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J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Jul;93(7):771-5.

Acute changes in biochemical markers of bone resorption and formation after Thai traditional massage.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Rama 6 Rd, Rajthevi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.



Mechanical loadings by active exercise or passive low amplitude vibration have been demonstrated to enhance bone mass or delay bone loss. Traditional Thai massage can be anabolic to bone due to the application of physical loading on the body in a rhythmic fashion.


To explore the skeletal effect of Thai traditional massage by examining the changes in biochemical markers of bone turnover immediately after the massage.


Subjects consisted of 30 healthy females aged 20-40 years. Each subject received Thai traditional massage for 2 hours by a single masseuse. Bone mineral density (BMD) at baseline was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). C-terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTx-I) and total procollagen type 1 amino-terminal propeptide (P1NP) were determined by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay.


There was a 4.8% increase in serum P1NP concentrations after massage (median 43.4 ng/ml vs. 41.3 ng/ml, p < 0.05). Serum CTx-I also decreased after massage (median 2-hour vs. baseline 0.29 ng/ml vs. 0.31 ng/ml, p < 0.05). There was a nearly significant negative correlation between the percentage change in serum P1NP and BMD at the total femur (r = -0.37, p = 0.056) whereas the statistically significant correlation disappeared between percentage change in bone turnover and the other sites of BMD.


Thai traditional massage induces acute changes in bone formation and resorption markers. Study on the more prolonged effects of Thai traditional massage is warranted to explore its implication in the enhancement of bone health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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