Questions & Answers
Why did you choose a high-tech name for a such a high-touch service?We chose the name MassageSpecialists.com because the Internet is an important component of the service that we offer. We were first massage company that we know of to offer Web-enabled scheduling. This solves an important problem for customers, because it eliminates the inevitable phone tag delays typically associated with booking massage services. While we also have a full-time receptionist who you can call speak with to set an appointment, Web-enabled scheduling lets customers request sessions instantly, and at any time of the day or night. In this way, MassageSpecialists.com gives customers a level of speed and convenience that is new to the business of massage therapy.
What services does MassageSpecialists.com offer?MassageSpecialists.com offers massage and wellness services in several key areas:
MassageSpecialists.com aims to take massage into a corporate mainstream. What do you mean by this?
Our aim is to bring massage therapy into the mainstream workplace. Until recently, massage therapy was always thought of as a luxury. We want to show that it's a health maintenance tool that lets companies empower their employees by allowing them to maintain their bodies for all of those sub-acute problems, and to address a lot of those acute repetitive strain problems -- short of major illness. Our idea is to give employers a perk that's healthy, cost-effective and time-efficient to implement.
Why are on-site employee massages an attractive perk for companies?
Companies are discovering several benefits to on-site massage. First, massage therapy feels great -- people enjoy getting it, and it's a great stress-reliever. It's also an attractive perk that companies are starting to offer to attract and retain employees. And it makes a company look great in the eyes of its workers. It builds rapport between employer and employee.
What's more, on-site massage has the added benefit of immediacy and time-savings. Employees don't have to travel off-site to take advantage of it.
What sets MassageSpecialists.com apart in field of corporate on-site massage therapy?
MassageSpecialists.com is different on two counts. First, we're the first massage therapy company to offer Web-based online scheduling. This is important because it lifts the management burden off of the HR department or office assistant to actually coordinate a massage program. Instead, an employee can schedule their own appointment time by logging onto a Web page and clicking on an available time-slot. Web-based scheduling also puts an end to phone tag -- a very common problem in the massage business.
MassageSpecialists.com is also different because of our size. Massage therapy is a service industry dominated by small, one-person businesses. We have 12 certified massage therapists, which means that we more easily accommodate a company's scheduling and staffing needs. We are often asked to send two or three massage therapists to a company headquarters, trade show exhibit or remote company meeting.
Why should businesses consider an ergonomics review for their workplace?
Businesses already pay a high price for ergonomic problems in the workplace. Not only are repetitive strain injuries becoming the most common, most expensive claims to treat, they also result in the longest time away from work for injured employees. This translates into an average of 30 days away from work and $12,000 to $17,000 in direct medical costs -- per employee. (According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards, the total direct and indirect costs of repetitive strain injuries approach $100 billion annually in workman's compensation claims.)
This means that businesses actually pay twice for repetitive strain injuries - once in productivity loss when the employee is away for treatment, and again when their insurance premiums go up. That's the direct incentive to invest in preventing repetitive strain injuries.
Indirectly, ergonomics improvements are important because making people comfortable at work makes them more productive. In fact, the less severe cases of repetitive strain injury may be a much larger problem than severe cases. For every 500 employees, the real expense isn't for the two individuals who are 90-100% debilitated. It's the other 498 people who are 10% debilitated as far as muscular performance and how people feel. How much less productive are employees when they have a migraine headache? How much less productive are they when they're experiencing excruciating neck or back pain?
An ergonomics program from MassageSpecialists.com can maintain productivity by increasing employee comfort while actually saving tens of thousands of dollars in direct insurance costs.
What companies has MassageSpecialists.com done ergonomic consulting work for?
Since introducing the service in late 2000, we've done work for USWest, NetLibrary
How does MassageSpecialists.com help companies create more ergonomically friendly work environments?
We look at current conditions to identify places where workers are making inefficient use of their muscular system. Then we recommend and can implement modifications that allow staff to perform the same tasks using less effort. Getting the right workspace design depends entirely on the dimensions of the individual. A tall person will require a different positions for a keyboard, monitor, desk or chair than a shorter person.
Some of the questions we ask include:
What sort of recommendations would you give people who want to improve their workspace ergonomics?
Here are several rules of thumb:
Does MassageSpecialists.com only consult to office environments?
No. We'll look at any kind of workplace situation -- from factory floors to restaurants, to retail environments.
How is MassageSpecialists.com different from other companies offering ergonomics consulting?
There are companies out there that do ergonomic consulting work, but they may only focus on environmental factors. MassageSpecialists.com addresses the entire range of factors -- from workplace ergonomics to the personal habits of the worker. We not only identify the problems, we treat the cause and educate to ensure that people work smarter not harder. Furthermore, this all happens on-site for minimal productivity loss. This mix is absolutely unique.
What sets MassageSpecialists.com apart as a provider of massage therapy?
As a massage company first and foremost, we have a very capable technical edge that a lot of massage companies lack. Often we see people after they've been through the gamut of treatment for repetitive strain injuries. They don't want surgery, and often they've already been through physical therapy and occupational therapy -- and they still haven't gotten better.
Our technical edge in massage therapy comes from our staff: we have people who are trained in Neuromuscular Therapy, which is a very technical, western, structural type of massage therapy. (There are, incidentally, over 150 different modalities of massage, which range from "energetic" eastern therapies at one end, to western structural approaches.)
MassageSpecialists.com is also more technically proficient than many massage therapists. In fact, many massage therapists come to us for massage therapy. The reason is that it's hard to find good technical work -- which is our focus.
Does MassageSpecialists.com Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Yes. In fact, we have a 90% success rate with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), which we treat through soft tissue work, myo-fascial release, hydrotherapy and a re-education program that teaches people how to work on problems themselves. We show people how to do appropriate stretches and exercises to relieve the muscular tension that may cause CTS.
However, people should know that CTS is much rarer than you might think. As a "syndrome," the term has been used to cover almost any upper extremity pain, and a lot of doctors use it as a wastebasket catch-all phrase. Among upper extremity disorders, true CTS happens in only about 5% of cases.
If true Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes only 5% of upper extremity pain, what causes the remaining 95%?
Upper extremity pain -- properly called Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) or Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) -- is almost always muscular in origin. There are about 32 different muscles linking the neck, shoulder girdle and local area of the arm, and they can all refer pain into the lower arm as a result of constant use. In the case of RSIs, the body pumps extra fluid into a given area to actually make the tissue swell, effectively immobilizing the area. This inflammation is a soft-tissue problem and is well within the realm of problems that we treat.
How can massage therapy help cure soft-tissue problems?
Massage therapy is particularly useful for RSIs because it increases circulatory flow and moves fluid out of the troubled area. The result: less pain, less inflammation and faster healing.
What makes MassageSpecialists.com different from "traditional" massage therapy services?
We're different because we go a step beyond just treating RSIs. We also look at the reasons why those conditions originate in the body, and how you can prevent them after treatment. This means that we look at the individuals structure, habits, and also at the environment where they spend the most time.
MassageSpecialists.com delivers overall wellness to an organization as it applies to work habits and how people use their bodies while working. Treatment is only as strong as the habits the person engages in before or after we can treat a given problem. Problems will always re-occur if you don't change the environment or the habit that created the problem.
Because we actually treat the cause of the problem, massage therapy can be a more effective solution than other approaches -- including physical therapy and surgery.
What criteria do you use when hiring massage therapists?
Collectively the therapists at MassageSpecialists.com have over thirty five years of treating stress related injury and illness. Therapist each have over 1000 hours of specialized training and average three years technical job experience. All of our therapists are certified and insured, and are members of the American Massage Therapy Association.
Does MassageSpecialists.com compete with services offered by physical therapists?
Not really. Manual Therapy, the act of getting in and working the tissue, is something not many physical therapists do. While some companies may offer the services of physical therapists, they usually aren't trained in soft tissue remediation to the extent that our massage therapists and neuromuscular therapists are trained.
How does MassageSpecialists.com help athletes perform better?
We've worked with athletes on biomechanics and postural analysis for over seven years. Our list of clients include four of the top Iron-Man Competition winners around the world in the last five years: Ken Glah, Peter Reed, Sue Latshaw and Chucky V. One thing we do for athletes whose sports involve repetitive movement is to figure out how they can become more efficient. This includes performing gait and standing analysis to identify things about their muscular-skeletal structure that may be inefficient or which may predispose them to injury.
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