Why do so many people insist on allowing their benefits to dictate to them on how well their body is doing?
Here I am up on my soap box and for many I am speaking directly to you. For others, this will give you food for thought, and the rest of you will completely understand and agree with me. So many times I encountered the phrase “I will have to see how much my benefits will cover before I can agree to a treatment plan”. Or my personal NON favourite “ I am out of benefits so I will have to stop coming until they reset.” For those that use these phrases or anything similar, I want to SHAKE you and say “YOUR CRAZY!”
Clearly if my clients are saying this then I have not done my job right. My job is not just to relax you, help you feel better, see you once a month and send you on your way and let you rebook when you decide you need to come back and see me. NO. My job is to educate you, to help heal you, to come alongside you and be your body’s advocate to give you the knowledge and experience in how to help support and heal your body.
I am not a miracle worker. No massage therapist is. When you go see your doctor, psychologist, Physio therapist, personal trainer do you expect instant results after one treatment? Do you expect your body to just continue on like its receiving all the benefits from all the above professions if you stop going? Of course not. If you stop treatment, your symptoms come back, your mind runs away with you, your body begins to get stiff again and pain comes back. Why then do people think that when they stop massage that they will just be able to continue on and reap the benefits until their benefits allow them to come back?
Most benefit companies I have experience with cover up to $500.00. Few will cover up to a $1000.00. Massage is expensive at nearly $100.00 per session for an hour. Thats only five sessions for most people. I understand massage is expensive, but I ask you this, when do you go to an appointment that the professional is focused directly on you and no body else? Psychologists can cost up to $200 and hour. What do you pay your accountant. What do you think the Doctor charges every time you go see him or her for the 5-15 minutes you may get with them? Physio therapists are on average $60 for fifteen to half hour treatments. Chiropractors range around fifty dollars per treatment. I could go on and on about what other health care professionals charge, but I think you get my point. MASSAGE IS a health care treatment. The Canadian government acknowledges this and many provinces are becoming regulated now, even your benefit companies recognize it is health care other wise it would not be listed under health care. So why do you treat it different?
Your body is a unique intricate vessel and your massage therapist is trained to essentially infiltrate and manipulate your vessel. Your body WILL react to anything that is done to it whether it be positive or negative. Knowing this your therapist has to gain the trust of your body first so that instead of resisting during a massage, the body will relax and allow outside work to be done to benefit the inside. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons all have memory. Just like your brain does. Each massage builds upon the other. Just like working out builds upon the session prior. When you take medication do you expect instant results? With some yes it can provide pain relieve. With others, it needs to build up in the system in order to start receiving the benefits. Counselling works the same way. You’re not fixed after one to three sessions. Your massage therapist has to get to know your body and how it works just as much as another profession. Yes anatomy is anatomy, but every body responds different and works different. Massage therapists have to be stealth like, they have to enter through the side door and start slowly manipulating the body in order to convince it to change and start working the way it is designed to.
When people use their benefits to decide how often they go for massage a few things happen. 1. The massage therapist has very little time to effect change, if any at all in a short period of time. This has a compounding effect because if the therapist can not facilitate some sort of lasting change even for a little while the client feels like they wasted money and word of mouth is that “ this person did not help me at all even after I spent all my benefits on them.” 2. The massage therapist has amazing results, works very hard and is trying to get you on a maintenance plan so that you only have to come every four to six weeks, you stop coming because you run out of benefits and then…. All your problems come back. The following year you come back with the same problem so the therapist works really hard, you get amazing results and then…. You stop coming, and the cycle just continues over and over never really getting anywhere. This is soooo frustrating and disappointing and I will not apologize for saying that. We did not get into this business to just take your money and have you run off. I’ve said to many of my clients, if you do not want lasting benefits, and just want to come for a short time, just hand your money over and leave because that is essentially what your doing anyway. We got into this business to HELP people GET BETTER. Not to be on a roller coaster of playing catch up, heal, repeat. I want you to be on the path of Recover, Restore, Regain, Maintain.
I hope you are seeing now that benefits are a VERY poor indicator on how well your body is doing. When you allow your benefits to control your health, not only do you suffer overall, but your therapist has to start over and over and over again. I have to work harder when this pattern is followed. Don’t misintrupet that statement, I am not afraid of hard work. My job is a physically demanding job, but it gets so frustrating when the work has to be redone over and over again. Its like a superintended trying to build a house, yet never gets built because the foundation constantly needs to be redone. How frustrating do you think that is? You have so much potetential in healing your body, feeling better and having more energy because pain/discomfort will be less or no longer a factor. A great massage therapist will work with you if you ask. You want to stretch out your benefits and do shorter sessions, we will laser in on the priorities to get you the maximum results. How often do you get buy breakfast and coffee on your way to work? Go out for lunch on your lunch break, go out for drinks after work? What are you willing to do in order to start feeling better for good vs just some of the time? Benefits are great. They are meant to give you a boost in your treatment. They were never meant to be your indicator of whether you are better or not. It’s time to stop the roller coaster. Its time you start taking back your control of how your body is doing. Call your massage therapist and commit to a treatment plan that will lead you to a maintenance plan. They will be so happy that you are finally taking that step and the frustration of the roller coaster can stop for the both of you. We care about you and your wellbeing more than you know and we want you to have long lasting results and we want to get you on that maintenance plan so you are only see us every four to six weeks. I can speak for many of us out there, if you give us the chance, we will give you results that last.