We hope you find this issue of MedWorks E-News informative and useful. For your summer reading, there are a number of excellent books out about how meditation not only improves productivity, but actually improves the make-up of your brain. We recommend: “Train your Mind, Change your Brain” by Sharon Begley, science reporter for Newsweek (see article link below).


FOUNDER'S FORUM:
MEDITATION'S CORPORATE ROI

Those of us who meditate regularly can attest to its many benefits: reduction of stress, a sharper and more focused mind, and the enhanced productivity and better decision-making that comes from both.

But what about the benefits in terms of dollars and cents?


  • Cornell University recently studied how well corporate wellness programs are paying off, using Johnson & Johnson’s program as an example.  They reported that the program saves the company about $8.55 million annually (1).
  • According to a survey of 800,000 workers in over 300 companies, the number of employees calling in sick because of stress tripled from 1996 to 2006.  An estimated one million workers are absent every day due to stress.  The total health and productivity cost of worker stress to American business is estimated at $50 billion to $150 billion annually (2).
  • It’s worth the effort for companies to find new ways to attract and retain the rising number of skilled workers who seek greater work-life balance.  It costs one-and-a-half times a worker's salary and benefits to replace them.  Retaining just 20 workers a year, who would otherwise have left, saves a company $2.6 million per year (3). 

Over the last seven years of teaching meditation in the corporate environment, our anecdotal evidence shows us that meditation has no equal among stress-reduction techniques in helping employees reduce stress in the very moment that difficult workplace situations occur.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Richard Geller
Founder and President

Sources:
(1) Boston Business Journal, 4/4/08, “Wellness programs help companies recruit, retain talent”
(2) The American Institute of Stress website (www.stress.org)
(3) The Economist, June 2006



MINUTE MEDITATION

The Body-Scan Relaxation Exercise

After an hour or more of intense work, take a minute or two to recharge yourself. One of the best ways is to do the “Body Scan” – a technique from yoga that’s often done at the end of the yoga session. You methodically feel and relax each part of your body, starting with your feet, and gradually moving up to the top of your head.



Sit in a relaxed position on your chair with your feet on the floor (with or without your shoes), your spine straight, and your head straight on your neck.  Close your eyes, if possible (if not, eyes open is fine too). 

Start with your feet: really feel in detail all the little component parts of your feet – your toes, soles, insteps, heels, and relax them all as much as possible.  Breath out any tension you feel there.  And then move up to your ankles, etc.

Move up from your feet and ankles, feeling and relaxing each part: legs, hips, navel, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, throat, neck, and head.  Feel like you’re breathing out all the little areas of tension you encounter.

When you arrive at the top of your head, then very briefly scan down all the way to your feet, and then back up to your head again, and feel your whole body as one relaxed whole-body feeling.  Focus on that feeling for awhile, letting anything else that comes up in your mind just fade away.

This technique can be practiced in a non-work setting for longer periods of time and more slowly: for 15, 20, or up to 45 minutes.  If done lying down, it can be a great cure for insomnia.


CLIENT CORNER:
MEDWORKS AT MEDTRONIC
of one

For the past two years, MedWorks has been conducting quarterly meditation programs at Medtronic in Danvers, MA.  Medtronic is a global leader in manufacturing medical technology such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and other vital equipment.

Medtronic has a long history with meditation.  In 2004, Medtronic's former CEO, Bill George was quoted in a BusinessWeek article saying he meditated twice a day for 20 minutes for the past 30 years, and "Out of anything, it has had the greatest impact on my career."

Medtronic’s employees also find their meditation sessions very fulfilling.  Last year, an employee told us a remarkable story: he had torn his retina and had to undergo emergency laser eye surgery with no anesthetic.  The surgeon told him that despite the intense discomfort during the procedure, it was vital that he remain relaxed and totally immobile because if the laser accidentally hit his optic nerve he could be blinded.  He told us that he was able to remain totally relaxed and still during the operation because he learned how to meditate through MedWorks classes at work.  The operation was a complete success.


MedWorks is a professional stress management training company that focuses exclusively on providing stress reduction meditation programs in the corporate environment.

All of our programs are designed to help employees reduce stress, enhance productivity and effectiveness, and improve overall health and well being.
If you have questions about our services or have feedback on our E-News, please email us at info@meditationprograms.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.