Premenstrual symptoms are relieved by massage therapy

J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2000 Mar;21(1):9-15. doi: 10.3109/01674820009075603.


Twenty-four women meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn; DSM-IV) criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) were randomly assigned to a massage therapy or a relaxation therapy group. The massage group showed decreases in anxiety, depressed mood and pain immediately after the first and last massage sessions. The longer term (5 week) effects of massage therapy included a reduction in pain and water retention and overall menstrual distress. However, no long-term changes were observed in the massaged group's activity level or mood. Future studies might examine the effects of a longer massage therapy program on these symptoms. Overall, the findings from this study suggest that massage therapy may be an effective adjunct therapy for treating severe premenstrual symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Massage / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / complications
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / therapy*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome