In a study from Çankırı Karatekin University and elsewhere, scientists found that foot massage can help minimize the number of common menopause symptoms, including sleep disruption, effectively extending sleep duration by an average of an hour per day.
During the menopause transition, estrogen deficiency can lead to a number of physical and mental health problems, including insomnia, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, headaches, and anxiety.
Reflexology, which is a specific type of massage therapy, has been shown to help improve relaxation.
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.
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 study, researchers sought to evaluate the effects of foot massage on anxiety, fatigue, and sleep in older women.
They found 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.
The team found sleep disturbances, fatigue, and anxiety symptoms are common during menopause.
A simple, inexpensive intervention such as a foot massage can improve these bothersome symptoms in postmenopausal women.
The team says that additional study is needed to confirm these findings in other populations of postmenopausal women, but there is little downside to recommending foot massage as a non-hormonal option to help relieve symptoms.
If you care about sleep, please read studies about sleep apnea linked to autoimmune diseases and why people with sleep apnea are more likely to have high blood pressure.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that cranberries could help boost memory, and how alcohol, coffee, and tea intake influence cognitive decline.
The study was conducted by Nilay Gökbulut et al and published in Menopause.
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