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December 13, 1958


Author Affiliations

Charleston, W. Va.

Chief, Allergy Clinic, Charleston Memorial Hospital (Dr. Scherr), and Research Associate, YMCA Asthma Conditioning Program (Mr. Frankel).

JAMA. 1958;168(15):1996-2000. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000150038009

Asthmatic children often develop a pattern of suppression of physical exercise that deprives them of initiative and confidence. In order to break this pattern a program of physical activities was developed. The experience here described involved 25 children under active treatment for bronchial asthma. A remarkably broad range of activities was found possible, from basic breathing techniques and postural exercises to swimming and selfdefense. Each child was encouraged to try to improve his own record rather than to compete with the other children. For some it was the first experience with physical exercises of any kind. Parents were usually excluded from the first few sessions with each child until the child was able to master each of the techniques presented to him. With proper attention to the bronchial asthma as allergy and with the cooperation of patient, parent, physician, and physical instructor, the results obtained were beneficial to the children both in combating the disease and in improving personality adjustment.