It was recently reported that Thai massage may be helpful for children with autism, according to a recently published report. The study involved 60 children between the ages three and 10, all of whom were autistic.
For the study, all children received either Thai massage or sensory integration therapy for eight weeks. (An approach sometimes used in treatment of autism, sensory integration therapy aims to help regulate the patient's sensory responses. Many people with autism experience dysfunction in their sensory processing.) By the study's end, both treatment groups showed improvements in conduct problems and anxiety. In past studies, researchers have found that massage may also improve sleep, classroom concentration, and social interactions in people with autism.
In Thai massage, the therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move the client into yoga-like stretches. Typically regarded as a more rigorous and energizing than other types of massage, Thai massage is often used to reduce stress, boost circulation, and improve flexibility.