Stress in the workplace
Having worked in a high-pressure office environment for over ten years before I trained as a reflexologist - and having treated high-achieving, often highly stressed clients in the decade since I qualified - I am very aware of how stress can impact an individual, both physically and emotionally.
Stress can trigger irritability, insomnia, anxiety and depression; it weakens the immune system, which in turn can lead to physical illness. In fact, stress is at the root of around 75 percent of illnesses we face today.
The effects of stress are insidious. They creep up unnoticed - and so people tend not to be individually proactive about combating them until it’s too late, particularly men.
A large proportion of my private clients come with stress related problems, many of whom have already been signed off work. If I had been able to see them earlier then it would be very unlikely that things would have got to such a stage.
How Reflexology can help
The majority of work stresses are unavoidable but what we can do is minimize the impact they have on us. Reflexology is a fantastic way to reduce the effects of stress. It helps to promote relaxation, stimulate vital organs and encourage the natural healing processes of the body. All essential in keeping the effects of stress at bay.
By relieving stress and tension, it can prevent illness. Regular reflexology can also speed recovery from a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses.
• Less sickness and absenteeism.
• Relief from stress-related conditions, from headaches and migraine to insomnia.
• Better concentration, leading to greater productivity and fewer mistakes.
• Improved creativity and planning.
• Better decision-making under pressure.
• Improved staff morale.
Many companies engage chair masseurs to do twenty-minute sessions. These feel great and are fantastic for working out knots in shoulders, but they don't really provide any lasting relief. Reflexology has more of an effect on the whole body and mind, and the benefit is much longer lasting.
The workplace benefits of reflexology have long been recognised in countries like Denmark, with a number of studies showing its efficacy, particularly with regard to reducing sick leave (see studies below).
Reflexology in practice
Reflexology works really well in an office environment because the treatments are space and time efficient. Treatments are carried out in a reclining chair and can be done beside a desk, if need be - although a separate room is a better option. An effective treatment can be given in twenty to thirty minutes. I will bring all the necessary equipment
Treatments can be subsidised or part-subsidised by the company or paid for by employees. In my experience, employees appreciate the treatments more when they are paid for by the company - and more of them will be inclined to try it. Once they have tried it and experienced the benefits, they are much more likely to seek treatments outside of work and at their own expense.
Prices start at £50 an hour for a minimum of 3 hours. A half day (4 hours) costs £180 and a full day (8 hours) £320.
I am fully insured with £5,000,000 of cover for malpractice, public liability and product liability.
Reflexology at work - Case studies
STAFF STUDY SEEN WITHIN WORCESTER HOSPITALS.
By Anne Jordan, First European Conference.
Twenty-eight subjects (22 females & 6 males, aged 22 to 66 years) were reported on in this study. Subjects received one 40-minute reflexology session per week for six weeks. Response to reflexology was measured after each session on several parameters including: pain, mobility, lassitude and psychological stress. All subjects reported some improvement after six sessions, with significant improvement being reported by: 74% of the 23 subjects experiencing pain, 53% of subjects concerned about mobility, 62.5% of subjects concerned with lassitude, and, 55% of subjects concerned with psychological stress. It is concluded that reflexology is a cost effective treatment for companies and institutions concerned about absenteeism and sick leave.
By Leila Ericksen, The FDZ Research Council
This paper reports that employment of a reflexologist by Ishoj Health Department to serve 57 home helpers resulted in 2,499 less sick hour leaves in a six month period - compared to the same period the prior year. This was calculated to correspond to a savings of DKK 214,914 (approximately U.S.$32,000). The number of reflexology treatments during this six-month period was 863. The reflexologist was subsequently permanently employed.
A CLOSE UP VIEW ON COMPANY REFLEXOLOGY! - AN ANONYMOUS USER SURVEY
By Leila Ericksen, The FDZ Research Council
Telecom Taastrup hired a reflexologist 3 days a week for its 7-800 employees. In this survey 156 employees, who had received a total of 1025 reflexology treatments during a one-year period, were sent a questionnaire. The return rate was 75% or 116: 87 from women, 19 from men, 10 blank. Treatments had been for back pain, muscle tension, headache/migraine, and stomach/intestinal problems (60%) a further 20% for common problems related to movement. 56% responses indicated that the reflexology treatments helped. 29% indicated that the reflexology provided partial help. The remainder of respondents indicated that the reflexology treatments did not help (7.5%),or, that they did not know (7.5%). In addition, 40% indicated that the reflexology treatments received had reduced their number of sick days. It was concluded that there was a direct economical benefit as well as increased wellbeing and productivity of the employees.
POSTAL REFLEXOLOGY - EXCERPT OF THE ODENSE REPORT NOVEMBER 1993
By Synnove Madsen and Jette Andersen
This report presents the effects during a 3 year period of employment of a reflexologist by the postal district of Odense which has 1450 employees. A total of 235 employees, 142 women and 93 men, received reflexology treatments. 72% (170) employees reported a good effect, 26% (60) employees reported some effect, and 2% (5) reported no effect. During the 3-year period the average number of sick days per employee per year is shown to decrease from 11.4 days to 8.5 days. It is estimated that this decrease in sick days saved expenses of DKK 1 million (Approximately 110,000 pounds sterling).