Massage benefits research expanding.

Over the last decade or so, most of our Massage Therapy research has been performed by the Touch Institute, which I have recently seen come under scrutiny as a conflict of interest.

What I am excited about now though, is to see that other research facilities are starting to see the potential of Massage Therapy, and the most recent article which caught my eye was from Zikkir in their health section about Massage Therapy and treating Autistic Children.

A trial just published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine examined the effects of a traditional Thai massage in a group of 60 autistic children. The study lasted for 8 weeks and involved young participants with ages ranging from 3 to 10. Half of the children were treated with a therapeutic modality known as “standard sensory integration therapy” (SI) and the remainder were administered traditional Thai massage (TTM). Both parents and teachers rated the response to the respective therapies by completing two standardized questionnaires: The Conners’ Rating Scales and a Sleep Diary. An inventory of symptoms was taken at the beginning and end of the trial period.

* Improvements were found in the children engaging in both treatments in the following areas: conduct problems, hyperactivity, inattention-passivity and sleeping behavior.
* Those undergoing the Thai massage additionally reported a decline in anxiety and “stereotypical behaviors in autistic children”.
* The authors of the trial concluded that “TTM could be used as a complementary therapy for autistic children”.

Let's hope that this helps the visibility of Massage Therapy as an alternative treatment and that we see more published research on the benefits offered by such modalities.