Struggling with menopause symptoms can take a heavy toll on middle-aged women's psyche and life quality. Scarcity of scientifically proven alternative treatments often forces them to rely on pharmacology to relieve their discomforts. These options, however, are rarely free of side effects.
To offer women more alternative solutions, this 2020 clinical trial was set to determine the effects of craniofacial massage on treating menopause symptoms and improving their quality of life, mental health status, and body image perception.
Participants of this trial were 50 menopausal women, between the ages of 45 and 65, who reported at least two of the following symptoms: hot flashes, sweating, sleep problems, mood swings, urinary incontinence, and vaginal dryness.
They were assigned to two groups: the intervention group received weekly, 30-minute craniofacial massage sessions for three consecutive weeks, while the control group received no massage.
Assessments regarding symptom severity, quality of life, mental health, and body image perception were done before the study as well as at its end and one month after its completion.
In the intervention group, researchers observed positive effects of craniofacial massage on women's mental health and perceived quality of life.
The intervention also stopped the decrease in women's scores related to their body image perceptions.
There were also improvements in how women receiving craniofacial massage scored their menopause symptoms' severity (using the Menopause Rating Scale).
What Does It Mean?
This clinical trial provides scientific evidence of the effectiveness of craniofacial massage on treating menopause symptoms as well as women's mental health, quality of life, and body image perception.
Its findings add to the existing body of evidence on the benefits of massage therapy for menopause.1,2 As such, the authors suggest its use as a complementary therapeutic option by healthcare providers for their patients passing through the menopausal transition.
The results of this trial were published in the 2020 edition of the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal.
- Complementary Therapies in Medicine. (2020). The beneficial effects of therapeutic craniofacial massage on quality of life, mental health, and menopausal symptoms and body image: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0965229920304982
- Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. (2013). Changes in Clinical Parameters in Patients with Tension-type Headache Following Massage Therapy: A Pilot Study. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/106698108790818468
- Clinics. (2011). Effect of massage in postmenopausal women with insomnia - A pilot study. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1807-59322011000200026&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en