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Bodywork and manual therapy are general terms that refer to body manipulation therapies used for relaxation and pain relief. Massage is a well-known form of manual therapy.
The idea behind bodywork is that people learn—or are forced by injury or stress into—unnatural ways of moving or holding their bodies. This causes discomfort and may contribute to health problems.
The aim of bodywork is to realign and reposition the body to allow natural, graceful movement. Bodywork, along with identifying possible contributing causes of unnatural movement and posture, is thought to reduce stress and ease pain.
Some of the most common forms of bodywork are:
Bodywork can be a safe form of therapy when a qualified and experienced practitioner performs it. Its effectiveness is not scientifically proven. Talk with your doctor before you start any bodywork program, so you can choose the most appropriate form of bodywork for your specific condition.
Many states license practitioners who provide bodywork therapies. Your doctor or local hospital may be able to help you find a qualified bodywork practitioner.
Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.
Other Works Consulted
- Martinez RM (2006). Manipulation. In JE Pizzorno Jr, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd ed., pp. 417–430. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD - Complementary and Alternative Medicine|
|Last Revised||November 19, 2012|
Last Revised: November 19, 2012
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