Massage for thousands of years now benefits both our body and spirit. It is integrally connected to our wellbeing.
For your Team
Corporate massage can increase your team’s performance as well as nurture a feeling of belonging.
640 Employees / 11 Points 4 Days / Athens-Larisa-Thessaloniki
‘’They offered 12’ of rejuvenating dry massage sessions without oil, in each one of us, in the meeting rooms we provided them. In combination with the energy drinks and special food mixtures they offered us at the end, they left each receiver perfectly happy, rejuvenated and in a really good mood’’
‘’The implementation methodology had an amazing flow, it anticipated for every possible detail and it was also flexible enough to adjust to our own particularities and rules. They were consistent, organized and handled professionally the project that we assigned them. Hygiene levels were high and the overall organization required little of our own time.’
OTE – Cosmote Group
1200 Workers / 6 Points / 4 Days / Athens
‘’They responded to our every request with great willingness and flexibility in the intensive program, they showed absolute adaptability to different audiences and cultures, and thanks to their communication skills they won all the employees.’’
‘’In the few minutes of break time for the workers in the Call Centers, Mark and John worked intensively and with great quality thereby giving really valuable moments of wellness to our employees, which was recorded on the assessment form completed afterwards.’’
‘’We believe that the opportunity will be given for a new cooperation – particularly in the context of Internal Communication programs – for the OTE Group employees, as a request has already been made for the resumption of a Wellness program with our partners Mark and John.’’
We have a series of delicious and beneficial suggestions that will accompany and supplement your people’s experience. Our focus is exclusively on super-foods and antioxidant mixes that boost your mood and increase your energy levels.
Our goal is to educate you about methods that promote physical and mental wellness as well as new ways of diet. If we influence your nutritional habits positively, we will also help you change your daily routine. Changing your daily routine helps improve your body’s energy reserves, boost your mental power and consequently increase your productivity.
12 Stress Management Apps to Relax Your Mind & Body
Stress and anxiety — to some degree — are natural parts of everyday life. Think about it: You get that feeling when a driver cuts you off on your way to work, or when you have a looming deadline, or when you spill coffee on your shirt. Source These stressful moments can range from uncomfortable and annoying (even motivational) to completely debilitating. What’s worse, these negative feelings can build on themselves really quickly until they feel out of control. That’s why it’s crucial to monitor our emotional health whether or not we have a diagnosed disorder. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, unmanaged stress symptoms “can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior,” and can lead to some serious physical repercussions. Self-help can be our biggest asset, and luckily for us, there are some great apps out there that can help you manage your stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Here’s a list of some of our favorites. Note: These apps are not intended to be substitutes for medical advice — they’re for educational purposes only. Consult your healthcare professional before making any health, medical, or other decisions based on the data within these apps. 12 Stress Management Apps You Need to Try 1) Pacifica Price: Free Available for: iOS | Android Here’s a daily tool that’ll help you address stress and anxiety at a gradual pace. The folks who invented it based it on cognitive behavioral therapy combined with relaxation and wellness techniques. The app itself is pretty low maintenance: The idea is to track your daily activities by writing or via audio. The app then helps you understand what activities might be triggering different moods and emotions, especially stress and anxiety. The goal here? To help you recognize what’s making you anxious or stressed so you can break the cycle. It also gives you goals to set and emotional homework. And, unlike many of the self-help apps out there, it’s refreshingly non-fluffy. 2) My Mood Tracker Price: Free for lite, $4.99 for full version Available for: iOS (Android alternative: T2 Mood Tracker) Here’s another app that lets you track your emotions and activities throughout the day, with the goal of helping you figure out what’s driving these emotions. Monitoring your mood in an app can help you find some useful correlations — for example, some folks find their mood changes depending on whether or not they worked out that day. You can put in your sleeping times and sleep quality, medications taken, amount of exercise performed, stress levels, menstrual cycles, and more in here. It’s a pretty robust app, hence the $4.99 price tag — although you can download the lite version for free. The Android alternative, T2 Mood Tracker, is also free. 3) GPS For the Soul Price: Free Available for: iOS The GPS For the Soul app was created by Arianna Huffington and Deepak Chopra, both outspoken advocates for emotional well-being. The app helps to connect you with “guides” that make it easier to manage your stress. Each guide includes a combination of things like pictures of nature, breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga. While there are many guides to choose from, you can also create your own by uploading photos of loved ones or by adding your own music or quotes. Once the guide has launched, a breathing pacer will help you measure your breathing. Your feed will help you see what your friends are feeling and what’s helping them, too. The point here is to help you put things into perspective and remember all the things that you can be grateful for. 4) Pay It Forward Price: $0.99 Available for: iOS | Android Several bodies of research show simple acts of kindness make people feel good. And there may also be particular benefits to varying our acts of kindness, as novelty seems to be linked to happiness as well. That’s why folks involved in the Pay It Forward movement created this app, which encourages users to do acts of kindness every single day. Each morning, it offers a short list of suggestions for what to do — stuff like pay for the next person’s cup of coffee, for example. It keeps track of your progress as you go and connects you with people to share recommendations with, including friends and family who have downloaded the app, too. Don’t expect anything fancy from this app: The interface is as simple as the idea. But what a great reminder to give back in small ways every day. (And what a great thing to wake up to every morning.) 5) Buddha Board Price: Free Available for: iOS Buddha Board is an app inspired by the Zen concept of living in the moment. It lets you “paint” virtually, using your fingers, on the surface of your mobile device. Once you’ve “painted” your design, watch as it slowly disappears. Gradually, you’ll be left with a clean slate — and, theoretically, a clear mind to go with it. “Allow yourself to ‘let go’ and not be concerned with each outcome – live in the moment and enjoy,” reads the description on iTunes. It’s simple, easy, and fun to use. But be warned: One iTunes reviewer complained that although you can use it on your iPad, the screen resolution is pretty poor on a larger screen. If you’re looking for something to use on your iPad, check out Zen Space. Instead of painting, Zen Space lets you create your own zen garden — accompanied by soothing music — and save your images if you want to look at your masterpieces later. 6) Self-Help Anxiety Management Price: Free Available for: iOS | Android Created by a university team of psychologists, computer scientists, and student users, the Self-Help Anxiety Management app (nicknamed SAM) helps you figure out what’s making you anxious or stressed while also suggesting ways to combat it. It’s a great resource for external information, covering everything from information about anxiety to physical and mental relaxation techniques. Along with these resources comes guidance for putting these techniques into practice. Over time, you’ll be able to see a graph of your anxiety so you can self-monitor. 7) Breathe2Relax Price: Free Available for: iOS | Android Has anyone ever told you to close your eyes and breathe when you’re having even the smallest of panic attacks? That’s because focusing on and controlling your breathing can really help calm a person down. In fact, diaphragmatic breathing (i.e., breathing from your stomach) has actually been proven to decrease stress. The Department of Defense’s Center for Telehealth and Technology created this app to help soldiers and their families learn stress-relieving breathing techniques — but, of course, it works for everyone. It also offers some great information and resources on depression, anxiety, stress, and more. So the next time you feel like you’re getting super stressed, try letting this app guide you into some mindful breathing exercises. 8) Happify Price: Free Available for: iOS This app helps you improve your mood using positive-thinking activities. Their philosophy, based on scientific research, is this: We each have a genetic set point for happiness — but we also have the ability to offset it. In other words, we have more control over our happiness than we might realize. By practicing certain exercises and interventions that promote positive emotional qualities (like kindness and mindfulness), we can choose our thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Over time, these choices will become habitual and will gradually increase our resilience and make us happier. That’s exactly what the Happify app aims to do. It helps you set specific goals and offers tips for achieving those goals. The positive-thinking activities include games, posting about something you’re grateful for, or imagining what a situation would be like in someone else’s shoes. CNN named this app among the top apps to train your brain and better cope with stress. 9) Personal Zen Price: Free Available for: iOS If you’re a fan of playing games on your phone to relieve stress, try adding this one to your repertoire. The premise of the game is super simple: It takes place in a garden where two faces, one happy and one angry, drop into the ground. The happy face creates a trail of grass you have to quickly trace with your finger. The more you play, the more attuned you become to look for the happy face instead of the angry one. Imagine this setup set to soothing background music. That’s literally it. And it works, according to science: It’s based on an emerging cognitive treatment for anxiety called attention-bias modification training (ABMT). “Essentially, this treatment involves training patients to ignore a threatening stimulus (such as an angry face) and to focus instead on a non-threatening stimulus (such as a neutral or happy face),” writes Mihir Patkar for Lifehacker.org. “This type of training has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress among people suffering from high anxiety.” All it takes is 25 minutes of play time to reap the positive benefits, according to a study published in the Clinical Psychological Science journal about the app. 10) Relax Melodies Price: Free Available for: iOS If stress or anxiety gets in the way of you falling asleep or staying asleep, you might want to try an app like Relax Melodies to help you relax before bedtime. The app lets you choose from 48 relaxing ambient and nature sounds — everything from ocean waves to white noise — as well as calming music and guided meditation sessions. You can customize these sounds into a mix, or choose just one. You can also set a timer for them to stop playing after a certain amount of time, or set a time during the night or morning for them to wake you up. 11) Headspace – recommended by WorkWell & Zenah Price: 10 free, 10-minute sessions, with upgrade for $12.99/mo. or $94.99/yr. Available for: iOS | Android Meditation is another great stress relief technique — and Headspace is one of the best apps out there for guided meditation sessions, especially if you’re a beginner. These guided sessions will teach you how to turn off that brain chatter and meditate effectively. The free version includes access to Take10, a starter course including ten 10-minute meditation activities geared toward beginners. From there, you can pay a monthly subscription of $12.99 to receive more and longer meditation sessions, as well as sessions for specific purposes like less stress and conscious eating. 12) The Worry Box Price: Free Available for: Android (iOS alternative: Worry Watch) How great would it be if you could just take all your worries, put them in a box, and leave them in that box — instead of having to carry them with you wherever you go? That’s what The Worry Box is for. It’s exactly what it sounds like: A virtual “box” where you can record all the things you’re stressing about and leave them behind — kind of like the “letting go” philosophy from the Buddha Board app. Then, the app lets you think them through. If the worry is controllable, it’ll help you list out some steps for managing it. If it’s not controllable, you can select from a list of coping statements to help you approach it from a different angle. It’s based entirely on cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that are proven to relieve and manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
7 Meaningful Steps to Reduce Stress & Tension in Your Office
Most of us have worked with various different companies in our life span. Regardless of the deadlines and targets that need to be met, there are work environments that simply thrive on stress and others that keep it to a manageable minimum. Why is that? It often relates to the culture and actions that companies take to achieve just that. Increase results but make a strong effort by taking specific actions to reduce tension. Here are some steps towards that much desired balance: Source 1. Identify the problem areas The first step to helping your stressed out employees is to find out what they’re stressed about. Stress comes in many forms and is sparked by many reasons. And while some ways of addressing stress may work across the board, there are times when you’ll need to tackle stress in more specific ways. Are you employees overworked? Are deadlines and responsibilities asking too much of them? Is there a bad seed among your team that is making the workday unpleasant? Are work expectations too high and consequences too severe? What’s the overall atmosphere of the workplace? Do you personally feel burned out often? For the most part, these are questions that need to be answered by your workers. Managers may not see the issues employees face, or they may be in denial. A regular anonymous survey of your employees will give you all the insight you need. And looking at survey responses over time will tell you which areas are improving and which are not. 2. Have fun For too long, we’ve associated work with drudgery. But work doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful, or even boring. Companies in every sector should be able to let loose once in a while. Though we can’t all have as much fun as they seem to over at Google headquarters, we can do something to bring some fun into the workplace. The possibilities are endless: parties and celebrations for any reason, awards ceremonies, happy hour Fridays, weird hat day, formal wear dinners, summer picnics, holiday parties….. You get the idea. To maximize the stress-relieving effects of company parties, be sure to include your employees’ families (see point #5) 3. Massage at work None of our clients would invest on WorkWell for as long as they have if workplace massage wasn’t effective. Massage programs can serve to address many of the effects of workplace stress. Those effects include tight muscles, physical tension, aching necks and backs, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and shallow breathing. A weekly 15-minute massage can address all of those issues. But most people know that already. The real questions companies have about massage programs are about the cost of a program, how to set it up, and tips to organize a program for their company. If you have questions like these, we are happy to give you some guidance. We have and we are as we ‘speak’, accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience from the best corporate source: People like you! 4. Plants, light, decor People underestimate the impact our physical environment can have on their morale, stress levels, and productivity. When stress is high at work, try giving some attention to the light, décor, and general ambiance of the workplace. Bring in some potted plants to help clean the air, allow personal decorations to liven up the cubical farm, and bring in table lamps instead of florescent lighting. Also rethink your dress code. Depending on the business culture of your field, you may be able to be more lenient with your office dress code. Of course, some positions will need to stick with the tried and true professional wear, especially anyone meeting with clients, vendors, or customers on a regular basis. But for everyone else, consider if there is an opportunity to ease up on dress code restrictions. 5. Work/life balance Lowering stress at the office might mean creating some flexibility with work schedules. There’s a reason more companies are adopting “unlimited vacation” policies and work-from-home days. The more control employees have over their own work schedule, the more they’ll enjoy their work. Offering flex time and reducing the mandatory time you need bodies at desks can create a big impact on the company culture. As long as tasks are being completed and everyone is accessible when needed (virtually or not), work should still flow smoothly. 6. Impromptu Breaks Encouraging more mid-day breaks will allow employees to focus better on their tasks, and will reduce burnout. A study by DeskTime, a workplace productivity program, has shown that an optimal work-to-break ratio is the 52:17. That’s 52 minutes of dedicated focused work, followed by a 17-minute work-free break. That means no email, no creating to-do lists, nothing. This time ratio has been found to be one of the most effective for getting focused work completed. If this kind of schedule won’t work for your company, consider other times of impromptu breaks, such as a 5-minute meditation period every couple of hours. Bring in a mindfulness coach to instruct workers on stress-relieving breathing techniques or easy meditation tips. The key is to eliminate multitasking. 7. Get people moving Finally, keep workplace stress at bay by keeping your employees’ bodies strong, limber, and healthy. Physical stress creates mental stress, and vice versa. You can often address one by addressing the other. Start holding informal walks at lunchtime, hold yoga classes in the evenings after work or early in the morning, and bring in personal trainers to teach simple stretches to your employees. Offer incentives to employees who walk or bike to work and cover race fees for employees and a guest who enter a local 5k, 10k, or marathon. We do that with our Corporate Wellness services and programs at businesses across the country. Want to give it a try? Simply contact us for a two hour demo with WorkWell either for On – site massage, Office Yoga and Office Pilates
Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her — that meditating can literally change your brain. She explains: Source: Health Science Journal.gr & remedyspot.com Q: Why did you start looking at meditation and mindfulness and the brain? Lazar: A friend and I were training for the Boston marathon. I had some running injuries, so I saw a physical therapist who told me to stop running and just stretch. So I started practicing yoga as a form of physical therapy. I started realizing that it was very powerful, that it had some real benefits, so I just got interested in how it worked. The yoga teacher made all sorts of claims, that yoga would increase your compassion and open your heart. And I’d think, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m here to stretch.’ But I started noticing that I was calmer. I was better able to handle more difficult situations. I was more compassionate and open hearted, and able to see things from others’ points of view. I thought, maybe it was just the placebo response. But then I did a literature search of the science, and saw evidence that meditation had been associated with decreased stress, decreased depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia, and an increased quality of life. Q: How did you do the research? Lazar: The first study looked at long term meditators vs a control group. We found long-term meditators have an increased amount of gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex. Which makes sense. When you’re mindful, you’re paying attention to your breathing, to sounds, to the present moment experience, and shutting cognition down. It stands to reason your senses would be enhanced. We also found they had more gray matter in the frontal cortex, which is associated with working memory and executive decision making. It’s well-documented that our cortex shrinks as we get older – it’s harder to figure things out and remember things. But in this one region of the prefrontal cortex, 50-year-old meditators had the same amount of gray matter as 25-year-olds. So the first question was, well, maybe the people with more gray matter in the study had more gray matter before they started meditating. So we did a second study. We took people who’d never meditated before, and put one group through an eight-week mindfulness- based stress reduction program. Q: What did you find? Lazar: We found differences in brain volume after eight weeks in five different regions in the brains of the two groups. In the group that learned meditation, we found thickening in four regions: The primary difference, we found in the posterior cingulate, which is involved in mind wandering, and self relevance. The left hippocampus, which assists in learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation. The temporo parietal junction, or TPJ, which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion. An area of the brain stem called the Pons, where a lot of regulatory neurotransmitters are produced. The amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear and stress in general. That area got smaller in the group that went through the mindfulness-based stress reduction program. The change in the amygdala was also correlated to a reduction in stress levels. Q: So how long does someone have to meditate before they begin to see changes in their brain? Lazar: Our data shows changes in the brain after just eight weeks. In a mindfulness-based stress reduction program, our subjects took a weekly class. They were given a recording and told to practice 40 minutes a day at home. And that’s it. Q: So, 40 minutes a day? Lazar: Well, it was highly variable in the study. Some people practiced 40 minutes pretty much every day. Some people practiced less. Some only a couple times a week. In my study, the average was 27 minutes a day. Or about a half hour a day. There isn’t good data yet about how much someone needs to practice in order to benefit. Meditation teachers will tell you, though there’s absolutely no scientific basis to this, but anecdotal comments from students suggest that 10 minutes a day could have some subjective benefit. We need to test it out. Q: Given what we know from the science, what would you encourage readers to do? Lazar: Mindfulness is just like exercise. It’s a form of mental exercise, really. And just as exercise increases health, helps us handle stress better and promotes longevity, meditation purports to confer some of those same benefits. But, just like exercise, it can’t cure everything. So the idea is, it’s useful as an adjunct therapy. It’s not a standalone. It’s been tried with many, many other disorders, and the results vary tremendously – it impacts some symptoms, but not all. The results are sometimes modest. And it doesn’t work for everybody. Q: So, knowing the limitations, what would you suggest? Lazar: It does seem to be beneficial for most people. The most important thing, if you’re going to try it, is to find a good teacher. Because it’s simple, but it’s also complex. You have to understand what’s going on in your mind. A good teacher is priceless! Get in touch with us for our Office Yoga and Mindfullness Techniques