If you haven't read Part three of this blog series, click here to check it…
How do you stretch your benefits and get the most from them?
If you don’t have benefits, how do you best stretch your wellness dollars to work best for you over the year?
I’m not one to say “Well, you have benefits, let’s squeeze the life out of them just because it’s ‘free’ money” because that’s, honestly, unnecessary. BUT. If we take a little bit of time to plan out our wellness budget, preference, and time frame, we would all be better off. There is a strategy to stretching your wellness dollars.
Consider first: Are you in pain/injured? Or are you in maintenance mode?
If you’re in pain, get as much treatment as necessary to get OUT of pain. Treatments are cumulative. You’ll want to see someone on a more frequent schedule. It will use your wellness dollars faster, yes. But there is no point spreading out your sessions if you’re back to square one with pain before the next one. Treatment is cumulative, which means each subsequent session builds on itself.
Here are some examples of getting-out-of-pain treatment plans:
In the first example, you combine a weekly massage with biweekly acupuncture. In the second, you have a massage every other week and some chiropractic sessions: two the first week, one the second, and then one two weeks later. And in the third example, you have three physiotherapy sessions close together, and then one session weekly for three weeks.
These examples could address any number of issues, from chronic migraines to low back pain to horrible posture.
Once you’ve gotten far enough out of pain that you can live comfortably, you’re in Maintenance Mode.
If you’re in maintenance mode, you get aches and pains just like everyone else, but one treatment usually resolves the problems. At this point you come see someone at regular intervals for a ‘tune up’, and the overarching feeling when you do is less panic and more chill.
Maintenance treatments, in my experience, are perfect every 2-6 weeks.
So where do you start strategizing?
→ Do you already have a trusted practitioner who can give you body and treatment advice? This advice should not be based on cookie-cutter treatment plans but on YOU, the client.
→ What’s your budget? If you have a lump sum of benefits, what does it equate to per year? What does that mean per month? If you have benefits that cover different types of treatments, what are they? And how much out of pocket money can you afford to spend on wellness? Unless you’re in dire straights, the answer should NOT be “none”.
→ What’s your preference? Do you love relaxing massages? Do you prefer a quick dry needling session? How often can you see yourself setting time aside for treatment? How flexible is your schedule? It has to feel REALISTIC or you’re never going to do it. I usually recommend (for maintenance) that you get treatment at least once per month.
→ Go with your gut and try treatments that interest you. I recently tried Acupuncture and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. So I’ll be integrating it into my wellness regime. If you’re drawn to a specific type of therapy, start there. If you’re not sure, ask us!
Having coverage is a risk-free way to try new things. You never know unless you try, and if you’re being recommended to try a treatment by a trusted practitioner, it’s likely the treatment will work for you. One therapy is not usually THE ONE for everyone, forever. In your lifetime you cycle through seasons, and having more than one treatment type in your repertoire can transition you better between them.
In your lifetime you cycle through seasons, and having more than one treatment type in your repertoire can transition you better between them.
Generally speaking (covid times aside) it doesn’t make the most sense to use none of your benefits over the year and then chunk them all into one big lump at the end of the year. It makes you stressed out, and you’re forced to get a ton of treatment you don’t necessarily need, to get your “money’s worth.”
That’s not wellness, guys.