Traditional Thai massage induced acute changes in bone formation and resorption markers, according to new research.

Researchers from the Department of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, in Bangkok, Thailand, had noted that mechanical loadings by active exercise or passive low-amplitude vibration have been shown to enhance bone mass or delay bone loss, and that “traditional Thai massage might be anabolic to bone due to the application of physical loading on the body in a rhythmic fashion,” according to a report published on www.pubmed.gov.

They studied the skeletal effect of Thai massage by examining the changes in biochemical markers of bone turnover immediately after the massage, the report noted. Subjects consisted of 30 healthy females aged 20 to 40 years, each of whom received Thai massage for two hours by a single therapist.

The researchers found increases in levels of serum P1NP, a marker of bone formation; and lower levels of serum CTx, a marker of bone resorption, following the massage.

“Study on the more prolonged effects of Thai traditional massage is warranted to explore its implication in the enhancement of bone health,” the researchers noted.

The research is published in the July issue (Jul;93(7):771-5) of the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand.

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