It is a consistent and long held belief among Thai Yoga Practitioners and clients alike that receiving sessions and programs reduces and or eliminates stress symptoms. Therapy protocols and healing programs based on this indigenous, traditional, natural medicine originally from Thailand emphasize relaxation techniques including therapeutic prayers (Puja), Focused breathing (Prana Yama), Yoga Asana (therapeutic postures) delivered in a calm and nurturing way. Traction and decompression techniques coupled with broad, deep compression applied with a rhythmic pacing further add to the result. Circulation of all vital body fluids is enhanced as well as lymphatic decongestion. All of this is incredibly helpful for stress.
Immediate Effects of Traditional Thai Massage on Psychological Stress as Indicated by Salivary Alpha-Amylase Levels in Healthy Persons.
BACKGROUND Stress can cause psychological and physiological changes. Many studies revealed that massage can decrease stress. However, traditional Thai massage has not been well researched in this regard. The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of traditional Thai massage (TTM) on salivary alpha-amylase levels (sAA), heart rate variability (HRV), autonomic nervous system (ANS) function, and plasma renin activity (PRA). MATERIAL AND METHODS Twenty-nine healthy participants were randomly allocated into either a traditional Thai massage (TTM) group or Control (C) group, after which they were switched to the other group with a 2-week wash-out period. Each of them was given a 10-minute mental arithmetic test to induce psychological stress before a 1-hour session of TTM or rest. RESULTS Within-groups comparison revealed that sAA was significantly decreased (p<0.05) in the TTM group but not in the C group. HRV and ANS function were significantly increased (p<0.05) and PRA was significantly decreased (p<0.05) in both groups. However, low frequency per high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio) and ANS balance status were not changed. Only sAA was found to be significantly different between groups (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS We conclude that both TTM and rest can reduce psychological stress, as indicated by decreased sAA levels, increased parasympathetic activity, decreased sympathetic activity, and decreased PRA. However, TTM may have a modest effect on stress reduction as indicated by a reduced sAA.
- 26436433 [PubMed – in process] PMCID: PMC4599180 Free PMC Article
- 25682523 [PubMed – in process]
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