Children with asthma have improved pulmonary functions after massage therapy.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

Thirty-two children with asthma (16 4- to 8-year-olds and 16 9- to 14-year-olds) were randomly assigned to receive either massage therapy or relaxation therapy. The children's parents were taught to provide one therapy or the other for 20 minutes before bedtime each night for 30 days. The younger children who received massage therapy showed an immediate decrease in behavioral anxiety and cortisol levels after massage. Also, their attitude toward asthma and their peak air flow and other pulmonary functions improved over the course of the study. The older children who received massage therapy reported lower anxiety after the massage. Their attitude toward asthma also improved over the study, but only one measure of pulmonary function (forced expiratory flow 25% to 75%) improved. The reason for the smaller therapeutic benefit in the older children is unknown; however, it appears that daily massage improves airway caliber and control of asthma.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Field, T; Henteleff, T; Hernandez-Reif, M; Martinez, E; Mavunda, K; Kuhn, C; Schanberg, S

Published Date

  • May 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 132 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 854 - 858

PubMed ID

  • 9602199

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3476

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0022-3476(98)70317-8


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States