The Cost of Stress on Everyday Lives
The Cost of Stress on Everyday Lives
What a world we live in today - physically, mentally, socially, economically and spiritually. We all come from diversified backgrounds; however, negative stress has influenced all our lives, especially these days. Whether you're a business owner or employee, the economic turbulence has compounded our stress to extreme levels. How each of us handles our unique situations greatly affects our personal and professional lives. As an employer, you have without a doubt experienced some or more of the following components related to employee stress.
- Decrease in productivity and profitability
- Higher levels of employee absenteeism and presenteeism
- Increased apathy for the job which can translate to personal frustrations
- Low morale and depression due to an uncertain professional future
Some of these symptoms can be directly related to physical and emotional responses that have impacted your business, including:
- Increase in the consumption of alcohol and/or smoking
- Increase in caloric intake and employee weight
- Increase in over-the-counter and prescribed medication
- Increase in employee/family financial catastrophe
- Increase in employee chronic pain, hypertension and more
Individually or collectively, the financial consequences are helping to contribute to the ever-increasing cost of healthcare and the erosion of American corporate profitability here and abroad. There is no one clear-cut solution to all of the negative aspects that filter through our lives, but employers and employees are searching and finding complementary or alternative therapies for relief.
One such therapy is therapeutic massage. I am proud to be a part of an industry and company that can offer an alternative therapy and, personally, I see and hear the positive impact that therapeutic massage can have on people's lives. To date, Massage Envy provides over 600,000 massages on a monthly basis to relieve back pain, stress, depression, chronic pain, mental fatigue, fibromyalgia and other physical and mental discomforts. It's not an end, by all means, but the human touch of a caring professional therapist can positively resonate to the core of anyone.
Touch Research Institute of Miami, Florida (TRI) has a distinguished team of researchers, representing Duke, Harvard, University of Maryland and other universities, that began research in 1982 and have shown that touch therapy has numerous beneficial effects on personal health and well-being including:
- Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling; reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
- Reduces muscle spasms while providing greater joint flexibility and range of motion
- Enhances athletic performance
- Promotes deeper and easier breathing
- Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
- Helps relieve tension-related headaches and migraines
- Improves posture and strengthens immune system
If you offer Section 125 benefits to your employees that include FSA, HSAs or HRAs you might be interested to know that therapeutic massage can be a qualified medical expense when prescribed by a medical practitioner. When considering the above abnormalities and the wide range affect that inhibit employee's daily functionality, why wouldn't you introduce therapeutic massage as an alternative therapy to your existing wellness program? I'm often asked by our corporate partners regarding massage therapy as an employee voluntary product, "Why isn't everyone offering this? It's a no-brainer."
There are other advantages of using pre-tax dollars for employee wellness that many employers may not know about, as well. Recently, I toured the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum in Scottsdale. Our guide stated that while Mr. Wright appreciated the quote "thinking outside the box," he was quick to point out that "you are still left with the box." Mr. Wright's philosophy was you should destroy the box altogether! Who could argue with one of the world's most prominent, creative and successful architects?
Perhaps there's some truth in this philosophy that our elected officials can take to heart while embracing some of the sound principles that have made our current healthcare effective. Complimentary alternative therapy needs to be a part of every employer's arsenal of healing solutions.
About the Author
Jesse Curry is Vice President of Business Development for Massage Envy. He is a 30-year industry leader in both the wellness industry and former New York Life agent specializing in employer group benefits. Shoot a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org