Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Relieving Employee Stress, Boosts Your Profits!

Everyone experiences stress as it is a natural part of life. A recent report in the San Francisco Chronicle said that according to the American Psychological Association one third of Americans are living with extreme stress. The most cited source of that stress was the workplace.

This is very costly to employers as it affects the bottom line. Employees that are stressed take more days off, work less productively, leave their jobs more often necessitating the training of new hires. If you are a boss or an owner of a company you are very well aware of these costs and what it is doing to your company.

What can you do about it? Well there is hope!

According to the article, “PricewaterhouseCoopers (a very large accounting firm) addresses stress in multiple ways. For example, in annual surveys, employees asked for more coaching and opportunities to connect with more experienced colleagues - and got them. Over the past two years, the firm has also created market teams for various business lines, which means that 80 to 100 people work together on a portfolio of client accounts. Employees can cover for one another more easily, easing some of the pressure.

Michael J. Fenlon, managing director for people strategy at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the surveys found higher satisfaction levels and lower turnover among those in market teams. The goal, he said, was "to create an environment where there's openness and a sense of mutual support, where I can work through life-cycle events and no one's going to think less of me."

Consider this report from WebMD: "A parent's anxiety leaps when their child is going into surgery. But a new study shows acupuncture needles -- carefully placed around the mother's ear -- can decrease her anxiety. When moms are less anxious, there's less anxiety in children, experts say.

Auricular or ear acupuncture has long been known to relieve stress and anxiety. Until now, however, it was not known that needles placed around the ear were so effective in relieving parental anxiety associated with a childs' surgery, a constant and very real concern for doctors.

Researcher Shu-Ming Wang, MD, at the Yale University School of Medicine. Wang presented study findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists being held in San Francisco this week.

In Wang's study, 43 mothers randomly chosen to get auricular acupuncture 30 minutes before their child's surgery had significantly less anxiety than the 49 mothers who got acupuncture but at the shoulder points, wrists, and joint positions.

Also, there was significantly less anxiety in children whose mothers received auricular acupuncture to reduce anxiety when they were wheeled into the operating room, and when the anesthesia mask was put on their faces.

If this tells you anything, it tells you that acupuncture can have a significant impact in reducing stress. At my clinic located in Silver Spring, MD which is near Washington, D.C., I use auricular (ear) acupuncture treatments as a way to help my patients reduce their stress and feel better. This can work just as well for you.

Auricular acupuncture can be done easily in offices or in schools to reduce test anxiety or in my office.

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