Relieve stress with massage in the workplace

Of all the modern-day ailments that affect us, none is more pervasive than stress.

by Nina Laveson — 

“Stress in the workplace has been labeled the number one health problem in the United States, with costs to American industry estimated at billions of dollars,” said Dr. Paul J. Rosch, a clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at New York Medical College and president of The American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, New York.

What exactly is stress? The dictionary defines stress as great pressure or force, producing a strain. In today’s world, we refer to stress as the result of too much pressure put upon us by life; yet, we can lessen external effects of stress by adopting a more positive attitude and outlook, and by doing things that nurture our bodies and minds.

Of all the modern-day ailments that affect us, none is more pervasive than stress. It seems that everywhere we turn, factors redirect us from a state of happiness and calmness to one of stress. Today with pending layoffs and few (or no) pay raises, the workplace is a major cause of our everyday stress.

Stress can manifest in our bodies in many ways, such as tight necks and shoulders, headaches and nervous stomachs. Too much stress in our lives causes constant muscular tension. This tension or tightness reduces the flow of blood and oxygen, nerve and lymph supply, and the more subtle energy, known as life force or chi.

Reducing this flow leads to feelings of fatigue and reduces flexibility and range of motion, increasing the likelihood of injury and build-up of toxins in the body. Generally, blocked energy is felt as aches and pains, but eventually can lead to a wide range of more serious problems. When we get stressed, our immune systems begin to break down and become weakened, making us more susceptible to illness.

Regular massage is an ideal remedy to help relieve the stress of our everyday lives. More and more companies are offering massage to their employees in the workplace. These companies report seeing great results, such as reduced absenteeism, decreased health care costs, increased morale, and reductions in repetitive injuries, to name just a few. Improved health will benefit both the employer and the employee, making on-site massage a win-win situation.

Massage can help the mind and body deal with stress on a day-to-day basis and promote a feeling of well-being. When we hurt ourselves, it is instinctive to rub where we are hurt. We have always used touch to reassure and calm ourselves and others.

Massage makes us aware of how and where stress manifests itself in the form of tension in our bodies. First you might experience relief from massage by the loosening of tense muscles, but there are many more benefits. Massage increases blood and lymph circulation, which helps your body receive essential nutrients, dispose of waste products and defend against disease by improving the immune system. Massage can restore suppleness and strength to muscles, improving flexibility and range of motion. It helps release toxins, such as lactic acid, as well as relieving tight or sore muscles. Massage also improves sleep, giving your body that important time it needs to heal.

As you can see, massage offers more benefits than you may have imagined. Companies that utilize on-site massage therapy see amazing results in the overall health of their employees. It is good to know that something that feels so great can contribute to your long-term health as well.


Nina Laveson and Nancy Walterscheid co-own Kinkz Corporate Massage which offers company-sponsored, on-site massage to businesses., or 480-945-1114.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 2, Apr/May 2009.

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