ISSN 2630-0583 (Print)

ISSN 2630-0656 (Online)


Journal of Current Science and Technology

Rangsit Journal of Arts and Sciences. Vol.6 No.2 , July - December 2016.

Traditional Thai Massage: A case study of the assessment of musculoskeletal disorders in Chaloeysak-Wat Pho Massage Therapists

Pongjan Yoopat, Kanokrat Krukimsom, Alisa Yuangnoon, Malivan Kumroengrit, Chutima Warukdee, and Kamiel Vanwonterghem


          This study is designed to evaluate the physiological strain of Chaloeysak-Wat Pho Massage therapists.  In Thailand, the ‘Chaloeysak’ or ‘Wat Pho’ Massage is a popular method especially for tourists which  subsequently contributes to the employment of massage experts.  The massage is built on the centuries-old cultural heritance of manual therapies in which deep muscle massage removes myofascial pain and discomfort.  However, techniques used in physical rehabilitation classic medical physiotherapy such as manual traditional massage methods  include risks for the biomechanical system of the therapists.  At present, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) are a wide spread and persisting cause of health issues because of intensive and repetitive muscle work.  Thirty experienced female therapists voluntarily participated in this project, each performing a 45-60 minute treatment followed by 15 minute rest.  Patients were tourists who agreed to experience the advantages of a traditional Wat Pho Thai massage relaxation treatment.  The study assessed the impact of the traditional therapies on the physical condition of the massagers by evaluating the total cardiovascular load, the local muscle strain and the subjective perceived problems.  Compared to standard set thresholds, the results revealed for the set treatment conditions a safe physiological strain for the Chaloeysak or Wat Pho massage therapists (p < 0.05).  In the actual conditions, the Chaloeysak massage therapists are safe from WRMSD risks when performing their job and the introduction of a resting period of 15 minutes after each treatment  allows them to recover from the physiological strain. This rest period could be introduced into a WRMSD-prevention strategy for the Thai massage business.

Keywords: Chaloeysak massage, physiological strain, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, WRMSD, Wat Pho Massage, Thai Massage

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