Pilot Study Finds Massage Benefits Burns Children

Aromatherapy massage treatments helps young burns victims relax, according to a new study conducted by researchers in Cape Town. The study was conducted in 2009 at a small paediatric burns unit with 17 beds, and included 71 test subjects, with the average age of the children studied at 3 years old.

129 sessions were undertaken at the centre, with stress levels assessed by measuring the children's heart rate, respiration, facial expressions, sleep/awake state and body posture.

The study found that the heart and breathing rates of the subjects declined, a recognised sign of relaxation. 92.8% of children exhibited positive responses to the treatment, for example falling asleep, asking for the treatment to continue, or appearing visibly calmed.

'Aromatherapy massage seems to be a helpful nonpharmacological approach to reduce hospitalized paediatric burn patients' distress,' noted the researchers. The study's results are encouraging, though those who conducted it admit that further work is needed to provide more concrete evidence of the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy massage treatment.