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In the News: More Americans using integrative therapies

February 20, 2015

More Americans are practicing mind-body therapies, a recent survey from the  National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed.

The survey compared data on use of integrative therapies in the U.S., compiled from surveys taken in 2002, 2007 and 2012. By 2012, the number of adults practicing yoga, tai chi or qigong doubled, reaching 10 percent of the American adult population. Use of massage therapy and meditation grew, too.

“Over the past five years there has been an abundance of scientific evidenceemerging that supports the mind-body connection,” said Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N., founder and director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota.

Researchers have found that meditation can provide pain reliefimprove sleep quality, and even change the actual structure and function of the brain. Studies have also shown that yoga can help reduce weight, blood pressure, and high glucose and cholesterol levels.

“Besides health and wellbeing, evidence suggests integrative practices can improve empathy, creativity and productivity, and reduce burnout,” Kreitzer said.

Kreitzer spoke to the Star Tribune about the trend and appeared on KSTP to discuss the benefits and misconceptions of integrative therapies.

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu