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More Americans Practicing Yoga, Meditation To Control Pain

(Pain Medicine News) Although herbal supplements continue to be the most used complementary health approach in the United States, more Americans are rolling out their yoga mats to improve their health and manage various conditions, particularly pain, according to a new national survey.
The practice of yoga has approximately doubled since 2002, with 21 million adults and 1.7 million children reporting that they practiced yoga in 2012. In addition, nearly 20 million adults and 1.9 million children had chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation and 18 million adults and 927,000 children practiced meditation.
“One important finding [of the survey] is how often people turned to complementary practices for management of pain, and the growing interest from Americans in mind and body approaches, particularly for pain management but also other symptoms,” said Josephine P. Briggs, MD, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), in Bethesda, Md. The high rates of use might be related to a growing body of research that shows that some mind and body practices can help manage pain and reduce stress, according to Dr. Briggs.
“The mind–body approaches, including osteopathic manipulation and yoga, are part of Americans’ strategies to manage pain,” she added.
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