Monday 21st June, 2021

The benefits of preventive massage: with self massage options

Overview of preventive massage

Many companies provide their employees regular massage therapy to help reduce aches and pains, reduce the risk on injuries, and generally make workers happier and more productive. This approach is well supported by the results of clinical trials, plus no doubt those companies monitor the results to justify the expense.

Your options

Most don't have an employer to provide this service and it would be very expensive paying a professional therapist yourself. However, in this article I'll discuss some very effective self help massage options.


Corporate massages
Self massage alternatives (including table of benefits)

Massage therapist
Many companies provide massage to employees to help reduce their pain and number of injuries, plus make them happier and more productive
Corporate chair massage

Corporate massages

What is corporate massage

Corporate massages usually involve massage therapists visiting a workplace and providing massage services. Sessions are typically 15-20 minutes per employee, with the employee seated and clothed. The table below summarises how effective these are.

The clinically proven benefits of preventive massage

NOTE: You may need to scroll the table below left/right for more information

Reference (linked)


Type of massage



University employees

Ten 20 minute chair massages, at twice a week

Effective at reducing work related pain


Nurses and hospital staff

8 weekly 15 minute head, neck and shoulder massages

Significant reduction in pain and tension


Cardiac sonographers

10 weekly chair massages

Small study showed improvement in work related pain


Females aged 40-54

Twice weekly chair massages for a month

Reduced pain, improved movement


124 Office workers

Eight 15 minute chair massages

Prevented and alleviated pain, reduced mental stress levels

How much does corporate massage cost

A professional therapist attends the work place, charging on a per hour basis. Cost per employee would be worked out by dividing the hourly cost by the number of employees per hour (eg. three 20 minute massages per hour). Most providers will have a minimum visit charge and a discount for longer sessions. The following table is an example of costs.

Sample costs of corporate chair massages

NOTE: You may need to scroll the table below left/right for more information


Cost from website June 2021

$85 USD per hour

$77 AUD per hour

$75 USD per hour

$75-90 USD per hour

$110 AUD per hour

Self massage alternatives

A professional therapist providing these services for a home visit would probably cost similar to the hourly charges listed above. A short duration massage at the professional's clinic may be a bit less, but you would need to make an appointment and attend the clinic each time. This would be expensive if done each week, so lets' look at your self massage options. For further information please see our article The benefits of self massage.

Self massage with hands
Self massage using hands

Self massage that mimics manual massage therapy

Manual therapy from a professional therapist is an excellent therapy. However, can it be effective as self massage without a professional therapist's skill, knowledge and training?

Self massage using one's hands

This therapy can be very effective, but one is limited to massaging the parts of your body that you can easily reach, which excludes most of your back and shoulders

Self massage using tools

As discussed in our article on foam rollers we do not recommend these. The results tend to be minimal and inconsistent, while safety is a big issue. On the other hand, as discussed in our article on a traditional form of thai self massage a self massage tool called a wilia stick was found to be very effective.

Machine massage therapies

In our article Machine vs hand massage we discuss that there are two types of machine massage therapy: those that mimic manual massage therapy and those that use vibration or percussion therapy.

Massage cushion
Massage cushion

Machines that mimic manual massage

These are massagers such as chairs, cushions and some feet massagers. In general, good quality versions can provide some reasonable therapy. Without the skill and knowledge of a professional therapist these are unlikely to be as effective as professionally applied therapy, but they do allow practically unlimited therapy.

Self massage allows the benefits of quality massage at home for little cost

Vibration massage (RECOMMENDED)

As we discuss in our article The scientifically proven effects of vibration massage- with clinical applications vibrations delivered by an effective massager penetrate better than manual massage and have excellent benefits. Further, it's application does not require and special massage skill. Therefore, if you follow the correct simple procedure and use an effective machine it should provide excellent benefits.

How to use vibration massage

Using vibration massage is extra-ordinarily easy. We ask you to check our our instructions for the fine points and precautions, but basically all you need to do is place the vibration massager on the muscle over the trigger point and let the vibrations penetrate for 30-60 seconds. This can easily be repeated every day.

How to choose a massager

For how to choose an quality massager that will do a great job and that you will be extremely happy with please see our article How to choose a massager, or you can go straight and check out our economical, easy to use professional standard machines: the General Purpose Massager or our Ultimate Quad Head Massager.


DrGraeme massagers were originally built by Dr Graeme for use in his clinic, and to prescribe to his patients for additional self use at home. Now these are used by colleagues and other professionals for similar purposes. If you are a professional and wish to know more about this therapy, or possibly get a sample massager to trial please check out our practitioner page.


  2. Katz J. A randomized, controlled study of the pain- And tension-reducing effects of 15 min workplace massage treatments versus seated rest for nurses in a large teaching hospital. Pain Res Manag. 1999;4(2):81–8.
  3. Engen DJ, Wahner-Roedler DL, Nadolny AM, Persinger CM, Oh JK, Spittell PC, et al. The effect of chair massage on muscular discomfort in cardiac sonographers: A pilot study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010;
  4. Šiško PK, Videmšek M, Karpljuk D. The effect of a corporate chair massage program on musculoskeletal discomfort and joint range of motion in office workers. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;
  5. Cabak A, Mikicin M, Łyp M, Stanisławska I, Kaczor R, Tomaszewski W. Preventive chair massage with algometry to maintain psychosomatic balance in white-collar workers. In: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2017.

We are continually adding more information on research and uses. Subscribe below to have us email them to you "hot off the press".

Dr Graeme

About Dr Graeme

Several years ago Dr Graeme, a Chiropractor practicing in Victoria, Australia was looking for a serious hand held massager his patients could use at home to get the extra quality massage they needed. The ones he found in the shops and on-line for home use looked nice but were not serious, and... read more

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