Alternative Therapies for Menopause

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By SheCares Editorial Team | Updated: Aug 26, 2021

In recent years, a rich variety of mind and body practices for menopause have been rising in popularity.

Whether used in place of or together with other menopause treatments, such therapies have been scientifically shown to offer natural and safe relief from midlife symptoms. They also allow women to pass through the transition without relying on hormonal options and risking harmful side effects.

Keep on reading to explore science-backed alternative therapies for menopause to have a wide range of options from which to choose to cover all of your midlife needs.

Alternative therapies for menopause

Foot Reflexology

Foot reflexology for menopause

Reflexology is an ancient practice that consists of applying pressure to certain points of the body, most commonly the feet.

Those areas are believed to correspond with various organs and systems throughout the body. Applied pressure is said to trigger the nervous system to bring healing to the corresponding body areas, and promote relaxation.

Studies have shown that foot reflexology can decrease the severity of depression and vasomotor symptoms, like hot flashes.1,2 It also strengthens the immune system, helping to improve overall health of women passing through menopause.3


Acupuncture for menopause

Acupuncture is similar to reflexology, with the exception that the specific skin points are stimulated via thin needles.

It has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine for pain relief. Applying needles to skin surface throughout the body is said to stimulate the nervous system to act on the corresponding areas and promote healing.

In terms of its benefits for menopausal women, it has been shown in scientific studies that acupuncture is effective for alleviating insomnia, anxiety, depression, allergies, hot flashes, and more.4,5,6 It can also improve women's quality of life.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy for menopause

Another safe and effective alternative therapy for menopause worth considering is massage therapy.

When used as a therapeutic tool, massage works by stimulating blood and lymph circulation throughout the body and stimulating nervous system receptors, thus helping to relax muscle tissues, reduce inflammation, and decrease pain.

Aside from being highly relaxing, massage therapy can alleviate various midlife discomforts, including muscle weaknesssleep disorders, depression, anxiety, hot flashes, painful sex, urinary symptoms, among others.7,8,9


Aromatherapy for menopause

Aromatherapy is another ancient practice consisting of the use of essential oils extracted from plants to promote wellness.

When inhaled, essential oils are believed to act on nose smell receptors, stimulating the nervous system, particularly the areas of the brain that control emotions. This not only triggers emotional responses, but also affects various physiological functions.

Aromatherapy can be used on its own or during a massage therapy session for compound effects. As an alternative therapy for menopause, it has shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, sleep issues, headaches, knee pain, and more.10,11,12

Meditation & Breath Work

Meditation for menopause

A list of body and mind practices for menopause symptoms would not be complete without meditation and breath work.

While there are many different types of meditation and conscious breathing techniques, in their simplest forms, they encourage being mindful of the present moment, observing one's thoughts, and paying attention to bodily sensations.

Besides relieving menopause stress, meditation can offer other evidence-based benefits to middle-aged women. It improves sleep quality, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, panic attacks, depression, and more.13,14,15

Key Takeaways

Body and mind practices for menopause can be an invaluable tool for middle-aged women, especially those aiming to manage their discomforts naturally. As science continues to validate their safety and long-standing traditional uses, their popularity is expected to spread even further. Some of the most popular evidence-backed alternative therapies for menopause symptoms relief include foot reflexology, acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, conscious breathing, and aromatherapy. They have been shown to alleviate a wide range of midlife symptoms, from hot flashes, painful sex, and allergies to depression, irritability, and mood swings. When enjoyed regularly, such natural therapies can decrease the need for pharmacological interventions and allow women to restore their quality of life.