On Good (for You) Design

The benefits of thoughtful design extend far beyond aesthetics

September 30, 2016

Intentional. Thoughtful. Meaningful. Inspired.

All of these are words we use to describe good design—modifiers meant to signify that something has been carefully constructed in a way that is pleasing to the eye.

But have you ever considered that design could also be pleasing to the body and mind? Dare we suggest that design isn’t just something nice to look at, but something that could actually be good for you?

At Human Touch, we like to use another word to describe good design: healthy. And we’re not alone in our thinking.

In 1984, Roger Ulrich, a visiting professor at the Center for Healthcare Architecture at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, published a groundbreaking study demonstrating that design could, in fact, bring healing and wellness properties to our day­-to-­day lives.

“Whether you’re a CEO on a plane every week, or a teacher who stands upwards of six or seven hours a day in a demanding and strenuous profession, relaxation through massage as a relatively brief daily ritual will help you be a little bit better each day.”

Ulrich studied the ins and outs of hospitals, but he didn’t look at a single piece of medical equipment or attempt to evaluate the caliber of doctors on staff. Instead, he focused on the aesthetic elements of these institutions in an effort to gauge what, if any, effect design had on patient wellness.

What are the most important design elements Ulrich found to have therapeutic, even healing, properties? Those features that elicited a sense of control, provided access to positive distractions, and offered a soothing feeling of support. Inherent to all of the healthful design attributes Ulrich identified? Stress reduction.

Now, more than 30 years later, thanks to Ulrich’s seminal research, hospitals have fundamentally changed. Builders of these vital facilities and the healthcare community now more fully understand the immense impact of sleek design on emitting therapeutic properties, reducing pain, and eliminating stress.

Taking a page from Ulrich’s study, researchers have recently focused similar scrutiny on the design of modern workplaces. Architects and human resource departments at some of the largest companies in the world have subsequently banded together to make office buildings environments of low stress and high productivity, all through the pursuit of healthful, wellness-promoting design.

As a forward thinking, dedicated wellness company, it’s no coincidence that these properties are exactly what Human Touch strives for in all that we do, and in the lives of our customers. We’ve married therapeutic design with an effective wellness product meant to enhance overall health, all so that our customers can reap the benefits of a low-stress lifestyle.

“For us, the formula is simple: Relieve pain. Reduce stress. Perform better. Help individuals and society.”

The principles of relaxation and stress reduction aren’t just what our products aim to achieve; they’re inherent to how they’re built. Every single detail, both inside and outside of our massage chairs, is designed with the same goal as Ulrich’s ideal hospitals and the workplaces of the future – enhancing your well being, and, as a result, your life.

We also design with the future in mind. Your future, a more painless, less stressful one; and our future, as a company on the cutting edge of therapeutic massage technology. We are tomorrow’s solution for stress reduction, pain relief, and a healthier life.

For us, the formula is simple: Relieve pain. Reduce stress. Perform better. Help individuals and society.

And we have a great roadmap for getting there—one charted by our proprietary Wellness Council, a group of experts in various medical fields and practices that provides meaningful, unmatched input into how we create and design our products.

These experts and our design teams converge to answer the same question upon which we built our company 36 years ago: How can design lift your spirits, elevate your wellness level, and, in turn, make you a little bit better at what you do?

Whether you’re a CEO on a plane every week, or a teacher who stands upwards of six or seven hours a day in a demanding and strenuous profession, relaxation through massage as a relatively brief daily ritual will help you be a little bit better each day. It can elevate you to a place of higher productivity, and bring you closer to your healthiest, happiest, and best self.

This is really why we exist. It underscores the fact that we’ve always been a company with a purpose. Elevating your health, wellness, and overall happiness? We’re designed for that.

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