Body Manipulation Therapies
Hands are the most valuable diagnostic and therapeutic tool in body
manipulation therapies. Whether treating the body as a whole or in its
individual parts, mechanical manipulation is used to realign or properly
The goal of body manipulation practitioners is to diagnose misalignments,
and, by manipulating hard and soft tissue, bring the individual parts back to
their optimal function so the body can heal itself.
- Craniosacral Therapy is a manipulation technique that aims to detect and
correct imbalances in the craniosacral system.
- The craniosacr5al system is made up of the brain, the spinal cord and
spinal fluid, the cranial dural membrane, the sacrum, and cranial bones.
This system exists in man and all animals that have a brain and spinal cord.
- Craniaosacral therapists lightly manipulate the bones of the skull in
order to manipulate the membranes that support the brain. This also
manipulates the cerebrospinal fluid that cushions and bathes the brain and
the spinal cord from the cranium to the sacrum.
- The motion of the skull helps move the fluid around the brain, gently
rocking it in rhythm with the motion of the skull. Bangs and bruises to the
head may have knocked some of these bones out of alignment causing them to
freeze up and move improperly.
- By gently manipulating the skull bones at the sutures (those fibrous
joints that hold the bones together in the skull), craniosacral therapists
seek to realign the bones so they move in sync with one another, allowing
the fluid to circulate and flow freely.
- Craniosacral therapy can be effective in the treatment of headaches,
whiplash, TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint Syndrome), balance and learning
difficulties, and dyslexia.
Chiropractors are trained and licensed as primary health care physicians.
They treat muscular/skeletal injury and problems. Some chiropractors specialize
in orthopedics, radiology, or sports medicine. Additionally, chiropractic =care
can aid in maintaining the general body health through balancing the nervous
Chiropractic adjustments align joints. When joints are misaligned, the
muscles that cross that joint are required to work unusually or extra hard,
resulting in extra stress and strain to the muscle, and misbalancing part of the
muscle with respect to another part. This can give a cumulative, degenerating
effect on the joint surface itself. Olympic athletes have discovered that their performances
improves if their joints, both in the spine and in the extremities, are balanced
before they compete.
Oftentimes chiropractic care can improve joint motion, restore proper blood
flow to the joint, and in the long run, affect degenerative changes positively.
A subluxation can cause a facilitated state; that is where excess nerve impulses
flow to internal organs. This can result in too much or too little of hormonal
secretions, an underactive or an overactive metabolic process in the liver, the
heart, the digestive system, etc. For this reason, regular chiropractic care can
be seen as good, preventive medicine. The nervous system is make up of the
parasympathetic and the sympathetic systems. these two systems are regulated
through areas of the spine at the top and at the bottom - the cranial and the
sacral areas. Chiropractic care offers balancing of these two systems (Dr.
Willow Moore, N.D.)
- In 1895, David Daniel Palmer cured a local janitor, Harvey Lillard, of his
hearing loss by realigning a displaced vertebrae in the janitor's back. From
this experience, Palmer formulated his theory that most disease is a direct
result of misalignment of the spine.
- David Daniel Palmer founded the School of Chiropractic in Iowa. His son,
Bartlett Joshua Palmer, made the school a success. Today, there are
chiropractic collages around the world and treatment is covered by many medical
- Licensed chiropractors diagnosis with x-rays of the spine to locate
vertebral misalignments. The x-rays are also examined for tumors or
fractures which would require referral to other health care
- In addition to a medical history, an exam is performed to detect muscle
weaknesses, the range of spinal motion, incorrect posture, electrical
activities of nerves and muscles and any structural deformities.
- An adjustment or manipulation involves moving the spinal vertebrae back
into their normal position with a series of quick thrusts, manipulation of
the head and other extremities and sometimes, the use of mechanical devices.
- Conditions benefited include back pain, spinal disc problems, headaches, whiplash
and arm and shoulder pain.
- In addition to the standard questions directly related to the patient's
health, Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.) pay special attention to a patient's
lifestyle and issues such as exercise, diet, family life, job and stresses.
They also take careful note of the patient's posture, observing the manner
of walking, sitting and how the head is held.
- An Osteopathic doctor focuses on mechanical disorders of the
musculoskeletal structure and seeks to correct these disorders through
manipulation. They also emphasize preventive medicine, nutrition and
- The D.O. may use gentle manipulation of both soft tissue and the spine to
restore the function of all moving parts. Joint tissue may be manipulated
with more forceful thrusts called high-velocity thrusts. The Osteopath may
also employ passive articulation where joints are moved while the patient
remains passive. This is done to reset the nervous system's control of that
Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, originated Qigong,
which consists of patterned breathing and stylized physical movements performed
while visualizing the flow of qi (also know as ch'i) energy. Lao Tzu became so
aware of the flowing of his personal qi energy that he could detect disease
causing imbalances and repair them by conscious manipulation. His method of
sensing and controlling qi is known as qigong - "to work the qi."
There are two forms of Qigong: "Internal Qigong" is the
manipulation of one's own qi energy, and "External Qigong" is the manipulation
of qi by a practitioner outside their won body. Those who can maintain full
control over the vital flow of qi are called Qigong masters and can reportedly
transmit restorative qi through his or her hands to people whose depleted stores
of qi have left them weak or ill.