Massage : Workplace Massage & Chair Massage
One of the main contributors to our everyday stress is our workplace. 70% of workers surveyed by a national survey stated that their job is very stressful. Stress is the #1 cause of disability. It costs employers billions of dollars a year on lost productivity and healthcare costs. (You can learn more about stress in our section on stress management.) Since workplace is stressful, it seems commonsense to provide some means of stress relief at the workplace. More and more employers are recognizing that a regular massage can reduce the physical and mental effects of stress, thus reducing burnout and stress related diseases.
"More and more companies offer massage therapy not only as a perk, but also to increase their employees' productivity and morale," said E. Houston LeBrun, president-elect of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). "You get immediate results - the employees experience stress reduction and greater satisfaction with their jobs."
Indeed, studies have shown that massage improves bottom line of employers. A study by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami found that after five weeks, a group of 26 employees who had twice-weekly, 15-minute massages in the office fared better than a control group of 24 employees who were just told to close their eyes and relax. The massaged group experienced reduced stress and improved performance, while the control group did not. Using electroencephalograms (EEG), researchers measured alpha and beta waves in both groups, and found massage recipients to be more alert. Stress hormones in the saliva of the massaged group were lower than in the control group. The massaged workers completed math problems in half the time as normal and with half the errors they had before they were massaged. The math skills of the control group did not improve. The massage recipients also said they were less fatigued and more clear-headed.
Every year, more companies are heeding the call. There are no statistics on the number of companies that offer massage therapy onsite, but those that have offered it include law firms, hospitals, manufacturers and major corporations, such as Boeing, Apple Computer, PepsiCo, Sony Music and United Airlines.
Most companies contract with massage therapists who schedule appointments with employees during breaks. The recipient is seated in a specially designed chair which allows the therapist to work on the back, neck, shoulders and arms addressing the common problem areas of today's workers. There is no oil used and the worker is fully clothed. The massage session usually lasts 10- 15 minutes, the time for a coffee break.
Benefits of therapeutic massage:
- Relieves physical problems associated with repetitive tasks
- Helps balance the effects of stress in our lives thus reducing tension headaches, reducing anxiety level and restores a calm mind and feeling of well-being.
- Therapeutic massage helps balance the effects of stress in our lives, and avoid stress related disease and disfunction by:
- Triggers the Relaxation Response
- Relaxes tense muscles
- Reduces anxiety level
- Normalizes blocked energy flow
- Improves immune system functioning
- Restores a calm mind and feeling of well-being
- Triggers the Relaxation Response
Massage therapy is very beneficial to those who have special challenges such as a serious, debilitating injury, a stroke, a neuromuscular disease, or fibromyalgia to name a few.