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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
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
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
stress and ease pain.
Some of the most
common forms of bodywork are:
People may use bodywork
to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and reduce pain associated with certain
disorders of the muscles and joints, such as
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.
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.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD - Complementary and Alternative Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
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