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Yoga, massage gain in popularity

Yoga, massage gain in popularity
With the Philadelphia skyline as a backdrop, Jennifer Schelter (center) leads some 600 breast cancer survivors and their families through yoga exercises on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum in downtown Philadelphia May 20, 2007. They participate in the the mass yoga class annually to raise funds and awareness of breast cancer issues. (UPI Photo/John Anderson) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A U.S. study suggests 38 percent of adults and 12 percent of children use some form of complementary and alternative medicine.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine describes such therapies as "a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices and products such as herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic and acupuncture that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine."

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A 2007 National Health Interview Survey included questions on 36 types of non-traditional therapies commonly used in the United States.

Data from 2002 and 2007 suggests overall use of complementary and alternative medicine practices among adults has remained relatively steady, although significant increases were seen in the use of deep breathing, meditation, massage therapy and yoga.

"These statistics confirm that CAM practices are a frequently used component of Americans' healthcare regimens, and reinforce the need for rigorous research to study the safety and effectiveness of these therapies." Dr. Josephine P. Briggs, director of NCCAM, said Tuesday in a news release.

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