CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Missing Vioxx? Massage therapy may help with the aches and pains

Arthritis sufferers who can no longer use the popular drug Vioxx may find relief in common over-the-counter drugs combined with massage therapy.
Centennial College has moved its popular student massage therapy clinic to its new campus at Morningside and Ellesmere, the Centennial HP Science and Technology Centre. Members of the public can receive a one-hour supervised therapeutic massage for $25.

"There are a lot of people looking for other ways to manage their arthritis," says Trish Dryden, co-ordinator, massage therapy research and development at Centennial College.

"Therapeutic massage can be an effective pain control strategy in addition to using traditional drug therapies, such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen."

In one of the biggest drug recalls in history, Vioxx was ordered off pharmacists' shelves last week after studies found the drug may increase heart attack and stroke risk.

Centennial teaches a three-year massage therapy program, which includes supervised practice in muscle and joint pain relief and relaxation.

Increasingly, health care providers view massage therapy as an important complementary wellness strategy, as well as rehabilitation for soft-tissue injuries and as an adjunct to conventional medical treatment for many chronic conditions such as arthritis.

"Therapeutic massage can be an excellent complementary treatment in concert with other conventional therapies," Dryden says.

"We will work with an arthritis sufferer and his or her family doctor to provide the best solution."

The college runs a student clinic which provides therapeutic massage to the public.

The clinical component provides students with ample opportunities for supervised practice, while clients receive a one-hour massage treatment for $25.

Centennial is hosting a massage therapy open house at its new location in east Scarborough.

The public is invited to tour the new teaching facilities and take part in workshops on massage therapy for arthritis prevention and treatment.

Scheduled to speak are Vicky Sunohara and Sami-Jo Small, two members of the Women's Gold Medal Olympic hockey team, who will discuss the benefits of therapeutic massage.

The open house is taking place on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Centennial HP Science and Technology Centre, 755 Morningside Ave. (at Ellesmere Rd.).

During National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, Oct. 17 to 24, all proceeds from Centennial's massage therapy clinics will be donated to support massage therapy and arthitis research.

For more clinic information, call 416-289-5353.

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