Massage for menopause

Using essential oils during a massage can make a huge difference, particularly for women dealing with the symptoms of menopause. In a recent study, scientists divided 90 participants into three groups for four weeks: An aromatherapy massage group who received 30-minute massage treatments with essential oils twice a week; a “placebo” massage group in which aromatic oils were applied; and an untreated control group.

Aromatherapy massage benefits

Although both of the groups that received massages benefited with reduced symptoms, the women treated with aromatherapy oils – lavender, evening primrose, rosemary, almond and rose – experienced the biggest benefits.

Aromatherapy massage benefits

Aromatherapy massage benefits

Considering the fact that other studies have found that antidepressants produce mixed results to relieve menopausal symptoms, the use of this safer and cheaper alternative – aromatherapy coupled with massage – couldn’t have come at a better time.

For the health of your clients, the most important aspect of the massage experience – apart from applying your skills as a healer – is using therapeutic grade essential oils produced safely through age-old means.

Steam distillation and expression (cold pressing) are the most traditional ways to extract essential oils from plants that preserve their healing essence. A newer method – exposing plants to chilled and heated carbon dioxide and various air pressures – works well for some oils, like Frankincense and Myrrh, but not others.

Although they are much cheaper, essential oils produced by using oil-based solvents (hexane, di-methylene-chloride or acetone) to dissolve plants at low boiling points and contain fragrant synthetic ingredients should be avoided at all costs.

Before using any essential oil on a client, read product labels carefully with these questions in mind:

If the answer to any of these questions is no, don’t use it, as it is an inferior product made from synthetic, potentially harmful ingredients.

Suggestions for your massage practice

1. Offer pure, therapeutic grade essential oils in your massage practice.  Invest in GOOD oils; not cheap ones from the health food store!

2. Sell and explain to your clients how to use therapeutic grade essential oils.

3. Expand your practice to treat women working through menopause.


Menopause: The Journal of North American Menopause Society

Medscape (Free subscription required)

Melissa Wood, ND