Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Summer Slump..and How to Beat it



Happy first week of Summer!  Here begin the months of daydreaming about vacations (and hopefully taking a few as well), along with the accompanying decline in productivity.  This phenomenon is known as the “summer slump”.  

Check out this infographic created by Grasshopper that breaks down exactly how the summer months affect employees and their productivity.  25% of office workers across the U.S. feel significantly more unproductive during the summer months as a result of office temperature, lack of vacation, and summer distractions.  Perhaps this can be attributed to years of our school system conditioning us to expect THREE WHOLE MONTHS of vacation a year, and then entering the real world to find out we get a grand total of ten days (on average).

Here are some ways to get around the dreaded summer slump:

1.    Control your work space temperature - If you can, of course.  While too hot of a temperature will definitely lead to a decline in productivity, so will freezing cold cubicles.  During the summer, many offices will overcompensate with their indoor temperatures to combat the outdoor heat, which results in freezing, unproductive employees.  The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration recommends a temperature range of 68°F to 76°F.  Fun fact: the indoor thermal comfort regulations are based on a male’s average metabolic rate and overestimates a female’s, resulting in females being colder in the same temperature.  So make sure to tell your boss to take everyone into account!


2.    Exercise - We know that exercise can improve your concentration and has a whole host of other mental benefits (in addition to the obvious physical ones).  However, studies have shown that employees who exercise at work manage their time better and feel more productive on the days that they do.  So if you’ve got a way to exercise at work, do it.  If not, talk to us about our corporate wellness exercise programs.

3.    Take time for yourself - Instead of daydreaming of vacations you can’t take, take some time for yourself closer to home!  Mediate, get a massage, spend an evening alone binging on your favorite TV show, you name it!


This summer, let us help you beat the summer slump.  We may not be able to control your office temperature, but we absolutely can help you with exercising and taking time for yourself.



#healingshandsmiami, #therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #massage, #wellness, #summer, #office, #vacation



Sunday, June 16, 2019

The ROI of Corporate Wellness


Corporate wellness programs can be summed up as programs implemented by employers to increase employee satisfaction, health, and engagement.  Healthcare.gov defines a wellness program as “a program intended to improve and promote health and fitness that’s usually offered through the workplace, although insurance plans can offer them directly to their enrollees.”

There are several options for what an effective corporate wellness can include.  Incentives for healthy behavior such as cash rewards or paid time off, discounted or free gym memberships, healthier food options at work, or access to exercise classes/wellness programs at work (which is where we come in, by the way).

But are corporate wellness programs beneficial for employers?  Well, take a look at Johnson & Johnson.  They enjoy a strong return on investment from their employee wellness program; about $1.88-$3.92 saved for every dollar spent on the program through lower employee medical costs.  Meaning, there has been up to a 300% return on investment.  Those are massive returns.  

One study also showed that employees who participated in a health promotion program at work and reaped the lifestyle improvements regained an average of 10.3 hours in additional productivity annually and saved their companies an average of $353 per person per year in productivity costs compared to non-participants.

Not only are there implied savings through a workplace wellness program, but there are also associated tax benefits.  On the federal level, employee wellness programs are deductible as a business expense.  While there has been talk of implementing a federal tax credit, some states have already done so.  Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Indiana already employ a version of a tax credit for employee wellness programs.  In addition, there are even small company grants available to implement wellness programs for companies with less than 100 employees who work more than 25 hours a week!  For more detailed tax information, check out this website.

As an employer, the numbers speak for themselves: corporate wellness programs work.  Even under a triple bottom line approach, CW programs are a no-brainer as they satisfy not only financial but social concerns as well in the workplace.  As an employee, we’ve just presented you with a strong case to make to your employer to bring one of our corporate wellness programs to your company.  Take action!  And don’t forget to let us know in the comments how you’re helping your workplace stay healthy.



#healingshandsmiami, #therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #massage, #wellness, #servicespotlight, #healthylifestyle, #money, #savings


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Men’s Health Month


Happy Sunday!  It’s officially June, which means it’s Men’s Health Month.

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.  This initiative is anchored by a congressional health program, while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women’s Health sponsors a women’s health week in May.  Wait a minute…men get the entire month of June and women get a single week in May…?  That may be a little uneven, but that’s a talk for another day…just sayin’.

On average, men die younger than women, are less likely to be insured, and die at higher rates from nine of the top 10 causes of death.  In fact, significantly more men die of cancer, ischemic heart disease, and suicide.  The top cancer among men in the U.S. is Prostate cancer.  More than 170,000 men a year are diagnosed, and about 30,000 a year die from prostate cancer.  While there genetic factors that contribute to someone’s tendency to develop these conditions, there are also things that are under your control that can influence your susceptibility.

General self-care like maintaining a healthy diet and a regular physical activity regimen can go a long way to preventing heart disease, cancer, depression, and a number of other factors that lead to the top 10 causes of death.  Also important?  You guessed it, massage!  Here’s how: we’ve mentioned several times that massage has numerous health benefits like reducing blood pressure and easing depression.  These conditions are often the precursors to some of the causes of death previously mentioned like cardiac disease and suicide.  See?  It’s all interrelated when it comes to your health. 

This June, let that special man in your life (father, son, husband, mailman, etc.) know that you care about their health, and they should too (not-so-fun fact: men visit health care providers at lower rates than women).  Give the gift of health with a gift certificate for one of our massages today!




#healingshandsmiami, #therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #massage, #wellness, #menshealth, #healthylifestyle, #holiday



Thursday, June 6, 2019

Corporate Wellness Services and Their Effects on Employee Stress


We all know that a relaxing massage is great for lowering stress, but how great would it be to get a massage with the goal to reduce stress while at work?  Enter our corporate wellness services!  They are proven to reduce stress and are designed to be efficient and effective.  We know you’re busy, but we want to help you be relaxed and better focused while you’re busyHere are some highlights that demonstrate just some of the effects on employees our corporate services can bring:

Chair massage
Again, it’s no secret that massages alleviate stress.  But while at work you probably don’t have an hour to spend splurging on a massage.  Good news, studies have found that even a brief 15-minute chair massage during work hours (ahem, we have that covered) once a week can lower stress.

Mindfulness Meditation 
Evidence suggests that MBIs (mindfulness-based interventions) are an alternative method of improving workplace performance and environment.  This study found that a 6 week long mindfulness training course improved attention at work, decreased work-life conflict, and even improved job satisfaction.  This suggests that our mindfulness meditation sessions might be a great option for long-term employee satisfaction and even a tool for stress reduction!

Yoga
This study examined a group of government office workers in Great Britain and found that the group that was instructed to perform yoga exercises for 50 minutes a week experienced not only less stress, but much less back pain, greater concentration, more peace of mind, and even increased confidence.  Seems like a win-win to me!

Pilates and Zumba
This study on the relative benefits of cardiovascular and resistance exercise to reduce work place burnout reports that “after four weeks of exercise participants had greater positive well-being and personal accomplishment, and concomitantly less psychological distress, perceived stress, and emotional exhaustion.”  Pilates is a form of resistance exercise, and Zumba is a form of cardiovascular exercise.  The result?  A well-rounded exercise program that will help you feel better and more relaxed at work. 

Acupuncture
Check out this blog we wrote all about our acupuncture corporate wellness program.  One of the highlights?  You guessed it: reduced stress.

Healing Hands has a well-rounded and most importantly evidence-based corporate wellness program.  Don’t forget to talk to your employer (or employees) about implementing one or of all our corporate wellness solutions at your institution for skyrocketing productivity, and incredibly reduced stress!



#healingshandsmiami, #therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #massage, #wellness, #servicespotlight, #healthylifestyle, #pilates




Saturday, May 18, 2019

Service Spotlight: Acupuncture


This week on Service Spotlight we’re looking at one of our services that at first glance might seem a little intimidating: acupuncture.  Acupuncture is a practice that entails penetrating the skin with needles in specific areas of the body in order to provide stimulation that helps alleviate pain and treat various health conditions.

Recently, there have been numerous studies on this ancient Chinese practice that prove acupuncture is a powerful way to treat pain and nausea.  A recent meta-analysis found that acupuncture is effective for managing chronic pain.  

Interestingly enough, scientists don’t really understand how or why acupuncture works, even though the evidence that it does work continues to build.  There are multiple hypotheses, spelled out in this article.  However, the one consensus is that it is not a placebo effect.  For a detailed (and science-loaded) explanation of the effects of acupuncture on the body as well as a detailed overview of why it may be beneficial as an alternative treatment as opposed to overused and unwarranted medical practices, check out this page.
One area of interest to all of you working professionals may be the evidence that acupuncture helps alleviate lower back pain…one of the most common grievances of office workers today.  Sadly, sitting all day can wreak havoc on our body.  In addition, headaches are another super common complaint (due to our high-stress lives) that can be effectively treated through acupuncture.  Hooray!

Of course, we can’t forget stress.

If you are a professional in the modern-day world, chances are you have high levels of stress.  But guess what?  Stress is yet another condition that acupuncture has been shown to help, and we’re happy to bring the solution right to the source of the problem (i.e., your workplace!).
Through our corporate wellness programs, we offer both individual and group acupuncture services.  The best part?  If you’re apprehensive about needles, we have something for you too!  Ear seeds and/or acupressure can be used to achieve similar results.  

Have you ever had acupuncture done?  Let us know in the comments how you liked it!  And talk to your employer about setting up an acupuncture session for your team to relieve some of that modern-day stress.



#healingshandsmiami, #therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #massage, #wellness, #servicespotlight, #healthylifestyle, #acupuncture



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Massage and Osteoporosis


May is national Osteoporosis month. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, by age 50 about half of all women and 25% of men will break a bone due to osteoporosis.  This is a disease in which bones become weaker and thinner, putting you at an increased risk for fractures.  While there are genetic predispositions, lifestyle choices such as proper exercise and nutrition also factor into the development of the disease.

The good news is, osteoporosis can not only be prevented (to a degree), but also managed.  One way to manage the pain of Osteoporosis is through…massage!  Massage therapy can help osteoporosis by promoting relaxation, increasing movement, improving posture, providing pain relief, and increasing joint health.

An educated massage therapist will make sure to first focus on relaxation and assess the health of your joints and tissues.  They should use gentle movements and avoid deep tissue work to emphasize a healthy range of motion.  To relieve the pain and stiffness that comes with chronic pain, some Swedish massage techniques can also be used to enhance blood circulation to the affected structures.

There are also several other considerations for osteoporosis massage, such as positioning clients for comfort, placing pillows under their trunk or back, and avoiding mobilization techniques or flexion exercises that stress the bones.

In short, while massage therapy can be very beneficial to someone suffering from osteoporosis, it is important to have a skilled massage therapist who will carefully examine your intake form and joint health before beginning.  Luckily, at Healing Hands we have massage therapists skilled in providing pain relief.  Schedule your appointment today!


#healingshandsmiami, #therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #massage, #wellness, #painrelief, #healthyaging, #agingwell, #osteoporosis, #healthylifestyle, #energy


Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Physiological Effects of Monthly Massages


Sure, it feels great to pop in and see a massage therapist every now and then.  It’s a great way to pamper yourself and relieve stress during a particularly crazy time.  Self-compassion and the idea of splurging on yourself for once, otherwise known as “Treat Yo-Self,” means that it’s actually really great for you to spend a little time on self-care.
However, have you considered regular, monthly massage appointments?  Besides having one day set aside each month to treat yourself with a relaxing spa session, you will actually start to see some physiological effects of regular massages as well. 
Here are a few short-term and long-term ways you may start to notice your monthly self-care trip is benefiting your health.


What You’ll Feel After Three Months of Routine Visits to Your Massage Therapist:

·        Lowered Anxiety and Stress Levels: Even after your first massage, you will start to notice that you feel more relaxed, which can be a major plus if you suffer from stress and anxiety.  When our bodies experience stress, we tend to tense up our muscles, which leaves our bodies feeling fatigued and sore.  Just one massage helps loosen up these muscles, increase blood flow, and lower stress and anxiety.  

·        Reduced Chronic Back Pain: A study found that after 10 weeks of regular massage, people experiencing chronic back pain felt less discomfort, and even needed fewer painkillers to manage their symptoms.  Cut down on the number of trips to your medicine cabinet with regular trips to see your massage therapist.

·        Help with Insomnia: Massages increase your serotonin levels, which aides in your ability to not only fall asleep, but also stay asleep.  Unlike other sleep aids which can be harmful or addictive, you’ll experience no negative side effects from a massage, and you’ll find yourself able to fall asleep a little easier – especially after an evening massage.


What You’ll Feel After Six Months of Regular Monthly Massage:

·        For Clients with Diabetes: If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, regular massage could impact your blood glucose levels.  Especially when massages happen at the injection or site of absorption for insulin, there have been marked improvements observed in lowered blood glucose levels.  Additionally, increased blood flow as a result of your monthly massages can help with neuropathy symptoms that accompany diabetes, such as nerve pain.  

·        Reduced Fibromyalgia Symptoms: Even after your first massage, if you experience the pain of fibromyalgia, you will notice decreased pain, but with regular massage, you will start to notice the following benefits as well:
    • Better sleep (especially after evening sessions)
    • Improved muscle strength and function
    • Headache relief
    • Decreased stress and anxiety
·      Focus for ADHD: Studies have shown that massage has been helpful in increasing focus and decreasing the stress and anxiety that can accompany ADHD, especially in children.  While immediate improvements were shown in their ability to focus and be less squirmy and more attentive in class, continued massage therapy has also shown long-term behavioral improvement in the classroom.  There was also an uptick in confidence as well.


What You’ll Feel After Twelve Months of Regular Monthly Massage:

·        Continued Improvements for Patients with Diabetes: A year of regular massages, especially at the insulin injection or absorption site, can help Type 2 patients not only see lowered blood glucose levels, but actually close to normal blood glucose levels.  Additionally, you may also notice a reduction in the amount of inflammation you are experiencing.

·        Lowered Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can leave you at risk for stroke and other major health complications, but it’s actually been proven that the relaxation or regular massage lowers your blood pressure.  

·        Additional Health Benefits: Other ways that regular massage can help improve your overall health:
o   With improved blood flow comes improved immunity, making you less likely to pick up to cold that might be floating around your office, or at your kids’ school.
o   After an extended period of regular massages, you may also begin to notice an increased range of motion.
o   Improved mental clarity is another great “side effect” that regular massage can provide as a result of lowered stress.
It’s important to consider that regular massages are so much more than just one day a month to splurge on 60-90 minutes of pampering.  Regular, monthly massages will leave you feeling healthier and happier, and truly make a difference in your overall well-being. 

Learn more about our monthly massage membership packages, and read FAQs here.


#healingshandsmiami, #therapeuticmassage, #corporatewellness, #monthlymassage, #gifts, #healthylifestyle, #naturalmedicine, #nostress, #diabetes, #backpain, #fibromyalgia, #ADHD