I recently “stumbled upon” a really neat site that allows the user to search through a database of old newspapers and my curiosity was piqued.
I am uncertain how long this might last, but I thought it would be interesting to look back on our culture’s beliefs and attitudes regarding pain and post some of my findings here:
From The Syracuse Herald Journal, 1940:
The kind of massage best suited to arthritis is kneading or deep rubbing of the muscles around the joint…Deep kneading of the muscles in the region of the affected joint is designed to improve circulation, carrying away poisons and other deposits from the joints and making muscles more active…Since it is not always possible for the arthritic to move the muscles himself on account of the ankylosis of the joint, the massage performs an ideal function…there is always discernible a gradual and steady improvement if the procedure is properly carried out.
Meanwhile, there are a large number of manual clinicians (physical and massage therapists alike) who, 70 years later, still think that such practice makes perfectly good (if not common) sense.