the benefit of knowing their interests are being protected and that they are being served by a professional whose practices are aligned with a national standard. If a Nationally Certified practitioner does not comply with the NCBTMB's Standards of Practice or engages in a behavior that violates the NCBTMB Code of Ethics, a complaint or grievance can be filed to the Ethics and Standards Committee.

To view the complete results of the survey, visit


The NCBTMB is an independent, private, non-profit organization, founded in 1992, whose core purpose is to foster high standards for therapeutic massage and bodywork professionals and to advocate for the public acceptance of the value of these standards and the professionals who uphold them. Currently, there are over 45,000 Nationally Certified massage therapists and bodyworkers in the United States. Additional information can be found at

Jason Thies, Marketing & Communications Manager
(703) 610-0236
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Sarah Leslie (media)
Environics Communications
(203) 325-8772 ext. 23
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