Take a Deep Breath: Massage Therapy and Asthma


How often has someone reminded you, when stressful situations arise, to “take a deep breath”? For many asthma sufferers, that’s easier said than done. And while asthma, like any chronic condition, requires the attention of a medical professional, there is a relief at hand in your own home.

For asthma sufferers, stress and anxiety can cause the body to react as though it is under attack. Have you ever tried to breathe through a straw? That’s what asthma sufferers say an attack can feel like. Stress acts as an allergen, causing inflammation of breathing passages. The inside walls of these airways—tubes carrying air inside and outside the lungs—become sore and swollen. This makes them narrower, leading to less air supply. This in turn causes chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, and breathing trouble. Misery.

Massage therapy is indicated as a treatment for asthma. According to Anne Williams, education program director of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, massage therapy helps relax the accessory respiratory muscles used in breathing. Specifically, Shiatsu massage therapy, such as provided by premium massage chairs, is particularly useful. Based on traditional Chinese medicine principles, shiatsu re-balances the patient’s body and leaves a relaxed feeling.

Because asthma symptoms are often brought on by stress, creating relaxation is the first step to relief. Just sitting down in a chair can begin this process. Then, with stimulation of pressure points that replicates a treatment by a shiatsu technician, the chair can help reduce cortisol levels and boost serotonin and dopamine—the body’s own “feel-good” neurotransmitters.

Just about any of our massage chairs can provide some relief in the above areas so it’s up to you to pick the one that fits you best. From the gentle massage of the Positive Posture Brio+ to the deep tissue massage of the Panasonic MAJ7 we will certainly have one to fit your needs.

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Contact one of our massage chair experts today!