Respiratory Pathologies

by

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson.

Chapter 8 tells us about respiratory pathologies. The lungs are primarily responsible for gas exchange in the body. The respiratory system supplies the body with oxygen and expels carbon dioxide from the body. Oxygen is required for metabolic reactions in the body’s cells. Excessive amounts of carbon dioxide produce acids that can be toxic to the body’s cells. When the respiratory system eliminates excess carbon dioxide, it prevents acid buildup in the blood, thereby regulating the pH of the blood. The larynx, also known as the voice box, has three important functions: controlling the flow of air during breathing, protecting the airway, and producing sound for speech. The vocal cords are located in the center of the larynx. Although much research has been conducted, scientists are still unsure exactly what function(s) the sinus cavities have. Some possibilities include the following: warming and humidifying air, assisting in regulation of intranasal pressure, contributing to immune defenses, increasing mucosal surface area, lightening the skull, giving resonance to the voice, absorbing shock, and contributing to facial growth. The diaphragm is the main muscle involved in inspiration (breathing in). The diaphragm descends as it contracts, enlarging the thoracic cavity. Air pressure in the lungs drops, allowing air to be drawn into them. Pulmonary ventilation is a mechanical process involving the contraction of muscles, the relaxation of muscles, and the elastic recoil of the alveoli. The therapist should listen for the following respiratory-related sounds: high-pitched sounds, wheezing, rattling, crackling, and deep or harsh sounds. Wheezing indicates narrowed respiratory passages, and crackling or rattling can indicate excess mucus in airways. Breathing through the mouth generally indicates the presence of constrictions or blockages in air passageways (such as when a person has a cold). Be careful when a person has asthma not apply too much pressure on the chest by soothing motions. The following techniques can be useful: deep friction; kneading; ischemic compression; deep, gliding strokes; vibration; and percussion.

Online and Instructor-Led Massage Pathology Course

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