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Massage, acupuncture can benefit one’s health

While I appreciate inquiry into how government spends money, I was disappointed by the article, “County massages cost taxpayers $1.3 million.” In this piece, massage and acupuncture were mistakenly and misleadingly equated to cosmetic surgery. The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine categorizes both as generally safe with limited side effects when provided by qualified practitioners. It reports that both may benefit some people.

I would love to see a News piece that addresses the cost benefit of massage and acupuncture as preventive medicines, including estimates of the reduction in sick leave, surgery and pain relievers, the latter two of which can have serious side effects. Furthermore, they are both of value if they improve the quality of life of people battling cancer or chronic pain. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find that spending $1.3 million on massage and acupuncture had a significant return on investment in the health and productivity of county workers? Now that would make a great headline.

Grace Friel

Buffalo