The Psychological Benefits of Touch

Massage - Touch

Massage

is often thought of as a way to relax and unwind – And it is! But did you know there is a vital psychological component to massage as well? Touch is one of the most important cues human beings need to be able to form relationships, cooperate with one another and be healthier, too.

Touch is often overlooked and under-appreciated in our society. Many people are spread out and they remain in their homes more than before, communicating via smartphones and computer screens, instead of having face to face conversations and being close to one another. There is an emphasis for people to have a wide berth of personal space and not touch anyone else. But science is proving that human beings need touch more than they think. In fact, it seems to be imperative to good emotional and physical well-being.

The sad conditions of Romania’s orphanages from the 1960’s to the 1980’s is an example of how bad things can get when babies and infants are not held. During those years, contraception became restricted, abortions were outlawed and childless couples were taxed, in hopes of boosting the population, but over one hundred thousand children ended up in understaffed state run institutions because they could not be cared for. There was one nurse to over 20 infants and as a result, these infants did not get touched often. The psychological effects were astounding. They were void of expression, could not form bonds with others, and had issues so severe that many of them remain in institutions as adults.

When infants are touched often, it increases oxytocin levels in the brain and also seems to activate growth, attachment and response. When infants are not touched, the results are usually disastrous. They do not perform well cognitively, they do not form relationships and they are oftentimes disturbed. But it’s not just infants. When adults who are otherwise of sound mind and body get put into isolation, they quickly unravel and become disoriented, agitated and prone to hallucinations. We need human contact to be mentally healthy.

Where does touch come into all of this? One might think, sure we need some friends but why the emphasis on touch, specifically? Because scientific studies have parsed out touch versus socialization and discovered touch may be more important to well-being than socializing, alone.

For instance, When 20 premature infants were transferred to a normal care nursery, they were given ten minutes of touch therapy and stimulation three times a day. Compared to the other babies, they gained 47% more weight per day and scored higher on alertness and motor coordination tests. They were tested at eight months and twelve months, as well, and the benefits were still apparent. [1]

Infants aren’t the only ones who benefit from touch. When adolescent HIV patients were given massage therapy with their treatment, they reported less anxiety and depression, but also had an increased white blood cell count and immune response, compared to the ones who did not receive massage. [2] Some studies suggest the simple act of hugging other people can boost our own immune response. [3] Because of this, touch is starting to gain traction in nurseries and with the elderly, who are less sick and depressed if they receive massage. In fact, some programs pair elderly people with orphaned babies, for cuddle sessions and care, to their mutual benefit.

Human beings are social creatures. We depend on one another and need close relationships more than many of us would like to admit. Even more so, we need intrapersonal touch. Perhaps not everyone has a circle of friends, family, and lovers to fill that need. Long days at work, relocations, and digital communication seem to be pulling us all away from the tighter, tribal circles we once had. But this doesn’t have to be the way we live. Reach out and touch the people around you, visit people who may be lonely, volunteer to cradle infants, or get a massage on a regular basis. Studies show it will make you happier, healthier, and smarter.

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Chair Massage for Conventions

A welcome sight!

Conventions and Trade Shows are often places of high tension, stress, and exhaustion. Not only are they exciting and fast-paced, but also often concentrate a great deal of industry-specific information within a limited space and time span. Many conventions also take place “out of town” and by the time attendees are on-site they may still be adjusting to a different time-zone, hotel room, and local dining options. Well, these are your target audience, and your mission is to capture their attention and hold it as long as possible.

Few things will stop a conventioner dead in their tracks like the sight of an open massage chair. Even a short line won’t discourage them from daydreaming about taking a load off their feet and getting some relaxing bodywork. And of course, if they see our logo behind the chair, they’ll know you mean business. Standing in line for us means standing in front of your booth or display. And since standing in line can be a bore, a natural curiosity about your company or product will arise.

The chair is the hook and our therapists are the bait. We don’t mind because we’re in the fortunate position of helping out both your booth, and the people visiting it. If you’re setting up near a bigger, flashier competitor, go ahead and see what a couple of ZEN chairs can do to even the odds!

We Arrive Ready To Work: Give us a time, place and contact information and we’ll be there with chairs and smiles ready to do what we do best.
We Stay At Our Posts: Our therapists stay to do what they come to do. Even if traffic is slow, even if you’re not there. If we are a part of your booth and a part of the image you are projecting to prospective clients, we will not let you down.
We Help You Sell: Our therapists are friendly, open and can engage people from a non-threatening, neutral position. We can even wear your company logo.
We Keep The Chairs Rockin: We bring in relief therapists. Conventions and trade show can be grueling, with non-stop intensity and fatigue wearing on everyone as the day rolls on. We like to have a fresh set of hands at the chairs every few hours to maintain our quality of service.

Don’t underestimate the power of what our chairs can accomplish. We have seen it many times. An exhibitor spends a fortune on a glitzy display which might fascinate people, but the effect of which is diminished with repeated exposure. With our chairs, the later in the day it gets, the better they look, and the longer the lines get. How long will the average person stand in line to speak with your booth staff? We’ve had people waiting up to an hour for a 5 minute run in one of our chairs. That’s an hour spent standing in front of your booth, an hour of exposure to your marketing and media material. And by the time we’re done with them they are relaxed, smiling and flooded with endorphins. Go get em!

Our Standards of Service

Here’s what YOU get from Zen Massage

We strive to give you the best quality and value for each wellness dollar you invest in us. When we are your wellness partners we worry about only one thing, and that is the health and well-being of your employees.

Our service packages always include the following:

Licensed, Professional Therapists: While all of our therapists are licensed and certified, we also require significant experience and knowledge from everyone who wears our logo and stands behind our chairs. Friendly, knowledgeable, experienced and professional staff are the hallmark of our service and brand.

Dedicated Staff: We understand the value of a relationship. It is not reasonable to expect your employees to adjust to a different set of hands every time they get in the chair and is just as unfair to expect our therapists to have the full scope of each of your employee’s physical condition, past injury, range of motion, flexibility, and physiology if we keep changing your therapists. This is why we make every effort to develop long-term relationships between our staff and yours. To establish trust, knowledge and respect in your company for what we do and what we are there for.

Superior Equipment: We will always provide everything necessary to perform our full scope of service. This includes the best massage chairs in the world (Earthlite Avilla II), disposable face rest covers, sanitizing products, even music to listen to.

Regular Schedules: If we are scheduled, we’ll be there; on time, and ready to work. A regular schedule helps employees plan their chair-time around their day and reserve chair-time in advance to guarantee that everyone gets a chance to utilize our service.

Easy, Straightforward, Sensible Pricing: We do not sell massage in bulk. Each of our therapists works just as hard for every minute they are behind a chair. Their job does not get easier with more hours, in fact, quite the contrary. So why should they earn any less? We can not, in good conscience, place a lower value on their work just because they do more of it. In order to provide the type of service we ourselves would demand, we ask for one consistent rate for every hour of work.

In-House Clinics: While on-site chair massage is highly effective at alleviating localized muscle tension and workplace stress, it is not adequate to treat injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, or chronic structural issues which require extended bodywork on a table. Our massage clinics are available to treat what chair massage can not. The benefit of a referral is that our on-site therapist can provide our clinic with information about your employee’s condition which the employee may not have the anatomical knowledge to adequately describe. This type of referral can help our in-house clinician assemble a client history to help target our therapy more precisely and with much more positive effect.

Flexible Or Fixed-Term Agreements: Adding ZEN as part of your company wellness program couldn’t be easier. We have both short and long-term agreements available and can augment our staff to your changing needs.

We understand the importance of workplace health and the value of a low-stress environment for increased productivity and long-term job satisfaction. Every time one of our therapists enters your place of business, our reputation is on the line, and we do not leave our reputation to chance. If at any time, for any reason, you are not satisfied with the service we are providing, let us know and we’ll make it right!