I am fortunate enough to have massage therapy included on my private health insurance, and this is great. However not everybody gets their massage sessions paid by an insurer, I just found out about diferent health systems, and how massage is included or not.
I have a friend who lives in UK, and recommended her to see a massage therapist for her back pain. Back pain can be relieved with mild massage strokes, especially the low back pain. I even told her what specific techniques to ask for, when she will see the practitioner. However, when I told her that she probably needs more than a few sessions, she said that it’s going to be too expensive.
I realized then that I am a little spoiled with my private health insurance paid by the company. In Canada, in fact many companies will pay a private insurance for their employees, even the government institutions, so getting a massage will normally be covered by the company insurance policy. There is of course, in most of the cases, a co-pay of 20%, but hey, I am more than happy to pay it for my health.
I mentioned my situation to my British friend, and she said that her company doesn’t pay for a private insurance, and she was a little surprised about our system. She then replied that if she wanted she could actually buy it herself, and she said she prefers Aviva. It was now my turn to be a little surprised, “WHAT? How can she afford to buy a private health insurance?” Well the individual private health insurance in UK is not as expensive as in Canada. In Canada it takes a lot of money to get an individual private health insurance.
As a matter of fact, I am almost recovered after a knee surgery, and shoulder pain. Without physiotherapy and massage, this would have been a long and painful process, even for a person with a good anatomy and body knowledge like me. Some things require the help of another professional. As an anecdote, when I went for my physiotherapy appointment, guess who did I meet there? It was my massage therapist. She has her physiotherapy covered through a group policy with the massage therapists association; otherwise, it would have been excessively expensive.
Talking about different systems, my brother in law had a knee surgery a couple of months ago in the US, and his company pays for the medical insurance; He had better services than me, in the US most of the medical services are paid through private health insurance. This is probably the reason so many people refuse the public health system proposed by Obama. Take a look at the different medical insurance systems on this Wikipedia page.