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Menopause Help: Massage, Aromatherapy, and Other Self Care Tips

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Finding menopause help is often a challenge for women because every woman needs something different.

Menopause is the point in a woman's life when she has gone for one year without a menstrual period. The time leading up to that point is perimenopause, and the time after that point is postmenopause.

Some women breeze through this time with few problems. Other women experience symptoms ranging from hot flashes and night sweats to insomnia and fatigue to anxiety and depression.

Although working with a healthcare provider who specializes in menopause is sometimes useful, you can also take self care into your own hands. Start with the natural menopause help tips on this page.

Massage For Menopause

Regular massage therapy can help you relax and let go of anxiety and irritable feelings. Massage can help relieve fatigue and sore necks, shoulders, and backs. Other benefits of massage include improved mobility in the muscles and joints, relief from headaches and muscle tension, and increased energy and ability to concentrate.

Massage also encourages a positive body image and offers an opportunity for you to become reconnected to your body and honor the changes you are experiencing.

What type of massage? It's a personal preference. Some women will like a deep massage, while others will not. Experiment with different types of massage and different massage therapists to find what works best for you. You might also consider other bodywork techniques, such as reflexology, acupressure, or reiki, for menopause help.

Aromatherapy For Menopause

Here's a collection of aromatherapy blends that may help you manage your menopause and feel better.

Use this general menopause blend to massage your solar plexus in a clockwise direction:

  • 6 drops neroli essential oil
  • 3 drops mandarin essential oil
  • 2 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Source: Healing With Aromatherapy

To help relieve mood swings, headaches, and insomnia, add 5 to 8 drops of each of the following essential oils to to 1-1/2 teaspoons jojoba oil:

  • Geranium
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Clary sage
  • Lavender

Rub this blend onto your face and neck as needed. 

Source: Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Techniques to Use at Home 

Aromatherapy Body Lotion

You can also use this body lotion to help relieve the symptoms of menopause: 

  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) of your favorite unscented lotion, cream, or oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops neroli essential oil
  • 1 drop rose essential oil
  • 1,500 IUs vitamin E oil

Blend all ingredients and use as needed.

Source: Aromatherapy for Dummies

Bath Salts For Menopause Help

This recipe makes enough bath salts for about six baths. Keeps for up to three months stored in a cool, dark place.

  • 3 cups Epsom salt, sea salt, or pink Himalayan salt
  • 7 drops anise essential oil (If you have had an estrogen-dependent cancer, replace the anise with lavender.)
  • 7 drops angelica essential oil
  • 7 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil
  1. Add the essential oils and carrier oils to the salt. Stir until well blended.
  2. Put the salts in a jar with a lid. Let set for 24 hours. Stir again.

To use: Use 1/2 cup for a bath, stirring in the salt after you run the bath.

Adapted from Essential Oils For Healing

Essential Oils For Hot Flashes

Natural remedies for hot flashes can include the use of aromatherapy. Try rubbing a little lavender essential oil on the inside of your wrists or on your temples as needed.

Other potentially helpful essential oils for hot flashes are clary sage, lemon, and peppermint. You can inhale an oil, use it in a bath or for a foot rub, or mix it with a carrier oil for massage. For portable hot flash relief, make an aromatherapy inhaler using the essential oils that work best for you.

Hot Flash Blend

Healing With Aromatherapy recommends:

  • 2 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel

When you feel a hot flash coming on, rub a little of the blend on your face, neck, or wrists.

Bath Aromatherapy For Hot Flashes

  • 4 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil or milk

Blend the ingredients. Add the blend to your bath.

Source: Pure Scents for Well Being

Powder To Relieve Night Sweats

  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops orange essential oil
  • 5 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  1. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients well.
  2. Store powder in a jar that has a lid with holes.

To use: At bedtime, sprinkle some powder inside a pillow case or under the sheets.

Source: Essential Oils For Healing

Essential Oils For Menopausal Symptoms

Use the following suggested aromatherapy for menopause symptoms in a massage oil, an aromatherapy bath, or a diffuser. Experiment to see which oils work best for you.

Anxiety: Bergamot, jasmine, lavender, ylang ylang, Roman or German chamomile

Depression: Bergamot, neroli, melissa

Headaches: Roman or German chamomile, lavender, peppermint

Emotional ups and downs: Bergamot, jasmine, neroli, Roman or German chamomile

Mood swings: Grounding and balancing essential oils, such as patchouli, or soothing oils, such as lavender

Irritability: Grounding and balancing essential oils or sedating oils, such as cardamom

Fatigue: Energizing or stimulating essential oils, such as ginger, peppermint, or nutmeg

Insomnia: Lavender

Night sweats: Clary sage

Yin Yoga Class Series

Other Menopause Help Tips

Here are a few other tips for menopause help:

  • Use meditation to slow down, tune into your body and emotions, and improve your focus. Many meditation techniques are available. One simple technique is to focus on your breathing. Another is to repeat a word, such as "om" or "one" or any simple word that has no special meaning to you. Consider taking a meditation class.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise has some of the same benefits as massage, including improved circulation and the release of good-feeling endorphins. Exercise also helps prevent weight gain that sometimes accompanies menopause. Some women find yoga to be especially helpful, both for the exercise and the meditative benefits.

  • Take time for yourself. Spend time alone or with someone you enjoy. Schedule specific times to be in nature, engage in a creative activity (such as art, music, or writing), or participate in an activity that renews your spirit.

  • Eat a nutritious diet, with lots of veggies and fiber and not much sugar, caffeine, and junk food. Avoid alcohol if it triggers hot flashes. Diet is such a contentious subject. Experiment to find ways of eating that work best for you.

  • Use hydrotherapy, such as hot baths, saunas, hot tubs, or foot baths, as a way to relax, if they don't trigger hot flashes for you.
  • Consider acupuncture or naturopathy, both of which can help with hormone imbalances and their effects. Ask for referrals from friends or other healthcare providers.

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Photo Credit: Flickr User David Jackmanson

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