Have you tried everything to get your asthma or the symptoms of chronic asthma under control, and still feel a bit underwhelmed with the net result?
You might do as many have done before you, and look to an interesting and novel concept for helping your body cope with asthma, which has low risk and high rewards, and seems to be gaining traction thanks to the science behind it. You might be surprised to learn that there may be some emerging relevant data that backs the countless anecdotal scenarios that show foot massage can help alleviate symptoms of asthma and help to control it over the longer-term.
Let’s take a peek behind the curtain on this topic so you can see the ins and outs of how foot massage might be linked to improving asthma sufferer’s quality of life. It’s important to note that many treatments didn’t start from a scientific base, and lacked early hard scientific backing for their efficacy. Many treatments for chronic illnesses, started as temporary relief mechanisms that eventually had enough testing and proof to substantiate why they were so useful. Foot massage might currently fit into this category, but recent studies are improving the underlying datasets and proving there is a reason for the results. Take this study
[http://www.bioline.org.br/pdf?pe08019] for example, involving massage of all types, including foot massage on severely asthmatic children and teens.
This all points to the conclusion that there is burgeoning legitimate clinical data to support the concept that foot massage can have a dramatic positive impact on asthma, especially in conjunction with “traditional” treatments.
Here is some data from a separate study
[http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/gjhs/article/view/56086] that says this is true.So why does this work, and how can you benefit from the positive effects on treatment of asthma with foot massage?
Why does foot massage work for treating asthma?
It’s important to understand how many chronic problems with health start with inflammation and stress in the body’s systems. Asthma is essentially that - a chronic disease that manifests symptoms that are triggered by different mechanisms, but which cause acute inflammation in the airways.
“Chronic” means that something is persistent or recurring. “Acute” in this definition means more drastic, temporary, and specific conditions.
Massage is a time-tested treatment for chronic and acute inflammation, though it is also important to understand that inflammation is almost never able to be completely controlled by massage alone. Many other factors can cause inflammation to persist and symptoms to show up.
Given that information, the most important way to treat asthma is to reduce inflammation, and attempt to control the frequency with which severe acute inflammation can occur. In the case of severe acute symptoms, patients use things like oral corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Reflexology and massage in general center around this concept. Not only do they provide a mechanism to tell the brain to send blood flow to the surface of the skin in areas where the massage is happening, they also can be linked to reducing inflammation through other means.
Reflexologists believe that there are points in the foot that correspond to the lungs and bronchi. Specifically they state that this is the pad of the foot that is adjacent to the ball of the foot and reaches to the outer edge of the foot at the base of the pinky toe. Anecdotally, this has been experienced as a true methodology for decades in comprehensive accounts. Clinically, studies are beginning to show the same thing.
Adding pressure to that area can alleviate symptoms relatively quickly, though, the treatment is not generally suitable for emergency situations where a bronchodilator or other rescue medication may be necessary. Rather, this is a practice that can improve conditions both acute and chronic as part of a treatment plan.
But quality of life is extremely important too. Foot massage is also quite relaxing. The body can be “reset” in a sense when relaxation is taking place. We know the regenerative effects of a good night’s rest. Similarly, we see things like hiccups subside with prolonged calming, and moderated breathing; other triggered symptoms can generally see positive effects from relaxation.
Foot massage can reduce inflammation, and more obviously, the pain from inflammation immediately in practice.
How can you start to benefit from these types of foot massage therapies for treating your asthma?
- Set up a routine for daily foot massage, even if that means multiple times a day. (After all, who doesn’t have enough time for a foot massage?)
- Find a way to incorporate a quality automated massage device that can help you to pinpoint trouble spots on your feet to improve consistency in the massage techniques
- Consider learning about placement and pressure with regards to the lungs and bronchi in reflexology
- Evaluate your stress and inflammation levels and understand that even minor
- inflammation can trigger major episodes
- Work with a partner to mutually ensure stress relief through proper foot massage (see our other articles about how this can benefit you even more)
Some additional points to consider:
Some asthmatic reactions can be life threatening. Massage is not to be considered a rescue remedy.
Treatment may or may not show immediate results, however it is a relatively accepted notion that continued use of proper massage techniques are able to reduce stress and inflammation.
Foot massage is a low risk, high reward venture that is likely to have some quality of life benefits, and can help reduce inflammation, including the type associated with chronic asthma.