Successful companies tend to have happy, healthy employees. As any savvy manager or CEO can tell you, a company is only as fit as its workforce. This is why corporate wellness programs have become a major trend throughout the world. Now, the inclusion of massage therapy in these programs is being recognized as a major benefit. It is something that has been recognized as important for decades in Europe and Asia. As we catch up with the rest of the world, it is not uncommon for U.S. businesses to have one or more massage therapists as full-time employees.
It’s no secret that massage therapy reduces stress. It also relieves pain and accelerates the healing process. Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic explained why having massage as a component in corporate wellness programs works. You can watch the interview online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDkMlZX_XVc The following is an overview of Dr. Bauer’s message.
Massage therapy enhances employee performance, heightens mental alertness, and significantly reduces stress. In turn, employees are more productive and tend to miss fewer days of work. In the workplace, stress-related illness is a virtual epidemic. The American Institute of Stress reports that, “an estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress.” The organization also noted that chronic pain and musculoskeletal injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are responsible for about one third of workers’ compensation claims. Considering that workplace massage results in fewer compensation claims and improved productivity, it’s quite easy to understand why adding massage to these programs just makes sense! The immediate return for employers is that having healthier, happier employees save firms both time and money.
It has also been found that as office perks go, “on-site massage is cheaper than vacation and child care benefits.” Here are a few more reasons why businesses of all sizes are including massage in their employee wellness programs:
• It serves to increase productivity, motivation and enthusiasm
• Employees who enjoy such perks tend to be happier and more loyal which results in a lower rate of turnover
• Massage can lower blood pressure and improve circulation
• A skilled massage therapist may be able to spot a problem before it develops into a serious health issue
• Massage can reduce the number of workplace injuries
There are several different ways that massage could be incorporated into a wellness program. You could have massage therapists come to the workplace a few times a month and provide anything from short chair massages to hour long sessions in a private room. Many massage therapists have portable tables that they can bring onsite if you have the space available. Another option is to arrange for employees to visit a specific massage clinic on their own time with the cost covered by the company, or for them to arrange massage therapy sessions with the practitioner of their choice and submit receipts for reimbursement.
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