Call it irony or coincidence, but the World Series's final game just happened to fall on National Stress Awareness Day. If the ballgame didn’t cause some of your clients' stress; there’s a good chance that other factors in their lives are piling on the pressure. In its annual “Stress in America survey, Paying with our Heath Survey,” released last year, the American Psychological Association found that while stress levels overall had decreased since 2007 when the organization first began the research, stress levels are still higher than healthy levels.
On average, the survey found that Americans rate their stress level as 4.9 on a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress,” down from 6.2 in 2007. However, reported stress levels to remain higher than what Americans believe to be healthy, which is 3.7 on a 10-point scale.
The most commonly reported sources of stress reported include:
- 64% money
- 60% work
- 49% of the economy
- 47% family responsibilities
- 46% health concerns
When it comes to managing stress, 1 in 5 or 20% of Americans say they never engage in any activity to relieve stress. Among those who do, the most common techniques reported to manage stress include:
- 44% listening to music
- 43% exercising/walking
- 40% watching television for more than two hours per day
- 38% surfing the Internet
Needless to say, even with declining numbers, stress is affecting many Americans, and it’s a cost to the economy. An infographic created by Eastern Kentucky University indicates that workplace stress alone costs employers $300 billion annually in health care costs and missed workdays.
Promote massage to local businesses
Considering the extent and cost of stress to the workplace, promoting massage among local businesses can be a good way to help employees who may be struggling. The revenue opportunities for your spa or massage practice can be significant.
Make a list of companies where you have a contact or know someone who can introduce you to the head of Human Resources or operations to present your services. If the company already had a wellness program, free or subsidized on-site chair massage, as well as sessions at your spa or massage practice, it can be a great addition. If a company isn’t focused on wellness, be prepared to discuss the benefits of massage, referencing research and even client testimonials to make your case. It helps to have a presentation with your background, services, and anticipated results to share with company representatives.
Raise the visibility of your spa or massage practice in your community to help attract attention from companies, as well as individuals, of course. Look for opportunities to guest blog on the topic of corporate wellness inappropriate workplace blogs. Contact your local newspaper to see if they would be interested in doing a story on workplace stress and offer yourself as a resource on massage.
Promote massage among employees
Once you have your foot in the door, work with your company contacts to introduce and promote your services. Not all employees will be eager to sign up if they are new to massage or if they have to pay for part of the service. Some things you want to do include:
Send out an email
Ask your company contact to send out an email about your negotiated services. Include links to your website and any social media channels where you promote your business so that employees can learn more about you.
Create a handout
Develop a one-page flier for the company to hand out to employees to explain your services and answer anticipated questions. For example, employees may not understand that you won’t be using lubricants, and they don’t need to remove clothing for on-site chair massage.
Offer information for employee newsletters
Ask the HR department if you can provide information on massage for publication in the employee newsletter. Include research reports about the benefits of massage for relaxation, reducing stress, and alleviating pain. You also may want to submit a piece on sports massage therapy.
Provide online booking
To make it convenient for employees to sign up, offer online booking.
Stress due to work or other factors is a problem that needs to be addressed. Be part of the solution by building your reputation and partnering with companies to help their employees who may be suffering – many of them silently.