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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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, 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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Massage to help treat pain after surgery

    It’s effective and safe as add-on therapy following major operations, according to researchers at the VA Hospitals in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Indianapolis, Indiana.

    First, the details.

    • 605 veterans undergoing major surgery were randomly assigned to the following 3 treatments.
      • Routine care
      • Individual attention from a massage therapist (20 minutes)
      • Back massage by a massage therapist each evening for up to 5 postoperative days

    And, the results.

    • The massage group had significant short-term decreases in pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, and anxiety compared to routine care.
    • The massage group had a significantly faster rate of decrease in pain intensity and unpleasantness during the first 4 postoperative days compared with routine care.
    • There were no differences in the rates of decrease in long-term anxiety, length of stay, opiate use, or complications among the 3 groups.

    The bottom line?
    Similar results were published in 2003. In both studies there was decreased pain intensity, which didn’t result in less drug use or any fiscal benefit.

    However, if massage makes the hospital stay more pleasant, it seems like a viable way for hospitals to distinguish their care compared to the competition.

    Mayo Clinic believes it worthwhile to retain a full-time massage therapist. And here’s a link to the CAM options offered at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

    1/22/08 15:49 JR

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