Archive for the 'Corporate Massage' Category

May 01 2015

Feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to nurses during work hours on stress-related symptoms: A pilot study

Abstract
This study assessed feasibility and effect of weekly, 15-min chair massages during work for 38 nurses. Mean Perceived Stress Scale-14 (PSS-14), Smith Anxiety Scale (SAS), linear analog self-assessment scale (LASA), and symptom visual analog scale (SX-VAS) scores were tracked at baseline, 5 weeks, and 10 weeks. Of 400 available massage appointments, 329 were used. At 10 weeks, mean PSS-14 score decreased from 17.85 to 14.92 (P = .002); mean SAS score, from 49.45 to 40.95 (P < .001). Mean LASA score increased from 42.39 to 44.84 (P = .006); mean SX-VAS score, from 65.03 to 74.47 (P < .001). Massages for nurses during work hours reduced stress-related symptoms. for all your corporate massages, workplace massages, events massages, australia wide perth, tasmania, melbourne, sydney, brisbane. email us today on www.therapy4u.biz

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May 01 2015

The effect of a corporate chair massage program on musculoskeletal discomfort and joint range of motion in office workers.

Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of workplace manual technique interventions for female participants on the degree of joint range of motion and on the level of musculoskeletal ache, pain, or discomfort experienced when performing workplace responsibilities.
DESIGN:
Nineteen (19) female volunteers were given chair massages on-site twice per week for 1 month.
SETTINGS/LOCATION:
Participants included individuals in administration and management from a company in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
SUBJECTS:
A total of 19 female volunteers 40-54 years of age enrolled for this study. Fifteen (15) of them completed all measurements.
INTERVENTIONS:
The Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire was used, and range-of-motion measurements in degrees were taken.
OUTCOME MEASURES:
Subjects completed a series of self-report questionnaires that asked for information concerning musculoskeletal discomfort for the neck, upper back, and lower back in the form of a body diagram. A range-of-motion test (to compare the change in joint angles) was performed with a goniometer to assess cervical lateral flexion, cervical flexion, cervical extension, lumbar flexion, and lumbar extension.
RESULTS:
Between the first and the last measurements, a significant difference (p<0.05) was found in increased range of motion for cervical lateral flexion (28.8%). Wilcoxon signed rank test showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in range of motion for cervical lateral flexion (42.4±6.3 to 48.3±7.3), cervical extension (63.2±12.4 to 67.2±12.3), and a significant decrease (p<0.05) in the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire values for the neck (2.7±0.8 to 1.9±0.6) and the upper back (2.7±0.7 to 2.2±0.8) from the phase 2 to 3. Significant reductions were also shown in the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire values for the neck (2.8±0.8 to 1.9±0.6) and the upper back (2.7±0.8 to 2.2±0.8) from the phase 1 to 3. CONCLUSIONS: On-site massage sessions twice per week for 1 month are the most effective interventions (compared to one session or no massage intervention) for decreasing the duration of musculoskeletal ache, pain, or discomfort and for increasing range of motion. PMID. as stated before you can't deny that corporate massages with chair massages is the way to go for office staff. book now at www.therapy4u.biz

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Apr 28 2015

its time to book your next corporate massages

Many offices are reaching out to companies like us to help their staff become more relaxed and be more productive. so please book your next chair massage, corporate massage, workplace massage, office massage, events massage, anytime any where in australia perth, melbourne, brisbane, adeliade, tasmania,.

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Apr 25 2015

Impact of a Pedometer Program on Nurses Working in a Health-Promoting Hospital

Abstract
Lavoie-Tremblay, Mélanie N.PhD, FRSQ; Sounan, Charles PhD; Trudel, Julie G. PhD; Lavigne, Geneviève L. PhD; Martin, Kara MA; Lowensteyn, Ilka PhD

The aim of this research was to describe the impact of a pedometer-based activity program on a subset of nurses in a university-affiliated, multisite health care center in Canada. This study used a longitudinal design with preintervention-postintervention (8 weeks) and follow-up (6 months). At baseline, 60 nurses participated; 51 (85%) remained for the postprogram assessment and 33 (55%) also completed the follow-up questionnaire. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires (weight, height, fatigue, insomnia, stress and step data) and blood tests (total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). At postprogram, participants reported 12 thinsp;912 steps on average per day. At follow-up, 79% of participants indicated that they maintained their physical activity after the pedometer program. A significant decrease in insomnia was evident in postprogram scores compared with baseline scores, and this decrease was maintained at follow-up. A significant decrease in minutes spent sitting per week was also observed from baseline to postprogram and also maintained at follow-up. Participants’ stress and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased from baseline to postprogram (marginally significant). Finally, their weight decreased from baseline to follow-up (marginally significant). The pedometer program generated some positive outcomes for nurses after 6 months.

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Apr 25 2015

Development of a manualized protocol of massage therapy for clinical trials in osteoarthritis

Ali et al. Trials 2012, 13:185 http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/13/1/185
TRIALS
METHODOLOGY Open Access
Ather Ali1*, Janet Kahn2, Lisa Rosenberger3 and Adam I Perlman4
Abstract
Background: Clinical trial design of manual therapies may be especially challenging as techniques are often individualized and practitioner-dependent. This paper describes our methods in creating a standardized Swedish massage protocol tailored to subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee while respectful of the individualized nature of massage therapy, as well as implementation of this protocol in two randomized clinical trials.
Methods: The manualization process involved a collaborative process between methodologic and clinical experts, with the explicit goals of creating a reproducible semi-structured protocol for massage therapy, while allowing some latitude for therapists’ clinical judgment and maintaining consistency with a prior pilot study.
Results: The manualized protocol addressed identical specified body regions with distinct 30- and 60-min protocols, using standard Swedish strokes. Each protocol specifies the time allocated to each body region. The manualized 30- and 60-min protocols were implemented in a dual-site 24-week randomized dose-finding trial in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, and is currently being implemented in a three-site 52-week efficacy trial of manualized Swedish massage therapy. In the dose-finding study, therapists adhered to the protocols and significant treatment effects were demonstrated.
Conclusions: The massage protocol was manualized, using standard techniques, and made flexible for individual practitioner and subject needs. The protocol has been applied in two randomized clinical trials. This manualized Swedish massage protocol has real-world utility and can be readily utilized both in the research and clinical settings.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00970008 (18 August 2009) Keywords: Massage, Manualization, Clinical trial, Manual therapy, Swedish
Background
Among the challenges in research in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the necessity to de- sign clinical trials that are methodologically rigorous as well as consistent with prevailing clinical practice pat- terns [1-3]. This difficulty has been mentioned in trials of botanical medicines [3], mind-body interventions [4], and manual therapies [5,6]. Many CAM disciplines es- pouse patient-centered care that often results in some individualization of treatment. Thus, standardization of interventions for clinical trials poses a particular chal- lenge. Clinical trial design of manual therapies may be
* Correspondence: ather.ali@yale.edu
1Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, 2 Church Street South, New Haven, CT 06519, USA
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
especially challenging since techniques are often practitioner-dependent as well as patient-oriented [7,8].
Massage therapy is one of the most popular CAM techniques in the USA [9]. Between 2002 and 2007, the 1-year prevalence of use of massage by the US adult population increased from 5% (10 million) to 8.3% (18 million) [9]. Massage is generally used, with some re- search support, to relieve pain from musculoskeletal dis- orders and cancer, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, decrease feelings of anxiety and depression, and aid in general wellness [10-24].
The identification of massage therapy for patients with osteoarthritis as a research priority derives directly from a CDC-funded systematic evidence mapping project ap- plied to CAM [25], leading to our pilot study evaluating the safety and efficacy of a 1-h whole body Swedish
© 2012 Ali et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Ali et al. Trials 2012, 13:185 http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/13/1/185
massage in adults with osteoarthritis of the knee [26]. After 8 weeks of massage therapy (biweekly × 4 weeks, weekly × 4 weeks), scores on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) [27] global score improved significantly (55%) from baseline (P <0.001), as did the scores in each subdomain (pain, stiffness, and physical functional disability), with effects persisting 8 weeks after treatment cessation [26]. Swedish massage techniques were chosen for their practical util- ity; being the most widely taught and practiced massage method that is well defined procedurally, and safe when administered by trained massage therapists [28-30]. Manualization was initially developed for the cre- ation of standardized treatment protocols for psycho- therapy, both to help provide methodologic rigor for evaluation, and as a means to provide specificity and guidelines regarding individualized treatment [31]. Massage therapy, as an intervention in clinical trials has similar needs for methodologic rigor to standardize patient-customized treatments and practitioner vari- ation [32,33]. In 2002, Schnyer and Allen published their methodology on developing treatment manuals for acupuncture interventions used in NIH-funded trials. These manuals served as a means to facilitate the training process, enable evaluation of conformity and competence, and increase the ability to identify the active therapeutic ingredients in clinical trials of acupuncture [34]. The Institute of Medicine has noted that manualization is an integral component for rigor- ous research on CAM therapies [35]. This investigative team collaborated again in a 2-year single-blinded randomized controlled dose-finding study, aiming to identify an optimal-practical dose and treat- ment regimen of an 8-week course of Swedish massage for osteoarthritis of the knee. The intervention develop- ment phase of this dose-finding study incorporated a formal manualization process. Here we describe our ap- proach in developing a standardized massage interven- tion tailored to subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee while respectful of the individualized nature of massage therapy [34], as well as the implementation of this man- ualized protocol into two NIH-supported randomized controlled trials. Methods Development of the manualization process, conducted over the course of 2 months, involved the input of methodologic and clinical experts. The manualization process was aided by a committee organized and under the direction of the former Research Director (JK) of the Massage Therapy Research Consortium (MTRC). The MTRC was a consortium of schools in the United States and Canada collaborating to build Page 2 of 6 research capacity and to advance research in the field of massage. Four meetings were held by telephone conference call. Participants included members of the investigative team, massage therapists from both clinical sites, and massage therapy researchers. Each meeting reiterated the over- arching goals of the manualization process: 1. To create a reproducible, semi-structured protocol for massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee, while allowing for some latitude based on therapists’ clinical judgment. Four distinct ‘doses’ varying on duration (30 min vs. 60 min) and frequency (weekly or biweekly) to assess dose–response effects. 2. To be consistent with the protocol delivered during the pilot study [26]. Thus, only the Swedish massage techniques of effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, vibration (including rocking or jostling), friction, and skin-rolling were to be used. These are standard Swedish strokes and massage techniques taught in schools accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) [36]. The manualization team tailored the treatment proto- cols to the over-arching goals of subsequent clinical trials; that is to determine the efficacy of a standardized Swedish massage protocol for treatment of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The putative mechanisms of massage as related to treating osteoarthritis (relaxation, reducing inflammation, improving flexibility) were con- sidered when designing the protocol. The protocol of the dose-finding study, consent form and all recruitment materials were approved by the In- stitutional Review Boards of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Newark, NJ, USA), Griffin Hospital (Derby, CT, USA), and the Saint Barnabas Medical Center (Livingston, NJ, USA). The study was conducted in accordance with the Declar- ation of Helsinki [37]. Results The manualized protocol specifies the body regions to be addressed, with distinct 30- and 60-min protocols, as well as the standard Swedish strokes to be used (effleur- age, petrissage, tapotement, vibration, friction, and skin rolling) [38] (see Table 1). Each protocol specifies the time allocated to various body regions (lower/upper limbs, lower/upper back, head, neck, chest) and specific areas of emphasis. The order of body regions, patient position (supine or prone), technique sequence, or technique type is left to the discretion of the therapist to account for individual practitioner preference and patient needs. Ali et al. Trials 2012, 13:185 http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/13/1/185 Table 1 30- and 60-minute massage protocols Page 3 of 6 Allowed Swedish massage techniques: Effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, vibration, friction, and skin rolling Region Lower limbs Upper body Discretionary Lower limbs Upper body Discretionary Time allotted 12 to 15 min (45% to 50% of session) 8 to 12 min (36% to 44% of session) 2 to 5 min (6% to 19% of session) 20 to 27.5 min (45% to 50% of session) 15 to 24 min (36% to 44% of session) 3.5 to 20 min (6% to 19% of session) 30-minute protocol (25 minutes of table time) Distribution From knee down including lower leg, ankle, and foot. From knee up including hips, pelvis, buttocks, and thigh. Lower and upper back; head/neck/chest. Therapist to expand treatment to other affected areas; that is rib cage, flank, upper limbs, et cetera. 60-minute protocol (55 minutes of table timea) From knee down including lower leg, ankle, and foot. From knee up including hips, pelvis, buttocks, and thigh. Lower and upper back; head, neck, and chest. Therapist to expand treatment to other affected areas; that is rib cage, flank, upper limbs, et cetera. aAccounting for time spent in transition including the welcome, transition to the massage room, taking off jewelry, and other preparatory activities. The protocol further specifies intentions/attentions for the study therapists consistent with massage therapy practice, specifically: 1. Assess and address relevant imbalances in posture 2. In general, seek to establish symmetry 3. Strengthen muscles around knee joint 4. Compensate weak muscles 5. Disperse stress to bring balance 6. Decrease sympathetic activity 7. Diffuse inflammation 8. Reduce inhibition in anti-gravity muscles Each study therapist was trained in the protocol, and signed a form attesting to adherence to the manualized massage protocol after each massage session. No devia- tions from the protocol were reported for the duration of the dose-finding trial at either site. The manualization team agreed that the knee must be regarded as a functional unit. Thus, the protocol expli- citly does not specify the percent of time to be spent dir- ectly on structures of the knee. Rather, time variables included the upper and lower leg, both including the knee (see Table 1). The manualized 30- and 60-min protocols were imple- mented in a 24-week randomized dose-finding trial of massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee [39]. Sub- jects (n=125) were randomized to one of four regimens of the manualized massage intervention (30 min or 60 min weekly or biweekly) or to a usual care control. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 8, 16, and 24 weeks and included the WOMAC, visual analog pain scale, range of motion, and time to walk 50 feet. The initial randomization occurred in October 2009 and the last sub- ject completed the 8-week intervention in October 2010. Both 60-min regimens (weekly or biweekly) demon- strated significantly improved WOMAC global scores (24.0 points, 95% CI varied from 15.3 to 32.7) compared to usual care (6.3 points, 95% CI 0.1 to 12.8) at the pri- mary endpoint of 8 weeks. Further, the 60-min regimens demonstrated significant improvements in WOMAC subscales of pain and functionality, as well as the visual analog pain scale compared to usual care. No significant differences were seen in range of motion at 8 weeks, and no significant effects were seen in any outcome measure at 24 weeks compared to usual care. A dose–response curve based on WOMAC global scores shows increasing effect with greater total time of massage; with 60-min doses scoring significantly better than 30-min doses. No significant differences were seen in WOMAC global scores between the 60-min doses (weekly or bi- weekly) [39]. This trial thus established an ‘optimal-practical’ dose (60-min once-weekly) of this manualized Swedish mas- sage regimen for osteoarthritis of the knee. This deci- sion was based on the superiority of the 60-min compared to 30-min regimens, the essentially similar outcomes of the two 60-min doses, the convenience of a once-weekly protocol (compared to biweekly), cost savings, and consistency with a typical real-world mas- sage protocol [39]. This optimized dose of manualized Swedish massage therapy is currently being implemented in a large-scale (n=222) NIH-funded 52-week efficacy trial of massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee at three clinical sites[40]. Ali et al. Trials 2012, 13:185 http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/13/1/185 Discussion Clinical trials of massage therapy are inherently chal- lenged by an inability to blind practitioner and recipient. Furthermore, massage practices are heterogeneous with procedures utilized from different schools of massage in- corporating a variety of techniques. Some of these schools include Swedish massage, neuromuscular, myo- fascial, Chinese, other Asian, medical, osteopathic, or na- turopathic manipulative therapies [41]. Massage is a pleasant and desirable intervention and is safe when delivered by trained practitioners using stand- ard Swedish techniques [28]. Demonstrating the efficacy of massage therapy in clinical trials requires reproducible treatment regimens. To our knowledge, this is the first report to describe the manualization of massage therapy. The feasibility of this protocol is demonstrated by implementing this standardized regimen in two clinical sites in the rando- mized dose-finding trial [39], as well as in a larger three-site efficacy trial [40]. A few published reports of implementing standardized Swedish massage regimens in randomized trials exist. Pat- terson et al. published a standardized massage (and con- trol) regimen in a clinical trial assessing fatigue reduction in cancer chemotherapy, though no results have been published [36]. Sharpe et al. published the results of a pilot randomized trial assessing the effects of a standar- dized Swedish massage regimen vs. guided relaxation on stress and wellbeing in a pilot study (n=54) [42], though there are no reports of implementing this regimen in a larger sample. Taylor et al. also report using a standar- dized Swedish massage protocol though the protocol was not described to the point that the intervention could be reproduced [43]. Cherkin et al. assessed a standardized Swedish protocol (‘relaxation massage’) [44], other mas- sage techniques (‘structural massage’), and continuing usual care in a three-arm randomized controlled trial for patients with chronic back pain. Both massage regimens were found to be superior to usual care, with no clinically meaningful differences seen between the relaxation and structural massage arms [7]. Other randomized trials of Swedish massage therapy have not used standardized massage interventions, com- promising external validity and reducing the ability to replicate positive results [45,46]. The concept of ‘dose’ has never been formally defined for massage. Prior to determining specific study protocols, the manualization team had to operationally define ‘dose’ of massage therapy. If dose, for example, was defined only by the length of time, it may be assumed that a single 60-min session and two 30-min sessions would be equiva- lent. This assumption was tested by assessing the effects of frequency of massage therapy. Thus, in our manualiza- tion process, two variables germane to dosing were Page 4 of 6 assessed: frequency of massage therapy and duration of treatment. Frequency was varied between weekly or bi- weekly sessions, based on practicality and current practice standards. Duration of treatment was negotiated by the expert panel to provide a dose that is clinically effective while avoiding possible overtreatment. Finally the team explored the issue of what constituted ‘massage for the knee’. In this study the team chose to view the knee in its functionality and distribute the apportioned time not to specific muscles, tendons or ligaments, but rather to the two regions of the knee and lower leg (ankle, foot, and lower leg) and the knee and upper leg (including hips, pelvis, buttocks, and thighs). Massage treatments are often focused on a particular functional issue or anatomic region, though they typically also include some broader treatment to promote relax- ation [7]. Relaxation has been thought to be helpful to many healing processes, and from a massage therapy per- spective, to aid in whole body integration to supporting proper gait and biomechanics of the joint(s). Thus, the protocol involved regions beyond the knee; time was allot- ted to the upper and lower back, neck, chest, and head. One of the limitations of this manualized Swedish massage protocol is that the protocol may not be as effi- cacious as real-world practice as fully individualized treatment is precluded. In addition, other techniques (that is, neuromuscular and myofascial) may be more ef- fective in altering posture and gait in ways that might affect osteoarthritis symptoms and progression. The one known study comparing Swedish massage with myofas- cial and neuromuscular techniques for treatment of back pain showed no significant difference in ability to affect pain or function [7]. Conclusions The resulting massage protocol was manualized [40], using standard Swedish techniques [26,28], and made flexible for individual subject variability. This manualized Swedish massage protocol has successfully been imple- mented in a dual-site dose-finding clinical trial and a three-site efficacy trial. The manualized Swedish mas- sage protocol has real-world utility and can be readily utilized in clinical trials and clinical practice. Abbreviations CAM: Complementary and Alternative Medicine; CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; MTRC: Massage Therapy Research Consortium; NCCAM: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; NIH: National Institutes of Health; WOMAC: Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index. Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Authors’ contributions AA led the manualization process, participated in the design and coordination of the study, and drafted the manuscript. JK provided technical Ali et al. Trials 2012, 13:185 http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/13/1/185 expertise in massage therapy. LR assisted in the clinical trial and provided critical review of the manuscript. AP conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination, and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Acknowledgements We thank the study subjects for their participation. Licensed massage therapists Linda Winz, Michael Yablonsky, Susan Kmon, and Lee Stang provided massages for study subjects. Mary Carola, Margaret Rogers, Carl Milak, Anna Davidi, and Dr. Valentine Njike provided technical and administrative support. This publication was made possible by grants R01AT004623 and K23AT006703 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCCAM. The sponsors had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Author details 1Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, 2 Church Street South, New Haven, CT 06519, USA. 2College of Medicine, University of Vermont, 240 Maple Street, Burlington, VT 05401, USA. 3Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street, Derby, CT 06418, USA. 4Duke Integrative Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, 3475 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27710, USA. Received: 26 April 2012 Accepted: 27 September 2012 Published: 4 October 2012 References 1. Nahin RL: Identifying and pursuing research priorities at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. FASEB J 2005, 19:1209–1215. 2. 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Listing M, Reisshauer A, Krohn M, Voigt B, Tjahono G, Becker J, Klapp BF, Rauchfuss M: Massage therapy reduces physical discomfort and improves mood disturbances in women with breast cancer. Psychooncology 2009, 18:1290–1299. 12. Kutner JS, Smith MC, Corbin L, Hemphill L, Benton K, Mellis BK, Beaty B, Felton S, Yamashita TE, Bryant LL, Fairclough DL: Massage therapy versus simple touch to improve pain and mood in patients with advanced cancer: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2008, 149:369–379. Page 5 of 6 13. Jane S-W, Wilkie DJ, Gallucci BB, Beaton RD, Huang H-Y: Effects of a full-body massage on pain intensity, anxiety, and physiological relaxation in Taiwanese patients with metastatic bone pain: a pilot study. J Pain Symptom Manage 2009, 37:754–763. 14. Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Krasnegor J, Theakston H: Lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy. Int J Neurosci 2001, 106:131–145. 15. Frey Law LA, Evans S, Knudtson J, Nus S, Scholl K, Sluka KA: Massage reduces pain perception and hyperalgesia in experimental muscle pain: a randomized, controlled trial. J Pain 2008, 9:714–721. 16. Field T, Figueiredo B, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Deeds O, Ascencio A: Massage therapy reduces pain in pregnant women, alleviates prenatal depression in both parents and improves their relationships. J Bodyw Mov Ther 2008, 12:146–150. 17. Ezzo J, Haraldsson BG, Gross AR, Myers CD, Morien A, Goldsmith CH, Bronfort G, Peloso PM: Massage for mechanical neck disorders: a systematic review. Spine 2007, 32:353–362. 18. Downey L, Diehr P, Standish LJ, Patrick DL, Kozak L, Fisher D, Congdon S, Lafferty WE: Might massage or guided meditation provide "means to a better end"? Primary outcomes from an efficacy trial with patients at the end of life. J Palliat Care 2009, 25:100–108. 19. Corbin LW, Mellis BK, Beaty BL, Kutner JS: The use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies by patients with advanced cancer and pain in a hospice setting: a multicentered, descriptive study. J Palliat Med 2009, 12:7–8. 20. Billhult A, Lindholm C, Gunnarsson R, Stener-Victorin E: The effect of massage on immune function and stress in women with breast cancer–a randomized controlled trial. Auton Neurosci 2009, 150:111–115. 21. Poole AR, Ionescu M, Fitzcharles MA, Billinghurst RC: The assesment of cartilage degradation in vivo: development of and immunoassay for the measurement in body fluids of type II collagen cleaved by collagenases. J Immunol Methods 2004, 294:145–153. 22. Ernst E: Complementary and alternative medicine for pain management in rheumatic disease. Curr Opin Rheumatol 2002, 14:58–62. 23. Back C, Tam H, Lee E, Haraldsson B: The effects of employer-provided massage therapy on job satisfaction, workplace stress, and pain and discomfort. Holist Nurs Pract 2009, 23:19–31. 24. Bauer BA, Cutshall SM, Wentworth LJ, Engen D, Messner PK, Wood CM, Brekke KM, Kelly RF, Sundt TM 3rd: Effect of massage therapy on pain, anxiety, and tension after cardiac surgery: a randomized study. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2010, 16:70–75. 25. Katz DL, Williams A-l, Girard C, Goodman J, Comerford B, Behrman A, Bracken MB: The evidence base for complementary and alternative medicine: methods of Evidence Mapping with application to CAM. Altern Ther Health Med 2003, 9:22–30. 26. Perlman AI, Sabina A, Williams AL, Njike VY, Katz DL: Massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2006, 166:2533–2538. 27. Bellamy N, Buchanan WW, Goldsmith CH, Campbell J, Stitt LW: Validation study of WOMAC: a health status instrument for measuring clinically important patient relevant outcomes to antirheumatic drug therapy in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. J Rheumatol 1988, 15:1833–1840. 28. Ernst E: The safety of massage therapy. Rheumatology 2003, 42:1101–1106. 29. Cambron JA, Dexheimer J, Coe P, Swenson R: Side-effects of massage therapy: a cross-sectional study of 100 clients. J Altern Complement Med 2007, 13:793–796. 30. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: NCCAM Backgrounder: Massage Therapy: An Introduction. Publication No. D327. Bethesda, MD: NCCAM; 2010. 31. Scaturo DJ: The evolution of psychotherapy and the concept of manualization: an integrative perspective. Pro Psychol Res Prac 2001, 32:522–530. 32. Levin JS, Glass TA, Kushi LH, Schuck JR, Steele L, Jonas WB: Quantitative methods in research on complementary and alternative medicine. A methodological manifesto. NIH Office of Alternative Medicine. Med Care 1997, 35:1079–1094. 33. Carter B: Methodological issues and complementary therapies: researching intangibles? Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery 2003, 9:133–139. 34. Schnyer RN, Allen JJ: Bridging the gap in complementary and alternative medicine research: manualization as a means of promoting Ali et al. Trials 2012, 13:185 http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/13/1/185 standardization and flexibility of treatment in clinical trials of acupuncture. J Altern Complement Med 2002, 8:623–634. 35. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Need for innovative designs in research on CAM and conventional medicine. In Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2005:108–128. 36. Patterson M, Maurer S, Adler SR, Avins AL: A novel clinical-trial design for the study of massage therapy. Complement Ther Med 2008, 16:169–176. 37. World Medical Association: World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. JAMA 2000, 284:3043–3045. 38. Geiringer SR, de Lateur BJ: Physiatric therapeutics. 3. Traction, manipulation, and massage. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1990, 71:S264–S266. 39. Perlman AI, Ali A, Njike VY, Hom D, Davidi A, Gould-Fogerite S, Milak C, Katz DL: Massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized dose- finding trial. PLoS One 2012, 7:e30248. 40. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Duke University: Exploring Massage Benefits for Arthritis of the Knee (EMBARK). In ClinicalTrials.gov [Internet]. Bethesda, MD: National Library of Medicine; 2012. NLM Identifier: NCT01537484. [http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/ NCT01537484]. 41. Cambron JA, Dexheimer J, Coe P: Changes in blood pressure after various forms of therapeutic massage: a preliminary study. J Altern Complement Med 2006, 12:65–70. 42. Sharpe PA, Williams HG, Granner ML, Hussey JR: A randomised study of the effects of massage therapy compared to guided relaxation on well-being and stress perception among older adults. Complement Ther Med 2007, 15:157–163. 43. Taylor AG, Galper DI, Taylor P, Rice LW, Andersen W, Irvin W, Wang XQ, Harrell FE Jr: Effects of adjunctive Swedish massage and vibration therapy on short-term postoperative outcomes: a randomized, controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med 2003, 9:77–89. 44. Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Kahn J, Erro JH, Deyo RA, Haneuse SJ, Cook AJ: Effectiveness of focused structural massage and relaxation massage for chronic low back pain: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 2009, 10:96. 45. Cronfalk BS, Ternestedt BM, Strang P: Soft tissue massage: early intervention for relatives whose family members died in palliative cancer care. J Clin Nurs 2010, 19:1040–1048. 46. Aourell M, Skoog M, Carleson J: Effects of Swedish massage on blood pressure. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2005, 11:242–246. Page 6 of 6 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-185 Cite this article as: Ali et al.: Development of a manualized protocol of massage therapy for clinical trials in osteoarthritis. Trials 2012 13:185.  just more proof of how and what massages can do in any situation, but because people work more than 3/4 of their life and mainly in offices you really need to look after yourself. so please visit are website at www.therapy4u.biz to book your corporate massages, workplace massages or event massages.

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Apr 24 2015

Promoting a healthy workplace

In general, hospitals and health services (H&HS) are relatively unhealthy work- places for staff members, who may expe- rience various physical and psycho-social burdens during work hours. Thereby, H&HS can aggravate the health of their staff. It is therefore necessary to focus on promoting healthy workplaces in all H&HS.
Promoting healthy workplaces includes three main components, all of which ul- timately fall under the responsibility of management. There are three main com- ponents, which are vital to support and develop:
• A healthy and safe workplace
• Staff training in health promotion skills
aiming at better health gain for patients
and community
• Health promotion activities for staff
Standards for promoting healthy workplaces
H&HS workplaces are subject to national and international working environment acts, but an effort to enhance the focus on the working conditions of the staff is often needed. Thus, to do more and to do better in relation to working environ- ments, action needs to be facilitated at all levels. To do just that, both nationally and internationally, the World Health Or- ganisation (WHO) and the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH) have included basic promotion of healthy workplaces in their standards and indicators for health promotion in hospitals (1). Five standards were developed and evaluated in real-life settings in close collaboration between WHO and HPH. The fourth WHO/HPH Standard deals directly with promoting a healthy workplace.
An important outcome of this work has
been that the standards and indicators are directly and easily implementable in a vast majority of settings. After an evaluation of the WHO/HPH Standards, a majority of the test centres recommended the stan- dards for other hospitals to use (2).
The first of the WHO/HPH standards ad- dresses management policy. Here, imple- mentation of a written policy for health promotion aimed at patients, relatives and staff is included (1). All HPH mem- bers have signed up to develop a written policy for health promotion and support the implementation of a smoke free hos- pital / health service as a key action area. The HPH network in Montreal has pub- lished a guide for this work as well as good examples of health promoting policies (3).
A healthy and safe workplace
H&HS are in themselves dangerous work- places. For instance, they are relatively noisy environments to be in, they often require contact with chemicals, radiation, viral hazards and other potentially harm- ful factors. Also, the work is often physi- cally demanding and includes unhealthy postures, prolonged standing and heavy lifting. On this basis, the risk of work-re- lated injuries and infections is high – in spite of preventive strategies (4;5).
In this issue of Clinical Health Promotion, Baslaim and co-authors from Saudi Ara- bia have published a study on surgeons, Hepatitis B vaccination and infection. They have showed that a written policy and guidelines are not sufficient and they recommend access to vaccination pro- grammes for all risk-prone health care workers and follow-up by education (6).
Another important factor is the psycho- social burden on H&HS staff, which is just as considerable as any of the physical factors mentioned above. H&HS staff are
Clin. Health Promot. 2012; 2:43-4

Volume 2 | Issue 2
www.clinhp.org October | 2012 | Page 44
Editorial
faced with working conditions that can include night shifts, lack of influence on planning of work, high ex- pectations from patients, relatives and management – as well as striving to meet one’s own high ambitions of solving all problems, smoothing out the patient path- ways and leaning the administration without feeling/ showing stress and burn-out (7). In this issue of Clini- cal Health Promotion, Sounan and colleagues from Canada present their study on quality work life (8).
On top of all this, in these times of financial austerity, the psycho-social burden may be further aggravated by speculations on budget cuts and employment security on one hand and increased patient flow demands on the other.
Staff training in HP skills
According to the WHO/HPH Standards, an important part of promoting a healthy workplace is to secure teaching and training of staff in patient-aimed health promotion (1).
Trained staff members are the key persons to system- atically reach out to patients in need of health promo- tion as part of their clinical pathway. Such training has immense effect on success rates. For instance, the suc- cess rate doubles when a specially trained nurse offers health promotion activities such as smoking cessation intervention to emergency patients (9).
Health promotion activities for staff
WHO/HPH standard four on promotion of a healthy workplace reflects the fundamental importance of sup- porting staff to lead healthy lives in and outside the workplace. This includes, for example, availability of smoking cessation programmes, provision of physi- cal training facilities and so forth. By offering health- enhancing choices to staff, H&HS not only support the staff members to be healthier; they also help them advocate healthy living, which in return ends up ben- efiting patients. An example of this is a study showing how smoking staff members unfortunately tend to be
less likely to introduce smoking cessation intervention to their smoking patients. In addition, staff members who smoke seem to have a heightened tendency to overlook risky alcohol intake and overweight among patients (10). Thus, a staff-oriented health promotion policy can help improve the survival rate among pa- tients (11).
All in all, promoting and securing healthy workplaces, with all that this includes, is important for staff mem- bers, patients and communities. This issue of Clinical Health Promotion provides further inspiration and in- sight into the important theme of healthy workplaces, and helps showcase how to lead the way towards doing better.
References
(1) Groene O. (ed) Implementing health promotion in hospitals: Manual and self-assessment forms. Division of Country Health Systems, WHO Regional Of- fice for Europe. 2006.
(2) Groene O, Alonso J, Klazinga N. Development and validation of the WHO self-assessment tool for health promotion in hospitals: results of a study in 38 hospitals in eight countries. Health Promot Int. 2010; 25:221-9.
(3) Lagarde, F. Guide to Develop a Health Promotion Policy and compendium of policies. Montréal: Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal (2009). (ISBN 978-2-89510-320-2). www.hphnet.org/attachments/article/16/ Guide_standard1_English.pdf
(4) MacCannell T, Laramie AK, Gomaa A, Perz JF. Occupational exposure of health care personnel to hepatitis B and hepatitis C: prevention and surveil- lance strategies. Clin Liver Dis. 2010; 14:23-36.
(5) Gabriel J. Reducing needlestick and sharps injuries among healthcare work- ers. Nurs Stand 2009; 23:41-4.
(6) Baslaim MM, Al-Khotani MA, Al-Qahtani SM, et al. Surgeons, Hepatitis B vaccination& infection. The need for supportive health centre policy: A ques- tionnaire-based survey. Clin. Health Promot. 2012; 2:45-50.
(7) Piko BF. Burnout, role conflict, job satisfaction and psychosocial health among Hungarian health care staff: A questionnaire survey. Int J Nurs Stud. 2006; 43:311-8.
(8) Sounan C, Lavigne G, Lavoie-Tremblay M, Harripaul A, Mitchell J, MacDonald B. Using the Accreditation Canada Quality Worklife revalidated Model to pre- dict healthy work environments. Clin. Health Promot. 2012; 2:51-8.
(9) Backer V, Nelbom BM, Duus BR, Tønnesen H. Introduction of new guidelines for emergency patients: motivational counselling among smokers. Clin Respir J. 2007; 1:37-41.
(10) Willaing I, Jørgensen T, Iversen L. How does individual smoking behaviour among hospital staff influence their knowledge of the health consequences of smoking? Scand J Public Health. 2003; 31:149-55.
(11) McKee M. In: The evidence for health promotion effectiveness. Report for the European Commission by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education. Brussels, 2000.

all though workplace massages are not talked about in this particular article, it is still relevant to have massages in your office, as in our opinion workplace massages, corporate massages is a massive hit amongst employees as they themselves notice a massive difference to themselves and in the office too.

book your next event with wwww.therapy4u.biz

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Apr 20 2015

The Many Benefits of Standing at Your Desk

Published by under Corporate Massage

by Patrick J. Skerrett

I used to sit down on the job. For hours a day, derriere planted firmly in chair, I read, wrote, and edited. It’s been a torment — I love what I do, but I hate to sit. Over the years, I’ve developed little tricks to burn off excess energy and add activity bits throughout the day, like bouncing my right leg and printing to a printer far down the hallway.

I’ve discovered something better. A few months ago, I fired my chair and brought in a stand-up desk. This move has made a huge difference in my work day. My back isn’t so achy. I’m taking several thousand more steps each day. I feel more alert, especially in the afternoon, and it seems like I am getting more done each day.

Stand-up desks come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can build one out of two sawhorses and a plank of wood, or plunk down several thousand dollars for an elegant rosewood stand-up desk or a custom-made executive desk. Being a frugal guy ever mindful of three simultaneous college tuitions looming in the not-too-distant future — and since my employer wasn’t footing the bill — I adapted the adjustable Fredrik desk from Ikea ($149). I placed the desk surface at elbow height, added a keyboard holder, and put one of the shelves underneath the desk top to hold my computer and other hardware.

The human body is designed to stand, not sit. Standing is better for the back than sitting. It strengthens leg muscles and improves balance. It burns more calories than sitting. It is also a great antidote to the formation of blood clots deep in the legs. When you sit for long periods, blood flow slows through the legs. Sluggish blood flow can set the stage for a blood clot to form. You’ve probably heard of this happening to people on long flights, but it also can happen in the office. Standing and walking squeeze valves in the leg veins, pushing blood upward toward the heart.

Even better, standing more might help you live longer. In a new study of more than 100,000 men and women from all across the United States, those who sat for more than six hours a day were more likely to have died — mostly of cardiovascular disease — over the course of the 14-year study than those who sat for less than three hours a day. This relationship held true even among those who exercised regularly. Earlier studies have shown much the same thing.

I feel more alert while standing. And when I’m blocked by a problem or temporarily bored, it’s a snap to walk away from the desk and pace. Before, while sitting, I tended to stay in my chair and stew or get drowsy.

Like anything, it takes a while to get used to standing up to do office work. Typing and talking on the phone while standing came easily, but I find I still prefer to sit while writing with pen and paper.

Standing for too long, or the wrong way, can cause sore feet or knees, low back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and other health problems. I realized that I often lock my knees when I stand or unconsciously put my weight on my right leg and hip. So I have to remind myself every so often to relax my knees and balance my weight on both legs. Adjusting the desk so your keyboard and monitor are at the right height, and taking breaks, will help you get the most out of a stand-up desk.

If you choose to stand at work, you’ll be in good company. Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were said to have used stand-up desks. Winston Churchill, Vladimir Nabokov, Ernest Hemingway, and Donald Rumsfeld are other notable standers.

Patrick J. Skerrett (pat_skerrett@hms.harvard.edu) is editor of the Harvard Heart Letter.

Article courtesy of the Harvard Business Review online.

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Apr 16 2015

Why are companies now investing in corporate massage?

The concept of having a massage therapist come to your place of work is not new, however the number of employers that are now incorporating a corporate massage programme into their reward and benefits packages is steadily increasing. So, why is there this growing interest in corporate massage? The answer may be found in the increasing wealth of evidence that investing in your people has many tangible business benefits.

According to Professor Sayeed Khan, Chief Medical Officer at EEF, businesses have a fantastic potential to improve the health and wellbeing of their people. But why should employers act? Because it’s important for employers to recognise that happy and healthy people will perform better, will attend better, will have less accidents at work and will stay with that employer rather than move on.

Corporate chair massage can be an effective tool to help combat the aches and pains people pick up from sitting at a computer all day, helping to keep staff productivity high and absence rates low. Prevention is definitely better than cure and businesses that invest in the health and wellbeing of their staff experience returns that are typically greater than the initial investment.

Some of the benefits of corporate massage therapy include:

Effectively manages workplace stress
Reduces sickness absence and presenteeism
Reduces employee turnover through improved staff retention
Increases energy levels, team morale & motivation
Helps your staff achieve a good work-life balance
Organisations now realise just how expensive it is for employees to be under performing and how employee wellbeing initiatives like on site chair massage have a positive impact on company performance and profitability.

http://www.office-retreat.com/corporate-massage/

any office will be left behind if they do not look after their staff and this is on of the best ways in looking after them.

book today at www.therapy4u.biz for the best corporate massages around at competitive prices

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Apr 16 2015

T’ai Chi — the Ultimate Exercise for Massage Therapists (and everyone else)

T’ai Chi — the Ultimate Exercise for
Massage Therapists (and everyone else)
by Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day

Copyright 2005

WORD COUNT: 1,899

I, and my assistant teachers, have taught for several Massage Therapy Schools, for both private and public colleges, and yet I have no training in massage therapy. I am a T’ai Chi and Qigong instructor. Many would wonder what T’ai Chi and Qigong have to do with massage therapy, and the best answer is absolutely everything. T’ai Chi and Qigong are designed to help you avoid future repetitive stress injuries, reduce or eliminate current chronic pain conditions, lower your stress levels, improve your mood, maximize your balance and strength, and focus your awareness in ways that maximize your performance in every conceivable way. They can also widely expand your massage practice and abundance.

T’ai Chi and Qigong provide several benefits simultaneously that enhance the massage experience on many levels. Not only for your clients but also and most importantly for you. Healers must first heal themselves, or else their healing abilities become weakened. Dr. Andrew Weil, the best selling author and Harvard educated doctor now promoting holistic integrative therapies, illustrates this point by directing our attention to the human heart. The human heart first feeds itself oxygen, before feeding any other part of the body. This isn’t because the heart is selfish, it’s because the heart is wise. On some level the heart knows that it can’t truly and effectively serve its clients (the body’s organs) unless it (the heart) is operating at its highest functioning level.

Good T’ai Chi and Qigong teachers quickly discover that the quality of instruction they offer their students, or clients, absolutely depends on if they are taking the time to heal themselves with the tools they teach. This means that we must take the time outside our classes to do our own self-healing. Often we unconsciously think that if we choose a vocation in the healing arts than we will become healthy by osmosis. Actually, there is a kernel of truth to that, because when we are engaged in good altruistic endeavors research indicates this can improve health, however the amount is relative. Whether you are a massage therapist or a T’ai Chi teacher, taking time outside of your practice to “heal thyself” is the key to your quality as a professional.

The human central nervous system is the gateway through which all you will produce or become must pass. If your nervous system is loaded up with stress from the day or week, all you offer clients or loved ones will be murky and cloudy. We all know that on some days you are “at your peak” and clients walk out glowing with a truly altering experience. However, other days we just can’t quite find that place of clarity. In sports they call this state being “in the zone.” We all know what it feels like but we don’t know how to get there. T’ai Chi and Qigong practice are designed specifically to help us, not trip through the zone occasionally, but increasingly move and live within the zone day in and day out.

How does this happen? T’ai Chi and Qigong are aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, just like acupuncture (now recognized by the American Medical Association) and Chinese herbal medicine. What all three have in common is the understanding that there is a flow of subtle energy moving throughout the body. This is the bio-energy that animates the tissue not unlike the electricity that powers your home or computer. When the natural flow of life energy, or Qi (Chee) as the Chinese call it, gets blocked off our health systems diminish. There are two reasons energy gets blocked. One is through external accidents, of course when your leg is broken the energy flow is affected. But, the number one reason life energy gets blocked is through internal unmanaged stress.

Kirlian photography illustrates this as it shows that the temporary body stress of nicotine and caffeine disrupts life energy flow. A relaxed state is represented by the smooth even flow of Qi or life energy exhibited in the first photograph.

[1st image normal state. 2nd image after coffee and first cigarette. Illustrations of two Kirlian photographs from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi & Qigong (Penguin Putnam 1999, 2003, 2005).]

So, we know what it feels like to be “in the zone,” and we know that stress and stress producing chemicals can take us “out of the zone.” But, how do we get “in the zone.” T’ai Chi and Qigong practice produce what the Chinese call “smooth Qi.” This actually gives us a way to cultivate the state of being “in the zone.” Daily practice of T’ai Chi and Qigong leaves practitioners with the feeling of being more and more in the zone rather than accidentally finding it occasionally.

A side effect of being in this relaxed state of awareness is that more Qi, or bio energy, is flowing through you. This has been and can be measured with various devices. Not only is energy flowing through you more, but in a more balanced way. The result is that you feel better and think clearer, but also the quality of the energy your client receives from you is clearer and healthier. They may not know why the body work you deliver feels better than another’s, but over the months and years you practice T’ai Chi and Qigong you will find the desire for your personal touch becoming increasingly in demand.

One of my past students has come to such a state of high demand that she now screens her clients out. If after a few weeks her clients are not practicing T’ai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, or some other internal art to manage their own stress – she drops them. She says quite rightly, “Why should I wear out my tendons working out the collected stress you ignore all week long?” By having her clients do their own internal energy/stress management work she can take her practice to a deeper and more subtle level. Rather than her clients living unconsciously and collecting the same old loads over and over, she and they work together as a team to continually bring the client to higher and higher levels of personal health and growth.

By being in a T’ai Chi class you will also find a great networking situation. In my public T’ai Chi classes I ask massage therapists to bring business cards to pass out to other T’ai Chi students. I announce that usually the massage therapists in a T’ai Chi class are excellent because they are out to improve their instrument by being in the class. In my best selling T’ai Chi book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi & Qigong, I urge all T’ai Chi instructors to refer their students to massage therapy and urge all massage therapists to refer their clients to T’ai Chi classes.

Besides maximizing your effectiveness through expanded energy flow and hopefully your clients use of daily stress management tools, T’ai Chi and Qigong can add power and reduce the likelihood of injury in your practice. T’ai Chi teaches you to always stand with the knees slightly bent and the tail-bone (Sacrum) slightly dropped. This takes a bit of curve out of the lower back and transfers the pressure of standing and working from your lower back down into your thighs. This may make the thighs feel a bit strained at first, but that’s o.k. because the thighs are the strongest bone and muscles in the body.

Another strengthening aspect of T’ai Chi and Qigong is it teaches the art of “effortless power.” In T’ai Chi we teach what’s called “the unbendable arm” exercise. After learning how to facilitate the flow of Qi, or life energy, through the body with sitting relaxation therapies called “sitting Qigong,” a physical exercise is learned that teaches you how to resist pressure in a state of relaxation. One student bends the other student’s arm, even as he/she resists with all their muscular strength. But, then the same student relaxes, breathes, closes their eyes, and visualizes a silken flow of energy pouring over their head, through their neck, shoulder, arm, and out through the relaxed fingers. Then the other student again tries to bend their arm—but can’t. This allows the student to practice effortless effort. T’ai Chi movements at first seem to cause tension, because learning something new is stressful, but over time the student learns to move through all the motions of life in a relaxed, yet powerful way.

As you learn this art of effortless power, you will find you cannot only work longer and deeper, but with less personal residual damage. The slight postural adjustments T’ai Chi will teach you also take a great deal of pressure off your body during the day. For example, besides the dropping of the tail-bone (Sacrum) as you bend your knees into the T’ai Chi posture of motion called the “Horse Stance,” you will also relieve pressure off your shoulders and neck. For as you drop, relax, or sink, into the Horse Stance, you also let your shoulders relax away from the neck, and think of the head being “lifted” up as the chin is slightly drawn in. You see, the head is an eight or nine pound melon that can put a big strain on your neck and shoulder muscles when it unconsciously protrudes outward away from the shoulders during the day. In T’ai Chi, when you let the head lift, and the chin draw back, the shoulder pressure immediately begins to melt away.

Another repetitive stress injury avoidance therapy T’ai Chi provides is the gently no impact flow of its movements that rotate the body in 95% of the ways the human body can move. No other exercise comes close, even swimming, which only rotates the body in about 65% of possible rotations. This stimulates the flow of energy, circulation and microcirculation, rotates off calcium deposits, and also stimulates the flow of natural oils and chemicals to various joints and tissue throughout the body.

Lastly, and most importantly, the daily practice of T’ai Chi and Qigong cleanse the nervous system, or the mind, of accumulated tension or stress. This is what causes 70% of all illness, most death, and costs industry $300 billion per year in the US along—stress. By cleansing your stress with a T’ai Chi break after work, you enjoy your evening activities more with fewer loads unconsciously loaded on your shoulders and distracting your mind from the pleasures of the evening. Also, with a T’ai Chi break before work, you set yourself up to take on less loads from clients or co-workers. This is important for anyone in the healing professions. Psychologist are the highest suicide rate for professionals, because they collect loads from their patients, who unload on them all day, and are not trained in how to “unload.” T’ai Chi and Qigong are the ultimate unloaders, and pre-emptive unloaders known to man. Of course you also want to get weekly massage therapy to compliment your T’ai Chi and Qigong daily regimen.

By de-stressing, you will find that everything you do will come smoother, easier and more effortlessly. Your body will not only function better, but also alert you of problems long before they become irreversible. Your human interactions will become richer and more expansive personally and in your practice. If people have a choice between an excellent massage therapist who is relaxed and enjoyable, and an excellent massage therapist who is distant and distracted, they’ll take the relaxed one very time. T’ai Chi and Qigong may be the single most effective business decision you can make for yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bill Douglas is the Tai Chi Expert at DrWeil.com, Founder of World T’ai Chi & Qigong Day (held in 60 nations each year), and has authored and co-authored several books including a #1 best selling Tai Chi book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi & Qigong. Bill’s been a Tai Chi source for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. Bill is the author of the ebook, How to be a Successful Tai Chi Teacher (Namasta University Publishing). You can learn more about Tai Chi & Qigong, search a worldwide teachers directory, and also contact Bill Douglas at http://www.worldtaichiday.org

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Nov 17 2011

Office Chair Massage Keeps Costs Low, Spirits High

With the economy struggling, and public outrage at a peak over lavish corporate expenditures, some companies are still treating their employees well. They’re doing it cheaply, right from the office by hiring massage therapists to come to their businesses and provide employees with chair massage at or near their workstations.

”The massages we provide are not the type of luxury that you might find at a resort spa,” said Alana Eve Burman, president and founder of JoyLife Therapeutics, a provider of corporate massage across the U.S. and worldwide. “The cost is much lower, and employees get a significant stress relief and morale boost.”

And these are stressful times. With corporate revenue and earnings down sharply over this prolonged recession, times have rarely been worse for corporate expenditures on employees. However, companies are finding that office massage can be a cost-effective way to reward employees and de-stress the work environment.

“We need a way to reward our employees, to show them that they are worthwhile, even if the amount of money we can spend on them to do this has been reduced,” said Diana Cortijo with World Bank, the international financing and development institution and a recent recipient of office massage. “Chair massage offers us a low-price way to bring the luxury of massage to our employees.”

Office massage, in addition to being low-cost, is also low-maintenance for companies. Generally, therapists provide their own transportation to the business, and bring their own massage chair and supplies. They then perform massage on employees on-site, with the employees fully clothed in an ergonomically relaxed, seated position. Most on-site massage happens at an impromptu station, often setup in an unused meeting room in the office.

“It really takes the stress out,” said Helene Mangones of Graf Repetti & Co, LLP, another recent office massage recipient and New York based accounting firm. “All of a sudden bigger projects seem easier to tackle. And the stress that builds up during the day is relieved, allowing for an easier finish to the day, and even the current week and month.”

This stress reduction could ultimately lead to increases in productivity and a rise in profits. Stress is one of the leading causes of lowered productivity in the workplace. One estimate puts direct stress-related costs to businesses in the US at $300 billion annually. Studies by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami have shown stress reduction, mood and immune system benefits from massage therapy.

“We notice that things can get a little stressed, especially given the current economic environment,” Cortijo, of World Bank, said. “Office massage helps keep our workers’ minds and bodies fresh, and doesn’t stretch our budget to do it.”

By David Robbie Two BAs; work experience at a massage office

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