In For your clients

Benefits of Massage Therapy in the Workplace – Promising findings

An interesting pilot study using nurses and health care workers in Canada in 2009 saw some positive findings by using massage therapy in the workplace. Health care workers are found to have significant rates of:

  • Back pain
  • Stress related sick days

Massage therapy in this study was seen to have 4 main aims:

  1. Promote relaxation and wellness.
  2. Address clinical symptoms (pain and mobility restriction).
  3. Enhance postural awareness and correct use of posture.
  4. Balance and move subtle energy

The workplace is an environment where the majority of the population spends a considerable amount of time each week. Being able to improve workplace conditions and the health of the employee just makes sense. By achieving these two aims in a health care provider environment ensures multiple benefits can be achieved including:

  • Improved capacity to cope with a stressful environment.
  • Addressing physical ailments before they become worse.
  • Reducing the impact of chronic conditions.
  • Reduction of workplace injury.
  • Greater workplace satisfaction.
  • Reduced staff shortage due to sick days
  • Increased staff efficiencies.
  • Improved patient outcomes.

Massage therapy sessions were provided for 200 health care workers once per week for 20 minutes for a period of 4 weeks.

The findings of the study included:

  • Improved quality of life perception
  • Significant pain reduction
  • Perceived reduction in work stress

So in conclusion as little as 20 minutes per week massage therapy was found to have significant benefits for the employee, the employer and the patient outcomes of residents. The benefits of massage therapy are yet to be fully realised. Further research funding is a must for all sectors of the health care system to ensure greater productivity, patient outcomes and reduced costs to the health care system as a whole.

Reference:

The Effects of Employer-Provided Massage Therapy on Job Satisfaction. Workplace Stress, and Pain and Discomfort. Chris Back, BSc, CCPE, Bodhi Haraldsson, Elaine Lee, Helen Tam. Holistic Nursing Practice. 23(1):19-31, January / February 2009

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