Corporate Wellness: Making The Case For On Site Massage

The following excerpt was taken from David Palmer’s “21st Century Workplace Seated Massage.”

The revolution

The future of workplace massage is tied to the economics of health care policy. At long last, corporate, governmental and academic policy makers have come to the conclusion that a health care system whose primary focus is sickness care is doomed to bankruptcy. They have concluded the ultimate foundation of an economically viable health care system has to be prevention and wellness.

This radical paradigm shift is stamped indelibly into the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. While the media and partisan politicians were obsessing about the constitutionality of ObamaCare and its new framework for financing health care, mostly overlooked was the fact that the 954-page ACA legislation specifically “directs the creation of a national prevention and health promotion strategy.”

The law created the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council(National Prevention Council), composed of the heads of 17 Federal agencies and chaired by the Surgeon General. This high-level federal action group works closely with a 25-member Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health, also mandated in the legislation. Both of these groups are developing plans and recommendations that will impact every strata of society, including workplace wellness.

“Most people will agree that high-quality chair massage is an instant stress reducer.”

The prevention intervention

The medical community has traditionally limited prevention to proven clinical screenings—mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure screenings, treadmill tests and the like. In the new health care model, prevention also includes dealing with lifestyle and pre-clinical conditions, a particular strength of chair massage.

Seated massage has always been good at preventing little problems from becoming big problems. The reason someone wakes up with a crick in her neck is never because, as she might claim, she “slept wrong.” Rather, it is because of weeks or months of accumulated psychological or physical stress finally reaching a tipping point that resulted in a muscle spasm. Regular chair massage alleviates the results of these minor stresses and prevents muscles from reaching that involuntary contraction threshold. Continue reading

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Don’t Know If You’re Stressed Out? Ask A Co-Worker

photo courtesy of http://flic.kr/p/5tffVo

Although you may think you have your stress under control, chances are, others around you see it differently.

In Tom Searcy’s “3 Signs That You Are Stressed Out (And How To Fix It),” he describes his mentor perfectly organizing her sock drawer when things begin to spin out of control. “When my sock drawer is perfectly folded, sorted and lined up, I know that I am out of control in my life.” Continue reading

Why Stress Can Actually Kill You

Infographic from Stress.org “Stress Is Killing You”

Chronic stress is serious business.  According to stress.org, “Stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease.”  For some, prolonged, elevated levels of stress may even prove life threatening.

When our body senses danger, real or imagined, it sends out various elevated levels of hormones that make the heart beat faster, increase blood pressure, slow down the digestive system, etc, to “protect” itself.  While in the short term, our bodies can typically handle the onslaught of “stress hormones,” over time it can damage any of the body’s delicate systems.

Research has suggested that when the heart is continually “under stress,” it can cause inflammation in the coronary arteries, which, some believe, can lead to a heart attack.

Stress increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke by an average of 38%.[Source: http://www.stress.org] Continue reading

Can Chair Massage Make You Smarter?

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While it may not turn you into a regular Einstein, research shows chair massage may improve brain function.

There’s no doubt that workplace demands on employees are greater than ever.  One survey shows that “eight out of 10 respondents report that managers’ and employees’ workloads have increased, along with employee stress. At the same time, half of respondents report that employee motivation, energy, and endurance have all decreased.”

It turns out that increased levels in stress hormones – such as cortisol – adversely affect specific tasks involved in memory processing (Howe, 1998). In large amounts, cortisol can actually slow neuron growth, development and function (McEwen, 1999; Lombroso, 1998).

Research suggests that massage not only relaxes and calms the mind, but actually improves performance. Continue reading