Effect of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial

Menopause. 2012 Sep;19(9):995-9. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318248ea16.


Objective: Menopause is a significant event in most women's lives because it marks the end of a woman's natural reproductive life. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms.

Methods: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at a menopausal clinic at a gynecology hospital in Tehran. The study population comprised 90 women who were assigned to an aromatherapy massage group, a placebo massage group, or a control group. Each participant in the aromatherapy massage group received 30-minute aromatherapy treatment sessions twice a week for 4 weeks with aroma oil, whereas participants in the placebo massage group received the same treatment with plain oil. No treatment was provided to participants in the control group. The outcome measures in this study were menopausal symptoms, as obtained through the Menopause Rating Scale.

Results: The mean baseline level of the menopausal score did not differ among all groups. However, after eight sessions of intervention, the Menopause Rating Scale score differed significantly among the three groups (P < 0.001). Post hoc analysis revealed that women in both the aromatherapy massage group and the placebo massage group had a lower menopausal score than the control group (P < 0.001). When the aromatherapy massage and the placebo massage groups were compared, the menopausal score for the aromatherapy massage group was found to be significantly lower (P < 0.001) than for the placebo group.

Conclusions: The results of the study demonstrate that both massage and aromatherapy massage were effective in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, aromatherapy massage was more effective than only massage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Aromatherapy*
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / therapy
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Massage*
  • Menopause / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage
  • Placebos
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Women's Health


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Placebos
  • Plant Oils