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More Adults and Children Now Choose Mind-Body Practices

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 25, 2009

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Mind-body practices are growing in popularity in the United States, according to a report released by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [CAM]. The overall percentage of American adults using CAM seems to have stabilized over the past 5 years—nudging up just two percentage points, from 36% in 2002 to 38% in 2007. However, the mind-body practices of deep breathing, meditation, massage therapy and yoga all show significant increases in adult participation:

  • deep breathing exercises: 12.7% in 2007, up from 12% in 2002
  • meditation: 9.4% in 2007, up from 8% in 2002
  • massage therapy: 8.3% in 2007, up from 5% in 2002
  • yoga: 6.1% in 2007, up from 5% in 2002

The report also sheds light on CAM use among children, whose behaviors were included in the survey for the first time. Twelve percent of American children, about 1 in 9, use some form of CAM. Children are five times more likely to use CAM therapies if their parents or other relatives use it. About 2.1% of children participated in yoga, while 2.2% practiced deep breathing exercises.

To read the full report (CDC National Health Statistics Report #12, “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007,” released in December 2008), go to

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at