How massage helps to reduce stress in the workplace: The Benefits of Oxytocin
By establishing regular office massage sessions, you will reap the financial rewards of a happier, healthier and more productive workforce, resulting in a more profitable business.
Onsite massage helps to improve employee wellbeing by reducing levels of stress in the workplace.
Primarily, massage helps to reduce stress levels because it stimulates the release of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is your wellbeing or ‘love hormone’ and is associated with the emotion of trust and security. It soothes the nervous system, thus relieving stress and anxiety. It makes you feel relaxed but alert and engaged, whilst also inducing feelings of optimism and self esteem. The perfect ingredients for developing a working environment where employees are calm, friendly and focused!
Oxytocin is also nature’s antidote to Cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) and they function opposite each other; when one is high the other is low.
Cortisol is produced in stressful situations to prepare your body for ‘Fight or Flight’. As a result, our hearts pound, our muscles tense, and we are suddenly on high alert. However, people tend to activate the fight-or-flight response multiple times during a typical day, usually because of situations that are annoying and stressful, but not life threatening, e.g. traffic jams, long queues, train delays or deadlines.
All those surging stress hormones can take a toll on the body, so although vital and protective in short term, when sustained in the long term it can be very damaging to health. Continually high levels of Cortisol can lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insomnia, depression, lowered immune and digestive function and obesity.
However, increased levels of Oxytocin counter the effects of Cortisol which is why massage is so beneficial in the treatment and prevention of stress related illness. Other benefits of regular onsite office massage sessions include:
Benefits to Employee:
- Relieves back, neck & shoulder pain, headaches and eye strain through alleviating muscular tension
- Improves concentration & focus as a result of increased oxygen delivery to the brain
- Stimulates endorphins – your body’s natural painkiller and ‘feel good’ hormone
- Improves sleep patterns (cortisol levels are about 50% higher in people who get only six hours of sleep a night)
- Boosts energy and reduces fatigue by restoring blood and lymph circulation
- Strengthens immunity by stimulating your ‘natural killer cells’ (cortisol destroys these cells)
Benefits to Employer:
- Demonstrates commitment & loyalty towards your staff’s health & wellbeing
- Boosts morale and motivation
- Increases productivity and profits by maximising your teams potential
- Attracts, engages and retains key talent
- Reduces costs associated with sick leave and absenteeism