With so many symptoms to deal with from hot flashes to joint stiffness and pain, many women dread entering the menopausal phase of their lives. Although some women find that they do not need to seek treatment for menopausal symptoms, there are certainly many who do suffer and are in need of relief. For some women, the most common treatments such as menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT) and other medical therapies may have proven ineffective, while others may be reluctant to try these kinds of treatments due to potential risks. For these women, alternative therapies may be a serious consideration.
A recent study has shown that aromatherapy massage can be an effective therapy for the relief of some symptoms attributed to menopause. In this study, the women who received the aromatherapy massage noticed the most substantial reduction of symptoms after a series of sessions.
Clinical Study: Aromatherapy Massage Eases Menopausal Symptoms
In a clinical study, aromatherapy massage was evidenced to provide menopause relief even more dramatically than massage without the aromatherapy component. The study in question was published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society in April, 2012. In this study, aromatherapy massage was shown to decrease menopausal symptoms, such as sleeplessness, hot flashes, headaches, irritability, stress, anxiety, and depression.
This clinical trial was conducted at a gynecology clinic in Tehran, Iran. The 90 participants were interviewed and asked to rate their symptoms before the start of the trial, as well as after the study had been completed. The rating system used is a standardized approach in the gynecological community for rating menopausal symptoms.
The women who participated in this study were divided into three groups – the control group, placebo group, and the group that received the aromatherapy massage treatment. The subjects in the control group received no treatment, and the women in the placebo group received massage therapy without the aromatherapy oil.
The Results: Is Aromatherapy Massage an Effective Therapy?
In this study, it was found that a 30-minute aromatherapy massage session twice per week for a period of a month was effective for the reduction of menopausal symptoms. Although the placebo group did report a decline in symptoms, the reduction was not as dramatic. The control group reported no change in symptoms. The subjects who received the aromatherapy massage experienced the greatest decrease in symptoms. This clinical trial seems to suggest that massage therapy is an effective treatment for relieving menopausal symptoms, and when combined with aromatherapy, it becomes substantially more effective.
In this particular study, aromatherapy oils that are known to promote relaxation (i.e. lavender, rose, and evening primrose oil) were used. Experienced practitioners will know the best combination of oils to use to relieve specific symptoms. The skill of the massage therapist and the types of oil used for the aromatherapy can have an impact on the effectiveness of the treatment.
If you already go for regular massage sessions, discuss your symptoms with your massage therapist. As with other types of therapies, aromatherapy massage may not be effective for everyone. Nonetheless, it is definitely worth consideration if you are suffering from menopausal symptoms and aren’t having much success with conventional treatments. Having a great massage is never a bad thing, so if you’re looking for a new therapy, give aromatherapy massage a try.