What takes just 15 minutes to alleviate stress and help employees perform at the top of their game? Studies have found that receiving a 15-minute chair massage once a week can reduce cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and boost the immune system. Additionally, employers that offer chair massage as a part of their company stress management programs find that their employees develop a greater sense of wellbeing, experience fewer missed workdays, and have improved overall job satisfaction.
What is a chair massage?
Often called “corporate massage,” a chair massage is a shoulder, neck, and upper back massage that takes place in a specially designed massage chair and is the most convenient method of delivering onsite massage therapy. Since you don’t change clothes for a chair massage, it can be done “on the spot” to reduce tension, promote better circulation, muscle stimulation and stress relief. You sit leaning forward with your face nestled comfortably in a face cradle; the massage therapist will ask you how a certain pressure feels and your response will help the practitioner find the best way to relieve pain and relax and rejuvenate you.
What are the benefits of chair massage?
According to the Mayo Clinic, massage is proven to be an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension. Chair massage also leads to increased circulation, which has a positive impact on the brain and entire body. From stress management to decreased muscle tension and fewer migraines, massage at work can improve general feelings of contentment and health. Massage therapy has also been shown to be effective at treating depression. This is significant, as depression is the single biggest factor in low productivity rates.
No matter what you feel like when you sit down in the chair, you’ll feel better by the time you get up. After slouching in front of a computer, nothing feels more restorative than taking a short break from work for a chair massage to help work out kinks and relieve built-up tension.
Sometimes, you need to disengage in order to re-engage.
Chair massage is for everyone who works with computers or spends extended time driving, lifting, or standing. Anyone who hunches over a screen most of the day can face chronic neck and back pain, not to mention arm and wrist issues from repetitive strain. Additionally, a study by the New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitative Medicine on the issue of poor posture found that our constant downward-looking gaze at cell phones or smart devices puts a lot of load put on the neck muscles; any compression, irritation, misalignment, or tension in this area can cause pain.
Regularly taking a break for a chair massage at the beginning, middle, or end of an intense work day not only helps relieve posture-induced body stress, it can also help reduce anxiety. A study conducted by Shulman and Jones of the Touch Research Institute in Miami, Florida indicated that 15 minutes of chair massage was more effective than a 15-minute break to reduce anxiety and help improve clear thinking.
Positive Workplace Stress Reduction
At Body Techniques, we’ve seen chair massage become an essential aspect of corporate stress management programs that help employees perform at the top of their game. Many of our national clients provide chair massage along with other positive workplace stress reduction practices like yoga and fitness classes, mindfulness meditation, and even acupuncture sessions to help recruit and retain employees by increasing their job satisfaction along with their health.
Whether it is ongoing massage programs or one-time massage events for company events, employee appreciation days, or health fairs, companies are embracing massage as a key employee benefit because it has proven to be much more than simply a feel-good luxury; it can be a powerful tool to help employees take charge of their health and well-being. Chair massage is a highly effective and efficient use of time and resources that offers employees easily accessed mental, physical, and emotional relief. That means more productivity and less resources spent on training new staff to replace those who leave.
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