PROFIT MAGAZINE (November, 2002)
by Andrea Szego
Test Drive: On-site massage
Rub staff the right way: On-site backrubs can make you a
favored employer — for less than the cost of lunch.
Invented in the early 1980s, portable massage chairs
allow practitioners to deliver backrubs in the comfort
of your own office. Now health-conscious employers
searching for novel perks are fuelling a boom in on-site
massage sessions. The promised results: improved
concentration and reduced stress in 15 minutes or less.
So PROFIT editors Andrea Szego, Kali Pearson and Ian
Portsmouth put on-site massage to the test.
Eva Tettinger-Dudas, a massage practitioner with
MassageTime of Mississauga, Ont., arrived at PROFIT's
Bay Street offices lugging a big vinyl bag on a luggage
trolley. Within 10 minutes, her massage chair was set up
in a spare office, and soft New Age music overlaid with
birdsongs floated through the air. One by one, the
editors submitted themselves to 15 minutes of Swedish
and Shiatsu massages purported to stretch and knead
tension away. Here's what they had to say:
Andrea Szego: "The forearm kneading and hand
massage, ending with gentle pulling on my fingers. I
didn't know I'd stored so much tension there."
Kali Pearson: "Firm but gentle pressure briefly
untangled the typing-induced knots in my upper back."
Ian Portsmouth: "Eva asked me to take a deep breath,
then squeezed my trapezius muscles as I exhaled, causing
a warm wave of energy to flow through my body."
IMMEDIATE EFFECT ON PRODUCTIVITY…
AS: "Positive. I was calm but alert, ready to
resume constant keyboarding."
KP: "Positive. The 15-minute break had me raring
to get back to work."
IP: "Neutral. Only the last-second chops brought
me back to life."
At $15 per employee session, on-site massage costs less
than a decent lunch (and contains fewer calories). It's
a helpful break from the daily grind, which is something
every employee should appreciate.
MassageTime can be reached at