BANGKOK - Massage can be dangerous for women at different stages of their pregnancy, the Public Health Ministry warned after a woman suffered a miscarriage and went into a coma after getting a foot massage in Chiang Mai province.
"Women who are less than three months into their pregnancy should avoid massage because it may lead to miscarriage," Dr Khwanchai Visithanon said on Wednesday (Feb 6) in his capacity as deputy spokesman of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.
Dr Khwanchai warned women who are more than six months into their pregnancy to also be cautious about getting a massage.
"Pregnant women should also only go for a massage at a place where the masseurs are qualified practitioners of traditional Thai medicine and have undergone at least 800 hours of training," he said.
He added that massage parlours approved by the Health Service Support Department were required to use masseurs with at least 150 hours of training.
On Tuesday, the family of 25-year-old Wirawan Ketkesi issued a public call for help because she was still in a comatose state. According to the family, Ms Wirawan suffered a seizure while getting a foot massage on Jan 11. The masseur tried to resuscitate her before she was rushed to hospital.
At the hospital, doctors discovered that she had suffered a miscarriage and surgically removed the dead foetus. But the patient had been in a coma ever since.
Chiang Mai's deputy public health chief Waranyu Jamnongprasartporn said masseurs are required to check if their customers are pregnant or have any chronic disease before starting the massage, adding that every massage parlour is required to have a licence to operate.
However, he admitted that it was not possible to check every massage parlour in the province, adding "we have conducted random checks to boost customers' safety".