The effectiveness of neuromuscular release massage therapy in five individuals with chronic obstructive lung disease

Clin Nurs Res. 1998 Aug;7(3):309-25. doi: 10.1177/105477389800700307.


The purpose was to examine neuromuscular release massage therapy (NRMT) as an intervention for individuals with chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) to improve pulmonary function, respiratory muscle strength, and quality of life. Variables measured were thoracic gas volume, peak flow, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC, and quality of life to determine if improvement occurred with 24 weekly treatments of NRMT. Four of five participants had an increase in thoracic gas volume, peak flow, and FVC. Paired differences t test resulted in significant changes in heart rate, oxygen saturation, and time of breath hold. Repeated measured analysis of variance indicated a significant interaction between participant and time for heart rate, oxygen saturation, and systolic blood pressure. The results suggest that individuals with COLD do benefit from NRMT, but the exact physiological mechanism for the changes warrants additional study.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Pressure
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / metabolism
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / psychology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Muscles / innervation
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*