'Tis the Season

For massage therapists, Christmas usually comes pretty early…. about 4 months early. After business slows to a crawl in the summer, September usually brings a pretty sharp spike in business. It seems that every year as soon as the weather starts to cool a bit there is a flood of new clients looking for a massage. It’s different from the “slip and fall season” of the winter, the ” gardening back pain season” of the spring, or the “weekend warrior season” of the summer. This busy season is different in that it has nothing to do with physical activity or accidents and everything to do with insurance.

Most people with full time jobs have extended health care benefits as part of their salary. The average person has a pool of about $500 that can be used to pay for massage therapy. These benefits can be used and drawn upon until the end of the year, at which time they expire and the balance is magically reset to $500. This means that if you don’t use your benefits in the current period, you basically lose it… all $500 of it. This is otherwise known as the “use it or lose it” system, and September is the time of year when the heavens open up, light bulbs go off and people suddenly realise that they only have 4 months left to get approximately 6 massages otherwise it’s money out the window. This is not exactly the most worrisome predicament in the world and I am sure you will somehow find a way to work through it. Remember to first check with your insurance provider to find out the details of your policy. Specifically you need to know how much is covered in total, how much is covered per visit, and what paperwork (usually a doctor’s note) is required in order to qualify for benefits.

The beauty of the September insurance rush is the opportunities it brings to change your life. Simply dedicating some time regularly to caring about your health can open many doors to you. During their first massage, people often become aware of what is happening to their bodies as a result of the habits of their lifestyle. From this first glance, many become regular massage addicts, yoga students and gym members. This is the perfect season to start down that path of developing healthy habits that could help you live a longer, healthier, happier life.