Massage & Bodywork

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2021

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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m p.co m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 17 PANDEMIC'S IMPACT HIGHLIGHTED IN 2021 ISPA US SPA INDUSTRY STUDY The International SPA Association (ISPA) 2021 US Spa Industry Study marks the 22nd anniversary of the association's research initiative. The ISPA Foundation commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct the study, which surveyed more than 2,000 US spa professionals. The study highlights the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the US spa industry in 2020, including its effect on revenues and spa visits, both of which fell by more than 35 percent. The total number of spa employees in the US fell by just over 20 percent. However, the total number of spa locations fell by only about 4 percent, and revenue per spa visit fell just two dollars to $97.50. "As expected, this year's study reveals the scope of the challenge spas have faced throughout the pandemic, but it also illustrates the industry's resourcefulness and innovative spirit," says ISPA President Lynne McNees. "Spas have worked tirelessly to continue safely serving guests, and recent indications of exceptionally high demand leave us confident in a strong recovery throughout 2021 and beyond." The study also highlights the various ways spas adapted as they strove to reopen and resume safely serving guests. These innovations include: • Developing new spa menus (42 percent) • Offering outdoor or curbside treatments (40 percent) • "Touchless" treatments (21 percent) The study's findings also show that, despite the economic hardships endured by many spas in 2020, the average price per spa service actually increased by 2 percent, indicating that demand for spa services remains strong. STRETCHING MAY INCREASE PAIN TOLERANCE Health-care professionals often prescribe exercises such as stretching to reduce pain. It has long been accepted that stretching provides pain relief by increasing range of motion and decreasing muscle tone, which both give the impression there is less pain. This perceived pain relief is rarely found to be directly associated with pain reduction. It's possible that stretching actually impacts pain perception by activating the areas in our central nervous system that modulate pain. A new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain examined the effects of stretching on pain sensitivity by asking 22 healthy adults who did not suffer from back pain to perform stretches of the lumbar region and forearm muscles. Before and after each exercise, researchers measured the pain sensitivity threshold for a muscle of the lower back (erectors of the lumbar spine) and a muscle of the forearm (wrist flexors) using an algometer. Researchers observed that both stretches produced hypoalgesia, an increase in the pain sensitivity threshold. This means that after the participants performed the stretches, the researcher had to apply greater pressure to produce pain. For further details on the study process and the conclusions drawn, read the abstract at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32881712. NEWS NOTES MORE THAN HALF OF US ADULTS SUFFER FROM PAIN More than half of US adults suffer from pain, with backs and legs making up the most common sources, according to researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). As reported by Medical Xpress, NCHA researchers found that nearly 59 percent of American men and women are saddled with pain. Using 2019 data from the National Health Interview Survey, the NCHS researchers found that 39 percent of adults had back pain; 37 percent had hip, knee, or foot pain; and nearly one-third had hand, arm, or shoulder pain in the past three months. About one in 10 respondents suffered from toothaches. The odds of experiencing pain were related to economics and age, according to the report. Those 65 and older, women, white adults, and those with incomes below the federal poverty level ($25,750 for family of four in 2019) were most likely to have back pain and lower limb pain, as well as hand, arm, or shoulder pain. People aged 18 to 29, Asian adults, and those with an income 200 percent of the federal poverty level or above were the least likely to experience pain. Read more here: medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-americans- plagued-leg-pain.html. K AMPUS-PRODUCTION/ KINDEL-MEDIA/PEXELS.COM

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