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

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Health Topics A-Z

Most Used Mind & Body Practices

8.0% of U.S. adults (18 million) used
meditation

In meditation, a person learns to focus attention. Research is under way to find out how meditation may influence health. Most meditative techniques started in Eastern religious or spiritual traditions, but today, many people use meditation outside of its traditional religious or cultural settings.

In 2012, meditation included Mantra meditation, Mindfulness meditation, Spiritual meditation, and meditation used as a part of other practices (including yoga, tai chi, and qi gong). In 2002 and 2007, use of meditation was asked broadly and not if practiced as part of other complementary health approaches so the data is not comparable between surveys.

Read more about meditation.

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)

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Most Used Mind & Body Practices

1.6% of U.S. children (927,000) used
meditation

About 202,000 more children used meditation in 2012 than in 2007.

In meditation, a person learns to focus attention. Research is under way to find out how meditation may influence health. Most meditative techniques started in Eastern religious or spiritual traditions, but today, many people use meditation outside of its traditional religious or cultural settings. Parents should be aware that many complementary health approaches have not been tested for safety or effectiveness in children.

Read more about meditation.

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)

* Note: PDF files require a viewer such as the free Adobe Reader.

This page last modified September 24, 2017