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Complement Ther Med. 2012 Aug;20(4):167-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Acute effects of traditional Thai massage on electroencephalogram in patients with scapulocostal syndrome.

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  • 1Division of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.



To investigate acute effects of traditional Thai massage (TTM) on brain electrical activity (electroencephalogram (EEG) signals), anxiety and pain in patients with scapulocostal syndrome (SCS).


A single-blind, randomized clinical trial.


The School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.


Forty patients, who were diagnosed with SCS, were randomly allocated to receive a 30-min session of either TTM or physical therapy (PT) using ultrasound therapy and hot packs.


Electroencephalogram (EEG), State Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and pain intensity rating.


Results showed that both TTM and PT were associated with significant decreases in anxiety and pain intensity (p<0.01). However, there was a significantly greater reduction in anxiety and pain intensity for the TTM group when compared with the PT group. Analysis of EEG in the TTM group showed a significant increase in relaxation, manifested as an increase in delta activity (p<0.05) and a decrease in theta, alpha and beta activity (p<0.01). Similar changes were not found in the PT group. The EEG measures were also significantly different when compared between the groups (p<0.01), except for delta activity (p=0.051), indicating lower states of arousal with the TTM treatment.


It is suggested that TTM provides acute neural effects that increase relaxation and decrease anxiety and pain intensity in patients with SCS.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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