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

    CAM options to treat pain at the end of life

    Of the many symptoms experienced by those at the end of life, pain is one of the most common, feared, and often undertreated,

    Dr. Perry Fine from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City reviews the treatment options, including CAM. Here’s a summary.

    Rehabilitation/physical therapy

    • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy are potentially beneficial in managing pain.
    • Strengthening, stretching, and the use of assisting devices may improve mobility.


    • Family members can be taught simple, safe techniques of massage.
    • Hospice programs can often provide trained, certified massage therapists.

    Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS)

    • Evidence supports PENS for persistent low back pain and knee pain.


    • Popular for patients with cancer and other end-stage pain.
    • Several researchers have found acupuncture to be an effective antidepressant.
    • Has a positive effect on COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), shortness of breath associated with end-stage cancer, and asthma.

    Cognitive interventions

    • Might improve mood and increase coping behaviors.

    Music therapy

    • Low-cost
    • Reduces anxiety and improves mood for medical, surgical, and ICU patients, and for patients undergoing procedures.
    • Useful in children and adults.
    • For caregivers, music therapy might improve empathy, compassion, and relationship-centered care without interfering with technical aspects of care.

    11/16/07 16:24 JR

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