Health plans that offer coverage for chiropractic treatment will often cover massages.  It may also cover treatment that is rendered and billed through a chiropractic clinic.  Check with your insurance carrier before scheduling an appointment.  Therapies provided as part of a prescribed treatment by a physician or registered physical therapists are usually covered. Senior health plans, like Medigap Supplements do not cover massage therapy.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida offer discounts on massage therapy through their Medicare Advantage plans.

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts.  Chinese records dating back 3,000 years mention massage.  Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments.  Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. The site massagetherapy.com lists the benefits of massage.

•Alleviate low back pain

•Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers

•Ease medication dependence

•Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow

•Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles

•Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts

•Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ-the skin

•Increase joint flexibility

•Lessen depression and anxiety

•Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks

•Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs

•Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling

•Reduce spasms and cramping

•Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles

•Release endorphins-amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller

•Relieve migraine pain

Well, good golly, Miss Molly!  What isn’t it good for?  Jessica, a massage therapist at Ofra Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl says that “massage helps to get rid of the toxins stored in your body.”  Regular massage sessions (twice a month is recommended) have a cumulative effect on your body.

One of the greatest benefits from massage is the amazing power of touch. There is not a machine in the world that can even come close to the power of the human touch that accompanies massage therapy.  Human hands and fingers have capabilities to evaluate muscle tension and to apply the proper strokes that no machine could ever equal.

There is a study out by Dr. Tiffany Field, a researcher at Miami University’s Touch Research Institute, on the effects of massage on infants, even those born prematurely.  Dr. Fields’ research has found that massage, delivered by human touch, helps babies to normalize their weight, improve oxygen saturation and helps them to be released from the hospital 47 percent faster than those not receiving touch massage therapy.