The high cost of sitting down on the job
One of the great things about working at MH Vicars School is getting free massages at our student practicum clinics. But it’s much more than just a nice perk, like free beer after your shift at the brewpub. It’s a health benefit.
Our admin staff (and even our faculty) spend a lot of time at their desks. And sitting is hazardous work!
If you’re reading this blog post from your desk chair, you’re probably familiar with the physical strain on the areas of your body that are most affected by long periods of sitting and inactivity. When we sit, our upper back, neck, and shoulders are under constant strain. This can lead to headaches, back pain, back spasms, jaw tension, and other forms of discomfort that follow you home from work and into the rest of your life.
Even if you’re very careful with your posture and get up to take quick breaks throughout the day, it may not be enough to ward off chronic tension—especially when you factor in the time you spend sitting during your commute and during your leisure time. Human beings simply weren’t meant to sit all day.
If I’m just sitting all day, why does my body feel so tired?
When your mind is busy answering the millionth email of the day, your body is working nearly as hard trying to cope with sitting still in a chair (and let’s be honest, probably hunched over at the keyboard).
When we sit in the same way for a long time, our body activates more muscles to compensate for the muscles that are getting fatigued. When one muscle or joint is out of whack, they all are. It’s a bit like how your hip starts to ache when you walk with a painful knee. Your body is always compensating for weakness. When one bodily system overdoes it, the rest of the systems will step in to try to ease the load.
You may also notice that you start to feel unwell after a long bout of desk work. That’s because poor posture and long periods of inactivity can not only cause chronic pain, but it can also put additional strain on your internal organs.
Pandemic-forced work from home has made things worse for many of us. Many workplaces pay attention to ergonomics for sitting employees: office chairs are designed to encourage good alignment for bodies of different heights; standing desks and exercise balls are available alternatives; monitor heights can be easily adjusted.
At home, we are slumped on the couch, bent over our iPad or laptop. Or we are at the kitchen table on a straight-backed chair, peering at a screen that is too high or too low.
Over time, you can expect this to lead to poor alignment and tense muscles. You may even experience sciatic pain, which feels like a lightning bolt shooting down the leg from the buttocks.
Another common side effect of long periods of sitting is slowed circulation, or blood flow, around your body. This is a big reason why it’s easy to become fatigued.
But don’t despair—massage can help!
Regular appointments with a well-trained registered massage therapist are an effective (and enjoyable!) way to combat the physical impacts of your desk job.
A good massage relieves muscle tension, help realign your body, and improve circulation. This improved blood flow and circulation helps your body get rid of metabolic waste and bring in nutrients and oxygen to tight muscles more effectively, helping you recover and thrive.
Let’s not forget about the positive mental effects that massage brings too! Massage is an excellent way to increase endorphins and reduce stress. After a long week in the office, what could be better for your body and your mind than spending an hour on the massage table, with nothing to focus on but taking care of yourself?
And the benefits of your massage extend long after you’ve left the clinic. A good RMT will work with you to determine your body’s needs and create a personalized treatment plan that includes homecare advice to prolong the benefits of your massage. They may even recommend easy stretches and strengthening exercises to help keep you feeling strong between appointments.
Get a high-quality massage at an affordable price
Getting a massage every week or every two weeks does wonders for your mental and physical health, but for many people the biggest barrier is price (even if they do have health benefits).
That’s why the public massage clinics at MH Vicars School are so popular. At only $35 for a one-hour appointment, our student massages make regular massage therapy treatments accessible to all. Our students treat clients of all ages, professions, and lifestyles. Our “regulars” range from people who had never had a massage before their first visit to Vicars, all the way to people who’ve been getting massages for decades and come to our students in between appointments with their fully trained (and full price) RMT.
Whether you’re a massage newbie or looking to supplement the treatments you get through your benefit plan, regular massages from at our clinic will make a huge difference in your well-being.
If you’re not feeling 100%, you can book 60-minute massages at MH Vicars. At our Edmonton and Calgary public clinics, you’ll receive massage therapy treatments from our focused and professional students at a sharply reduced rate. Your appointment includes a comprehensive assessment consultation, a full one-hour massage, and a home care consultation, all for only $35.
A review from one of our many happy clients:
“This is my favourite massage school. I have been for many massages for the last number of years. The students are consistently well trained… I have always, without fail, received fabulous massages. The clinics are well organized, and the atmosphere is professional and pleasant.”
If this would be your first massage, take a look at some frequently asked questions about what to expect from your first massage.
You can easily book online for student clinics at either our Calgary or Edmonton campus. Please note our updated Covid-19 regulations to keep the public, our student therapists, instructors, and supervisors safe. We look forward to seeing you there!