Naprapathy is a form of manual medicine that has its roots in Chiropractic. By the early 1900s, practitioners had abandoned the notion that vertebrae can be dislocated, i.e., subluxated. This new understanding led to the development of Naprapathy which, besides focusing on spinal mobilization, treats secondary tension from surrounding soft and connective tissues.
The name Naprapathy comes from the Czech word Napravit – to correct, and the Greek word Pathos – suffering, what is wrong. In 1907, Dr. Oakley Smith founded the first school of Naprapathy in Chicago. Dr. Smith was a Chiropractor and medical student originally from Iowa. Currently, there are four colleges of Naprapathy:
- Chicago, Illinois USA (the original)
- Stockolm, Sweden (the largest)
- Kotka, Finland
- Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
Naprapthy is one practice group within Manual Medicine, along with Chiropractic, Osteopathy, and Physical Therapy, that is grounded in manipulation/mobilization. Naprapaths specialize in functional disturbances and disorders in the moving body, primarily, but not exclusively, the spine, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Naprapaths are SOFT and CONNECTIVE SPECIALISTS. A preliminary Naprapathic examination will determine whether treatment is needed. An examination and visit will include the taking of a medical history, orthopedic and muscle tests, a physical assessment, treatment, and follow up. Much acute pain is caused by spinal problems that frequently cause muscle contractions, that is why Naprapathic treatment consists of four phases:
- 1. Warm up. To achieve muscle relaxation, increase blood circulation, and reduce pain. Consists of soft and connective tissue mobilization, ultrasound, electro-stimulation, and heat.
- 2. Movement therapy. Focuses on soft and connective tissue mobilization and specific stretching.
- 3. Manipulation/mobilization. Only if indicated based on a patient’s complaints.
- 4. Information and training. Patients are instructed in muscle training, rehabilitation, and stretching, along with ergonomic and nutritional counseling that a patient may use after a treatment at home or work.
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