Reprinted with permission from efit.com If New York City-based massage therapist Richard Cardone has anything to do with it, the health-inducing massage will soon replace the unhealthy cigarette break. Cardone currently has thousands of corporate clients (4,000 in one building alone). In fact, his corporate clients are keeping him so busy, he's being forced to expand his 2½-year-old operation, called On-Site Massage Therapy.

Photo credit: eFit.com

As many companies in the United States demand that their employees dedicate more time and energy than ever to their jobs, the companies are also beginning to recognize the need for occasional stress release to keep their employees working at maximum productivity. A quick massage has become a simple, logical solution. "Massage is relaxing yet invigorating," says Cardone. "And it breaks up the boredom of the day. I use an acupressure technique, which works specific pressure points to relieve stress."
Deanna Fraschilla of Provincetown, R.I., has also been giving massages in the New York City area for more than 16 years. The benefits of massage therapy, she says, are enormous. "After giving and giving, a little bit of being taken care of feels great for people. A good therapist can hit the right points and change your life in 10 minutes. It's like watering a plant that hasn't been watered in a long time. It freshens up the body. You're getting fresh blood sent through your body, which brings oxygen." Kelli Palan, an employee at the public relations firm Patrice Tanaka and Company, has reaped the benefits of her company's corporate massage program. "Our company has been offering massages to its employees for about a year," she says. "We're on the phone a lot, so it's great to have an opportunity to have a massage and feel better. It's really good for the work environment. And if your work environment is more pleasant, you're going to work better." Need scientific evidence that massage can do wonders for the system? A study conducted at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School indicated that "massaged subjects showed enhanced alertness, math problems were completed in significantly less time with significantly fewer errors after the massage, and anxiety and job-stress levels were lower at the end of the one-month period." If you've ever had a great massage, you know how it can improve both your physical well-being and your enthusiasm for the work that lies ahead. The question is, Will your company offer occasional massages as a fringe benefit?

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