An experimental study on the effectiveness of acupressure with aromatic lavender essential oil for sub-acute, non-specific neck pain in Hong Kong

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 Feb;12(1):18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2005.09.005. Epub 2005 Nov 8.


Objectives: To assess the efficacy of acupressure using an aromatic essential oil (lavender) as an add-on treatment for pain relief and enhancing physical functional activities among adults with sub-acute non-specific neck pain.

Design: Experimental study design.

Setting: The Telehealth clinic and the community centre, Hong Kong.

Intervention: A course of 8-session manual acupressure with lavender oil over a 3 week period.

Outcome measures: Changes from baseline to the end of treatment were assessed on neck pain intensity [by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)]; stiffness level; stress level; neck lateral flexion, forward flexion and extension in cm, and interference with daily activities.

Results: The baseline VAS score for the intervention and control groups were 5.12 and 4.91 out of 10, respectively (P = 0.72). One month after the end of treatment, compared to the control group, the manual acupressure group had 23% reduced pain intensity (P = 0.02), 23% reduced neck stiffness (P = 0.001), 39% reduced stress level (P = 0.0001), improved neck flexion (P = 0.02), neck lateral flexion (P = 0.02), and neck extension (P = 0.01). However, improvements in functional disability level were found in both the manual acupressure group (P = 0.001) and control group (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Our results show that eight sessions of acupressure with aromatic lavender oil were an effective method for short-term neck pain relief.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Acupressure / methods*
  • Acupuncture Points
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Bias
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / diagnosis
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology
  • Neck Pain / therapy*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil