How massage can soothe menopause joint pain and ease other symptoms
Women’s bodies go through a heck of a lot. From menstruation to childbirth to menopause, we’re used to ‘dealing’ with the side effects and getting on with it. But there are natural ways to support your symptoms and help your health along the way.
When it comes to menopause, massage is an ideal way to ease symptoms while treating yourself at the same time. Whether you’re experiencing anxiety, headaches, menopause joint pain or difficulty sleeping, there are certain types of massage that are proven to relieve these specific symptoms. This can help you cope with the changes happening to your body.
For this blog we’ve collaborated with MPowder, the world’s first plant-based supplement powder range targeting menopause, to help you tackle the change and regain control over this new chapter.
Noticing the signs – what is menopause and how to spot it coming
Menopause is the natural process women’s bodies go through when they can no longer reproduce. It starts with perimenopause which, for most of us, starts when we’re around 43 and marks the point that our hormones start to fluctuate. It can last between four to seven years. Menopause itself is a single day event and marks your last menstruation in 12 consecutive months. The following day, you’ll be in postmenopause which can last for years.
When you think of menopause you might think of women in their late 50s, but for most of us, perimenopause will begin in our 40s. The symptoms can also continue for years post-menopause, so it’s key to learn how to cope with it.
The most common menopause symptoms
Everyone’s symptoms can be different, but if they start having a big impact on your day-to-day life it’s time to take action.
Some of the most common early symptoms include:
A negative change in mood
Feelings of anxiety
Headaches or migraines
Joint pain, muscle aches or stiffness
Can massage really help ease menopause symptoms?
The beauty of massage is that there are so many benefits, including the easing of menopause symptoms. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, have menopause joint pain or feeling more anxious, massage is a great way to treat not only yourself, but your symptoms.
So yes, a massage really can help your menopause symptoms. There are plenty of studies we’ll discuss in this blog that highlight how much a massage can help you feel like yourself again.
For mood swings or anxiety, try an at-home de-stress massage
One of the most common side effects of menopause is mood swings and anxiety. Massage therapy is proven to promote relaxation, which in turn boosts serotonin and decreases the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
This helps the body fight off feelings of anxiety and stress, leaving you feeling calmer and more relaxed.
And when you book a massage with Urban, you’re able to enjoy the treatment in the comfort of your own home. That means you won’t need to stress about the journey or losing your ‘chill’ on the way back. All you need to do is open your door to melt your worries away.
De-stress massage benefits:
Techniques are used to trigger the body’s relaxation response
Specially-selected essential oils to aid even more relaxation
Light pressure and flowing strokes to help the body release tension
Calms your nervous system
Triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which is what relaxes the body after feelings of stress
Drift right off with a sleep massage
There are specific massages out there with the sole aim of helping you get a restful night, such as a sleep massage. So if you’re finding it hard to go to sleep during menopause, sleep massage therapy is ideal.
This study looked at how massage helped menopausal women suffering with insomnia and found that all of the participants fell asleep quicker and had better quality sleep with massage.
The benefits of a sleep massage for menopause:
The sense of touch and slow, light pressure helps your body get ready for sleep
The boost in serotonin will help you feel more relaxed, making it easier to fall to sleep
Sleepy essential oil blends are used to aid relaxation and, in turn, make it easier to sleep
Release of tension will calm your muscles and nervous system
Soothe menopause joint pain with a massage
Massages are well known for easing stiffness in muscles and can relieve joint pain, so if you’re struggling with menopause joint pain, getting a massage can definitely help.
The best type of massage for helping with aches and pains is a Swedish massage or deep tissue. These are both designed to soothe tension and muscle pain through focused pressure, but your therapist will adjust to suit your needs and preference.
With medium to strong pressure, you can expect these types of massage to target your problem areas and ease any joint pain and tension.
Massage can help with blood flow to improve headaches
Headaches can sometimes be caused by stiff muscles around the shoulder/neck which restrict blood flow. Massage therapy can help with relieving the tension and reducing inflammation around this area to increase the blood flow and soothe headaches.
Opt for massages that aim to release tension, such as Swedish massage, deep tissue and CBD massage, and tell your pro about your headache symptoms. They’ll be able to work on the shoulder and neck areas to soothe the area and increase blood flow.
Getting good quality sleep is also a great way to treat headaches, and as we spoke about above, massage is great at making it easier to sleep.
There are also a range of studies that have shown people getting less migraines and headaches with regular massages, so if headaches are becoming a problem for you, give massage therapy a try.
Top tip: combine massage with aromatherapy where possible
Aromatherapy massage uses scented essential oils and special blends for even more relaxation and improved wellbeing.
A study found that the use of aromatherapy in massage was more effective at treating menopausal symptoms than a massage without, so if you’re looking at booking a massage to help with your symptoms, make sure aromatherapy is included.
Here’s a list of Urban massages that include aromatherapy:
Urban classic (Swedish massage)
Relieve menopause symptoms in a way that suits you
The menopause experts over at MPowder have given us their top tips for helping ease your menopause symptoms.
1. Embrace the brilliance of your biology
Take the time to learn about the brilliance of your body and how you can support it. Nutrition is the most powerful tool to help your body in your menopause transition, and it’s side-effect free. Rethink what you're putting on your plate; focus on nourishment, not punitive diets. Prioritise healthy fats, protein and fibre.
2. Smart supplementation
Our gut naturally produces less stomach acid at this life stage which is why good supplementation is key. We often need more than we can get on a plate. Seek out wholefood-led formulations with high bioavailability and science backed ingredients. MPowder's complex formulations for perimenopause and menopause are a great foundation layer.
3. Address how you digest stress
Our hormones respond to external stressors and, in menopause, research shows our resilience to stress diminishes. As discussed in this blog, breathwork, massage and spa days, journaling to CBT, are all great ways to calm ourselves.
4. Find your tribe
This journey is so much better navigated together. Check out MPowder's closed Facebook page The Powder Room for conversation and direct access to the best midlife experts.
It can be different for everyone, but from perimenopause to post-menopause, symptoms can last between seven and 14 years.
Menopause usually takes place between the ages of 44 and 55 years old.
Once you’ve gone through menopause and you’re in postmenopause, your menstrual cycle will have stopped for 12 months. Once this has happened, symptoms like joint stiffness should become less severe and will eventually stop completely.
This will depend on your symptoms, but any massage that includes aromatherapy will be beneficial for easing menopause symptoms.