National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health

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Most Used Mind & Body Practices

6.9% of U.S. adults (15.4 million) used
massage therapy

About 2.7 million fewer adults used massage therapy in 2012 than in 2007.

In massage therapy, the therapist works on muscle and other soft tissues to help a person feel better. Preliminary evidence indicates that massage may help with back pain and may improve the quality of life for people with cancer, depression, or HIV/AIDS. Massage therapy dates back thousands of years; it’s mentioned in ancient writings from China, Japan, India, and Egypt.

Read more about massage therapy.

Adults

4 Citation: Clarke TC, Black LI, Stussman BJ, Barnes PM, Nahin RL. Trends in the use of complementary health approaches among adults: United States, 2002–2012. National health statistics reports; no 79. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015. (240KB PDF)

Most Used Mind & Body Practices

0.7% of U.S. children (385,000) used
massage therapy

About 194,000 fewer children used massage therapy in 2012 than in 2007.

In massage therapy, the therapist works on muscle and other soft tissues to help a person feel better. Massage therapy dates back thousands of years; it’s mentioned in ancient writings from China, Japan, India, and Egypt. Parents should be aware that many complementary health approaches have not been tested for safety or effectiveness in children.

Read more about massage therapy.

Children

5 Citation: Black LI, Clarke TC, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ, Nahin RL. Use of complementary health approaches among children aged 4-17 years in the United States: National Health Interview Survey, 2007-2012. National health statistics reports; no 78. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015. (229KB PDF)

This page last modified September 24, 2017