Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of aroma foot massage on blood pressure, anxiety, and health-related quality of life (QOL) in Japanese community-dwelling men and women using a crossover randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Fifty-seven eligible participants (5 men and 52 women) aged 27 to 72 were randomly divided into 2 intervention groups (group A: n = 29; group B: n = 28) to participate in aroma foot massages 12 times during the 4-week intervention period. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP, respectively), heart rate, state anxiety, and health-related QOL were measured at the baseline, 4-week follow-up, and 8-week follow-up. The effects of the aroma foot massage intervention on these factors and the proportion of participants with anxiety were analyzed using a linear mixed-effect model for a crossover design adjusted for participant and period effects. Furthermore, the relationship between the changes in SBP and state anxiety among participants with relieved anxiety was assessed using a linear regression model.
Results: Aroma foot massage significantly decreased the mean SBP (p = 0.02), DBP (p = 0.006), and state anxiety (p = 0.003) as well as the proportion of participants with anxiety (p = 0.003). Although it was not statistically significant (p = 0.088), aroma foot massage also increased the score of mental health-related QOL. The change in SBP had a significant and positive correlation with the change in state anxiety (p = 0.01) among participants with relieved anxiety.
Conclusion: The self-administered aroma foot massage intervention significantly decreased the mean SBP and DBP as well as the state anxiety score, and tended to increase the mental health-related QOL scores. The results suggest that aroma foot massage may be an easy and effective way to improve mental health and blood pressure.
Trial registration: University Hospital Medical Information Network 000014260.