S.I. Russell, M.R. Kachnik, S.O. Henry

Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR

Massage has been shown to increase pulmonary function in children and adults who have chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma; however, the use of massage to enhance pulmonary function in healthy populations has not been well studied. PURPOSE: Investigate the acute effects of massage on pulmonary function in healthy individuals, specifically maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). METHODS: In repeated measures experimental design, nineteen healthy adult volunteers (age = 20 ± 2 yrs., 4 males, 15 females) completed both a control (CONT) session and a massage (MASSAGE) session. The MASSAGE session consisted of MIP pretesting, 30 minutes massage targeting inspiratory and expiratory musculature of the thorax, and MIP post testing. The CONT session consisted of MIP pretesting, positioning the participant stationary on a table for 30 minutes to resemble the massage condition, and MIP post testing. RESULTS: Repeated measures two-way ANOVA comparing pretest and posttest data for CONT (10.11 ± 2.76 kPa, 9.78 ± 2.51 kPa respectively) and MASSAGE (9.52 ± 2.40 kPa, 10.04 ± 2.40 kPa respectively) conditions found no PRE/POST or CONT/MASSAGE main effects (α = 0.05). However, a PRE/POST x CONT/MASSAGE interaction was observed (F1,18 = 11.7, p = 0.003). Post-hoc tests showed a difference between pretest and posttest values for the massage session (9.52 ± 2.40 kPa vs. 10.04 ± 2.40 kPa), but no other differences. CONCLUSION: Massage was shown to improve MIP values as compared to pretest, and therefore shows promise as a method of enhancing at least one measure of pulmonary function in healthy adults. However, the lack of differences between posttest massage and either of the two control conditions confounds and tempers interpretation of the results. Also, further research including additional pulmonary variables (e.g. forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume1.0 s, residual lung volume, total lung volume) is necessary to determine the efficacy of massage for enhancing pulmonary function.

Supported by Pacific University undergraduate research grant

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