Author Topic: Concern about supposed benefits of massage listed in Greenville Tech class  (Read 859 times)

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Offline michael0669

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Hi everyone,
I live in Los Angeles now, not far from the awesome and awesomely talented Cara Santa Maria.  I just moved here from South Carolina a few years ago, though and still have plenty of friends back there.  One of them is in school at Greenville Technical College (GTC), and is apparently taking classes towards a certificate in massage therapy, or whatever the exact wording is.  She posted something to facebook that sent alarm bells up in my head.  It was a screenshot of a slide presented on Greenville Tech's portal with a list of conditions that they're claiming massage can treat.  The list includes, but is not limited to: Achilles tendinitis, arthritis, bursitis, carpel [sic] tunnel syndrome, constipation, digestive disorders, edema, fibromyalgia, frozen shoulder, gout, grave's disease, Parkinson's, shins splints, and sinusitis.  There are another dozen or so conditions listed that I didn't bother to re-type. 

I'll grant that massage can make some of these feel better-- arthritis and bursitis come to mind, and as someone with chronic lower back pain, I love getting a massage just because it feels good-- but I'm a bit alarmed at the idea that a public community college is teaching that massage can actually treat these conditions.  I'd appreciate any suggestions regarding how to approach the staff at GTC about my concerns, without triggering the backfire effect.  I suspect waving a bunch of information at them and screaming "you're wrong, you're wrong!" isn't going to help.



Offline daniel1948

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I have no idea how to approach them, but I just wanted to say welcome to the SGU forums. Yeah, massage is IMO a legitimate treatment for stiff and sore muscles, or anything caused by muscles being too tight, but it does get a lot of woo mixed in with it. Kind of like yoga, which is a really good stretching/strengthening workout but gets a whole lot of woo and spiritualism dumped onto it.
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline michael0669

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Thank you for the kind words, Daniel.  I look forward to being an engaged member here.  I've certainly been listening to the podcast long enough!

Offline The Latinist

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I'm afraid that, not being a real stakeholder, you're going to have a hard time getting anyone at GTC to listen.
I would like to is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline werecow

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This had me imagining a toothpaste tube type situation (only more eeeeww).

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Yeah, I think you're right to turn an eyebrow up at those claims, but they're sufficiently general that it may not be worth going after.

It seems like elevated stress levels could exacerbate any of those conditions... and if massage reduces stress, then ergo...   you know? I agree they shouldn't be making those claims, as I highly doubt massage could treat most of them--but they're also such generalized conditions that a generalized treatment is probably hard to argue against in hard terms.
Strange women lying in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.