Massage Therapy Is A Key Part To Workplace Health and Wellness
The Austin Massage Academy sat down with the CEO of Welnys, Heather Waibel to talk about the benefits of massage therapy and its place in the emerging market of workplace health and wellness.
What is Welnys and what is the benefit they provide?
Welnys is a platform for workplace health and wellness services, nationwide. We connect companies to over 1,000 vetted health and wellness professionals who will come to the office to do things like chair massage, mental health seminars, mobile medical services, ergonomic assessments, flu shots and more. We also give employers digital tools to manage their program. With Welnys, employers can create, manage and measure the programs employees want, while vendors are matched to jobs that are safe, recurring and profitable.
Why did you start Welnys?
I used to work at a Fortune 500, and I traveled a lot for work. I noticed that every office had a very different wellness program- some great, some terrible. I wondered why employees at the same company had such different access to wellness options, so I asked the HR team. I learned that the company I worked for had no visibility into their own program. This was because the decisions were made and executed on a local level, and there was no software to allow the central HR team to see what was being offered, how much was being spent, and most importantly, if anyone was even participating in the program.
I started Welnys to provide a central way for HR teams to be able to implement and staff on-premise wellness programs across all of their offices with the click of a button, and to report back utilization data so that they can see if the programs they are providing are interesting to, and being utilized by, their employees.
Talk a little bit about the health benefits that massage therapy can provide to individuals.
Massage is one of our most requested, and most beloved, services. We often get feedback from employees that they feel much more relaxed and de-stressed after their session. I know for me personally, when I am spinning on a project, pausing for a chair massage gives my mind permission to relax- and then I usually problem solve that very thing I was spinning on, or come up with some great creative idea while I’m in the chair! It’s amazing.
Why should employers encourage their employees to engage in massage therapy?
Massage is a great way to increase your employee’s “goodwill” toward their employer. In other words, they feel that their employer cares about them, and wants them to be happy and healthy. Goodwill is metric that can help predict turnover. It’s a win-win for everyone.
What are the career opportunities for students that become certified massage therapists?
Here at Welnys, we are always looking for great chair massage therapists. Work is available nationwide, hours are flexible, and the pay is competitive. Massage can be a great career for someone who wants to set their own schedule.
Where do you think the market is heading for massage therapy and its integration into corporate America?
80% of companies with more than 50 employees offer workplace wellness services- and adoption is growing by 7% per year. The trend will only continue as employees come to expect less of a delineation between “work” and “life” and as self-care becomes a popular theme.
The Austin Massage Academy trains students to become licensed massage therapists to be able to capitalize on career opportunities like that at Welnys.