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Workplace Massage Works

Being a massage therapist doesn't mean you have to stare at the same four walls every day. In fact, some massage therapists are taking their techniques on the road to keep up with the latest trend: workplace massage.

You read right. More and more employers are recognizing that a massage at work can reduce the physical and mental effects of stress, thereby reducing burnout and stress-related diseases. More to the point, workplace massage has been shown to improve employees' bottom line.

Proven results
A study by the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute found that after five weeks, a group of 26 employees who had twice-weekly, 15-minute workplace massages fared better than a control group of 24 employees who were just told to close their eyes and relax. The group working with a massage therapist experienced reduced stress and fatigue as well as improved performance.

Prevalence
Obviously, workplace massage is more than just a perk -- it increases employees' overall well-being, morale, and productivity. Perhaps that's why companies are getting in line to offer corporate massage services. In 2007, the Society for Human Resource Management reported that 13 percent of its 210,000 member companies offer workplace massage. And an earlier "Working Mother" article found that 77 percent of the top 100 U.S. companies offered massage at work.

Particulars
To offer corporate massage, you'll most likely contract with a company and schedule appointments with employees during their breaks. Clients sit, fully clothed, in a specially designed chair that allows you to work on their back, neck, shoulders, and arms. There is no oil used. The chair massage usually lasts 10-15 minutes, the time of a typical coffee break.

Preparation
As the chair massage begins, your first job is to ascertain clients' level of comfort. You'll perform a pressure test with your fingers on different parts of the back to help clients control the direction of the massage. After that, you'll continue to solicit information from clients throughout the session to give them an awareness of their body and help them take control of their own sensations.

Proper procedure
When you perform a chair massage, you will likely be utilizing Anma therapy, an ancient healing art that uses special techniques to stimulate key points on the surface of the skin and promote the body's natural self healing abilities. When these points are stimulated they release muscular tension, which facilitates the circulation of blood and energy.

Workplace massage upgrades the total work experience of the stressed-out, burned-out public on their daily stomping grounds, providing high-touch counterbalance to a high-tech environment.

So take your corporate massage training to the office. Weary workers will thank you.