Previous studies have already shown that aromatherapy massage may reduce the scores of various menopause symptoms.1 This particular clinical trial - conducted by Iranian researchers - focused on exploring the effects of aromatherapy massage on depression during menopause.
This clinical trial was designed to include 120 postmenopausal women, with depression scores of 14 and above on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Women have not taken antidepressants or hormone therapy prior to the trial.
Women were divided into three groups and put on their own treatment regimens for eight weeks:
- The aromatherapy massage group underwent aromatherapy with a 2% geranium essential oil with almond oil as well as massage therapy for 30 minutes per week.
- The massage therapy group underwent massage therapy with sweet almond oil for 30 minutes per week.
- The control group underwent no treatment.
The massage therapy was performed with effleurage method, focusing on the abdomen, back, and arms. Women's depression status was assessed with the BDI before and after the trial.
Researchers found that aromatherapy massage significantly lowered the mean depression scores among the participants who underwent it.
Beneficial effects, although not as substantial, were also seen in women who underwent massage therapy alone, without the aromatherapy component.
What Does It Mean?
The results of this study indicate that menopausal women can consider aromatherapy massage as an alternative treatment for depression. While aromatherapy combined with massage therapy have proven more effective for depression symptoms, massage therapy alone can also offer some benefits.
Such complementary therapies offer safe, easily accessible, and cost-effective options for treating menopause symptoms without exposing women to unnecessary side effects and serious health risks.
- Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. (2015). Comparison of the Efficacy of Massage and Aromatherapy Massage with Geranium on Depression in Postmenopausal Women: A Clinical Trial. Retrieved January 20, 2021 from https://sites.kowsarpub.com/zjrms/articles/970.html
- Menopause. (2012). Effect of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Retrieved January 20, 2021 from https://sci.bban.top/pdf/10.1097/gme.0b013e318248ea16.pdf