Heena Patel, LMBT #4345 - Your Pain Management & Muscular Rehabilitation Specialist
Are Your Employees Overstressed?
 
From manufacturers to hospitals to auto dealerships, companies across the country are using seated massage services to make work literally less of a pain in the neck for employees.  Seated massage provides hard-working employees with a convenient method of alleviating the stress inherent in these competitive times.
 
Slouching at a desk for prolonged periods often results in lower back pain.  Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are common among office workers.  A 10 to 20 minute “stress buster” massage relieves tension in neck, back and shoulder muscles, reducing irritability and increasing productivity.
 
Convenience of On-Site Seated Massage
 
Seated massage is performed in the workplace.  Your employees will be seated upright on a special massage chair and will remain fully clothed.  No oils are used, so there is no need for them to be concerned about stains on clothing.  The session generally lasts 10 to 20 minutes.  The chair used is lightweight and portable, enabling it to be set up virtually in any office or break room.
 
Benefits of Seated Massage
 
Studies by the Touch Research Institute in Florida show that the benefits of seated massage have quick results.  Immediately after massage sessions, the subjects experienced a change in brain waves in the direction of heightened alertness and better performance on math problems (completed in less time with fewer errors).
 
At the end of the five weeks study period subjects reported reduced job stress and elevated moods.  This was in addition to the usual benefits of massage, relief of muscular tension, revitalized energy and a stronger immune system.
 
The study’s findings are significant in that the International Labour Organization stated in its 1993 World Labour Report that job stress costs the U.S. economy $200 billion annually through diminished productivity, compensation claims, absenteeism, health insurance and direct medical expenses.
 
Techniques Used for Seated Massage
 
Seated massage utilizes acupressure and Swedish massage to relieve tension.  Though beginning at a slower pace, the work moves a little faster as the practitioner proceeds.  The session ends with quick, revitalizing strokes in order to bring the client back to a state of full consciousness.
 
Safety of Seated Massage
 
The practitioner will demonstrate the procedure for getting on and off the massage chair for those not familiar with its use.  Positioning is very important and the practitioner should check regular throughout the session to be sure the client’s alignment remains correct.  A brief medical history will be taken from each participant to prevent any negative reactions certain medical conditions or medications could have.
 
Employee Reward
 
Reward the winning department of a team competition to a 15-minute massage for each member of the department.  After a stressful and demanding project, contract for a day of chair massage to show your appreciation for a job well done.  Or substitute a congratulations in the office newsletter after a strong fiscal quarter with a sign-up in the break room for a complimentary seated massage.
 
If the company’s budget needs improved productivity to afford contracting a therapist, consider having the employees pay for their own seated massage on a monthly, bi-monthly, or bi-weekly basis, “comp”-ing the break time for this de-stressing activity.
 
© 1999 Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals