A whopping 85% stress reduction! Stress levels measured before and after each massage found one of the biggest benefits of seated massage therapy to be a seriously effective office stress reliever.
Decreases anxiety and depression
One of the big benefits of office massages is that massage reduces anxiety by 26% and depression scores also improve by 28% after the massage.
For many people in the workplace, the need to ignore subtle signals from the senses is paramount to keeping your job and sanity. If you’re affected by the sounds of colleagues in a shared space, phones ringing, industrial and environmental sounds, uncomfortable physical environments and fatiguing lighting, the effort that goes into maintaining focus on what’s in front of you distracts from your actual job. While the ability to tune distractions out is necessary to keep us moving forward at work, our health and long-term productivity depends on our ability to be restored to the simple pleasure of being alive in a sensate body. Research on touch has shown that simply resting a hand of someone’s shoulder creates a sense of safety, brings the nervous system out of threat-management and into restorative mode, and improves the recipients’ experience of any interaction. The intelligent touch of massage in the workplace heals the nerves and the body. It only takes a few minutes, and the healing impact can last for days.
Blood flow = efficiency and productivity
For many people at work there is a point in our day when our energy seems to drop. It’s often after lunch, when our bellies are full and the impact of a relatively sedentary lifestyle takes effect. We call it the afternoon slump, and often reach for more coffee, sugar and carbohydrates to keep ourselves going. Studies show that this is the least productive part of the day. It’s not a lack of calories that slows our thinking and makes our eyelids droop; it’s a lack of blood flow to the cells of the body. As well as promoting corporate wellness, classic massage techniques increase healthy blood flow throughout the body, waking up all your cells and getting your brain back into action. After a short 15 minute workplace massage, employees become more alert, attentive to detail, and show increased rates of productivity.
Tension creates mistakes
Tense bodies are less agile and responsive, more prone to accidents and injury. Tense minds are more rigid and less likely to find efficient solutions. We know that our maths skills decline when we’re sleep deprived and a stressful day can mean we come home and put the car keys in the refrigerator. Of course, pain is even more of a distraction, and the more intense our pain becomes, the less we can concentrate on anything else. While we all need a little bit of a challenge to get us going, taking the edge off of distress in a 20-30 minute massage allows us to return to work with a clear head so we perform better, stay engaged, and avoid mistakes.
Culture – the environmental impact of others
Have you ever been in close enough proximity to someone else that their stress, even though they might think they were hiding it, affected you? The behaviour that we see happening around us creates the culture of our workplace. Aside from the impact of the physical space, the way we see people being treated tells us if we should feel safe and relaxed, or under threat and on edge. So when we see our colleagues having their specific concerns addressed, being listened to deeply, and being touched with intelligence and care (all of which happen with workplace massage), we relax, more of our personal resources are directed back to doing good work, building trust, and enjoying a healthy happy culture at work.
Massage Therapy at work has been shown to reduce anxiety and is very effective in the treatment of depression, stress, feelings of isolation and even anger. As humans we all respond positively to being cared for. It encourages more ethical behaviour, opens our thinking for better problem solving, and allows us to celebrate our humanity more fully. Skilled, professional massage makes employees happier, and happier employees make for better workplaces. It communicates a culture of care, corporate wellness and models healthy relationships and generates optimism.
Relieves muscle tension and pain
Back pain is literally cut in half with regular corporate massages. A decrease of 48% decrease was seen in the studies on back pain and tension.
Improves quality of sleep
Over multiple studies, the average improvement in sleep quality was 28%. That includes increased duration as well as fewer sleep disturbances.
Headaches are decreased by an average of 48% in duration and intensity with regular onsite massages.
Lowers blood pressure
Across multiple studies, there was an average of a 6% drop in blood pressure, which may not sound like a lot. But that’s literally the difference between a hypertensive blood pressure and normal one, and that’s without any medication at all! These studies showed a lasting effect and the benefits of corporate massage programs showed very clearly. The massage group continued to have lower blood pressure than the control groups for weeks after treatment stopped.
Prevents repetitive strain injuries
On employees doing repetitive movements, regular massage reduces the occurrence of repetitive stress injuries by 37%.
Increases immune function
In the studies on immune function, the good cells of the body perform 35% better as one of the benefits of corporate massage, and this is especially true for auto immune and inflammatory illnesses.
If you are looking for a simple and effective way to support your employees in their efforts do their work well, workplace massage offers layers of benefits for the individual and everyone around them. Keep the sessions between 10 and 45 minutes, and you will have a more efficient, happier team.
When the majority of people report that 70% of their stress is work related, it’s clear that most businesses are operating with stressed out workers.