Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy

Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga  Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy

Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

From experience we Thai Yoga practitioners know that Thai Yoga reduces pain and that with reduced pain and corresponding inflammation many different improvements in function and structure become evident over time. It’s great to see validation of what both our traditions and our actual clinical experience show us every day.

A common issue or health concern of geriatric clients is Osteoarthritis of the knee causing Osteoarthritis Knee Pain (3),(4),(5),(7),(8),(14) causing difficulty in walking and in more severe cases outright disability. Quality of life and access to immediate necessities of life are impinged when the elderly client loses critical mobility. NSAIDs and OTC pain killers are not the answer as they open a can of “side effect” worms which can cause more harm than help. So having regimens which are safe, effective and cost effective which offer lasting benefits adds considerably to the quality of life.

Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga  Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy

A randomized controlled study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy published in February of 2014 (1) investigated the effectiveness of a home based exercise coupled with and  compared to Traditional Thai Massage (Thai Yoga) and standard western physical therapy. The study was supported by the Incubation Research Group, and the Back, Neck and Other Joint Pain Research Group, Khon Kaen University found that the trial subjects receiving the traditional based therapies showed significantly higher and sustained improvements long term.

According to the authors “Firstly, Thai massage provides manual compression of deep tissues that may release muscle tension15) and increase blood flow, leading to relief of pain and increased ROM21). The results of the current study are in agreement with a previous study that demonstrated that modified Thai therapeutic massage could reduce pain and increase knee function in patients with primary KOA21). Also, superficial heat applied via a Thai herb bag may yield some effects that decrease pain and inflammation22).

The common traditional practice of Traditional Thai Massage, referred to in the study as “Thai Physical Therapy” or TPT is usually accompanied by Nuad Prakhop Samun Prai (Thai Herbal Bolus or Poultice) also commonly applied during treatment sessions. The combination of the two aspects of traditional Thai Ayurveda protocol was seen as a further possible contribution to the length of healthful responses over the standard western physical therapy applications. Furthermore the investigators associated the TPT receivers with better psychological indicators and better compliance as well.

Followup measurements were taken during the 5th and 14th months after the initial trail was conducted and positive results were found to be significantly higher Traditional Thai Massage group as well.


Based on this, my opinion is that if a more comprehensive and sophisticated program was followed such as the SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Therapeutic Day Program addressing the whole person the responses would be more direct and longer lasting than what the study indicated. SomaVeda® Thai Yoga in addition to various Traditional Thai Medicine, Traditional Thai Massage (Thai Yoga) incorporates Ayurveda Theory(18), Ayurvedic food, supplement and nutrition counseling, Dosha balancing, mental-emotional health therapies and counseling(2) as well as self treatment and exercise (Hatha Yoga/ Reishi Yoga- Reusi Dottan to create a healing response. Perfect for geriatrics!

Additionally, I want to point out that actually doing Thai Yoga is a good therapy for practitioners with Osteoarthritis Knee Pain! Thai Yoga is as good for the person performing it as it is for the receiver. This is because of the variety of postures/ asana that the facilitator assumes during sessions and the way we move or flow between them. There is a conditioning effect that conditions the legs, thighs, knees, ankles and feet. This increases circulation of all kinds, reduces inflammation, supports joint health and alignment and reduces pain and increasing mobility.

The bottom line is that Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga  Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy!


(1) The Effectiveness of Thai Exercise with Traditional Massage on the Pain, Walking Ability and QOL of Older People with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial in the Community (
(2) The Bio-Tapp/ B.E.T Manual, Touch, Balance and Attunement Technique by Anthony B. James (
(3) Arthritus (
(4) Arthritus (
(5) Arthropathy (,
(6) Inflammation (
(7) Over One Hundred types of Arthritis (, )
(8) Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis (
(9) Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (
(10) Autoimmune Disease (
(11) What is Arthritus? (
(12) Arthralgia: Non Inflammatory Joint Pain (
(13) Strain Injury (
(14) There Types of Arthritus in Ayurveda (
(15) Vata Dosha (
(16) Pita Dosha (
(17) Kapha Dosha (
(18) Concept of Dosha (
(19) Images of Thai Yoga Ayurveda (http://www.ThaiYogaCenter.Com)
(20) Vata Balancing Diet (
(21) Pitta Balancing Diet (
(22) Kapha Balancing Diet (
(23) Thai Yoga offers better pain relief for Osteoarthritis than OTC Remedies
(24) Thai Massage, and Thai Herbal Compress versus Oral Ibuprofen in Symptomatic Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Controlled Trial
(25) Addressing Chronic Pain with Thai Yoga supported by Scientific Review

What is Thai Yoga?

For more information on how SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief for Osteoarthritis Knee Pain as well as educational materials by this author see the bookstore at ( http://www.BeardedMedia.Com )   If you think your friends would benefit from this information please have them subscribe to our newsletter!

For information on SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Practitioner Certification Program Click Here!


All Information about Thai Traditional Medicine, SomaVeda® Thai Yoga/ Thai Massage relief for Osteoarthritis Knee Pain is presented solely as an opinion for educational purposes and is provided as an opinion for educational purposes only and not intended to be used for any therapeutic purpose, neither is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. It is not intended as a substitute for competent medical advise regarding any medical condition. Please consult a health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. While all attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information. The author and ThaiYogaCenter.Com does not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.

Copyright© 2015, Anthony B. James,  All rights reserved under International and Pan American copyright conventions. World rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Inquires should be addressed to: Anthony B. James, 5401 Saving Grace Ln. Brooksville, FL 34602 ·  http://www.ThaiYogaCenter.Com

SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies®, SomaVeda®  are a Federally Registered Trademark/ Servicemark and proprietary Intellectual Property, All World Rights Reserved.

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