Massage became a hobby of mine when my first child was born. It was an innate way to calm his belly or quiet his exhausted cries. It slowly found its way into my life as a career. I have worked in spas, naturopathic healing centers, chiropractic care, corporate offices and private practices. I have seen massage relax the most tensed muscles, assist in cancer treatments, increase athletic performance, relieve migraines, enhance sleep quality, decrease anxiety and depression and increase energy levels. Some of these seem to be pretty standard benefits of massage. Would you believe me if I told you I have also seen massage change people's work performance?
Coffee breaks and lunch hours are traditional parts of a work day. In recent years so are in-house catering or restaurants and, in some cases, in-house exercise rooms. Wouldn't it be nice if massage sessions were too? There is abundant research to support why they should be! Crain's Chicago Business states that businesses with as few as 14 staff members, as well as large corporations like Motorola and Amoco, are now hiring massage therapists to perform massage in the workplace. The article (referenced below for your follow-up) adds that onsite massage is cheaper than vacation and childcare benefits, and more than a low-cost office perk. The article goes on to support the idea that massage reduces work-related stress, improves alertness, performance and productivity. It is believed that tight muscles, caused by stress and sitting behind a desk or wheel of a car all day, can impede blood and lymph flow through the body. The result is mental fogginess, decreased energy and the susceptibility to repetitive stress injuries. If your desire is to become a top performer, there is no room for any of these!
So where are the companies with massage therapists on staff?!? I have several companies (with which I work quarterly) providing employees with 30 minute massages (claimed to be the best day of their work year). This workplace benefit is not widely offered, however. So, while we are all waiting and hoping for your individual company to join the trend, I encourage you to explore regular massage sessions as a way to assist you in becoming a top performer. David Palmer, founder of the TouchPro Institute, states, "when massage is used preventatively, it allows you to maintain a homeostatic balance that prevents little physical and mental problems from getting worse." Sometimes considered a treat or a reward, massage therapy is really an investment in your greatest asset. You… your health… your well-being… your performance.