Medical massage protocol for cases of pulmonary fibrosis

From the author

In this article, you will find the link to the video Medical massage protocol for cases of pulmonary fibrosis. This article aims to offer additional commentaries to my video and stress the importance of working under gatekeeping of medical doctors, which in the case of treating pulmonary fibrosis, means to work under the supervision of supervision pulmonologists. Although massage therapists are also the first front door providers, in health compromised cases like pulmonary fibrosis, it’s necessary to work with pulmonologists.

Please consider that, at times, a pulmonologist who monitors ongoing, repeated tests, radiological examinations, etc., can assess the progress of the treatment and recognize the necessity of changing medication.

Massage therapists have not authorized ordering tests, are not capable of interpreting test results, and are not qualified to make the decisions. These considerations predicate having pulmonologists as gatekeepers when treating pulmonary fibrosis.

I have practiced integrative medicine formats during my long career and can assure you that this is the only right way to practice massage therapy when treating compromised health cases. I recall instances when patients, while getting emotional and unhappy with MD, told me that they don’t want to see MDs anymore, insisting on me continuing the treatment solely by myself.

In such a case, our duty as therapists is to calmly explain to the patient that MD is the only medical professional qualified and equipped to conduct differential diagnoses, draw conclusions, and make the decisions.

Regrettably, in the US, integrative medicine is highly underdeveloped. Integrative medicine departments exist in many hospitals settings but do not fulfill their purpose. As a matter of fact, should integrative medicine be implemented as declared, the cost of health care would be reduced, including the reduction prescribing of medications.

Only during the last year, prescriptions of antianxiety and antidepressant medications experienced an increase of 48%. Clinically and scientifically, it is proven that medical massage stress management protocols are the most powerful methodology for treating stress-related disorders, including but not limited to essential hypertension, tension headaches, TMJ dysfunctions, and more.

I firmly believe that massage therapists must reach MDs, DPTs, DCS, DDSs, offer brief, scientifically sound explanations on what we are doing, and request to try a few cases with us. If we prove the efficiency of medical massage, we would automatically establish an integrative medicine approach relationship.

Often, patients I successfully treated for simple tension headaches refer friends and relatives suffering from similar symptoms. However, I never refuse to take these patients as a first front door provider; before commencing with the treatment, I always urge them to see MDs, explaining that these kinds of symptoms could be merely the symptoms of tension headaches, but also God spare us, could be the results of brain tumor, and many other diseases. Thus, only MD have the tools, knowledge, and authority to diagnose, refer to MRI, etc. Therefore, I do the right thing by referring patients to doctors and often spread integrative medicine settings throughout different offices.

Hopefully, my article will provide pertinent details about idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. You will learn and feel comfortable contacting pulmonologists and convincing them to integrate massage into their treatment.

Our unique science-based approach

Medical massage originated from biomedical science (during the educational process, MTs learn from the same textbooks of anatomy, medical physiology /pathophysiology, etc., as medical doctors). Yet, I firmly believe that MTs must clearly understand the difference in our science-based concepts, assessments, initial evaluations, soft tissue examinations, as well as our analysis of scientific data, our clinical approaches to treating disorders/diseases versus the concepts and approaches of other conventional medicine, including and not limited to science-based Pharmaceutical developments of products.

I believe that without this deep understanding of these differences, clinically, we would not be able to unleash the therapeutic power of massage.

In this eight minutes presentation, I discuss the difference in concepts of the clinical approach

Here I explain why only inhibition of pain by corticosteroids and other medications does not work for the long run and must be integrated with our treatment. This presentation is about rehabilitative views on the role of medical massage in slowing down the development of osteoarthritis.

The significant role of medical massage in the early stages of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

 The link below is an overview by a Ph.D. on the research behind medication developments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

IPF Progression Linked to Increased Type VI Collagen Formation in Study

Ultimately, producers/researchers of these medications cannot fully explain the mechanism of action. As they state:” the mechanism is not fully understood, but it has been shown to reduce the production of fibroblasts and other substances involved in the formation of fibrous tissue during the body’s tissue repair process, thereby slowing down the progression of the disease.”

All research articles about developments of anti-fibrotic medications I reviewed point to biomarker, which is a type VI collagen degradation in cases of pulmonary fibrosis.

They claim that suppressing the production of fibroblasts medication reduces type VI collagen degradation, and this is how they attest to the success in the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis.

I wonder what would happen if someone were to test and assess type VI collagen degradation in adhesive capsulitis of fibromyalgia cases. Most likely, because of ongoing low-grade inflammation, the natural reaction (such as an insufficient attempt to accumulate fibroblasts deposits) would lead to type VI collagen degradation.

Massage Therapy is a Beneficial Tool in treating fibromyalgia


As we explained in the article above, fibromyalgia syndrome is actually fibromyositis. Would fibromyositis induce type VI collagen degradation? I guess it would. In chronic inflammatory conditions, causes activation of fibroblasts along with the decreased blood supply in every case of chronic inflammatory disorders would make the repairing process insufficient. By all means, it will lead to type VI collagen degradation.

Later in this article, we will talk about inflammation, about how massage therapy increases blood supply to inflamed tissue by decreasing inflammation, and further by balancing the demand of blood supply with its availability, eliminating inflammatory condition, preventing chronic inflammation developments/low-grade inflammation, including and not limited to prevention of adhesions developments.

By the way, antibiotics mean medication containing agents that destroy bacteria, while antiviral medications kill viruses. Do anti-fibrotic tissue medications destroy fibrous tissue/scar tissue?

In all anti-fibrotic research papers that I read, I couldn’t find methods of patient’s selection for the research that was based on the following range of parameters:

· CT scan, or measurement of active rib cage movement /chest expansion before and after consumption of these medications, 

· Measurement of oxygen level by oximeter before and after consuming these medications,

· Comparison of the diffusing capacity before and after

· If a test would reveal loss of pulmonary capillary after taking this medication, would the test also show capillary regeneration?

Before continuing, I would like to make a statement of my personal opinion.

In case of significant progress detected by comparisons of radiological examinations and severe increase in symptoms, there is a possibility that this medication can extend longevity. In my opinion, in the early stages of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, suppression of fibroblasts can do more harm than good.  

At this point in the article, I would like to restate that during my video presentation, I cover the theoretical concept of medical massage protocol, as well as offering a hands-on demonstration of” medical massage in early stages of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.”

Before clicking the link below, I would recommend finishing reading the article in its entirety as it will allow one to enhance understanding of my hands-on presentation.

As I stated in my video, in most cases, MTs views on pathologies/illnesses, including and not limited to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, are different from the views of conventional healthcare practitioners and especially pharmaceutical researchers. In my opinion, the main reason for this dichotomy is explained in the example of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. As I mentioned in the video, instead of calling idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, we view it as interstitial lung disease simply because at interstitium initiates an inflammatory condition. If inflammation weren’t addressed adequately, this condition would lead to scarring/pulmonary fibrosis. From a clinical point of view, we view interstitial lung disease as a disorder of the respiratory system and the entire organism.

On the other hand, the body reacts to massage by multiple positive changes in functions of organs and systems, allowing to address health-compromising cases comprehensively. I also mentioned that techniques I demonstrated, in addition to other positive changes, spur the production of new mitochondria. No one can underestimate this factor, especially when talking about treatments of inflammatory conditions.

You can read more about the production of new mitochondria, as a positive side effect of a specific stimulation by massage, by clicking the link Mitochondria, as a positive side effect of a specific stimulation by massage

I am a big proponent of a simple approach to medical massage, which means not to overuse scientific terminology. I also believe we should avoid intellectual demagoguery, which can be very destructive. We are clinicians, and science provides us with tools. We clearly understand the condition we are treating, the physiological effect of massage, as well as the pathophysiology of the condition, to which we attempt to provide outcome-oriented adequate treatment. Therefore I will offer my commentary to the video in a simple, science-based logical way.

Physiology of respiratory system

Lungs are like elastic bags. When, during inhalation, diaphragm muscles, intercostal muscles, and anterior scalene muscles constrict, they expand the rib cage, creating negative intrapleural pressure (vacuum), which in turn forces air into the lung’s capacity. The alveoli are the part of the lungs containing air, where gases between the lungs and the blood are exchanged.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis starts from inflammation secondary to infections, inhalations of hazardous material, dust, etc. Immediately, it presents inflammation within the lungs, triggering pathological impulses and reflecting on somatic parts. My video explained visceral somatic reflex and somatovisceral reflex, utilizing pulmonary reflex zones abnormality maps. Little by little, these pathological impulses from inflamed lungs cause buildups of tension within muscles responsible for inhalation, within the fascia, and more.

When respiratory system muscles build up tension, they cannot sufficiently constrict and create sufficient negative intrapleural pressure to force air into the lungs. Then, the abnormal impulse from somatic reflex zones abnormalities, fueling inflammation and disturbing blood supply.

Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism. The purpose of inflammation is to eliminate the injurious agent and remove damaged tissue components, to allow the healing process. But all defense mechanisms, fundamentally dependent on and based upon adequate blood supply, deliver and support the migration of fluid, proteins, white blood cells, and its corticosteroids. In addition, the circulation supplies the entire defense to the site of tissue damage. An inflammatory response that doesn’t last for a long time is called acute inflammation, but a longer inflammatory response leads to chronic inflammation.

An insufficient blood supply is the main reason for conversion from acute inflammation to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes the development of adhesions, which are not fully formed (reversible) scar tissue.

Now I am referring back to my video. By addressing reflex zone abnormalities, we also address buildups of tension in muscles and fascia. 

We stimulate blood supply to the lungs and somatic parts by massively releasing action potentials. At the same time, by bringing normal resting tone to all respiratory system muscles, we are restoring sufficient expansion of the rib cage and restoring adequate quantities of air to the lungs. As I stated, lungs are like elastic bags. When enough air is forced into the lungs, they stretch, which contributes to the elimination of adhesions and the promotion of blood supply to inflamed parts of the lung. As stated above, adequate blood supply eliminates inflammation, including the migration of lung fibroblasts. In my video, I explain and demonstrate periosteum massage. Lung fibroblasts are crucial for sustaining the integrity of the alveolar structure while proliferating repair injured areas. At the same time, an adequate blood supply allows elastin deposits/restoration in the pleura, within the blood vascular system, and in the bronchi and respiratory units. In addition, elastin is required for normal lung functions, including elastic fiber production in the respiratory region of the lung.


Human lungs are composed of smaller units, lobes. Each lobe of the lung has the same physiologic function, bringing oxygen into the blood and removing carbon dioxide. So let’s say someone developed advanced scarring. Is there the entire surface of all units/ lobes of lungs affected? Most likely not, otherwise the person wouldn’t be able to live. So now I will allow to myself speculation. Based on simple logic, I believe that by restoring sufficiency within muscles of the respiratory system, normalizing rib cage expansion, forcing more air into the lungs, we can improve the diffusing capacity of the lungs. Perhaps, I guess we can improve the diffusing capacity of the lungs in many cases. I would love to participate in some scientific experiments. Should the lungs be destroyed, breathing could not be sustained even if patients were supplied with oxygen. Therefore, I will try to find a pulmonologist who might agree to conduct this scientific experiment. This integrative medicine approach can make a massive difference in the life of people who have developed pulmonary fibrosis.


Hopefully, by writing this article, I have achieved my goals

A) To provide useful commentaries to my video.

B)To advocate an integrative medicine approach, and encourage each massage therapist to build working clinical relationships with MDs and other healthcare providers, I have mentioned in the beginning.

You’re welcome to post questions, as well as you’re welcome to challenge all I have presented, or just to comment, maybe sharing your own experience.

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