WORKPLACE MASSAGE RESEARCH
Medical studies have shown that massage at the workplace reduces stress
A study done at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, in 1997, “evaluated the effectiveness of a 15-minute on-site Chair Massage on reducing stress as indicated by blood pressure. 52 participants blood pressures were measured before and after a 15-minute massage at work.
Analysis showed a significant reduction in participants systolic and diastolic blood pressure after receiving the massage although there was no control group.” (2)
Research shows massage also reduces anxiety as well as enhances alertness
A study done in 1996 at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida gave 26 adults a Chair Massage while another group of 24 adults were asked to just relax in the massage chair for 15 minutes as a control group, two times per week for five weeks.
On the first and last days of the study all of the participants were monitored for EEG, before, during and after the sessions. In addition, before and after the sessions they performed math computations, they completed POMS Depression and State Anxiety Scales and they provided a saliva sample for cortisol.
At the beginning of the sessions they completed Life Events, Job Stress and Chronic POMS Depression Scales. The test results revealed the following:
- Both groups were more relaxed (frontal delta power increased).
- The massage group tests suggested enhanced alertness (they showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power; while the control group showed increased alpha and beta power).
- The massage group showed increased speed and accuracy on math computations while the control group did not change.
- Anxiety levels were lower following the massage sessions but not the control sessions, although mood state was less depressed following both the massage and control sessions.
- At the end of the 5-week period, depression scores were lower for both groups but job stress scores were lower for the massage group only.
This small-scale study suggests that massage offers benefits in not just alleviating the physiological effects of anxiety, but also in improving mental alertness. (3)
(2) “Massage Therapy as a Workplace Intervention for reduction of Stress”; Author: Cady SR, Jones GE; Address: Department of Management, Bowling Green State University, OH 43403-0270, USA; Source: Percept Mot Skills, 1997, 84:1, 157-8.
(3) “Massage Therapy Reduces Anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of Alertness and Math Computations”; Author: Field T, Ironson G, Scafidi F, Goncalves A, Burman I, Pickens J, Fox N, Schanbert S, Kuhn C; Address: Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33101, USA; Source: mi Neurosci (ENGLAND) Sep 1996,86 (3-4) p197-205.
CORPORATE REFLEXOLOGY RESEARCH
Danish Study No: 1
143 people employed in the council of Aarhus had regular reflexology with the following results:
Danish Study No: 2
Telecom Taastrup hired a reflexologist 3 days a week for its 800 employees. 156 employees participated in the survey who received 1056 treatments in a year.
60% of problems were for back pain/muscle tension, headache/migraine, stomach/intestinal problems.
The others had problems relating to movement. The survey results were as follows:
40% had their sick days reduced
56% indicated that reflexology had helped
29% indicated that reflexology had partially helped
15% did not help
It was concluded that there was a direct economic benefit (due to lower sick days) as well as increased well being and productivity of the employees. (Research has been published and undertaken by the FDZ – the Danish Reflexology Association)
Worcester Hospital. 28 members of staff at Worcester Hospitals received 40 mins of reflexology each week for 6 weeks. Their response to the reflexology was measured in terms of: pain, mobility, lethargy, psychological stress. The key results were:
74% had a significant reduction in pain
62.5% had a significant improvement in mobility
55% had a significant improvement in psychological stress
53% had a significant reduction in lethargy
The study concluded that it was a cost effective treatment for companies concerned about absenteeism and sick leave.
(Research has been published and undertaken by the FDZ – the Danish Reflexology Association)