This is a sponsored post.
If someone were to come up to you and say that your benefits entitled you to receive a massage every single day, would you believe them? Of course you wouldn’t. Most health plans allow recipients to receive 3 to 5 massages per year (anything above that and you’ve got yourself one heck of a plan). So where do we come off getting your hopes up at the prospect of being the joyful recipient of a daily shiatsu?
Though the physical therapy we alluded to might not come at the hands of an attractive bronze-skinned masseuse, it’s nonetheless a possibility – at least, for some of us.
Will Your Insurance Company Pay For a Massage Chair?
To be honest, it depends on your plan. Generally speaking, if your plan is amenable to it, you’ll need to meet a couple of conditions before you head down to your local furniture store, namely:
- You suffer from chronic back pain, and you have a history of claims relating to back pain
- You have either a flex spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA) (in either case, this means that you can deposit some of your pre-tax earnings as part of your health coverage with certain providers)
FSA and HSA accounts provide you with a little flexibility when it comes to how your health dollars can be spent, provided of course that the expenditure is related to your medical needs. As you might expect, there are limits to the amount you can deposit into such accounts; in 2015 that limit was $3,350 for a single person, $6,650 for a married couple. Unfortunately, massage chairs won’t generally be listed as an approved medical expenditure in most health plan documentation. If you aren’t sure if you’re entitled to use any of these funds for the purchase of a massage chair, it’d be in your best interest to speak to your employer or your insurance provider before you start perusing online furniture stores.
The Many Health Benefits of Owning a Massage Chair
If you suffer from chronic back pain, having your very own massage chair and your disposal can play a transformative role in your daily life. One of the most common sources of back pain is from working at an ergonomically unfriendly workstation. Knowing that, you’d expect that more employer sponsored health plans would allow employees to purchase a similar therapeutic device – after all, the fewer sick/personal days taken as the result of a condition that’s exacerbated on the job, the less it will cost the company in the long run. Having said that, there are additional health benefits to owning a massage chair even if you don’t suffer from debilitating pain.
Massage Chairs Increase Circulation
Proper blood flow is vital to the removal of toxins and other harmful substances from your blood, organs, and tissues. Not only that, but blood flow is an important part of the nutrient delivery process to your muscles. Regular massages have also been proven to lower stress and anxiety, two of the more common contributors to high blood pressure.
A Massage Chair Can Improve Your Posture
Regular use of a massage chair can mobilize stiff muscles after a long day of work and help to align your spine and discourage slouching behavior.
A stint in your massage chair can lower the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles after a workout, improving performance.
Massage Chairs Can Improve Your Mood
How? Well, for starters, they make you feel good. It’s difficult to be grumpy when your aches and pains are being soothed. Stress is inexorably tied to cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the western world. What’s more, stress can oftentimes manifest as depression. When using a massage chair, your neurotransmitters start firing – this reaction in turn staves off depression and emotional stress. Regular use of an exercise chair has also been shown to help improve the quality of sleep and lessen the frequency of migraines.
To conclude, if your healthcare provider will ok the cost of a massage chair, there’s no reason not to get one. If it doesn’t, perhaps it’d be worth it, considering the myriad of health benefits they offer, to start putting a little bit away each week so that one day soon, you can make a massage chair a staple in your home.