To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Massage and Menopause: Touch Helps Ease Women through the Transition,” , in the September 2010 issue. Article summary: Women go through menopause at different times, and this can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as lifestyle, diet, genetics and general health. For many women, the change in their bodies comes at a crucial time, and with increased responsibility and related stress, many women find it difficult to take time to care for themselves and address the changes their bodies are experiencing. Their symptoms progress, and for some women it may seem unbearable. Enter massage therapy.

Massage therapy can serve as an ideal stress-management tool for menopausal clientele, and research has shown massage can help alleviate many menopausal symptoms:

• In 2007, a review published in the journal Menopause revealed the use of complementary and alternative medicine is common among women to alleviate menopausal symptoms, with massage, chiropractic and nutrition rated as the most effective therapies.

• A 2008 study in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine proved that a 25-minute, full-body massage decreased anxiety levels and boosted mood, immune function and relaxation in its adult subjects, ranging from age 18 to 62. Another 2008 study, published in Biomedical Research showed a 45-minute facial massage reduced anxiety and alleviated negative mood in healthy, adult women.

• Also that same year, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a report that showed aromatherapy massage, administered once a week for eight weeks, significantly reduced menopausal symptoms, specifically hot flashes, depression and pain. The aromatherapy massage included the use of lavender, rose geranium, rose and jasmine essential oils, along with diluted almond and evening primrose oil.

• Reflexology and foot massage have also been shown to decrease anxiety, depression, hot flashes and night sweats in women during menopause. In a 2009 study, titled “Effects of self-foot reflexology on stress, fatigue and blood circulation in premenopausal middle-aged women,” published in the Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, self-foot reflexology effectively reduced perceived stress and fatigue and helped blood circulation in premenopausal middle-aged women.

Note: Visit MASSAGE Magazine’s research archive online for additional benefits of massage and bodywork at www.massagemag.com/research.

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