If you ask what is the most universal problem of women, the answer of most of them will be menstrual cramps. Starting from adolescence, they begin to face these pains. Some go through this process much more severely. In medicine, this condition is called "dysmenorrhea". Although various methods and drugs are used to manage this process, I am sure that an alternative method is something everyone is looking for. In recent years, Atatürk University published a study examining the effects of aromatherapy on dysmenorrhea. Of the 150 midwifery and nursing students, 44 people with higher pain levels voluntarily participated in this study. Lavender massage and vaseline massage were applied to each of them in a random order to observe the placebo effect.
Dysmenorrhoea is a condition that includes symptoms such as lower abdominal cramps, back pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and headache that occur during or just before menstruation. This pain, which gradually decreases in 1-3 days, occurs with varying degrees from mild to disability. Regardless of the cause, it is important to relieve these symptoms as they can affect mental activities such as productivity and creativity and cause serious daily stress.
First of all, the pharmacology of massage practice is perfect for this situation. because
Thanks to the massage, hypoxia (oxygen deficiency in the cells) regresses and the oxygen level in the tissues increases and therefore the severity of the pain decreases. Massage, which improves blood and lymph circulation, relieves pain caused by tense muscles.
Some aromatic oils have anticonvulsive properties that stimulate circulation. Lavender oil, which is widely used in aromatherapy, is also one of these types of plants. In addition, there are studies showing that lavender is the least allergenic essential oil, as well as relaxing and soothing effects on the amygdala. * Due to these properties, lavender oil was preferred for massage in the study conducted at Atatürk University. Not all 44 participants had any systemic (whole-body) or genital disease and did not use pain relievers to reduce the pain of dysmenorrhea. They used a visual analog scale with the highest score of 100 to rate their pain levels. Participants were followed for 3 menstrual periods. In the first, participants documented their pain levels on the scale used without any intervention. In the second, some of them were massaged with lavender and some with vaseline. In the third, vaseline massage was given to those who received lavender massage, and lavender massage was applied to those who received vaseline massage. Pain intensity was recorded on the scale after each application. Data collected with scores recorded from this scale were analyzed using a computer program (SPSS version 11.0).
Dysmenorrhea decreased from 82.38% to 51.13% after aromatherapy massage. From 82.38% to 74.31% after a placebo massage. These results showed that massage has soothing, relaxing and tension-reducing effects and is very useful in relieving pain, tension and stress. It is known that both massage therapy and the use of essential oils are beneficial for the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, and combining the two is much more effective than their separate use.** In addition, no side effects were observed in the study, increasing the reliability of aromatherapy.
This is not the only study for dysmenorrhea, and lavender is not the only essential oil used. Oils such as sage, laurel, citrus, rose are among the other oils used in aromatherapy massage to relieve menstrual pain.*** Choose an aromatic plant and let it be good for you. This time, when you feel a cramp in your stomach, remember that a fragrant and effective massage awaits you and relax.
Effect of Aromatherapy Massage on Dysmenorrhea in Turkish Students, Atatürk University
*Aromatherapy practice in nursing: Literature review,Journal of Advanced Nursing
**Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
***Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial, J Altern Complement Med
***Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial, The Journal of Gynaecology Research