Several research studies have indicated that massage therapy alleviates constipation. In a new study, researchers set out to compare the effects of abdominal aroma massage and meridian massage on constipation and stress in college women with functional constipation.

They found that both aromatherapy massage and meridian massage relieved constipation, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

The participants were 38 college women. Eighteen of the subjects were assigned to the aroma group and 20 were assigned to the meridian group.

The aroma massage was given using aroma oil, which was a mixture of lemon, lavender, rosemary and cyprus.

The meridian massage was given at nine accupoints that influence intestinal functions.

Each treatment was given five days a week for four weeks. A constipation severity score, weekly defecation frequency and a stress-response score were measured before and every week of four weeks of the experiment.

“Both abdominal massages relieved constipation and stress,” the researchers noted. “Resorting to either type of massage will contribute to the reduction of use of stool softeners, suppositories or enemas.”

“A Comparison between Effects of Aroma Massage and Meridian Massage on Constipation and Stress in Women College Students” was conducted by researchers from the Department of Nursing, Sunmoon University, in Asan, Korea. It was published in the Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing.

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