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Naprapathy (Czech náprava: remedy - from napravit, to correct ) is a branch of Alternative Medicine, a Manual Therapy or Manipulative Therapy that focuses on the evaluation and specialize treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions.
Naprapathic practice means the evaluation of persons with connective tissue disorders through and palpation or treatment of persons by the use of connective tissue manipulation, therapeutic and rehabilitative exercise, postural counseling, nutritional counseling, and the use of the effective properties of physical measures of heat, cold, light, water, radiant energy, electricity, sound and air, and assistive devices for the purpose of preventing, correcting, or alleviating a physical disability.
Naprapathic practice includes, but is not limited to, the treatment of contractures, muscle spasms, inflammation, scar tissue formation, adhesions, lesions, laxity, hypotonicity, rigidity, structural imbalance, bruising, contusions, muscular atrophy, and partial separation of connective tissue fibers.
Naprapathy was established in the 1900s by Dr. Oakley Smith, an osteopathic student and early chiropractor. Dr. Smith was one in a handful of early chiropractors to study under Daniel David Palmer (D.D. Palmer), considered to be the founder of modern Chiropractic. In time, Dr. Smith developed his own theories on Palmer's concepts of vertebral subluxation, one which focused more on healing and repairing connective tissue. Through extensive anatomical research, Dr. Smith discovered that fibrous, or dense, connective tissues - ligaments, tendons, and muscles - when damaged or over-used, led to a rigid, scar-like condition in the body that often interfered and aggravated closely aligned nerves.
In 1907, after devising a system of treatment for evaluating and healing damaged connective tissue, Dr. Smith founded Naprapathy. Dr. Smith was an avid traveler. He liked learning about other cultures and health care practices around the world. While traveling in Czechoslovakia, he learned about an old healing practice called napravit. Dr. Smith observed the practice of napravit and found it to be similar to the technique he had been developing in United States, a gentle manipulation of constricted joints to loosen and relax.