Wellness and therapeutic massage

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Massage is a method of manipulating the soft tissue of the body, and is a well known treatment for improving medical as well as psychological conditions. Medical research provides evidence that massage releases pain and increases relaxation, improves a person’s mood, and reduces anxiety.

Massage is a popular service within the hospitality industry, especially at resort hotels. More than 80% of hotels with spas offer massage services (Bennett et al., 2004), and the contribution of massage services to customers’ hotel experience and to hotels’ revenues is recognized (Bowen, 1997). Massages are becoming more popular in the hospitality industry, especially at airports. Due to the current lifestyle and its pressure, massages will become popular as a relatively short and accessible leisure experience for the reduction of stress.

Massage is a unique service. It is often long more than 30 min, involves physical contact, and requires bodily exposure. The massage experience should be understood in light with the reason for consuming it, which is whether it is for health (therapeutic), as opposed to non health (wellness massage) reasons. In health massage, customers perceive their body as an object to be ‘‘treated’’ and ‘‘fixed’’. The enjoyment of the massage is not as important as the masseur/se profession abilities. In non health massage there is an expectation to have an enjoyable leisure experience, and the service provider’s gender should not be ignored.


Bennett, M., King, B., & Milner, L. (2004). The health resort sector in Australia: a positioning study. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 10(2), 122 137.

Bowen, J. T. (1997). A market driven approach to business development and service improvement in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 9(7), 334 344.


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