Effect of aromatherapy massage on elderly patients under long-term hospitalization in Japan

J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Mar;19(3):235-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0877. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


Objectives: To verify the effectiveness of aromatherapy massage on elderly patients under long-term hospitalization.

Design: Aromatherapy massage was performed twice a week for a total of eight times.

Setting: Nursing home.

Subjects: Elderly women under long-term hospitalization.

Interventions: Questionnaire and measurement of stress marker levels (salivary amylase activity) before and after the first, fifth, and eighth aromatherapy massages.

Outcome measures: Questionnaire (Face scale, General Health Questionnaire-12 [GHQ-12]), measurement of salivary amylase activity.

Results: A decrease in stress after aromatherapy massage compared to before each massage was confirmed at all measurement times and with the stress marker. No marked reduction was observed in Face scale or saliva amylase activity as a whole over the long term, although decreasing tendencies were seen. Marked reductions in GHQ-12 were observed over the long term.

Conclusions: Aroma massage appears likely to prove effective in reducing psychological stress among elderly patients under long-term hospitalization.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Aromatherapy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Massage / methods
  • Massage / psychology*
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Amylases