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.

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  • Recent Comments

    Abdominal massage for constipation

    It decreased the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, according to researchers at Umeå University in Sweden.

    First, the details.

    • 60 people with constipation were randomly assigned to 2 groups.
      • Abdominal massage in addition to an earlier prescribed laxative
      • Control group that took only laxatives according to earlier prescriptions
    • Gastrointestinal function was assessed with the Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale (GSRS) at the start of the study, week 4 and week 8.

    And, the results.

    • Abdominal massage significantly decreased severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, constipation, and abdominal pain.
    • Abdominal massage was associated with a significant increase of bowel movements compared to the control group.
    • There was no difference in the amount of laxative used after 8 weeks.

    The bottom line?
    Based on the finding that laxative use did not change, the researchers concluded, “Abdominal massage could be a complement to laxatives rather than a substitute.”

    There’s limited research in this area. A PubMed search of massage and constipation yielded the following studies.
    Functional bowel disorders

    • Massage therapy was used by 12% of patients

    Children with cancer

    • A review of the literature revealed that massage therapy might be useful to treat constipation and other symptoms.

    A video that illustrates abdominal massage technique is here.

    2/18/09 17:23 JR

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