the Research

The great thing about massage is that it is not only feels great, but is is great for you! The benifits are well researched. We have included a few articles that demonstrate why Massage Therapy is a good for the workplace, great for the employees, and fantastic for you.


Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic on the Benefits of Massage Therapy

  •  Workplace Massage is Good for Business

Research has validated the positive effects of massage therapy on job performance and mental alertness resulting in improved accuracy and the reduced stress-induced illnesses.

American Institute of Stress states that an estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress. Repetitive musculoskeletal injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have become the nation’s leading workplace health cost and account for almost a third of all workers’ compensation awards. Massage has been shown to help in reducing these kinds of injuries, leading to reduced absenteeism, fewer workers’ compensation claims, and less cost to employers.

American Institute of Stress
“Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Reaching Epidemic Proportions” (Jan 18, 2005) © Medical News Today


  • More & More Businesses are Offering Massage Therapy

Massage has not only gone mainstream – it’s gone corporate. Companies big and small have discovered the benefits of wellness in the workplace, and they’re using massage as a way to attract and keep employees.

Burt Abrams of B.J. Abrams & Associates, an executive recruiting firm in suburban Chicago has offered his employees chair massage over the past several years. “It is a benefit for stress relief, and it feels good,” he says. “It is a benefit that doesn’t cost a whole lot of money, and it gets a lot of good will from your employees.”

A 1992 article in the Financial Times trumpets the benefits that companies can reap by offering massage therapy to employees. The article claims a company in Ontario, Canada, reported a 25 percent decrease in time off for work-related injuries, and a $200,000 decrease in compensation claims after it implemented a massage therapy program.

At the Colorado Health Institute, Kathy Helm sits at a computer al day. She said one of the benefits of a massage is that is reveals problems that she didn’t even realize existed. “You go in and get the massage, and you’ve got this problem and this problem and this knot,” Helm says. “Once you get it worked out, you’re able to do things better. You don’t have that tension.”

Stories like this sway some companies to add massage therapy to their existing employee benefits. Employees who are happy and free of stress are more happy and productive. “We spend a lot less for this benefit than some of the other benefits that we give them,” explains John Hasmonek, at a Chicago-based accounting firm that offers employees monthly on-site massage therapy. “Employees look at discounts, overtime, and bonuses as things they have earned as a right. This is something they look at as an employer’s good will, something they do because they care.”

By Pete Reinwald in the Massage Therapy Journal – Summer 2009


  • Chair Massage Helps Desk-Bound Workers

A stiff neck. Aching wrists. Shoulders that feel as if someone folded them up. Anyone who has ever sat behind a desk all day will recognize the symptoms of workplace fatigue.

According to David Palmer, co-developer of the first massage chair and founder of the TouchPro Institute in San Francisco, most office-related physical symptoms can be attributed to loss of circulation. Tight muscles caused by stress and sitting behind a desk all day, especially at a work station that is not ergonomically designed, can impede blood and lymph flow through the body. The result is mental fogginess, decreased energy and susceptibility to repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chair massage counters the circulatory problems inherent with office work—and provide a appreciated break for employees. Sitting in a massage chair opens up the back muscles, relieves strain on the neck and provides a gentle respite for eyes usually glued to a computer monitor. Even 15 minutes of massage to the neck, back, arms and hands can increase circulation, returning energy levels and helping keep the body injury free.

“When chair massage is used preventively, if you have problems it allows you to maintain a homeostatic balance that prevents the little problems from getting worse,” Palmer said.

from the Office of Health Education at the University of Pennsylvania


  • Getting the Message about Workplace Massage

Employees are stressed out and employers are beginning to get the message. And now, both are getting the massage about massage in and out of the workplace as a corporate benefit. Here are some notes from leading publications and groups that you might want to check out if you want further information.

Crain’s Chicago Business states businesses with as few as 14 staff members, as well as large corporations like Motorola and Amoco, are now hiring massage therapists to perform massage in the workplace. The article (referenced below for your follow-up) adds that on-site massage is cheaper than vacation and child care benefits, and more than a low-cost office perk. It goes on to say that on-site massage reduces work-related stress, improves alertness, performance and productivity, and even keeps people feeling well enough to stay at work when they would rather go home.

HR Magazine recently published a story about massage that describes various corporate wellness programs, all of which include on-site massage as an employee benefit. Some of these programs are new; some have been in place for years. All are successful. Employees are feeling less stress, are more productive on the job and are less likely to take unplanned time off from work. The positive effect of massage in the workplace reaches everyone.

Association Management Magazine reports that The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans of Brookfield, WI conducted research on this subject and found that nearly 20% of employers now provide coverage for one or more alternative health benefits such as massage therapy.
From magazines to television to the Internet, media of all kinds are spreading the word about massage. Many employers are getting the message and implementing wellness programs that include on-site massage.

From the February, 2000 issue of E-Touch, a newsletter of the American Massage Therapy Association.
Crain’s Chicago Business, February, 1999, p. SR2
HR Magazine, October, 1998, pp. 107-110
Association Management Magazine, February 2000, p.33


  • Research Confirms Massage Therapy Enhances Health

What do back pain, stress and breast cancer have in common?

Recent research shows that massage therapy provides relief for people suffering from each of these conditions and that it is an effective complement to medical care.

Consumers have long suspected that massage helps promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle. As more research demonstrates the effectiveness of massage therapy for helping to treat common ailments like low back pain, more consumers are seeking massage to improve their overall wellness and health.

Consumers aren’t the only people recognizing the benefits of massage. Physicians and other healthcare providers are increasingly recommending massage therapy to their patients as a supplement to traditional health care. According to one national survey, 54 percent of primary care physicians and family practitioners would encourage their patients to pursue massage therapy as a treatment. Consumers surveyed over the last three years say that when they discuss therapeutic massage with their physicians, more than 70% responded favorably.

Massage Therapy:

An Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain

A study conducted by Beth Israel-Deaconess Center for Alternative Medicine Research and Education and the Center for Health Studies in Seattle concluded that therapeutic massage was an effective treatment for providing long-lasting benefits for patients suffering from chronic low back pain. In fact, researchers hypothesize that massage might be an effective alternative to conventional medical care for persistent low back pain. Researchers hope to continue their research to determine which components of the massage therapy experience contribute to its effectiveness.

Helping Breast Cancer Survivors Cope Emotionally and Physically

Research shows therapeutic massage is an effective complement to traditional medical care for women suffering from the trauma of undergoing a lumpectomy, mastectomy or breast reconstruction. Pre-surgery, massage relaxes muscle tissue and increases the flow of lymph. Post surgery, women who use specialized lymph drainage techniques from a well-trained massage therapist as part of their treatment for lymphedema may experience less pain and swelling, as massage helps disperse build-up of lymphatic fluid.

Although the physiological benefits are important, many women who’ve undergone breast cancer treatment report that the emotional benefits of massage are paramount. Women report that massage helps them reconnect with their bodies after this invasive surgery.

Easing Pain After Bypass Surgery

According to a pilot study conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, massage therapy reduces pain and muscle spasms in patients who have undergone heart bypass surgery when patients are treated at the hospital after their surgery. Because of its effectiveness, 60 percent of the massage group expressed a willingness to pay for massage therapy out-of-pocket.

Boosting Immune Function

During periods of stress, the effectiveness of the body’s immune system is reduced. Research indicates that massage can increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and decrease the number of T-cells, which improves the body’s immune functioning overall.

From the February, 2000 issue of E-Touch, a newsletter of the American Massage Therapy Association