jueves, 30 de julio de 2015

Massage Therapy Benefit Newborns

Approved September 2008

Position Statement

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that newborns (especially pre-term infants)  benefit from massage therapy.

Background Information

Research has shown that neonatal handling affects the neurochemical brain development of certain regions in the brain that regulate the response to stress. The benefits of massage therapy for pre-term infants have been well documented in several studies; some of the cited research involves small sample sizes. Taken together, however, the total research cited is supportive.

These benefits include the following:

  • Massage is a cost-effective therapy for pre-term infants.           
  • Pre-term infants gained more weight with just five days of massage.
  • Massage therapy by mothers in the perinatal period serves as a strong time cue, enhancing coordination of the developing circadian system with environmental cues.
  • Over the 6-week period, the massage therapy infants gained more weight, showed greater improvement on emotionality, sociability, and soothability temperament dimensions and had greater decreases in urinary stress catecholamines/hormones (norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol).
  • Infants receiving massage showed fewer sleep delay behaviors and had a shorter latency to sleep onset by the end of the study.
  • Massage may have a stress reducing effect on pre-term infants in the NICU.
  • Reduction of illness and diarrheal episodes in orphaned children in Ecuador.
  • Improve quality of sleep and reduce sleep-disordered breathing in low birth weight babies.


  • Dieter, J.N.I., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., & Emory, E.K. (In Review). Preterm infants gain more weight following five days of massage therapy. Acta Pediatrica.    
  • Ferber, S.G., Laudon, M., Kuint, J., Weller, A., & Zisapel, N. (2002). Massage therapy by mothers enhances the adjustment of circadian rhythms to the nocturnal period in full-term infants. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 23, 410-415.        
  • Field, T., Grizzle, N., Scafidi, F., Abrams, S., & Richardson, S. (1996). Massage therapy for infants of depressed mothers. Infant Behavior and Development 19, 109-114.
  • Field,T. & Hernandez-Reif, M. (2001). Sleep problems in infants decrease following massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 168, 95-104.  
  • Scafidi, F. and Field, T. (1996). Massage therapy improves behavior in neonates born to HIV-positive mothers. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 21, 889-897.       
  • Scafidi, F. A., Field, T., & Schanberg, S. M. (1993). Factors that predict which preterm infants benefit most from massage therapy. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 14, 176-180.    
  • Hernandez-Reif M. Diego M Field T Preterm infants show reduced stress behaviors and activity after 5 days of massage therapy. Infant Behav Dev. 2007 Dec; 30(4):557-61. Epub 2007 Jun 4.   
  • Jump VK, Fargo JD, Akers JF. Impact of massage therapy on health outcomes among orphaned infants in Ecuador: results of a randomized clinical trial. Fam Community Health. 2006 Oct-Dec; 29(4):314-9.       
  • Kelmanson IA, Adulas EI. Massage therapy and sleep behavior in infants born with low birth weight. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 Aug; 12(3):200-5. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Disclaimer: Position statements of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) are approved by the AMTA House of Delegates and reflect the views and opinions of the association, based on current research. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to scope of practice, medical diagnosis or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company or specific massage therapy technique, modality or approach.

martes, 28 de julio de 2015

Evidence-Based Medicine and Massage

Over the past 20 years, randomized, controlled studies have evaluated tactile/kinesthetic stimulation effects (more popularly referred to as massage therapy) for preterm infants residing in neonatal intensive care units. The protocol in these studies typically involves administering 30 to 45 minutes of daily stroking and flexion and extension of extremities to medically stable preterm infants. The massage therapy is provided in 10- to 15-minute sessions, 3 times a day, for 2 to 4 weeks.

Critical findings from 3 studies indicate a 21% to 47% greater weight gain for the massage therapy versus the standard care control group. Other findings of interest include greater bone mineralization,1 earlier hospital discharge,2,,3and more optimal behavioral and motor responses for the massage therapy group.2,,3These findings and a meta-analysis of 19 studies indicating that 72% of infants receiving massage therapy did better than controls support the view that massage therapy improves the clinical and developmental course of preterm infants.4

In a more recent study, we were unable to replicate the weight gain findings when the massage therapy was performed on medically stable preterm infants who were within 7 to 10 days of discharge from a neonatal intermediate care unit (Table 1). A closer inspection of the data revealed that the preterm weight at time of entry for the current study was approximately 468 g greater (M entry weight = 1764) than that of the earlier studies (M entry weight = 1296). Massage therapy apparently facilitates weight gain only if the intervention is started when the preterm infant weighs between 1100 and 1300 g.

Table 1.

Background, Data Entry, and Outcome Variables for Massage Therapy Studies

Given that the percent of preterm births rose to 11.8% over the past decade5 and weight gain is a critical measure for evaluating growth and well-being in the preterm infant, interventions, such as massage therapy, that promote weight gain should be of interest to the neonatologist and should be implemented at a time when they yield the most benefit. Underlying-mechanism studies are currently underway to examine massage therapy effects on IGF-1, oxytocin, and gastric motility with preterm infants weighing between 1100 and 1300 g at entry.

    sábado, 25 de julio de 2015

    Traditional Nuad Bo Rarn definition.

    Thai massage


    Thai massage, also known as Nuad Bo-Rarn in its traditional form, is a type of Oriental bodywork therapy that is based on the treatment of the human body, mind, and spirit. The therapy includes treating the electromagnetic or energetic field which surrounds, infuses and brings the body to life through pressure and/or manipulative massage.


    The origins of traditional Thai massage reportedly began over 2,000 years ago along with the introduction of Buddhism. It is one of four branches of traditional medicine in Thailand, the others being herbs, nutrition , and spiritual practice. The legendary historical creator of Thai medicine is Dr. Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, known as Shivago Komarpaj in Thailand. Bhaccha was from the north of India and said to be a close associate of the Buddha and chief to the original community gathered around the Buddha. The movement of medicine into Thailand accompanied migration of monks from India to Thailand, possibly around the second century b.c.e. Thai medicine developed within the context of Buddhist monasteries and temples, where Thai have traditionally sought relief from all kinds of suffering.

    While the recorded history of Thai massage was lost during the Burmese attack on the royal capital of Ayutthia in 1767, the surviving records are now inscribed in stone and can be found at the Sala Moh Nuat (massage pavilion) within the temple of Pra Chetuphon in Bangkok, known as Wat Po, the temple of the reclining Buddha. Its spiritual aspect also remains as teachers of the therapy begin classes with the practice of waikru, a series of prayers and recitations dedicated to Shivago Komarpaj, the father of Thai massage and the Goddess of Healing, and teachers of the tradition through the centuries.


    The benefits of Thai massage are numerous, with the most predominant being the maintenance of good health and the ability to treat a wide spectrum of health concerns. Traditional Thai massage is known for its ability to clear the energy pathways.

    The following are some of the benefits of traditional Thai massage.

    • increases flexibility and range of movement
    • eliminates muscle pain and muscle spasms
    • improves postural alignment
    • calms the nervous system and promotes a deep sense of relaxation with an increased energy level
    • allows for a significant release of deep, emotional distress
    • stimulates blood circulation and lymph drainage
    • stimulates internal organs
    • relieves fatigue , swollen limbs, painful joints, and headaches


    Thai massage looks like a cross between acupressure, yoga , and zen shiatsuand is inspired by Buddhist teachings. The actual massage consists of slow, rhythmic compressions and stretches along the body's energy lines, also called sen in Thai. Over 70,000 sen are said to exist within the body, and Thai massage concentrates on applying pressure along 10 of the most important sen, using the palms of the hands, thumbs, elbows, and feet. The effort from the practitioner works to free tension within the body. Practitioners also position the body into yoga-like poses and gently rock the body to open the joints and facilitate limbering.

    A thorough Thai massage includes the following four basic positions:

    • from the front with the client lying supine
    • from the side with the client alternately lying on either side
    • from the back with the client lying prone
    • in a sitting position

    One of the most important principles of Thai massage is the continuous flow of sequential movements that prepares the client for the next step in the massage. The practitioner is always aware of his position so that an uninterrupted slow rhythm is maintained. Deep, sustained pressure ensures that the myofascia, or the muscle's connective tissue, soften and relax in order to release the flow of energy along the sen, and to prepare the client for the large-scale stretches that follow.

    There are two styles of practice, Northern (Chiangmai ) and Southern (Bangkok). The former is considered gentler. The latter is faster and sometimes more intense. The Southern style is more widely used in Thailand, while the Northern style has become popular in the United States.


    The preparation needed before receiving a Thai massage is minimal. A Thai massage is typically performed on a floor mat-enabling practitioners to use their body weight and to incorporate the many movements that would not be possible with a massage table. Normally, the client remains fully clothed, and lubricant for the skin is rarely used. A Thai massage usually lasts one to two hours, but may be three hours or more if needed.


    While some of the pressure techniques used in Thai massage may seem too penetrating to many, most can adjust to it quickly. For those who are frail or stiff, a skilled practitioner will be able to adjust all of the soft tissue and manipulation work to their level of comfort.

    Research & general acceptance

    The practice of Thai massage is multinational. While a unique modality, Thai massage is slowly spreading into the western world. Knowledge of therapeutic benefits comes from anecdotal evidence rather than research in the Western scientific mode.

    Training & certification

    Thai massage can be strenuous for the practitioner. To become a Thai master, it is said that the best place to learn is where the therapy originates. The well known school at Wat Po in Bangkok and in Chiang Mai, The Institute of Thai Massage, both in Thailand, are famous for their teaching of the ancient art. It is also possible to receive instruction in the United States from teachers who studied in Thailand, as well as from Thai instructors who came over to offer classes in American massage schools.

    Practitioners of Thai massage are taught the most important aspects of the meditative spirit—awareness, mindfulness, and concentration. Correct body positioning and posture control while giving a massage are of vital importance to the practitioner in order to avoid injury, especially to the back. 

    miércoles, 22 de julio de 2015

    Traditional thai massage: unveiling the misconceptions and revealing the health benefits

    Colleen Ryan *Boonyong Keiwkarnka **
    Manirul Islam Khan ***
    * Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, USA
    ** Director, ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, Thailand
    *** Foreign Lecturer, ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, Thailand
    Traditional Thai medicine is an integral part of the culture of Thailand and more importantly the healthcare
    system. Until recently traditional healthcare had lost its popularity due to the introduction of Western therapies,
    but fortunately once again is seeing a revival of interest among Thai people. By prescribing traditional Thai
    medicines in conjunction with Western medicines there is a wider variety of treatment options for the practitio-
    ner thereby, optimizing patient health. One powerful, yet misunderstood, therapy is traditional Thai massage.
    Very obvious and reproducible health benefits are known by patients and practitioners of Traditional Thai
    massage, yet still there are very few scientific studies to back these claims. This paper focuses on the history,
    theories, treatment, and health benefits of traditional Thai massage in order to foster a better understanding of
    this ancient therapy.
    Scientists of western medicine do not tend to study and treat the human body holistically as 
    healers do, but rather as diseased parts. Little is known about the causal relationship between traditional
    treatments and the health benefits largely due to lack of scientific research. However the benefits are quite
    obvious and reproducible. More research about Traditional Thai Massage needs to be undertaken to demystify
    and to legitimize this powerful therapy.
    Thai traditional massage is an ancient form of heal-
    ing that has been practiced in conjunction with other
    traditional medicines in Thailand for thousands of years.
    Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about
    traditional Thai massage. In the last century the validity
    of traditional Thai massage has been questioned due to the
    number of illegitimate Thai massage parlors operating
    throughout Thailand. The tarnished reputation of Thai
    massage hascaused the validity of the practice and its health
    benefits to be questioned (3).
    Traditional Thai Massage is an important aspect of
    the Primary Health Care system in Thailand. The founda-
    tion of Primary Health Care System emphasizes the role
    of the individual and his responsibility for his health. By
    utilizing Traditional Thai Massage as a means of
    preventive and curative care the Thai community can
    inexpensively and actively take responsibility for their own
    health.Traditional Thai Medicine is an effective
    treatment for many different ailments used in conjunction
    with other treatments and also alone. This paper focuses
    on the history, theories, treatment, and health benefits of
    traditional Thai massage in order to foster a better
    understanding of the therapy.
    Theoretical Foundation of Thai Massage
    Western medical doctors and scientists still
    are baffled by the apparent relief of pain and cure of
    diseases brought on by the eastern methods of energy
    manipulation, including traditional Thai massage.
    This concept of an energetic life-force is not unique to
    Thailand and is found in many other eastern countries (3).
    In traditional Thai massage the Indian influence is
    unmistakable because the concept clearly originates from
    Yoga philosophy. Theoretically, traditional Thai
    Massage focuses on an invisible energy body that
    surrounds the physical body. Yoga philosophy contends that
    this energy body is the energy that sustains life. The energy
    of life is absorbed through the air breathed and the food
    eaten by the individual. Traditional Thai massage is
    based on this concept of an invisible energy body
    surrounding every individual being (ibid).
    An individual’s energy body may be comprised of
    over 72,000 individual energy lines. The individual’s ฃ
    energy body is divided into ten main energy lines called
    Sen that supply the organs with vital energy, the life force.
    Traditional Thai Massage focuses on manipulating the
    energy on the 10 main Sen Lines, which are similar to
    the meridians of the Japanese and Chinese. Because the
    energy body is an invisible extension of the physical body,
    it can not be verified by sight and the energy lines also
    can not be seen (ibid). Anatomically, the Sen lines do
    not correspond with the paths of the blood vessels or the
    lymph vessels. Though several Thai traditional medical
    theories feature many parallels with India’s Ayurvedic
    healing tradition and Chinese medicine’s accupressure, in
    practice, Thai diagnostic and therapeutic techniques may
    differ to some degree. (5).
    Traditional Thai massage is known by several
    different names, Ancient Massage, Passive Yoga, and
    Yoga Massage Therapy.The latter names are more
    descriptive and illustrative of an actual Thai traditional
    massage. Thai traditional massage is a compilation of
    Hatha Yoga postures and energy work (3).
    The practitioner applies Yoga poses, asanas, and
    simultaneously manipulates energy along the energy lines
    of the patient. Several main accupressure points are found
    along the Sen Lines. By working the accupressure points
    located on these lines, manipulating the energy on these
    lines, stagnated energy and energy blockages are released,
    restoring balance and creating energetic harmony (6).
    Diagnostic Approach of Thai Health Practitioners
    The approach of traditional Thai Medical practitio-
    ners towards an individual patient’s health is generally
    more holistic than the more conventional ideology
    subscribed to by western allopathic doctors. Western
    science typically encourages diagnoses to be focused more
    on the individual diseased parts of the body rather than the
    whole patient – body, mind, and spirit. Similar to health
    practitioners in the west, traditional Thai medical practitioners also perform the diagnoses of their patients
    by evaluating the pulse, heartbeat, skin color and texture,
    body temperature, abnormal physical symptoms and bodily
    excretions. However, unlike their western counterparts
    the approach of traditional Thai medical practitioners
    towards their patient’s health encompasses internal,
    external, and psycho-social conditions as well (5).
    Due to the broader scope of patient healthcare
    provided by Thai medical practitioners, a wider variety of
    treatment options are available to them. They tend to use
    a combination of indigenous medical treatments and
    western allopathic treatments. Three broad treatment cat-
    egories encompass the many different traditional healing
    therapies. Once a patient is diagnosed, healing therapy
    can be prescribed from any of the following categories of
    traditional Thai medicine: traditional Thai massage,
    herbal medicines and psycho-spiritual healing. Treatment
    aspects from each of these categories often are used alone,
    in conjunction with each other,or in conjunction with
    Western technologies, depending on the diagnosis. Thereby,
    the range of treatment options are increased (ibid).
    Medical diagnoses made through traditional Thai
    Medicine also reflect the deep-rooted beliefs in the
    supernatural, astrology, and the principles of equilibrium
    of the four basic elements—earth, water, wind and fire.
    The four basic elements are generally found in the
    teachings of Buddha (4). Medically, each of the four
    elements refers to specific parts of the physical body. When
    the internal elements are out of balance with each other
    and with external environmental elements, disease and
    injury of the physical body, mind and spirit can result (7).
    Earth, din, refers to all solid parts of the physical body
    including: skeleton, muscles, blood vessels, flesh,
    tendons, organs, skin, and nails. Water, nam, refers to
    fluids present in the physical body including: blood, tears,
    perspiration, urine, and other bodily secretions. Fire, fai,
    represents processes that warm the body including: diges-
    tion system and the metabolic system. Air, lom, also
    refers to invisible systems in the physical body including:
    the respiratory system and the circulatory system. By using
    a variety of techniques to release energy blockages, the
    goal of Traditional Thai Massage, also known as nuad
    phaen boran is equilibrium of the four elements leading to
    optimal health (5, 7).
    The focus of traditional Thai massage is completely
    different from a western style of massage, like the Swed-
    ish massage. In traditional Thai massage the attention
    given to the physical body is secondary; therefore, the
    kneading and intense stroking characteristics of Western
    massage are noticeably absent (3). In a traditional Thai
    massage the main focus is on the energy body creating
    harmony and balance.
    Traditional Thai massage incorporates soothing
    massage techniques, including gentle muscular stretches
    of Hatha yoga, which is energizing, and thumbing tech-
    niques similar to accupressure, which is stimulating.
    Patterns of gentle rocking, thumbing, and rhythmic palm-
    ing ease the body into a deeply relaxed meditative state
    (6). However, it must be noted that the experience of
    traditional Thai massage is not altogether pleasant, and it
    can be quite painful.
    By pressing various points along the Sen Lines, the
    massage stimulates and restores the natural flow of energy
    throughout the body. By manipulating the energy body,
    energy blockages are removed balancing the essence of
    life, earth, air, wind, and fire. As these elements of the
    invisible energy body become balanced, pain, discomfort,
    illness, and disease are reduced and eliminated (3,5,7).
    In traditional Thai massage the practitioner uses
    almost every part of his own body to achieve this
    equilibrium in his patient. He uses his hands, feet, legs,
    forearms, knees, thumbs, and elbows to apply the needed
    pressure to release blockages that are impeding flow of
    energy (6). The practitioner should ask the recipient of
    any health problems or concerns before the massage is
    given. This is important for several reasons. The practi-
    tioner needs to tailor his massage to each recipient
    according to his ailments and because some of the
    positions in a traditional Thai massage have counter-
    indications that could be detrimental to the health of the
    The shoulders, upper back, and neck also harbor
    energy blockages leading to tension and stress. By stimu-
    lating the flow of energy on either side of the spine along
    the Sen Lines and through the gentle Yoga poses, Thai
    massage has numerous effects on the back and shoulders.
    Smooth energy flow in this area can strengthen and lengthen
    the spine and alleviate lower back pain. Traditional Thai
    massage and Yoga postures like the spinal twists help to
    release blocked energy (6). The head and face massages
    are generally administered lastly to the patient. Not only
    does this feel exceptionally nice for the patient there are
    many therapeutic powerful accupressure points are located
    on the face and head. The entire body should be massaged
    in order to experience the health benefits of massage.
    Unfortunately, time restraints often do not allow each person
    to receive the entire massage from head to toe. Should
    this be the case, massages have to be modified.
    Though there are certain conditions that must be consid-
    ered, traditional Thai massage can be given to virtually
    any patient. Initially, the masseuse must modify the
    treatment depending on the patient’s health status making
    it more or less intense depending on the patient’s age,
    health status, and sex (6). Additionally, giving the same
    massage to every patient could potentially be counter-
    productive because every patient is different, each having
    unique individual healing needs. Several variations of
    almost every pose exist in traditional Thai massage with
    some being more suitable than others for different people
    (3). For example, some patients are extraordinarily
    flexible and others (especially Westerners) are extremely
    stiff. The practitioner must be able to adjust the intensity
    of the massage to compensate for the different levels of
    flexibility of the patients.
    The Indian influence in Traditional Thai Massage is
    evident in the various yoga stretches that are administered
    to the patient during the massage (3). The practitioner
    manipulates the energy field and muscular-skeletal
    system of the patient passively into yoga positions (6).
    Passive Yoga refers to the practitioner’s gentle stretches
    where various muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments are
    stretched smoothly and not forcibly. They are not stretched
    beyond their natural capacity; therefore, there is little
    resistance to the natural passive stretching. The effect of
    slowly, rhythmically stretching the body has a calming
    effect on the nerves. Subsequently, as the nerves become
    tranquil the emotions do too further alleviating stress and
    tension (8). The stretching movements affect the entire
    body. By releasing both superficial and deep tension, the
    patient’s body is re-educated and ultimately the patient’s
    posture improves(6).
    Because balance of the four elements of water, earth,
    air, and fire is the ultimate goal of traditional Thai
    massage, neglecting certain parts of the body could lead
    to imbalance in other areas possibly resulting in illness or
    disease. Though there is no strict order to follow, most
    traditional practitioners begin the massage with the patient’s
    feet moving upward towards the head.
    Beginning with the feet creates a meditative,
    relaxed state for both patient and practitioner. The feet
    have many accupressure points that affect other parts of
    the body. Following the feet, the energy lines and thus
    the corresponding accupressure points of the legs are
    massaged with palm pressure and deep thumb pressure.
    They are also passively stretched to their natural
    resistance point with Hatha Yoga positions applied by he
    practitioner. These single and double leg stretches in
    coordination with the palming and thumbing increase
    mobility and encourage the hips to open alleviating lower
    back pain (6). Because many people harbor emotional
    energy and tension in the abdomen in or near their internal
    organs, which can negatively affect their functioning lead-
    ing to illness like constipation or indigestion, an abdomen
    massage is also performed. The next area massaged
    is generally the chest followed by a massage of the arms
    and hands. The chest is home to the heart chakra, which
    is a large energy body that holds emotional energy
    blockages. The hands have many accupressure points that
    can have a positive impact on health, including elimina-

    tion of symptoms associated with migraine headaches,
    menstrualcramps, and insomnia (3).
    Physiological Affects
    Traditional Thai massage offers many physical and
    mental health benefits. Traditional Thai massage stimu-
    lates all organs of the body and balances all systems of
    the body making it a powerful therapy for physical and
    emotional problems (6). During a traditional Thai
    massage gentle pressure is applied to the internal organs
    of the abdomen with the different Yoga postures and
    the abdomen-massage. Studies done on Hatha Yoga
    positions have shown this stimulation to cause the
    internal organs to begin functioning at their highest
    capacity. This will cause an improvement in digestion,
    nutrient absorption, waste elimination, and the circulation
    of blood and lymph (9).
    The slight pressure changes in the abdomen and
    internal organs (stomach, colon, urinary bladder, etc.)
    during Yoga poses result in a stimulation of the
    visceroceptor cells, which are sensitive to stretching. These
    receptor cells send sensory impulses to the autonomic
    nervous system and bring about a stretch reflex. The stretch
    reflex is initiated in the lower portion of the hypothalamus
    and is involuntarily regulated through a proprioceptive
    feedback mechanism. The higher mind is not being stimu-
    lated and therefore is inactive. Due to the autonomic
    effect, balance is achieved in this way and emotions are
    unable to bring about their usual effect. Thus, emotional
    balance is also established. The emotional activity of
    the individual decreases and deep relaxation begins.
    This has an important effect on health. Emotional imbal-
    ance due to emotional conflicts, stress, fickleness and
    instability is thereby corrected by the passive stretching
    and gentle massage given to the patient (8).
    The increased circulation and pressure changes
    brought about in the pelvic region also promote and
    preserve the health of the endocrine glands. When
    common cold, abdominal pain, digestive disorders,
    headache, stiff neck, shoulder pain, back pain, fever,
    urinary tract problems, liver disease, diseases of the
    gall bladder, hernia, leg and arm paralysis, knee pain,
    jaundice, arthritis, shock, sinusitis, epilepsy,
    cardio-respiratory centers are calmed down there is
    no extra demand for energy and oxygen from the
    muscles. With Traditional Thai massage there is no
    undue stress on the cardiovascular, skeletal, respiratory
    systems as there is in some western therapies. Because
    of the restoration of the parasympathetic predominance
    in the body instead of irritation, ego-inflation, and
    tension the patient feels calm quiet, pleasant, exhila-
    rated, euphoric, and relaxed. This can have long term
    effects on the individual patient in stress reduction
    The static and passive stretching of the spinal
    column, the muscles and the ligaments increases
    blood circulation around the joints in these parts of the
    body. Due to the improvement in circulation, the body
    receives better nourishment assisting the periosteum,
    the covering at the end of the bone, in effective and easy
    removal of toxic waste products of the joint (ibid).
    A good massage after strenuous activity will help the
    muscles rid themselves of these waste products reducing
    stiffness and soreness. The blood has more oxygen
    dissolved in it, bathing the internal organs in oxygen rich
    blood, boosting the immune system, allowing the body to
    fend off more disease (9). These applied exercises also
    improve flexibility, joint mobility, elasticity of the spine,
    and posture. The range of freedom of an individual and
    the coordination are also improved (6).
    Although traditional Thai massage has long-term
    health effects, the patient may become aware of several
    immediate reactions after the release of energy. Some
    of the more common experiences following massage therapy
    include bouts of depression, sleeplessness, exhaustion,
    and extreme happiness. It is not uncommon for patients to
    have more physical ailments as well like diarrhea or
    nausea. Although some symptoms are uncomfortable, they
    are actually necessary for balance, equilibrium, and
    ultimately healing (3).
    The following partial list reveals the wide variety of
    ailments a traditional Thai massage could improve
    upon: asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, angina, nausea,
    nasal obstruction, eye problems, throat problems, shock, schizophrenia, ysteria, various mental disorders, manic
    depression, diseases of the urogenital system, appendici-
    tis, deafness, ear diseases, frequent urination, impotence,
    precox ejaculation, irregular menstruation, uterine
    bleeding,facial paralysis, hypothermia, and diarrhea (ibid).
    More extensive research in the area of health benefits
    of traditional Thai massage therapy is needed. Research
    has not been conducted in the past for several
    reasons. Western studies tend to study causal-
    effect relationships with relation to morbidity and
    mortality without due consideration to the effects of
    mentality and spirituality on the body. Often scientists
    who are not students, practitioners or patients of tradi-
    tional Thai medicine do not know how to interpret their
    findings. With traditional Thai massage, along with other
    traditional therapies, the healing effects may not be as
    immediate as witha pill . There is also the crucial
    element of obtaining funds for a long research period which
    could prove difficul or even impossible given the general
    lack of interest in research in this area (8). Because
    manytreatments are based on spirituality, scientists have
    left this field of research virtually untouched. However,
    the health benefits are quite obvious and are reproducible.
    Still, little is known about the causal relationship
    between traditional treatments and the health benefits
    largely due to lack of scientific data and the ignorance of
    the western scientist. Some reluctance and doubt exists
    about the validity of traditional medicines. The health
    benefits of traditional Thai medicine including traditional
    Thai massage are numerous and it is unfortunate that
    traditional medicines are not utilized to their fullest
    capacity as an inexpensive tool for both preventive and
    curative care.

    viernes, 17 de julio de 2015

    The Journal of Pediatrics, Vol.132(5):854–858, doi:10.1016/S0022-3476(98)70317-8 Children with asthma have improved pulmonary functions after massage therapy


    Thirty-two children with asthma (16 4- to 8-year-olds and 16 9- to 14-year-olds) were randomly assigned to receive either massage therapy or relaxation therapy. The children's parents were taught to provide one therapy or the other for 20 minutes before bedtime each night for 30 days. The younger children who received massage therapy showed an immediate decrease in behavioral anxiety and cortisol levels after massage. Also, their attitude toward asthma and their peak air flow and other pulmonary functions improved over the course of the study. The older children who received massage therapy reported lower anxiety after the massage. Their attitude toward asthma also improved over the study, but only one measure of pulmonary function (forced expiratory flow 25% to 75%) improved. The reason for the smaller therapeutic benefit in the older children is unknown; however, it appears that daily massage improves airway caliber and control of asthma. (J Pediatr 1998;132:854-8)

    Breast cancer patients have improved immune and neuroendocrine functions following massage therapy



    Objectives: Women with breast cancer are at risk for elevated depression, anxiety, and decreased natural killer (NK) cell number. Stress has been linked to increased tumor development by decreasing NK cell activity. The objectives of this study included examining massage therapy for women with breast cancer for (1) improving mood and biological measures associated with mood enhancement (serotonin, dopamine), (2) reducing stress and stress hormone levels, and (3) boosting immune measures. Methods: Thirty-four women (M age=53) diagnosed with Stage 1 or 2 breast cancer were randomly assigned postsurgery to a massage therapy group (to receive 30-min massages three times per week for 5 weeks) or a control group. The massage consisted of stroking, squeezing, and stretching techniques to the head, arms, legs/feet, and back. On the first and last day of the study, the women were assessed on (1) immediate effects measures of anxiety, depressed mood, and vigor and (2) longer term effects on depression, anxiety and hostility, functioning, body image, and avoidant versus intrusive coping style, in addition to urinary catecholamines (norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine) and serotonin levels. A subset of 27 women (n=15 massage) had blood drawn to assay immune measures. Results:The immediate massage therapy effects included reduced anxiety, depressed mood, and anger. The longer term massage effects included reduced depression and hostility and increased urinary dopamine, serotonin values, NK cell number, and lymphocytes. Conclusions: Women with Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer may benefit from thrice-weekly massage therapy for reducing depressed mood, anxiety, and anger and for enhancing dopamine, serotonin, and NK cell number and lymphocytes

    jueves, 16 de julio de 2015

    Thai Abdominal Massage (Chi Nei Tsang)

    Thai Abdominal Massage (Chi Nei Tsang) (internal organ massage)
    Prerequisite: none
    • Chi Nei Tsang is used in Asian hospitals to eliminate the need of surgery
    • Learn how Chi Nei Tsang clears out the toxins, bad emotions and excessive heat or head deficiencies, that cause the organs to dysfunction
    • As an art and science, Chi Nei Tsang complements Reflexology (Foot, Hand, Etc), Psychology, Reiki, Shiatsu, Traditional Thai Massage, Swedish massage and other similar therapies
    • Unlike most practices which use indirect methods to contact the internal organs Chi Nei Tsang directly massage the internal organs
    • It is particularly useful in relieving intestinals blockages, cramps, knots, lumps, scar tissue, headaches, menstrual cramps, poor blood circulation, back pain, infertility, impotence and many other problems
    • Along with other disciplines, Chi Nei Tsang may help to eliminate the need for surgery
    • Chi Nei Tsang is concerned with how to maintain the body system to live a full, healthy, and extended life. The Ancient Taoist were especially adept at knowing how to stay healthy
    • It is the Taoists belief that one day masses of woman and men will again discover they have the ability to live greatly extended lives by learning the Art of Chi Nei Tsang
    • Upon completion students will be able to perform an effective Chi Nei Tsang massage to deblock and detox the internal organines like the liver, small intestines, pancreas, colon, kidneys, stomach, duodenum, ureter, gall bladder, spleen etc
    Costs €690,-  (special introduction price, in 2016 will cost €990,-)
    Special discount for ITM students: costs only €590,-(incl: didactic materials, unlimited tuition, certification)
    ITM Thai Hand Amsterdam diploma /certification after successful completion of the practical exam
    You can follow this course as many times as you like without extra costs (not separate lessons but the whole course and only when reserved in advance because limited places are available), and take the exam when you are ready.

    Next Starting Dates

    – August: intensive Monday 10 August to Friday 14 August from 12.00-15.00 (5 days)
    – August: starts Thursday 13 August from 20.00-22.00 (10 weeks once a week)
    Next dates soon at www.thai-hand.com

    Certificates for students

    Upon successful completion of the courses students receive certificates of their course.

    Abdominal massage for the alleviation of constipation symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled feasibility study

    1. Doreen McClurg1
    2. Suzanne Hagen1
    3. Stanley Hawkins2
    4. Andrea Lowe-Strong3
    1. 1Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK.
    2. 2Neurology Department, Queens University, Belfast, UK.
    3. 3Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research, Institute and School of Health Sciences, School of Health, University of Ulster, UK.
    1. Doreen McClurg, Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, Buchanan House, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, G4 0BA, UK Email: Doreen.mcclurg@gcal.ac.uk


    Background: Constipation affects many people with multiple sclerosis (MS), negatively impacting on their quality of life. The use of abdominal massage has been reported in several populations and has been shown to increase the frequency of defaecation.
    Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of undertaking abdominal massage in people with MS.
    Methods: Following ethical approval, 30 patients with MS and constipation were recruited. After providing informed written consent and completion of baseline outcome measures, participants were randomly allocated to a massage group or a control group. The massage group participants were provided with advice on bowel management, and they or their carers were taught how to deliver abdominal massage and were recommended to perform it daily during the 4-week intervention period. The control group received bowel management advice only. Outcomes were measured pre (Week 0) and post treatment (Week 4), and at Week 8 and included: the Constipation Scoring System (CSS) (primary outcome), the Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction Score, and a bowel diary.
    Results: Both groups demonstrated a decrease in CSS score from Week 0 to Week 4, indicating an improvement in constipation symptoms; however, the massage group improved significantly more than the control groups (mean difference between groups in score change −5.0 (SD 1.5), 95% CI −8.1, −1.8; t = −3.28, df = 28, p = 0.003).
    Conclusion: The results of this small study suggest a positive effect of the intervention on the symptoms of constipation, and support the feasibility of a substantive trial of abdominal massage for the alleviation of the symptoms of constipation in people with MS.

    Massage Relieves Nausea in Women with Breast Cancer Who Are Undergoing Chemotherapy

    Objectives: The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of massage on nausea, anxiety, and depression in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
    Design: This work was a single-center, prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
    Settings/location: This study was conducted in an oncology clinic, in a hospital in southwestern Sweden.
    Subjects: Thirty-nine (39) women (mean age = 51.8) with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy were enrolled.
    Interventions: The patients were randomly assigned to a massage therapy group (20 minutes of massage on five occasions) or a control group (five 20-minute visits).
    Outcome measures: All patients recorded nausea and anxiety on the Visual Analogue Scale before and after each intervention. They also completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
    Results: Massage treatment significantly reduced nausea compared with control treatment (p = 0.025) when improvement was measured as a percentage of the five treatment periods. Differences in anxiety and depression between the two treatment regimes could not be statistically demonstrated.
    Conclusions: This study complements previous studies on the effect of massage and supports the conclusion that massage reduces nausea in these patients.