NEA Provided Swedish Massages for Employees to Deal With ‘Stress’

'Fully clothed'

August 11, 2016

The National Endowment for the Arts provided Swedish chair massages for its employees last month to reduce their stress.

A flier circulated to NEA employees and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon showed that seated chair massages were offered to employees on July 27.

"Chair massage is a fully clothed massage performed by a therapist in a chair specifically designed for massage," the flier states.

The purpose of the massage is to relieve stress and boost morale at the NEA.

NEA Chair Massages

"Workplace massage can help reduce employee stress while improving overall job satisfaction," according to the flier. "Stress at work can ‘result in low morale, increased anxiety, and depression, as well as other health-related concerns.’ A 1996 study conducted by Shulman and Jones of the Touch Research Institute in Miami, Florida, found that massage in the workplace helped reduce anxiety. The study indicated that 15 minutes of chair massage was more effective than a 15-minute break to reduce anxiety."

"Schedule yours today!" the flyer said.

The massage sessions were with Robin Younginer, a licensed massage therapist who specializes in "Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage."

The advertisement noted that each 15-minute session cost $20. It is unclear if the NEA hired Younginer or if employees were reimbursed for the cost. A request for comment from the NEA was not returned.