Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Frequently Asked Questions
6. What are manipulative and body-based practices?
Manipulative and body-based practices focus mainly on the structures and systems of the body, including the bones and joints, the soft tissues, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Examples are massage, spinal manipulation, and reflexology.
There are many types of massage therapy. In general, therapists press, rub, and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body, often varying pressure and movement. They most often use their hands and fingers but may use their forearms, elbows, or feet. People use massage for a variety of health-related purposes, such as relieving pain, rehabilitating sports injuries, reducing stress, anxiety, or depression, or aiding general well-being.
The goal of chiropractic medicine is to help the body heal by correcting its alignment. Doctors of chiropractic (also called chiropractors) use a variety of approaches, but mainly a type of hands-on therapy called adjustment (or manipulation) to the spine or other parts of the body. Adjustments are done to increase the range and quality of motion in the area being treated.
Conditions commonly treated by chiropractors include back pain, neck pain, headaches, and hand or foot problems. Patients also seek treatment of pain associated with other conditions, such as arthritis.
In reflexology, pressure points on the feet or hands are used to help other parts of the body relax and heal.