Archive \ Volume.5 2014 Issue 4

The effectiveness of traditional Malay massage: A narrative review

Nurhanisah Sejari , Kamaria Kamaruddin , Long Chiau Ming
Abstract

The traditional Malay massage (TMM), also known locally as urut Melayu, is one of the fields of traditional and complementary medicine. The practices and understanding are originally related to Malay culture in selected hospitals under the Ministry of Health since 2007. This study is to review the available evidence on the effectiveness of TMM as an alternative therapeutic approach to various conditions. An online electronic search in databases (Ovid™, Scopus, EMBASE and PubMed) was performed using keywords such as Malay massage and urut Melayu. Documents including case studies, case reports, and research studies were examined and analyzed. Two case studies and one qualitative research study about TMM for chronic diseases were explored. It was reported that the majority of those having chronic diseases sought TMM as an alternative treatment to improve mobility and quality of life. The second case study explored the effectiveness of TMM for a postpartum stroke patient, and there was improvement of physical function, mobility and optimizing the activity of daily living for this patient. The third article provided treatment‑seeking behavior of poststroke patients and their TMM practitioners. From their interviews with 17 volunteers, they reported that Malay massage is very helpful for their body conditions after stroke due to high blood pressure and postdelivery complications. The patients revealed that TMM has provided them positive, beneficial effects. The review indicated that TMM could serve as an alternative treatment for those having chronic diseases, postpartum stroke and poststroke conditions. Therefore, the current review highlights the role TMM has in view of positive, beneficial effects to improve and optimize mobility, physical function, activity, daily living and quality of life.