Research Outline

Alternative Therapy Market


To understand the alternative therapy consumer's user journey, specifically how consumers find providers. To determine the total addressable market, the user demographic, and industry trends for the alternative therapy market. This research will inform the development of an app linking providers and consumers.

Early Findings

Massage Therapy

  • The US massage therapy market was estimated to be worth $18 billion in 2018.
  • There are between 315,000 and 385,000 massage therapists and students in the US.
  • Between July 2018 and July 2019, 48 million or 21% of American adults had at least one massage. 32% of American adults had at least one massage in the last five years.
  • An AMTA Consumer Survey in July 2019 found that 16% of men and 24% of women had a massage in the previous year.
  • The AMTA Consumer Survey found that 33% of messages occurred at a spa, 38% at a massage therapists office, 19% at a hotel, resort, or while on a cruise, 19% in the person's own home or the home of someone they knew, 19% at a massage therapy franchise or chain, 16% at a chiropractor's office, 10% at a beauty spa, 4% at an alternative therapy clinic, 7% in the workplace, 11% at a physical therapists' office, 1% at a massage school clinic, 6% at a health clinic, 1% at a hospital, and 11% at a physician's office or medical clinic.

Chiropractic Therapy

  • The US chiropractic therapy market is estimated at $12.26 billion in 2007. It had an estimated CAGR of 4.32% between 2014 and 2025.
  • It was estimated there were approximately 80,000 chiropractors in the US in 2020, with a further 2,500 students graduating from chiropractic schools each year.
  • Chiropractic therapy has typically focused on the back and neck; however, over the last few years, a trend has seen the scope of chiropractic practice expand. Chiropractors are now treating a range of issues beyond the spine, including "insomnia, migraines, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ, ADHD, lowered immune systems, acid reflux, menopause, depression and PTSD, asthma, hypertension, cerebral palsy, menstrual symptoms, and anxiety/stress response."

Physical & Occupational Therapy

  • The US physical & occupational therapy market had an estimated value of $34.8 billion in 2018. It was estimated to grow at a rate of 6.2% to be worth $45.7 billion in 2024.
  • It is estimated there are 38,000 clinics in the US offering physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, and speech therapy in the US. These clinics earn an average of $886,000 each year, with a profit margin of 14.6%.


  • In our initial hour of research, we have spent time evaluating the availability of information relevant to the overarching research goals. There is a considerable amount of information available that is relevant to this market to the extent we do not believe there will be any issue addressing all the research goals.
  • We suggest that any subsequent research focus on the four markets detailed above; massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, which we have referred to collectively, for the purposes of this research, as alternative therapy.