Comparisons for Effectiveness of Aromatherapy and Acupressure Massage on Quality of Life in Career Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):451-460. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0403. Epub 2017 May 15.


Objectives: This study was aimed to compare the effectiveness of aromatherapy and acupressure massage intervention strategies on the sleep quality and quality of life (QOL) in career women.

Design: The randomized controlled trial experimental design was used in the present study. One hundred and thirty-two career women (24-55 years) voluntarily participated in this study and they were randomly assigned to (1) placebo (distilled water), (2) lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia), (3) blended essential oil (1:1:1 ratio of L. angustifolia, Salvia sclarea, and Origanum majorana), and (4) acupressure massage groups for a 4-week treatment. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Short Form 36 Health Survey were used to evaluate the intervention effects at pre- and postintervention.

Results: After a 4-week treatment, all experimental groups (blended essential oil, lavender essential oil, and acupressure massage) showed significant improvements in sleep quality and QOL (p < 0.05). Significantly greater improvement in QOL was observed in the participants with blended essential oil treatment compared with those with lavender essential oil (p < 0.05), and a significantly greater improvement in sleep quality was observed in the acupressure massage and blended essential oil groups compared with the lavender essential oil group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The blended essential oil exhibited greater dual benefits on improving both QOL and sleep quality compared with the interventions of lavender essential oil and acupressure massage in career women. These results suggest that aromatherapy and acupressure massage improve the sleep and QOL and may serve as the optimal means for career women to improve their sleep and QOL.

Keywords: acupressure; aromatherapy; mental health; sleep disorders.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure*
  • Adult
  • Aromatherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women, Working* / psychology
  • Women, Working* / statistics & numerical data