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Chair massage is a fully clothed massage performed by a therapist in a chair specifically designed for massage. As the benefits of massage are realized, more businesses are offering chair massage in the workplace as an employee incentive and health maintenance resource. According to Pete Reinwald of American Massage Therapy Association, companies such as Boeing and Google offer massage to their employees as part of their wellness programs. Workplace massage can help reduce employee stress while improving overall job satisfaction.
Margaret Hodge, Ed.D., R.N. and colleagues note that stress at work can “result in low morale, increased anxiety and depression, as well as other health-related concerns.” A 1996 study conducted by Shulman and Jones of the Touch Research Institute in Miami, Florida, found that massage in the workplace helped reduce anxiety. The study indicated that 15 minutes of chair massage was more effective than a 15-minute break to reduce anxiety.
Increase in Overall Feelings of Wellbeing
Massage at work can help improve general feelings of contentment and health. A study conducted by Margaret Hodge, Ed.D. R.N. and colleagues in 2000, found that accupressure performed at the job site improved overall feelings of well-being among workers. Those receiving the massage reported feeling an increase in general well-being, less depression and anxiety symptoms, an increased ability to control their emotions and an increase in sleep. The general finding of the study was that the employees receiving massage maintained their job satisfaction whereas those not receiving massage had a decrease in job satisfaction.
Improved Job Performance
Chair massage can improve job performance. A 1996 study by Tiffany Field and colleagues of the Touch Research Institute, showed 15 minutes of chair massage twice a week improved brain performance. Those receiving chair massage had an increase in speed and accuracy in completing math equations. The brain's ability to function more effectively combined with a decrease in anxiety and increase in feelings of contentment and well-being can result in improved job performance.
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- "International Journal of Neuroscience"; Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations; Tiffany Field et al.; 1996.
- "Massage Therapy Journal"; The Corporate World: More & more businesses are offering massage therapy as an employee benefit; Pete Reinwald; 2009.
- "Journal of Applied Behavioral Science"; The effectiveness of massage therapy intervention on reducing anxiety in the work place; Shulman, K.R. & Jones, G.E; 1996.
- "Massage Therapy Journal"; Effects of Work-Site Accupressure and Massage; Margaret Hodge, EdD, RN et al.; 2000.
Jeanne Troncao has been practicing massage since 1996 and began writing health-related articles in 2010. She is a marriage and family therapy intern and director of a massage school and clinic. Her articles can be found in "Bakersfield's Wellness Quarterly." She holds a Master of Science degree in counseling psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Bakersfield.