Massage Usage Increase:

More people will be turning to massage for spiritual growth and emotional wellbeing in addition to direct physical health benefits. And that is why Massage Makes Me Happy and Healthy! The Covid-19 Pandemic has prompted people to evaluate their lives and identify what’s really important to them. Consumers are experiencing touch deprivation (2020 Covid-19 study showed 68% touch-deprived), massage will be in high demand for that alone. Also, many are engaging in a higher level of self-care than normal. Self-care will continue to be at the forefront, and massage fits in perfectly with a self-care plan. Also, the requests for in-home massage will increase as will online booking portals for massage on demand. Expect to see more massage done outdoors in the fresh air.

Increased Consumer Savvy:

Massage clients are becoming more discerning as they learn about the range of modalities, services, products, and technology. For instance, they want to know if a practitioner has extensive training in a given modality — and not just a short class. There is an increased desire for organic products (from linens to lubricants). In order to feel safe, clients will demand that science-based sanitation protocols are in place and will expect to be pre-screened.

Increased Hygiene Protocols:

The Covid-19 Pandemic has heightened the public’s awareness of how easy it is to transmit certain diseases. Practitioners will need to continue the elevated sanitary protocols they put into place at the beginning of this pandemic. In addition to practitioners communicating their hygiene protocols, clients will expect to see practitioners taking sanitizing methods, such as wiping down door handles every time they are touched, washing their hands before touching clients, using fresh linens, and many clients will want the practitioners to wear masks — and possibly even gloves and goggles. Practitioners will need to stock masks, gloves, goggles/plastic face guards, sanitizing products, and enough linens so that nothing is used more than once before it’s washed. Practitioners need to ensure that all surfaces are sanitized and remove anything touchable that cannot be sanitized. Also, if a practitioner is unable to open a window in the treatment room to “air it out” a HEPA filter might be needed. Most practitioners will also require clients to wear PPE. Also, some spas will require clients to shower and put on a robe and slippers before receiving any service.

Session Timing Changes: 

Gone are the days of the 10-minute room flip between sessions. It will take longer to sanitize after each client (treatment room, bathroom, door handles, etc.), air out the room, and change clothes. We have been hearing that 30 minutes to 1 hour is common – the longer time particularly in rooms that don’t have windows that open and need to have air filtration. This will result in fewer services done each day, and that affects the bottom line.

Healing with Hemp:

Without a doubt, the CBD trend continues. Consumers are looking for additional ways to aid self-care and reduce the use of narcotic drugs to relieve pain. The on-going opioid awareness effort will continue to capture consumers seeking alternative care options. CBD usage will increase in terms of direct application in massage treatments and products for therapists to sell to clients for their self-care at home. 

Massage & Technology Tools:

This industry continues to develop tools that therapists can Incorporate into practice and make available for clients’ home care. Clients may be choosing to replace or enhance their hands-on sessions with technology (ranging from hand-held devices to full-blown at-home spa equipment). Also, practitioners will be implementing tele-connecting with clients, for instance, offering self-massage classes on Zoom. 

Global Massage Makes Me Happy Day:

Global Massage Makes Me Happy Day is celebrated on March 20th of every year to highlight the benefits of massage therapy. It launched in 2017 and is celebrated at the same time as the International Day of Happiness. Each year consumers, spas, wellness centers, massage schools, associations, businesses, the media, researchers, and individual practitioners promote this day and many hold activities to coincide with this event.

The Massage Makes Me Happy Initiative

Lynda Solien-Wolfe, chair

Heather Zdan, vice-chair

Karen Short

Brian Paris

Allan Share

Dr. Tiffany Field

Cherie Sohnen-Moe

Kim Collier

26 May 2020, updated Dec 2020