Massage an alternative relief for some pain

Addictions often start with someone in pain being prescribed narcotics. Why not treat the pain rather than alter the mind and numb it.

Alternative approaches are on the rise; it seems like they need more momentum. Massage can interrupt the pain cycle and relieve some of the physical and emotional distress. Is it a cure all? No. But maybe worth a try.

People are perishing. The opioid epidemic is exceedingly complex, and simply recommending a massage for pain relief is simplistic. However, as a former massage therapist, I have witnessed the immediate post-massage endorphin high, yet over a few sessions pain alleviated — without addiction.

I would like a simpler fix, to gain more momentum or at least become a real talking point. I met someone coming off pain pills because of addiction. He was upset: “I got two problems now — pain and addiction,” he told me. He asked about the going rate for massage. When I told him, he exclaimed, “That’s only two Percocets!”

Allison Allen

Pleasantville

Regulate social media, block political interference

Few things in America are more important than being free from foreign political interference. That’s why Russia’s brazen effort to use social media to influence the 2016 presidential election — and interfere with our nation’s energy policy — is so ominous.

The extent to which the Kremlin used social media to achieve its ends was driven home to me by a report on Russian meddling from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was released by Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland. The report described how Russian operatives tried to hack the U.S. energy grid and nuclear power companies, manipulated naive environmental groups, used social media to exacerbate differences over climate change, and attempted to deceive the American public, especially through inflammatory posts on social media as related to hydraulic fracturing and the construction of pipelines for oil and natural gas.

Congress needs to rein in Facebook and other social media platforms. Apologists who maintain that tighter regulation of social media would abridge civil liberties need to get a grip. Our nation’s democratic institutions need protection from outside interference. A good start would be to mandate that social media companies make public the sources of funding for political advertisements.

James McGovern

Ocean Township