Asthma is a common, chronic childhood disease, and when a child is asthmatic the entire family’s anxiety levels can rise. New research shows massage therapy lowers anxiety in mothers of asthmatic children.

Researchers set out to determine if learning to massage their own asthmatic children provided relief from anxiety among the children’s mothers, according to an abstract published on

“Studies showed a relation between the life quality of children suffering from asthma and the anxiety level of parents,” the researchers noted. “These parents are looking for ways to confront their stress, to reduce their anxiety in encountering with their asthmatic children, and to improve their performance.”

Sixty mothers with asthmatic children aged 5 to 14 years were divided into two groups: One that was trained to massage the head, neck, face, shoulder, hand, leg and back of their children every night before bedtime for one month; and one whose children received standard medical treatment.

The researchers found the daily massage sessions reduced the mothers’ anxiety. “Daily massage helped mothers to have more sense of participation in caring their children and as a non-pharmacological method can be accompanied with pharmacological methods,” the researchers wrote. “The results showed no significant difference in mean anxiety level between the two groups before the intervention but there was a significant difference between them after intervention.”

The study was conducted by personnel at the Department of Pediatrics Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

“Effects of massage therapy of asthmatic children on the anxiety level of mothers” was published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research.

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