Workplace Massage or
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
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
Benefits of therapeutic massage: