Naprapathy is a licensed doctoral health care system. It is a system of specific manipulative therapeutics based on the theory of interference to nerves, blood vessels and lymph channels by pathologic soft tissue, such as connective tissue or muscle with consequent secondary pathology or dysfunction resulting from it.
The actual word Naprapathy comes from two roots that were derived from its founder Oakley Smith. From the Czechoslovakian word Napravit which means to fix or correct and the Greek word Pathos which means suffering.
Naprapathic technique is the method of applying mechanical delivery of force or pressure with the hands and the body to parts of the patient's body where a condition exists which is preventing normal body functions. This pressure is given to reduce muscular, ligamentous or connective tissue contraction or congestion of blood or lymph in the area of the body needing this correction.
Naprapathic treatments always work to stretch shrunken connective tissue in order to release interference to the nerves and to avoid buckling already contracted connective tissues, stretchment is always beneficial. The final arbiter of treatments is whether it is comfortable to the patient.
Dr. Oakley Smith founded Naprapathy in 1907. He was the first Naprapath. He based his findings on scientific investigation of the spine. Dr. Smith was also an early Chiropractor and began his early research while working with D.D. Palmer the founder of Chiropractic. Dr. Oakley Smith then went on and founded a Naprapathic College in Chicago. The National College of Naprapathic Medicine is still in existence today and is continuing to graduate Doctors of Naprapathy.
Dr. Smith devised a systematic treatment method of evaluating and healing damaged connective tissues. He discovered that structural imbalances (often situated in the spine) were sources of pain which can build slowly and spread throughout the body.
He found the cause of these imbalances deplete the suppleness of connective tissue and can include many root causes such as poor posture, trauma (whiplash, falls and sports injuries, etc.) and general wear and tear as we age. Naprapathy teaches that, over time, the resulting stiffness can produce "pinched nerves". These trigger many chronic conditions such as back pain, sciatica, migraine headaches, neck pain and joint pain, to name just a few.
Naprapaths are neuromylogist specialists. This means that we specialize in muscle, connective tissue and nerves. We are also called connective tissue specialists. The connective tissues often interfere with the nerve, blood and lymph tissue and thus we manually manipulate them to remove these interferences. Naprapaths perform these manipulations on the spine, joints and articulations of the entire body to bring it back into balance.
Naprapathy uses nutrition as a base for all body functions and works to restore nutritional balance along with restoring musculoskeletal balance. Naprapaths use nutritional counseling in many forms such as dietary recommendations, herbal supplements, vitamin supplements and mineral supplements. Nutrition is a key component to health and if that stays out of balance the Naprapathic treatments might not be of as great a benefit as when the body is supplied with the proper nutrients needed for healing.
Naprapaths also use many different forms of Therapeutic Modalities. The properties of many Therapeutic Modalities can be of great use to continue the healing process of the body after it has been realigned naprapathically. The physical properties of heat, cold, light, radiant energy, electricity, sound and air are all employed.