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This article is about therapists. For John D. "Bonesetter" Reese, see John D. Reese.

A bonesetter is a practitioner of joint manipulation. Before the advent of chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists, bonesetters were the main providers of this type of treatment.[1] Bonesetters would also reduce joint dislocations and "re-set" bone fractures.

Later years[edit]

In Japan, bone-setting is known as sekkotsu. In China, it is known as die-da, and is practiced by martial artists. Other "lay" bonesetters still practice in some parts of the world.[2][3]

Author Evelyn Waugh, in his 1934 novel A Handful of Dust mentions the term in the following passage: "If Brenda had to go to London for a day's shopping, hair-cutting, or bone-setting (a recreation she particularly enjoyed), she went on Wednesday, because ..."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pettman, E (2013-08-12). "A History of Manipulative Therapy". The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy 15 (3): 165–174. doi:10.1179/106698107790819873. PMC 2565620. PMID 19066664. 
  2. ^ Aries MJ, Joosten H, Wegdam HH, van der Geest S (2007). "Fracture treatment by bonesetters in central Ghana: patients explain their choices and experiences". Trop Med Int Health 12 (4): 564–74. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01822.x. PMID 17445148. 
  3. ^ Huber BR, Anderson R (1996). "Bonesetters and curers in a Mexican community: conceptual models, status, and gender". Med Anthropol 17 (1): 23–38. doi:10.1080/01459740.1996.9966126. PMID 8757711. 
  4. ^ A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh. Back Bay Books,New York, 1999. p.47.