Context: Menopause is a significant event in women's lives. It marks the end of a woman's natural reproductive life; it is usually accompanied by symptoms that affect the women's ability to perform their normal daily activities. Massage is one of the non-pharmacological methods that can help women cope with menopausal symptoms.
Aim: The study aimed to evaluate the effect of aromatic massage on somatic problems among a cohort of menopausal women.
Methods: A comparative quasi-experimental time serial (pre-posttest, study/control) design was used. The study was conducted at outpatient clinics of Ain shams University Maternity Hospital. A purposive sample of 74 menopausal women with menopausal symptoms was recruited in this study and divided randomly into an intervention group (Aromatic massage) and a control group (Massage only). Data were collected through three tools. A structured interviewing questionnaire is divided into three parts: general data, obstetrics, and menstrual history, the Kupperman index (menopausal assessment symptoms tool) to assess somatic menopausal symptoms, and the Visual Analogue Scale to assess the history of menstrual pain degree among menopausal women.
Results: It revealed two matched groups of women with a mean age of 47.83±5.23 vs. 49.05±3.98 in the aromatic and massage-only groups, respectively. The pre/post-intervention results revealed a significant improvement in most somatic menopausal symptoms, decreasing the frequency of hot flushes attacks, paresthesia, vertigo, fatigue, myalgia, headache, heart palpitation, and formication in the aromatherapy massage group post-intervention and in the follow up (p<0.05). The comparison between the aromatic and massage-only groups revealed a significant difference between the two groups with a significantly lower mean score in total menopausal somatic symptoms.
Conclusion: Aromatic massage with lavender, clary sage, jasmine, and rose dissolved in almond oil was effective in easing somatic menopausal symptoms compared to their pre-intervention level and compared to the massage-only group. The study recommended developing counseling programs for women about aromatic massage therapy at gynecological clinics.
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