Massage for bronchial asthma

Massage for asthma is a combination of methods of manipulating the hands of a massage therapist on the chest, as well as on adjacent areas. Its purpose in this case is to level the symptoms of the disease both in the adult population and in children.


In this case, there are the following contraindications for massage:

  • dermatological diseases of the skin;
  • swelling;
  • serious damage to the skin (this does not include minor abrasions and scratches);
  • diseases of blood vessels and lymph nodes;
  • thrombosis;
  • fresh injuries (closed bruises);
  • inflammation of the joint tissues;
  • ARI and ARVI with respiratory symptoms and high body temperature;
  • tuberculosis;
  • psycho – and neurological disorders;
  • tumors of various etiologies;
  • peptic ulcer;
  • hypertension.

Childhood is also a relative limitation. For a younger child, massage sessions can be performed with light impact on the chest.


Current types of massage for asthma:

  1. Classical.
  2. Percussion.
  3. Intensive.
  4. Reflex-segmental.
  5. Point.
  6. Periosteal .
  7. Drainage.


The classical technique consists of successive stages:

  1. General massage of the sternum lying on the back.
  2. Massage of the collar and neck, lying on the stomach.
  3. Back massage in the same position.
  4. Repeated massage of the sternum, lying on the back.

The procedure begins with stroking movements, followed by squeezing, kneading and shaking. The massage can be finished with breathing exercises while sitting or standing. In this case, the masseur holds his hands symmetrically on the patient’s sternum and back. When the patient inhales, he moves his arms up. Pressure is applied several times. A general massage session can take up to 30 minutes, taking into account the state of the asthmatic. In connection with this factor, the duration of the course is also determined.


Percussion massage is aimed at reducing muscle tension in the chest area, increasing air permeability, increasing blood circulation, and removing sputum. The massage is performed in a sitting or lying position according to the following algorithm:

  1. Rubbing the chest in front and behind, as well as activating the respiratory function of the lungs, for which you can carry out kneading techniques from a classic massage or produce rhythmic squeezing in the chest area.
  2. During the massage, the specialist puts his hands on the patient’s chest in front and from the back, and strikes.
  3. Upon completion, the specialist repeats the first point.

The duration of this type of massage is no more than 10 minutes. The duration of the entire course is also determined based on the degree of the disease and usually does not exceed two weeks.


Intensive massage is performed within the framework of a rich but shortened scheme – no more than five sessions of 30 minutes (maximum 40 minutes) each. At the same time, to restore the body, the break between sessions is several days.

Here, several asymmetrically located zones in the chest area are involved: two in the front and two on the back. They are massaged in turn, starting from the bottom and moving on to the upper zone. For example, the lower part of the left lung is worked out, and then the upper right lung, or vice versa. In this case, the following methods of exposure are used: kneading, rubbing and vibration.


Segmental massage is recommended for the purpose of improving respiratory function, reducing the number of asthma attacks or their complete relief, as well as preventing the manifestations of pulmonary emphysema. It is better to carry out massage in the morning and in advance before and after meals.

The masseur conducts a session in a certain sequence:

  1. The patient is in a sitting position.
  2. Stroking movements, then rubbing the muscles of the back, neck in the back, as well as the sternum in front and on the side.
  3. Massage the muscles of the back, back region of the neck, intercostal region and the area above the shoulder blades.
  4. In the final part, stroking, rubbing and tapping are carried out.

Sometimes segmental massage is also performed in conjunction with breathing exercises, in which the hands of the masseur follow from the spine to the chest. In this case, the movement of the hands is carried out on exhalation and jerks with increasing pressure on the chest.


Acupressure massage for bronchial asthma is aimed at facilitating the breathing process by influencing acupuncture points. These include points on the back, on the shoulder, in the intercostal area, under the collarbone, between the processes of various vertebrae. The main methods of point impact are stroking and pressing. The duration of work with each point does not exceed 5 minutes. To carry out this manipulation, a masseur needs a good knowledge of the anatomical structure of the human body.


Periosteal massage involves a targeted effect on the connective tissue around the bones of the chest in order to improve metabolism in this area, which has a positive effect on the functionality of the lungs. Before the procedure, the massage area is palpated to identify painful areas or points. The main technique is rotational movements with the phalanx of the finger in the area of ​​the pain point. The hot spots for bronchial asthma are on the chest and back. In this case, the effect on them should be carried out on exhalation. If the patient experiences excessive pain during the treatment of the point, the masseur changes the angle of the finger. Over and over again the number of points being worked out increases. Their maximum number for one massage session is 15-20.

This massage is carried out in a course with a break of one or two days until the maximum reduction of pain in problem areas. The combination of periosteal massage with the previously listed types is relevant.


Drainage massage for asthma shows good results in the fight against stubborn sputum from the bronchi, which is why it can also be used for bronchial asthma. Massage actions are carried out both from the front and from the back.

Anterior zone massage is carried out using:

  • stroking movements;
  • rubbing muscles in the intercostal space , from the lower edge of the costal arches towards the clavicles, shoulders and armpits;
  • pulling the chest muscles;
  • light tapping on the arches of the ribs;
  • squeezing the side walls of the sternum on exhalation.

Massage the area from the back is carried out using:

  • stroking and rubbing movements (including with weights);
  • kneading the back muscles up and down;
  • grasping, pulling and pushing the back muscles and the trapezius muscle;
  • intermittent vibrations.

Principles of Correct Execution

The principles of proper massage performance include the following:

  1. Calculation of the duration of a single procedure and the entire course, carried out by the doctor who issued the referral for the massage.
  2. The presence of medical training for a masseur (home self-massage in this case is recommended if you have the necessary knowledge).
  3. Preparation of the room and equipment for massage procedures: the presence of a couch, rollers, means for sliding the masseur’s hands (cream, oil, petroleum jelly, talcum powder).
  4. Hygienic accompaniment of the procedure: washing and processing hands before the start of exposure.

Since asthma is a constant companion of a person’s life from the moment of diagnosis, the massage course should be repeated periodically. The frequency of courses is determined by the doctor, taking into account the individual characteristics of the patient and the stage of the disease.

Due to the variety of therapeutic massage techniques and variations in the duration of the procedures, it can be prescribed for asthma at any stage of the course of the disease. From session to session, the patient should increase a tangible relief of the current state and there should be a decrease in recurrent manifestations of the disease in the future. In addition, a properly performed massage gives the patient a feeling of emotional relaxation.

event_note January 1, 2021

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