How Massage Can Help in Treating Menopause Symptoms
Traditionally, many women rely on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for relieving menopause symptoms. Research have shown according to the Mayo Clinic(2022) that HRT can reduce bone loss and the risk of fractures, However, large-scale studies also suggest that HRT may increase the risk of stroke, blood clots, cancer, and heart disease, depending on age, type of hormone replacement therapy, and health history. Indeed, HRT is contraindicated for those with a history of breast cancer. To minimize risk, doctors suggest that women take the lowest possible dose of (HRT) to relieve their symptoms.
Here is where massage therapy can help. Stress generally intensifies menopause symptoms. Women moving through the transition need plenty of time to rest. Massage is a wonderful way to relax, reducing both symptoms and the need for (HRT).
Massage Modalities for Menopause Swedish massage is commonly requested by women experiencing menopause, as this modality is deeply relaxing. Myofascial and deep tissue work may also serve menopausal women well. At the same time, some women find they are especially sensitive to touch during menopause; energy work may be a better option for them.
Some Massage Therapists recommend acupressure during the menopause. This approach can stimulate the adrenal, thyroid, parathyroid, and pituitary glands to better regulate hormone production, and thereby minimize hot flashes. Acupressure can also move energy (chi) to the nervous system, for improved focus and memory. Plus, acupressure can bring balance to the reproductive organs.
According to Menard, M, PhD, LMT (2020) aromatherapy massage may be an effective way to reduce symptoms. A recent study at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences did a massage study of 251 women going through the menopause and found that massage decreased symptoms. The study split participants into three groups, a control group that did not receive massage, a placebo group that received massage with only liquid paraffin, and a group that received aromatherapy massage. The blend of essential oils used in the study included lavender, rose geranium, rose, and rosemary, diluted with almond oil and mixed with evening primrose oil. Both massage groups both saw significant decrease in symptoms, while the control group saw no change. The aromatherapy saw a slightly larger decrease in symptoms over the paraffin massage group.
Benefits of Massage for Women in Menopause
Increased range of motion
Improved connection to the body, increasing ownership in the process, and rather than a sense of powerless victimhood.
Activation of the relaxation response, for less frequent hot flashes. Research from Harvard Medical School’s Women’s Health Services department according to by Domar, A, D Ph.D.(1997) found that techniques to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, such as deep breathing and massage, can be effective ways to regulate menopause symptoms.
Massage can help women honour the changes of menopause. Like many health conditions, menopause symptoms will likely benefit from a broad palette of self-care habits, including proper nutrition, yoga, exercise, aromatherapy, and more. With effort, each woman can discover the best treatment combination for her symptoms.
For the best results, we recommend scheduling regular massages. It is too easy to sacrifice self-care in the face of hectic day-to-day life.
For further enquiries and to book an appointment
Research: Massage & Menopause. Menard, M, PhD, LMT (2020) cited in
Research: Massage and Menopause | Massage Therapy Journal (amtamassage.org) Accessed (18.11.2023)
Hormone therapy: Is it right for you? Mayo Clinic (2022) cited in
Hormone therapy: Is it right for you? - Mayo Clinic Accessed (18.11.2023)
Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life. Domar, A, D Ph.D.(1997)