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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    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.” 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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