chapter  10
13 Pages

Manual Medicine

Manual medicine is a broad term that includes osteopathy, craniosacral therapy, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic among other therapies. In some instances, there is significant overlap between the practices despite different training approaches. The overarching goal of the manual medicine therapies is to balance the musculoskeletal system within the context of whole body health by using a hands-on approach for diagnosis and treatment. Many of the manual medicine practices are based upon the belief that self-healing is supported by pain-free movement of the musculoskeletal system. Use of manual medicine dates back thousands of years and has been recorded in early civilizations around the world including those in Indonesia, Egypt, China, Japan, and India. Practitioners have also been recorded as “bone setters” in many cultures. Hippocrates and Galen both recorded manipulative treatments for scoliosis in early works. Historically, manual therapies have been the source of great controversy in the evolution of modern medical practice. Manipulative therapies had largely fallen out of favor by the 18th century, then resurfaced in medical societies and writings in the 19th century, accompanied by continuing controversy and dissent within the medical profession (Pettman 2007).