Flex Spending and Massage

by | Jul 31, 2023 | Health and Wellness

How to Use Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for Massage Therapy Visits

The medical community has long recognized massage therapy as an important part of your integrative health care and healing, and if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), your massage therapy sessions may be covered.

An FSA is a benefit offered by many employers that lets you pay out-of-pocket medical expenses through an amount deducted from your paycheck pre-tax. This tax-free money is held in an account that pays for medical co-pays, deductibles, prescription drugs, and medical treatments throughout the year. And one of the qualifying items is medically necessary massage therapy.

We all love the relaxation and stress reduction that comes with a great massage. Many clients also report feelings of comfort, caring, and connection. But there are numerous benefits that can make massage therapy a medical necessity.

Benefits of Massage

According to the  Mayo Clinic, the benefits of massage can include:

  • Reducing stress and increasing relaxation
  • Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension
  • Improving circulation, energy and alertness
  • Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improving immune function

And some studies have found massage may also be helpful for the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Depression
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Low back pain
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Upper back and neck pain

If you have a specific condition and are interested in exploring massage using your FSA, your first step is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.  If massage therapy is a viable option, your doctor will write you a prescription for therapeutic massage or a letter of medical necessity. Multiple sessions are usually needed, so speak to your physician about frequency and length of massage sessions.

We are happy to provide your doctor with a physician referral form for massage.  Thank you for making us part of your wellness team.  We look forward to seeing you soon!


Frequently Asked Questions:

Is my massage eligible?

Yes!  FSA/HSA covers massages for certain medical treatments. These treatments must be approved and prescribed by a doctor or physician.

How do I use my FSA/HSA?

Request a Letter of Medical Necessity for Massage (LMN) or a prescription from your doctor. Include:

  • Medical reason for massage therapy (Ex: to relieve back pain)
  • Frequency: How many sessions a month (Ex: weekly)
  • Duration: length of treatment (Ex: 12 months)
  • NOTE:  A new LMN must be submitted if the treatment exceeds the current year plan.

Once you have received the letter/prescription, bring a copy for our office on your next visit and file away the original at home.

Bring your flex/health savings card to pay for your visit. If you don’t have a flex card, you may use another form of payment.  After your visit we’ll be glad to provide a receipt for your records.  Tips may not be included on flex payments. Other forms of payment are accepted and appreciated!

How much should I budget for next year?

In September, don’t forget to set aside a massage budget for you and your spouse (if they have a qualifying medical condition) in planning your FSA/HSA for next year.  A good rule of thumb is a monthly maintenance visit at $100 per person for relaxation massage and $130 per person for therapeutic massage.  Ask us about new client wellness packages and our CLM rewards program to help lower costs.