Finding Your “Om” at Work

Can there be relief after hunching over my computer all day until my neck is in knots and I’m seeing spots? It’s hard to imagine.

After all, I don’t always have the opportunity to stop by a spa for a blissful, hour-long massage after a hectic day. But what if, instead of my heading to the spa, the spa came to me?

It may sound dreamy, but that’s the reality in a growing number of offices today. This year, 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 77 percent of the top 100 U.S. companies offered massage at work.

That’s why workplace massage presents a fantastic career opportunity for aspiring massage therapists. Just think–all the people who have neither the time nor the inclination to book a full massage at the spa will suddenly have access to your services in the place they frequent most. For some, this will be their first exposure to professional massage. And once they’ve been treated to your massage techniques, they’ll be tempted to come back for more!

Aside from the obvious relaxation results, here are a few other amazing benefits your massage therapy services can provide:

• According to a 2003 “Annals of Internal Medicine” report and a 2000 “Canadian Medical Association Journal” report, massage therapy is an effective method of treating persistent back pain.

• According to “The Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies” in 2004, massage reduces carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

• Massage therapy has also been shown to strengthen the immune system, according to research published in “The Journal of Neuroscience” in 1996 and “Psychosomatic Medicine” in 2000.

More to the point, studies have shown that massage actually improves employee productivity. A study by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami found that after five weeks, a group of 26 employees who had twice-weekly, 15-minute massages in the office experienced reduced stress and improved performance, as opposed to a control group of 24 employees who were just told to close their eyes and relax. The massaged workers even completed math problems in half the time as normal and with half the errors they made before they were massaged!

When you’re offering these kinds of regenerative massage therapy services, what bleary-eyed worker can refuse? Not me.

-Robyn Tellefsen

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