Hand-foot massage using essential oils can induce sedative or arousal effects in the mind and body of healthy women

  • KIMURA Mari
    Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
    Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
  • KISHIDA Satoko
    Meiji University of Integrative medicine Center for Integrative Medicine
    Meiji University of Integrative medicine Center for Integrative Medicine

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Other Title
  • 鎮静・覚醒作用のある精油を用いたハンド・フットマッサージの健常成人女性の心身に及ぼす効果

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the sedative and arousal effects of hand and foot massage (HFM) using essential oils on healthy women. METHODS : Sixteen participants, aged 24.3 ± 2.78 (mean ± S.D.), received a 30-minute HFM under three conditions in a randomized cross-over design: HFM without essential oil (control) ; HFM with 5% peppermint and lemongrass (PE/LE) oils ; and HFM with 5% lavender and geranium (LA/GE) oils. A 10-minute rest followed each HFM. During each of these periods, heart rate was measured and saliva was collected to evaluate cortisol and IgA levels. Participants completed psychological questionnaires before and after HFM. RESULTS : A statistical procedure with two-way analysis of variance revealed that high-frequency (HF) heart rate activity increased and the ratio of low-frequency (LF) activity to HF activity (LF/HF) decreased after HFM with LA/GE, whereas the opposite occurred with PE/LE. After HFM, cortisol levels decreased sharply with LA/GE and PE/LE, and IgA levels showed the greatest increase during HFM with PE/LE. Negative mood scores markedly decreased with LA/GE, while positive mood scores increased more greatly after HFM with PE/LE, compared to the control trial. Compared to the other two trials, fatigue scores decreased most remarkably and relaxation scores increased the most after HFM with PE/LE. Menstrual cycle or degree of self-awareness on health of subjects influenced LF/HF, CS level and IgA levels. When analysis of variance was performed with "menstrual cycle" or "degree of self-awareness on health" as inter subject factors, the change of CS levels and IgA levels before, during, and after massage significantly differed among control, LA/GE and PE/LE trials. CONCLUSION : The present research indicates HFM with various essential oils can have diverse beneficial effects on the female body and mind. The study further implies the efficacy of using essential oils with sedative or arousal effect during aromatherapy with HFM depending on conditions to alleviate symptoms unique to women.



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