Woman Receiving a MassageMost people have experienced the wonderful sensation of getting a massage. Having a pair of strong hands working out the kinks and tight muscles of your body can be the perfect ending to a hard day, week, or month.

Whether it is something you schedule on a regular basis or a special treat you only plan while on vacation, a massage is typically something to look forward to and well worth the wait. However, if you have been hurt or injured, massage therapy is more than just relaxing, it can be a lifeline to get you back on your feet and free of pain. Therefore, it is important to know if health insurance covers massage therapy.

What is the history of massage?

Massage therapy can trace its roots all the way back to ancient Greece, when it was called the art of rubbing. Other old world civilizations, such as China and Rome, also appeared to use some form of massage therapy for healing functions.

The art was brought to America in the nineteenth century. Although there are various forms of massage, it is basically characterized by the act of a professional who applies force to stroke the flexible tissue of your body for the purpose of loosening up the muscles.

What are some of the various types of massage?

Perhaps the most well-known type of therapy is the Swedish massage. This is what most of us think of when we hear the word massage, and it involves squeezing and other kinds of pressure on certain body parts to relieve the tension that can cause pain.

Another form of massage is acupressure, which is sometimes said to be effective for ailments such as cramps and digestive problems. The practice entails a therapist using only his or her fingers to push different spots on your body to improve blood flow and facilitate healing.

You may also have heard about a style of massage called reflexology, which uses reflex areas such as the feet to stimulate other parts of your body. In addition, there is the quantum-touch, a method that incorporates attention and breath in the massage process.

Is massage therapy covered by health insurance?

An hour of massage can cost anywhere from $50 all the way up to more than $100. The price is determined by a variety of factors, such as your location, the skills of your massage therapist, and the type of massage. You may also be expected to leave a tip.

Of course, any type of rehabilitation should be fully discussed with your physician, chiropractor, or nurse. Nevertheless, for regular treatment and pain relief, this can quickly become an expensive therapy.

Generally, if your physician or chiropractor has prescribed massage therapy as medically necessary, your health insurance provider may cover it. Massage therapy is most likely to be covered in cases where it is required to help with circulation after an accident or injury. People with a disability or documented history of pain like arthritis may also have their massage therapy treatments covered. Nonetheless, a majority of those who use massage therapy have to pay for it out of pocket.

What are the health benefits of massage therapy?

In addition to making you feel calmer, massage therapy has actual health benefits. It has been used as an extension of treatment for a variety of conditions and illnesses.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, massage therapy has helped babies born prematurely by boosting their immune system, which is needed to fight off disease so they can eventually grow stronger, increasing their chances for survival. Early research also suggests that children who are autistic may be aided through touch therapy.

In addition, those who are managing hypertension can use massage therapy to ease anxiety and ultimately lower their blood pressure. Patients suffering from life-threatening or terminal illness can take advantage of the stress-reducing effect of massage therapy to improve their mood and quality of life.

Massage therapy has shown promise for helping people who are dealing with pain in their bones or joints. If you have arthritis or spinal problems, regular massage sessions could be added as part of your treatment regimen. It has also been used to provide relief for an assortment of different conditions such as headaches, edema, and insomnia.

How do you find a massage therapist?

Open any phone book or type in search engines, and you are bound to find dozens of listings and hits for massage therapists. With approximately 300,000 registered massage therapists nationally, finding the right one can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Among the aspects you should look for is whether the therapist has been accredited from any one of the hundreds of schools that now offer certification programs. This will ensure that they have received some training in proper techniques and standards. Another important issue is client satisfaction, so be sure to ask around or request a list of references.