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Bodywork (alternative medicine)

Manipulative and body-based methods - edit
NCCAM classifications
  1. Alternative Medical Systems
  2. Biologically Based Therapy
  3. Manipulative Methods
  4. Energy Therapy
See also

Bodywork is a term used in alternative medicine or complementary medicine to describe any therapeutic, healing or personal development work which involves some form of touching, energetic work or the physical manipulation of a rational and practically oriented physical and somatic (see somatics) understanding of the body.


Somatic disciplines of bodywork

Most forms of bodywork are listed under Somatic disciplines. Some of the best known forms of bodywork are: Yoga and pranayama breath work and respiration techniques; Respiratory therapy; Body-Mind Centering; Continuum; Feldenkrais method; Rolfing; Trager Approach. Other methods involve voice, movement or dance such as 5Rhythms by Gabrielle Roth. Often bodywork is combined with methods for personal development and body-psychotherapy, especially with Gestalt therapy and Psychodrama.


One form of bodywork is deep tissue massage therapy, and the terms massage and bodywork are often used interchangeably. However, while bodywork includes all forms of massage techniques, it also includes many other types of touch and healing therapies that additionally incorporate vast assessment techniques and tools that may for example, allow a client to benefit their posture and/or aim to enhance their awareness of the 'mind-body connection'. Any activity which involves touch (Haptics) energetic stimulation or the application of pressure or vibration to tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints, also may be termed bodywork.

Further information: List of branches of alternative medicine.

Popularity of bodywork in the U.S.A.

In "More Than One-Third of U.S. Adults Use Complementary and Alternative Medicine, According to New Government Survey", a May 2004 press release by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported on a survey conducted as part of the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The survey, titled "Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults: United States, 2002 (.pdf), reported on who used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), what was used, and why it was used.

According to the survey, when prayer used specifically for health reasons was included in the data, 62% of adults used some form of CAM therapy during 2002. Among the ten most common complimentary and alternative therapies used in the United States in 2002 were chiropractic care, yoga, and massage. When prayer was included, meditation and chiropractic virtually tied for the sixth most commonly used therapies (7.6% and 7.5%, respectively); yoga and massage tied for 7th place (5%). When the data for prayer-based therapies was excluded, 36% of adults used some form of CAM. Of the remaining practices, natural products (18.9%), previously in third place, was the most common. Deep-breathing exercises (11.6%), previously in fourth place, ranked as the second most common; meditation and chiropractic were third, and yoga and massage fourth.

Consistent with previous studies, the survey found that the majority of individuals (54.9%) used CAM in conjunction with conventional medicine.

See also

Somatic disciplines

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bodywork_(alternative_medicine)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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