Investigators recently set out to determine quantitatively if a rehabilitation program using traditional Thai massage, herbal treatments and physical therapies could improve activities of daily living, mood and sleep patterns, and pain intensity of stroke patients over time.

This was a prospective cohort study, conducted over a three-month period, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. Patients were recruited from a 42-bed rehabilitation center in Northern Thailand, which admits mainly stroke, head-injury and spinal patients for rehabilitation.

There were 62 patients enrolled in the study, with 55 percent being male, according to the abstract. The average age of patients was 59 years. The average time since the initial stroke was 15 months.

Among the results seen were “significant” improvement after one month and three months in pain, emotion and sleep levels.

“This unique stroke rehabilitation program has produced significant improvements in activities of daily living, mood, pain and sleep patterns of stroke patients,” the abstract noted. “These findings warrant the need for further research to compare patients undergoing this program of rehabilitation with patients undergoing more conventional rehabilitation programs.”

“Rehabilitation of stroke patients using traditional Thai massage, herbal treatments and physical therapies” was conducted by investigators at the School of Medicine and Public Health, at the Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, in Australia.

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