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The link between the body and the mind and between emotion and the body are not clearly understood. However a number of physical therapies have been developed to attempt to improve psychological symptoms. Little systematic academic research has been conducted to evaluate their effectiveness and until this is done they should be regarded as pseudopscientific practices.

In alternative medicine, body work or massage therapy refers to any treatment which involves some form of touching or physical manipulation. It refers to massages or the application of pressure or vibration to the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints.

A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine focused on who used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), what was used, and why it was used in the United States by adults age 18 years and over during 2002. According to this recent survey, Body work, or massage therapy, was the 6th most commonly used CAM therapy (5.0%) in the United States during 2002 ([1] table 1 on page 8) when all use of prayer was excluded. Consistent with previous studies, this study found that the majority of individuals (i.e., 54.9%) used CAM in conjunction with conventional medicine ( page 6).

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