Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Massage for Respiratory and Abdominal Problems

For coughs and colds, try rhythmic stroking on the chest to soothe the area. Follow this with a gentle neck and face massage, and finish with gentle static pressures on either side of the nose. Catarrh and sinusitis can be relieved with massage using circular pressures at the base of the skull, followed by squeezing the eyebrows, forehead, and base of the nose; finish with gentle strokes down the nose, out to the ears, and down the neck. Chest infections, such as bronchitis, benefit from a full chest massage and, if there is much congestion, concentrate on percussive cupping movements at the base of the lungs. This is often done by physiotherapists to help shift mucus and relieve congestion.

For many asthma sufferers there is a family history of the disease and it is often associated with other allergic problems such as eczema. Triggers include allergens such as pollen and house dust mites, but stress and anxiety can aggravate attacks. Gentle massage can really help if done on a regular basis, and may even prevent or at least reduce the severity of asthma attacks.

Self-help for respiratory problems

Respiratory infections can be helped by steam inhalation; the aromatic steam can clear your nasal passages and ease breathing. Use eucalyptus, tea tree, sandalwood, bergamot, or cypress oils since they have antiseptic and decongestant properties. You can also try adding up to five drops of the same oil or combination of oils to a warm bath.

Do not use steam inhalations if you suffer from asthma - the concentrated steam may trigger an attack.

Abdominal problems

Digestive problems and other abdominal complaints, such as premenstrual bloating and period pains, are very common. Poor diet and lack of exercise are typical causes, but stress and other emotional factors can contribute to the problem. Massage can help relieve the pain and reduce any stress.

Massage for abdominal problems

Massage soothes pain, stimulates movement in the gut, and is calming, so it helps restore the normal working of the digestive tract. It can help constipation by relaxing the abdomen and by stimulating peristalsis (the rhythmic movement that propels food through the digestive tract). In people prone to diarrhea, massage can help relieve the stress that is often the trigger.

To release abdominal tension, you must try to induce a relaxed state in your partner. Use calm, smooth stroking movements with both your hands. Gently stroke from the navel up toward your partner's chest. Then let your hands glide out over the ribs. Be guided by your partner about the strength of the pressure. Shiatsu and reflexology can also be used to help alleviate abdominal pain.

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