Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including massage therapy, is frequently used by midlife women, new research shows.

Women age 40 to 59 also use herbs and natural supplements frequently—and they pray for their health as well, the research found.

The study found 46 percent of midlife women used any type of CAM in the past 12 months, and 54 percent reported using prayer for health reasons.

The top five CAM therapies used were:
• herbs and natural products
• relaxation techniques
• chiropractic
• yoga, tai chi, or qi gong
• massage therapy

“The findings underscore the importance, particularly in the clinical setting, of asking women about their use of individual CAM therapies,” the researchers noted in a statement from the UCLA School of Public Health. “Such clinical assessment is also important because of the potential for interactions of CAM therapies with prescribed therapies.”

The research ran recently in the Journal of Women’s Health.

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