Using A Massage Chair While Pregnant

When I was a full-time chiropractor, I would get asked all the time by my patients if chiropractic and massage (which we used in our clinic all the time) was safe to use on a pregnant lady. The answer is a resounding “Yes.”

I have treated many, many women over the years who were expecting, whether in their first or last trimester. Of course, when someone is 8-9 months along, the style of treatment may need to be catered to their body morphology. But, I never met a pregnant woman who couldn’t be benefited by manual therapy.

Well, now that I am in the massage chair industry, I also get asked quite often if massage chairs are OK for pregnant women to use. Again, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Before I go into the reasons and physiology of this therapy, I should issue this disclaimer: If you are concerned about the health of you or the baby or if you have extenuating circumstances with your health, by all means visit your primary care physician and get some peace of mind before hopping onto massage chairs.

The benefits of massage therapy during pregnancy apply to manual, hands-on massage as well as robotic massage chair therapy. The principles and benefits are the same regardless of mode of application of massage.

Pregnant women tend to endure some, if not all, of the following health issues: swelling, muscle spasm and pain, postural stress, insomnia, breathing difficulty, lack of mobility, poor circulation, back pain, neck pain and headaches. Of course, you may be suffering from many other things, but this is a pretty comprehensive list to start with.

Now, I’ll discuss how massage chairs address each of these complaints:

1.Swelling/Poor Circulation – massage chairs that have calf and foot massagers can provide a successive compression of the legs to enhance circulation of blood and lymph. This may not only reduce swelling (edema), but also help the body remove unwanted toxins that are in your system. Those toxins may also be contributing to your muscle pain.

2.Muscle Spasm, Aches, and Pains – muscles may already be compromised by the toxins that I mentioned in #1 above. The massage chair will help flush those toxins out. However, the strain on your body muscles that comes from the change in shape of a growing baby inside you can cause muscle aches and pains everywhere. Massage is the perfect therapy for relaxing those muscles and ridding you of that annoying muscle pain. It can even reduce muscle spasm, let alone muscle pain. Massage chairs also contribute to the release of endorphins into your blood stream. For your information, endorphins are the body’s natural pain killer.

3.Postural Stress – anyone who has been pregnant or has seen someone who is pregnant will understand this complaint immediately. Without a 40 pound mass protruding from your midsection, most people have a poor posture to begin with. Adding a baby to the picture doesn’t help at all and, in fact, makes the posture worse. Strained posture leads to strained muscles which, as mentioned in #2 above, can lead to muscle aches and pains. Most people feel like they are standing taller and straighter after a massage chair session. That is because the chair actually works on those postural issues.

4.Lack of Mobility – range of motion is compromised by the addition of the 40 pound baby and accompanying tissue and fluids. The joints don’t move as easily as they would without. Massage chairs add a lovely passive motion to your joints which will keep the discs and joints healthy. You could check how far you can turn your body before sitting in the chair and then check again after a session. You will be surprised at how much more you can turn.

5.Back Pain, Neck Pain, Headaches – the benefits that apply to muscles pain, joint mobility, and postural strain will ultimately reduce any body pain that you have, be it low back, mid back, neck, and/or headache pain.

6.Difficulty Breathing – it’s kind of hard to take a deep breath when you are pregnant, isn’t it ladies? Well, much of that disability comes from the slouching posture you develop with the addition of the 40 pound bundle of joy you are carrying in your front side. When you can have the rollers of the massage chair repeatedly roll over your mid back, you will find that your posture will be straighter and your ability to take in deep breathes will increase noticeably. This can also lead to sleeping better.

7.Sleeping Problems (Insomnia) – I can’t even begin to count the number of people, men and women alike, who told me that the biggest surprise they got with their new massage chair was how well they slept at night. Massage just tends to relax everything, like muscles and joints and posture, but also your “nerves.” I can almost assure you that you will enjoy a better night’s sleep after having a massage chair session. Now, I totally understand that sleeping with 8 months of pregnancy behind you is no easy task no matter what therapy you try. But, just maybe you’ll enjoy a little bit better sleep after you sit in your new massage chair.

Well, that just about does it for pregnancy and massage chairs. I hope this puts your mind to rest about it. The risks are extremely small, if at all.

Reasons For Pregnancy Failures

It is the dream of every woman to become the mother. Motherhood is the immortal part of the woman’s life. Woman once get married, want to start the family. It is like a dream come true for a woman when she becomes pregnant. Pregnancy is a fulfilling experience for every woman. Every woman wants to enjoy the experience the pregnancy and wants to be the mother. Instead of emphasizing the stresses and strains of motherhood and divisions among mothers, the findings reveal that–regardless of background or life circumstances–mothers across the globe have a great deal in common and derive deep satisfaction from motherhood. But according to the latest survey, around 2 million of the women are childless due to the problems in the pregnancy. Here, I am mentioning you the reasons for pregnancy failures along with there solutions. I feel every woman should read it and should enjoy the experience of motherhood. I feel that if I am able to solve even the problem of one woman then I will be the happiest person in this world.

1. Infertility in Women—
Infertility in the women is found to be the main cause in getting the women pregnant. In spite of the successful intercourse and the transfer of the sperm to the women ovule and even the ovulation takes place but the chromosomes from the women are not indulged in the ovule and as a result the egg fails to develop in the embryo and the pregnancy is found to be failed in such women. Sometimes infertility in the women is found from the birth. But, very rare cases of infertility from the birth were noted.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is found to be one of the major causes of the infertility in women. Pelvic inflammatory disease comprises a variety of infections caused by different bacteria that affect the reproductive organs, appendix, and parts of the intestine that lie in the pelvic area. About 25% of the women who develop pelvic inflammatory disease are found to suffer from the infertility. Pelvic inflammatory disease significantly increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy (fertilization in the fallopian tubes). This infection particularly damages the fallopian tubes and leads to the infertility in the women.

Endometriosis is found to be another cause of infertility in women. Endometriosis is the condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrium) grows on other areas of the body causing pain and irregular bleeding. This damages the egg’s passage. Thus, the transfer of the egg to the fallopian tube is prevented and the pregnancy doesn’t occur.

2. Ovulation Problems—
Ovulation problem is found to be the major and most prominent problem in getting pregnant. About 41% of the women face the problem of ovulation in their life span either temporarily or permanently. Ovulation problem is explained as—the ovaries don’t release an egg each month. Ovulation problems result when one part of the system that controls reproductive function malfunctions. This system includes the hypothalamus (an area of the brain), pituitary gland, adrenal glands, thyroid gland, and genital organs. Ovulation is often the problem in women who have irregular periods or no periods.

In the ovulation the sperm is transferred from the man to the woman but the fertilization of the egg fails. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common cause of anovulation and infertility in women. There are several possible ways to attempt ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovaries. Clomid tablets are found to be the best and easiest method to treat the ovulation problems in the women. Clomid is used by women want to become pregnant or having problem in becoming pregnant. Clomid works by causing ovulation to occur.

3. Hormone Imbalance—
Hormonal imbalance causes the pregnancy problems in about 8% women around the globe. Progesterone is the main hormone that is responsible making the problems in the women pregnancy. Progesterone is necessary for the formation of the egg in the female ovum. If the less amount of the progesterone is present in the women body then the formation of the egg fails and as a result women are not able to become pregnant. Progesterone is the female hormone that causes the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for a potential fetus. Ovulation may not occur because the hypothalamus does not secrete gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce the hormones that trigger ovulation. Thus, you need to consult your doctor to check the progesterone levels in your body, and if are found lower than the standard levels. Then, please ask doctor to prescribe some medicines that will increase the levels of progesterone and help you in becoming pregnant.

4. Poor Nutrition—
Poor nutrition is the cause of many diseases and thus is also related to the pregnancy failures in the women. Proper nutrition is very essential for the women to get pregnant. Lack of nutrition disturbs the formation of egg and thus failure in the pregnancy in noted among the women who are having poor nutrition. Hence to avoid the pregnancy problems, women should take the balanced diet. Women can even contact the dietician for the proper diet to remain fit and fine to get pregnant.

5. Physical Problems—
Painful intercourse in one of the physical problem that leads to the failure in the pregnancy, perhaps due to something physically wrong. It can also be that she is afraid and unable to relax. Thus, these women avoid the intercourse and don’t get pregnant. Physical damages like accidents, sports like weight lifting, cycling may damage the fallopian tube. As a result these women fail in getting pregnant. Sexually transmitted diseases also damage the ovulation by the infection as a result these women fail to carry a child.

6. Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction in the women is the problem that arises due to the loss of sensitivity of the female reproductive organ. It is due to the sexual dysfunction that women feels disinterested in the sex. This makes its difficult for the pregnancy to occur. It is necessary for the couple to have sex at least twice in a week to bore a child. But due to the women’s disinterest, couples don’t have sex for months. This results in pregnancy failures.

Remember that all the above mentioned conditions are 100% curable and there also some techniques like sperm transplantations that can also be used to make you pregnant. Thus, don’t get yourself stuck-up with these problems in pregnancy and don’t keep yourself abide from the wonderful experience of motherhood.

Health Insurance Explained In Plain English

Understanding health insurance and the health industry is much easier if you recognize some of the basic terminology and how it applies to you and your health insurance policy. If you have a health insurance plan and aren’t sure how it works or what the terminology means, take a few minutes to read the explanations below. Knowing these terms and what they mean to you can greatly aid you in dealing with your health care providers, insurance company, insurance agent, or during the health benefits shopping process.

Benefit Year
This is the 12-month period in which your benefits are calculated. Most insurance companies use a CALENDAR year, which is January 1 to December 31, but a few will use a 12 month period from when your policy goes into effect. For example, if your insurance goes into effect on June 1, the END of your benefit year is May 31. Make sure that you understand how your benefit year will be calculated.

Deductible
Deductible means the amount of money you must pay out of your pocket for medical expenses EACH YEAR before your health insurance begins paying out. Deductibles are usually reset to 0 at the beginning of each calendar or benefit year. Many insurance companies offer health plans that have benefits that are not subject to having to meet your deductible each year such as doctors office visits, immunizations, wellness or routine exams, etc. An easy way to remember what this term means and how it works is this:

When you have incurred medical expenses, all bills must be sent to the insurance company. When the insurance company looks at your bills, they then look at your policy and see how things are covered. They will then add up what the combined medical expenses have been for the year to date: determine what your deductible is and how much you have already paid towards meeting your deductible for the year, and pay out according to how your insurance policy says it will.

So in a nutshell, the insurance company is “deducting” your financial responsibility for medical expenses each year from the total combined medical expenses before they have any responsibility to pay out…hence the term “deductible”.

Co-Pay
A co-pay is an amount that is paid by the patient to a provider at the time of service. It will either be a flat fee (like $15 or $20) or it can be a percentage of the service provided. The percentages or fee may vary depending on the type of service provided. A co-pay is different than “coinsurance” – see next.

Coinsurance
Coinsurance is the percentage paid by the insurance company after you pay the deductible. Example: Your health insurance pays 70%, you pay 30%. The insurance company pays 70% coinsurance, you pay 30% coinsurance. Most health insurance policies will have a limit on the amount of coinsurance you have to pay out each year this is known as your “Annual Coinsurance Maximum” or “Stop-loss”.

Annual Coinsurance Maximum
After paying your deductible and after paying your coinsurance (classically 20% or 30% of medical expenses) to a certain dollar amount, your health insurance will pay 100% for the remaining costs in the calendar year. Example: After you pay your deductible, your health insurance pays 70% of medical expenses and you pay 30%. Once you reach the coinsurance maximum, you no longer pay 30% of the medical expenses because the insurance pays 100%.

Out of Pocket Maximum or Stop Loss
Stop Loss is the maximum amount of money you will have to pay out of your pocket in the benefit year.

Lifetime Maximum
This is the limit of the money the health insurance will pay out over your lifetime. Most major medical health insurance policies will be a $2 million lifetime maximum, while others will go as high as a $12 million lifetime maximum. In general, it is not recommended to have a policy with less than a $2 million lifetime maximum.

Office Visits
When you visit a doctor in their office they normally bill the health insurance company for an “office visit.” Most health insurance plans pay office visit expenses at the coinsurance (generally 70% or 80%) after the deductible. Some health insurance plans pay office visit expenses at the coinsurance rate but waive the deductible, which means you don’t have to reach the deductible amount before they will cover their portion of the expense. Still other health insurance plans pay office visit expenses in full after a co-pay (usually $25 or $30). It should also be noted that office visits can be classified in two different categories. One category is usually called “Routine Care,” “Wellness visits” or “Preventative care” (see definition below). The other type of office visit is deemed as “Medically Necessary” (see definition below). Certain health insurance policies cover each of these types of visits differently and other plans do not cover them at all. If having these types of office visits covered by your health insurance policy is important to you, make sure you let your agent know so that they can help find the right plan for you.

Preventive Care
Preventive Care is classically defined as routine exams, immunizations, well child care, and cancer screenings. These include your yearly exams and checkups for things such as physicals, pap smears, mammograms, etc. Not all plans cover preventive care. It may not be a wise use of your money to have preventative care included in your plan if you never go to the doctor. A good health insurance agent can help you determine if this is necessary coverage for you.

Medically Necessary
These are the visits utilized for your smaller ailments such as colds, flu, ear infections or minor accidents. Not all plans cover ‘medically necessary’ visits, so make sure you know if your policy includes these exams if you need them covered. You may consider purchasing accident insurance or adding a rider (explained below) to your policy to cover these types of issues.

Diagnostic Lab and X-Ray
These are tests involving laboratory or imaging services (such as x-ray, CAT scan, etc.) to diagnose a health problem. These services are usually paid at the coinsurance (typically 70% or 80%) after the deductible.

Chiropractic Care
When you visit a chiropractor for spinal manipulation or other services, these expenses are customarily paid at the coinsurance rate (70% or 80%) either after the deductible is met, or by waiving the deductible. Most health insurance plans limit the number of chiropractic visits/services to 10 or 12 per year – especially if the deductible is waived. After this, additional visits are not paid by the health insurance plan, and you will be responsible for the full amount of the bill.

Inpatient or Outpatient Care
When you receive care from a hospital (inpatient or outpatient services), these expenses are customarily paid at the coinsurance rate (70% or 80%) after the deductible has been met.

Emergency Room
When you receive care from a hospital emergency room, these expenses are customarily paid at the coinsurance level (70% or 80%) after the deductible. Most health insurance plans also require you to pay an additional co-pay (commonly $75-$100) for each emergency room visit. A number of plans waive this additional co-pay if you are actually admitted to the hospital through the emergency room and the plan will pay as an inpatient service. A plan can sometimes be structured to have separate coverage for accidents as an additional rider (see definition below) to your policy.

Prescription Medications
Prescription medications can be classified as generic, brand name, or non-preferred brand name (see below for definitions). Please Note: Not all health insurance plans pay for prescription drugs, so if you already take prescription drugs or think you will need help in the future with prescription drugs, you will want to make sure that you are purchasing a plan that includes this coverage. Prescription drugs may be covered at the coinsurance rate (70-80%) after a deductible specifically for prescription drugs is met, other plans may include Prescription drugs in the total deductible for the plan.

Generic Medications
Drug manufacturers are permitted to sell a generic version of a medication after the patent expires for the brand name medication (generally 20 years after the brand name medication was registered). Generic medications are equivalent to the corresponding brand name medication, but are much less expensive than the brand name medication. Health insurance plans frequently provide better payment for generic medications as an incentive for you to ask for the generic version. About half of all prescription medications filled in the United States are filled with generic medications.

Brand Name Medications
Brand name medications are more expensive than generic medications. Most health insurance plans create a limited list of brand name medications that they will pay for and many health insurance plans also provide less coverage for brand name medications than for their generic counterparts.

Non-Preferred Brand Name Medications
Most health insurance plans create a limited list of brand name medications they will pay for. If your brand name medication is not on this list, it might be paid at a lower level under “Non-Preferred Brand Name Medications.”

Maternity
Some health insurance plans cover the cost of maternity, which includes doctor and hospital charges for prenatal care as well as labor and delivery. Maternity is expensive to add into a health insurance policy because it is considered a “guaranteed expense” for the insurance company. If a woman becomes pregnant, it is a safe bet that there is going to be medical expenses incurred! If there are no complications and the birth goes well, the insurance company will be out a large monetary portion of the cost of delivery and even more if there are problems with the delivery or the newborn. Insurance companies price maternity so that they can still maintain profits. In some cases it may be best to save your money and pay for the prenatal care and the delivery out of your own pocket (or on a credit card) and let the insurance cover the catastrophic events. The difference you save in the monthly cost of having maternity coverage may be well worth it to you. Remember, once you have a policy that covers maternity, you can’t just remove the maternity coverage after the pregnancy is done! You will continue to pay for that maternity coverage for as long as you have that policy.

Mammography
Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system for the examination of breasts to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms. Current guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the American Medical Association (AMA) recommend a screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. Various plans will have automatic coverage for mammograms but some will not. Several states (like Washington State, for example) have specific guidelines that require companies to have coverage for mammograms in their policies as an automatic benefit.

Mental Health
Outpatient mental health services include visits to a licensed counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Inpatient mental health services include admission to a psychiatric hospital. Many plans do not cover mental health services.

Rehabilitation Therapy
Rehabilitation therapy may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, message therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, and chronic pain therapy. Most health insurance plans limit rehabilitation therapy to a certain number of visits per calendar year or to a certain dollar amount that they will pay for rehabilitation for either the year or for a lifetime.

Rider
Anything that changes the way your policy acts by default is called a “Rider”. A rider can be anything from an exclusion of coverage for a medical condition, or additional coverage for potential conditions. (As in an “accident rider” mentioned earlier in this report)

Occupational Coverage/On the job coverage
The largest portion of health insurance plans do not cover occupational related medical expenses. This can be a HUGE pitfall for self employed people. Always make sure that if you need to be covered while you are working that your plan will give you “on the job coverage”. If you get injured or sick while you are on the job and you do not have Workman’s Compensation or Labor and Industries accident coverage, you may have to pay for ALL medical expenses out of your own pocket.

Vision Coverage
Vision coverage is usually broken into two parts: vision exam, and vision hardware. Vision exam benefits include the cost of a refractive exam used to test vision acuity (20/20, 20/40, etc.). Vision hardware represents the cost of eye glasses or contact lenses. A number of health insurance plans do not cover vision exams or hardware. However, medical issues relating to the health of the eye (like Glaucoma) are almost always covered under the regular medical portion of the health insurance plan.

Doctor Directory
Each insurance company will have a list of doctors that the company has negotiated terms for payment of services with. You can go to the insurance company’s website to find a listing of contracted “preferred providers”.

This information may help you understand a policy that you already have, or aid you in understanding a policy that you may be thinking about purchasing. The more knowledge you have about what the industry “jargon” means, the more you will be able to make informed decisions about the insurance you choose to use.

By: Shad Woodman