When massage and aromatherapy are combined, the benefits are great: Research has shown that aromatherapy massage reduces depression, stress, symptoms of menopause, anxiety and fatigue.

A new pilot study shows that aromatherapy massage relieves constipation in cancer patients. Constipation is oftentimes a side effect of drugs used in cancer treatment.

Researchers from the Department of Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong, China, set out to determine the effects of aromatherapy on advanced cancer patients’ constipation, according to a report published on www.pubmed.gov and supplied by Elsevier, publisher of the journal the research appeared in.


“This study employed a randomized control group pre- and post test design and included an aroma massage group, plain massage group, and control group,” the abstract noted. “The score of the constipation assessment scale of the aroma massage group was significantly lower than the control group. Apart from the improvement in bowel movements, the results showed significantly improved quality of life in physical and support domains of the aroma massage group.”


The researchers noted that, “The findings of this study suggest aroma massage can help to relieve constipation in patients with advanced cancer.”


“Effectiveness of aroma massage on advanced cancer patients with constipation: A pilot study” will run in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2011 Feb;17(1):37-43).

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