It is heartening for me to witness the growth of the massage industry, and not simply because I personally stand to benefit as a business owner. Rather it is the shifting of priorities and values that I witness that says a lot about what people, consumers as were so often labeled, are choosing to spend on their hard earned money. The choice to prioritize and spend it on healthy options, whether its massage therapy, a personal trainer, or healthier foods benefits each of us on an immediate level, but also proves to be a sound fiscal decision.
How so? Poor health is costly. On a national level this is seen by the push to curb smoking, and subsequently tax the tobacco industry, because the diseases smoking causes has proven to be a burden on the health care system. School programs endorsing exercise are often nationally funded, because obesity is a major contributor to many diseases. Think back to the last time an illness caused you to lose work, or be less productive, and subsequently drained you of precious free time better spent doing something else than recovering in bed. Likewise, chronic poor health saps the energetic reserves needed to live life to the fullest.
Recent studies came out which emphasized how a few simple lifestyle changes could save an individual thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime. One of the featured changes, and most cost effective change, was quitting smoking. A pack a day habit can cost an individual almost $2, 000 a year. But smaller habit changes yielded substantial rewards as well. Taking ones lunch to work just twice a week can net $520 in a year. Substituting vegetarian entrees for meat based ones 2-3 times per week could result in a $780 dollar savings. When you consider the financial impact when these changes occur over many years, and then add interest, the incentive for healthy changes is even more enticing, especially when one starts to feel better from substituting healthier options.
Massage therapy is not often thought of as a means to save money, but when put in the context of healthy choices it makes perfect sense. Massage therapy, with its range of benefits promotes health and wellness, reduces stress, which has been identified as a cause of many illnesses, benefits the immune system and reduces sick time, all of which lead to costly rising health care costs and reduced productivity. A regular massage puts one in touch with a health care professional who will devote at least an hour to your well being, and reinforces ones goals for a healthy lifestyle.
As the year comes to an end, many of us are looking for ways to save and protect financial assets. Be sure to factor in personal health in this equation. It makes no sense to work hard to make money, only to watch it disappear on co-pays, prescription drugs, and surgeries to address preventable diseases. A healthy lifestyle is as an important investment as stocks and bonds.