Massage Therapy in Children with Asthma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:5620568. doi: 10.1155/2017/5620568. Epub 2017 May 21.


Objective: To systematically evaluate the efficacy of massage, a traditional treatment method of traditional Chinese medicine on children with asthma.

Methods: Literatures from 5 databases using the date ranging from 1 January, 1990, to 13 December, 2016, were reviewed, which were all randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy on children with asthma and effect on lung function mainly by massage therapy.

Results: 14 researches with 1299 patients were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with control group, a better efficacy was found in treatment group, which focused on massage therapy. Compared with control group, there was remarkable increase on FEV1 as well as PEF in treatment group.

Conclusion: All studies have shown that massage therapy has a significantly positive effect on children with asthma, improves the pulmonary function parameters of large airway, reduces the plasma concentrations of PAF and prostaglandin, and increases the levels of PAF-AH and DP1; therefore, it greatly improves pulmonary function. However, the limited research designs of included studies lead to high risk of bias. More randomized controlled trials with better methodological quality are needed to further confirm the effectiveness of massage.

Publication types

  • Review