At the recent RAA conference, Ko Tan, of the American Academy of Reflexology, gave a spirited presentation on the considerable need to take reflexology into corporate America.
As I listened to the shocking stats of employee need and reflexology’s impressive ability to positively affect the bottom line in business, I started to think about the enormous career possibilities for reflexologists.
Tan first shared numbers issued by the American Labor Statistics board regarding the financial impact of headaches, chronic constipation, premenstrual syndrome and low back pain on businesses. He then highlighted results of reflexology research on those conditions and reflexology’s impact on workplace absenteeism and job satisfaction. Finally he outlined the considerations and steps to take to develop a successful out-call business in the corporate world. The possibilities were unlimited, and perfect for the person who does not like to be tethered to any one work space.
I’ll share some of the stats from the ALSB here, that will, hopefully, convince you of the enormity of the market:
- 47% of all adults have a headache disorder and “the financial costs to society through lost productivity are enormous.”
- In the United States, headaches cost an estimated $50 billion each year. The cost to business in lost productivity is approximately $6 billion to $17 billion/year.
- Migraines cost American employers about $13 billion/year because of missed workdays and impaired work function. Close to $8 billion was directly due to missed workdays. 4/26/1999
- 63 million people live with chronic constipation. 6.3 million are forced into ambulatory care visits; 700,000 are hospitalized because of constipation.
- Constipation affects 12% to 19% of Americans; its prevalence increases with age and it affects women more than men. It has a major impact on quality of life. Americans spend more than $700 million annually on over-the-counter laxatives. 7/14/2011
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- As many as 90% of women deal with the aches, pains and emotional stress of PMS at some time during their reproductive years. 30% to 40% have symptoms distressing enough to interfere with their everyday lives. 1999-2001
- Nearly 2 out of 5 women ages 14 to 50 experience some symptoms of PMS. 10% have symptoms severe enough to disrupt their usual activities. 1999
Low back pain
- The annual cost of chronic low back pain in the United States, including healthcare expenses, lost income and lost productivity, is estimated to be $100 billion. 26 million Americans between ages 20 and 64 experience frequent back pain. 2003
- Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years of age. More than 26 million Americans, between the ages of 20 and 64, experience frequent back pain. Back pain produced the highest amount of lost productive time (5.2 hours/week). 2006
If you want to approach business owners about providing reflexology to their employees, the first thing you are going to have to do is convince that company president that your work will lower absenteeism and increase productivity and job satisfaction.
Fortunately, that’s an easy thing to do. Bill Flocco, director of the American Academy of Reflexology, has compiled a collection of 380 studies that prove the efficacy of reflexology with 75 different conditions. His gracious gift to the world can be viewed here.
Additionally, studies regarding workplace reflexology show:
- 2499 fewer hours of sick leave the first 6 months of reflexology sessions. (Journal of Danish Reflexologists Association, Number 6, 1992)
- A postal company was able to save expenses due to a reduction in employee sickness or absence an average of 11.4 to 8.5 days per employee. (Danish Reflexologists Association, November 1993)
- 55% of employees reported reflexology was effective; 29% reported that it was partially effective; 50% had fewer sick days; 70% reported a greater awareness of their bodies. (Danish Reflexologists Association, February 1995)
- 97% of employees reported relief from their primary issue from receiving reflexology; 62% reported improvement; 35% reported partial improvement; 77% reported positive secondary effect(s). (“A Study of the Effect of Reflexology Treatment in the Eastern District of the Municipality of Svendborg, Denmark”; Danish Reflexologists Association, 1995)
- 79% of employees reported complete or partial success from reflexology; 57% reported that it helped in other areas; 92% wanted to continue; 30% reported a greater job satisfaction after reflexology. (“Reflexology as Personal Care in the Arthus District Corporation Take Good Care of Your Fellow Employees”; Journal of Danish Reflexologists Association, November 1996)
Seems worth considering to me, if you’ve yet to carve your niche in the reflexology world. I’ll write a “To-Do List”, in the next few days, for anyone wanting to do onsite reflexology in the workplace.
Stacie Peters says
Fantastic information. The need for Reflexology in the the workplace in Winnipeg is great. This kind of information is exactly what reflexologists need. Thanks you so much.
Karen Ball says
Glad you found it informative, Stacie. I did, too. I’ll post some notes on how to make it all happen soon.
I believe more and more people are awakening to alternative approaches to health and reflexology is certainly among the beneficial modalities that can stand out. I think relaxation and stress relief are the two most obvious benefits to receiving reflexology, and research is starting to show many other benefits as well. In these lean economic times I think people and businesses alike are taking closer looks at health, because lost productivity from illness in the workplace affects the bottom line, and rising health care costs affect everyone.
I can think of a number of work environments where stress relief and relaxation would be beneficial (air traffic controllers, police, the military (who incidentally has recently embraced yoga), among others. With the advances in technology and communication I believe more and more information will be brought out through research and studies that will further validate reflexology as an important adjunct to health, and open up some of the doors that are currently not open to us. Thanks for being on the cutting edge of the field and sharing it with the rest of us.
Joan Gurley Scop says
Karen your presentation is fabulous! I am impressed.
The research is excellent and doesn’t surprise me,
I am a believer in Reflexology!!
Karen Ball says