Don’t forget to budget for your health

Ingrid Waterman

I frequently hear from people without extended health benefits that they simply can’t afford to see someone about their chronic pain.

Yet many of those same people will spend hundreds of dollars a year on impulse purchases!

Therapies like massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and many more can be hugely beneficial to your day-to-day quality of life, and the New Year is an ideal time to find room for them in your 2014 budget.

If you drive, think for a moment about your car – you probably know that regular maintenance extends its life and keeps it running with fewer major problems.

Our bodies respond the same way.

It’s unfortunate, though, that few of us are as diligent about maintaining our health as we are our vehicles.

So as you look over your 2013 expenditures, see if any of your “extra” spending can be re-allocated to a new, “better you” budget in 2014.

In the case of massage therapy, I generally recommend that those without complementary health care benefits come in for quarterly appointments to relieve stress, reduce the intensity of chronic pain and address any small issues before they become debilitating.

Alternatively, shorter but more frequent appointments will offer similar benefits.

If you do have an extended health plan but its paramedical benefits are limited, it’s worth budgeting at least enough to maintain this minimal appointment schedule. Obviously, if your plan covers additional services, then come in more often – it’s like free tune-ups!

I can recall many impulse purchases I’ve made that I later came to regret.

I’ve never yet, however, regretted spending on my health – and neither will you.

Have a very merry Christmas and holiday season – and I wish you a happy, healthy and pain-free New Year!

Ingrid Waterman is a Registered Massage Therapist and the founder of i Day Spa in Courtenay. For a complete list of services, call 250-871-0411 or visit

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