Friday, October 10, 2014

Massage for Respiratory Health

Fall Leaves - Academy Massage - Winnipeg Massage Therapy
image courtesy of

"Life is in the breath. He who half breathes half lives."
                                                 - Ancient Proverb

It is not uncommon for people to experience a shortness of breath after engaging in sports or a long-distance marathon run or some other vigorous activity where lung power is put to the test. But more distressing respiratory problems arise from conditions such as allergies, sinus problems, asthma (seasonal or otherwise), even colds. Antihistamines or inhalers have been effective in halting or preventing these breathing problems, dependent on their severity. Yet a staggering statistic reports that over 714,000 Canadians suffer from a not-so-simply-medicinally-controlled malady known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is a long-term, progressive lung disease most often caused by smoking, yet other - some undetermined causes - may come into play. When one's breathing (which most healthy individuals take for granted since it is a normal physical action) is compromised it can be a frightening occurrence, leading to distress and in severe cases usually calls for prompt medical attention. Simple daily activities may become more difficult over time and one's quality of life can be adversely affected.

Alternative treatments are frequently sought by those who suffer from respiratory ailments, and massage therapy has become a popular option for the many benefits it provides. In fact, research has shown the effectiveness massage can have on improving respiratory function.

At Academy Massage, our licensed therapists are trained in the proper procedure to help our clients breathe easier.

Our massage techniques impact the respiratory system by increasing pulmonary function. By loosening and relaxing tight upper body respiratory muscles this allows the lungs to expand and contract without restriction thus improving breathing capacity. In addition, our therapeutic massage has been shown to improve posture, which is important as it helps to open the chest area, so that the breathing rate slows and becomes deep and regular. Relaxed respiratory muscles contribute to a lower respiratory rate. If muscles are not constricted, lung capacity will increase, leading to the inhaling of longer and deeper breaths rather than short and shallow breathing. Another effective benefit of regular therapeutic massage on the respiratory system is the decrease in asthma attacks; in fact, those who follow a routine often find they are less dependent on their inhalers or asthma medications.

Our massage therapies will also assist in promoting the discharge of fluids from the lungs by loosening phlegm buildups. This is achieved by practiced tapping or tapotement techniques performed on the back. Since this is a delicate and precise procedure where other medical or physical conditions may be involved, at Academy Massage our trained therapists are knowledgeable in working with these areas and who will discuss with you the treatment prior to you beginning specialized therapy.

To receive optimum benefit on the respiratory system, the muscles around the torso must be massaged. This can be a sensitive procedure particularly for female patients; however, our therapists at Academy Massage are trained in the proper techniques to avoid embarrassing exposure and willing to discuss any  issues or concerns with you before the massage.

If you suffer from breathing difficulties ranging from the uncomfortable to severe, we welcome you to come discuss the alternative treatment option available at Academy Massage

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