An increasing number of hospitals are throwing their doors open to qualified massage therapists as savvy health care consumers are requesting massage therapy to deal with certain health conditions.

The research showing the validity of massage as a drug-free option for patients to consider has been steadily growing over the last few years and hospitals are finding it a profitable business practice to offer massage and other complementary therapies to their patients.

According to the latest American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) industry facts, almost 10 percent more people received massage for a medical or health reason. Forty-four percent of adult Americans surveyed who had a massage between July 2010 and July 2011, received it for medical or health reasons as compared to 35 percent the previous year. Of the people surveyed who had a least one massage in the last five years, 40 percent reported that they did so for health conditions such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, chronic pain management or overall wellness. As more people, especially baby boomers, request these services, and have the discretionary income to pay for them, hospitals and other health care providers are taking notice and making changes to the services they offer. – Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor Massage Today.