Complementary therapies,Massage,Cadaver,Blood flow,Skin temperature," /> Complementary therapies,Massage,Cadaver,Blood flow,Skin temperature,"/> The anatomical study of the major signal points of the court-type Thai traditional massage on legs and their effects on blood flow and skin temperature
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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2017, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (2): 142-150.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(17)60323-6

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The anatomical study of the major signal points of the court-type Thai traditional massage on legs and their effects on blood flow and skin temperature

Yadaridee Viravuda, Angkana Apichartvorakitb, Pramook Mutirangurac, Vasana Plakornkula, Jantima Roongruangchaia, Manmas Vannabhumb, Tawee Laohapandb, Pravit Akarasereenontb   

  1. a Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand 
    b Center of Applied Thai Traditional Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand 
    c Division of Vascular Surgery, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand
  • Received:2016-10-25 Accepted:2016-12-06 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-03-15
  • Contact: Angkana Apichartvorakit. E-mail:


This study aims to investigate the relationship between major signal points (MaSPs) of the lower extremities used in court-type Thai traditional massage (CTTM) and the corresponding underlying anatomical structures, as well as to determine the short-term changes in blood flow and skin temperature of volunteers experiencing CTTM.


MaSPs were identified and marked on cadavers before acrylic color was injected. The underlying structures marked with acrylic colors were observed and the anatomical structures were determined. Then, pressure was applied to each MaSP in human volunteers (lateral side of leg and medial side of leg) and blood flow on right dorsalis pedis artery was measured using duplex ultrasound while skin temperature changes were monitored using an infrared themographic camera.


Short-term changes in the blood flow parameters, volume flow and average velocity, compared to baseline (P < 0.05), were observed on MaSP of the lower extremity, ML4. Changes in the peak systolic velocity of the area ML5 were also observed relative to baseline. The skin temperature of two different MaSPs on the lateral side of leg (LL4 and LL5) and four on the medial side of leg (ML2, ML3, ML4 and ML5) was significantly increased (P < 0.05) at 1 min after pressure application.


This study established the clear correlation between the location of MaSP, as defined in CTTM, and the underlying anatomical structures. The effect of massage can stimulate skin blood flow because results showed increased skin temperature and blood flow characteristics. While these results were statistically significant, they may not be clinically relevant, as the present study focused on the immediate physiological effect of manipulation, rather than treatment effects. Thus, this study will serve as baseline data for further clinical studies in CTTM.

Key words: Complementary therapies, Massage, Cadaver, Blood flow, Skin temperature

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