Body-based practices

Body-based practices, including energy therapies, can be divided into two categories:

  • Passive bodywork techniques – include therapies where some form of touch or manual pressure is applied to your body or the unseen energy field surrounding your body. Examples include aromatherapy, massage and reflexology.
  • Active exercise techniques – require you to actively undertake a series of movements to stimulate and stretch different parts of the body. Examples include yoga, tai chi and Pilates.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of body-based practices include reducing tension, anxiety, insomnia and pain, and increasing energy, vitality, quality of life and wellbeing. Exercise, even if gentle, can also improve stamina, muscle tone (strength), flexibility and agility. The exercise techniques in this chapter have a strong mind–body connection, so they benefit both physical and emotional health.

Body-based practices are also called bodywork or physical, manual, tactile, touch, manipulative or exercise therapies. Techniques involving energy work are sometimes called energy therapies.

Learn more about these body-based practices:


Types of body-based practices

Body-based practices

While the practitioners of body-based practices have differing techniques, they all aim to help people heal both physically and mentally, and tailor treatments to each person’s specific needs.


This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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