The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Aromatherapy massage for breast cancer patients

    Researchers at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, in Japan measured immunological and psychological effects.

    First, the details.

    • 12 breast cancer patients received a 30-minute aromatherapy massage twice a week for 4 weeks (8 times in total).
    • Their response was compared to an earlier 1-month before and after with no massage.

    And, the results.

    • Anxiety was reduced after 1, 30-minute aromatherapy massage based on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) test and after 8 sequential aromatherapy massage sessions in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) test.
      • HADS measures the severity of anxiety and depression separately)
    • Immunologic, CD16-positive lymphocytes (natural killer cells) were reduced significantly after aromatherapy massage.
    • CD4-CXCR3-positive lymphocytes (type 1 helper T cells) increased significantly after the 8th aromatherapy massage vs before the 8th massage.
    • CD4-CCR4-positive lymphocytes (type 2 helper T cells) also increased significantly after aromatherapy sessions.
      • More than you ever needed to know about T helper cells is here.
    • There were no changes during the month before or after massage.

    The bottom line?

    The authors tell us “Although it is hard to interpret these [immunological] results, theoretically, it is possible that aromatherapy massage affects the immune system.”

    Breastcancer.org states, “Research in cancer patients has shown that aromatherapy may help relieve:

    • anxiety
    • depression
    • nausea
    • high blood pressure

    The effects of aromatherapy massage on the immune system require further research.

    3/30/10 19:14 JR

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