This study investigated the effects of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms in Korean climacteric women. Kupperman's menopausal index was used to compare an experimental group of 25 climacteric women with a wait-listed control group of 27 climacteric women. Aromatherapy was applied topically to subjects in the experimental group in the form of massage on the abdomen, back and arms using lavender, rose geranium, rose and jasmine in almond and primrose oils once a week for 8 weeks (eight times in total). The experimental group reported a significantly lower total menopausal index than wait-listed controls (P < 0.05). There were also significant intergroup differences in subcategories such as vasomotor, melancholia, arthralgia and myalgia (all P < 0.05). These findings suggest that aromatherapy massage may be an effective treatment of menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, depression and pain in climacteric women. However, it could not be verified whether the positive effects were from the aromatherapy, the massage or both. Further rigorous studies should be done with more objective measures.
Keywords: aromatherapy; climateric; massage; menopausal.