Can A Foot Massage Help Menopause Symptoms?
Sep. 22, 2022
For women looking for holistic treatments for menopause symptoms, this finding is significant.
Foot massages to help alleviate menopause symptoms? According to a new study published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), foot massage can help minimize a number of common menopause symptoms, including sleep disruption, effectively extending sleep duration by an average of an hour per day.
Fatigue and Menopause
Fatigue is one of the most frequently reported symptom of menopause—in fact, three out of four women experience fatigue as a bothersome symptom, according to the Phenology Assessment—and commonly occurs as a result of hot flashes and impaired sleep quality, says NAMS.
The study, which involved 70 Turkish women in postmenopause, determined that foot massage applied during menopause increases the average daily sleep duration—as much as an hour per day—and reduces women’s fatigue and anxiety levels.
Why These Study Results Matter
For women looking for holistic and alternative treatments to menopause symptoms, this finding is significant. Reflexology has been shown to help improve relaxation, and foot massage, in particular, reportedly helps individuals relax, reduce stress and restore the body’s balance by stimulating the nerve cells located in the legs, says NAMS.
Previous studies have suggested that foot reflexology is an effective intervention in reducing stress and fatigue in premenopausal women. However, no previous studies were found that evaluated the effects of foot massage on anxiety, fatigue and sleep at the same time in postmenopausal women. In this new, small-scale study, researchers specifically sought to evaluate the effects of foot massage on anxiety, fatigue and sleep in postmenopausal women.
“This small study in Turkish women shows how a simple, inexpensive intervention such as foot massage can improve these bothersome symptoms in postmenopausal women. Although additional study is needed to confirm these findings in other populations of postmenopausal women, there is little downside to recommending foot massage as a non-hormonal option to help relieve symptoms,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
How To Get Better Sleep During Perimenopause
Other things that can help achieve more restful sleep in perimenopause? Some tips:
Handle the hot flashes. Vasomotor symptoms can totally wreck your rest. Besides keeping your room cool at night and avoiding common triggers like alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods before bed, consider keeping a cooling rescue product nearby. This portable skin-soothing atomizer delivers powerful relief in one quick spritz by stimulating nerve ending receptors to provide an immediate cooling effect.
Deal with stress. Address your stress with meditation or mindfulness practices (there are many great apps for that, like Calm or Headspace). Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help with practical strategies for managing stress. You may also find CBD beneficial. This ingredient interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system to promote a sense of calmness and well-being. Consider CBD in supplement form—this one packs a host of other good-for-menopause ingredients also proven to reduce hot flashes by up to 50 percent.
Evaluate your overall wellness. Exercise is key—whatever you love to do to get your heart pumping for 30 minutes a day will not only mitigate occasional anxiety, exercise has been shown to help support sleep. Consider talking to a Registered Dietitian who can provide guidance on movement, diet and wellness. You can chat one-on-one with a Registered Dietitian trained in menopause-related topics by downloading the Phenology app. This gives you the chance to ask an empathetic professional about how your nutrition, wellness, hydration and lifestyle can affect your symptoms, and get real answers via text-based chat.
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