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Naprapathy: The Holistic Treatment that Relieves Your Aches and Pains

If you suffer from aches and pains on a regular basis you may have tried many ways to find relief . . . and often to no avail. And, if you’ve had to turn to prescription or over-the-counter pain-relief methods, you may also have experienced unwanted side effects in addition to little relief. Well, a new, more “natural” option may be your answer: naprapathy. Keep reading for more information on this alternative pain-relief technique!

Founded by Dr. Oakley Smith, a chiropractor in the early 20th century, naprapathy is an alternative therapy that treats the fibrous connective tissue that forms ligaments and tendons. Dr. Smith combined the Czech word "naprapravit" - meaning "to correct" - with the Greek word "pathos" - meaning "suffering" - to name this new type of pain reduction therapy.

Naprapathy practitioners use hands-on methods, nutritional counselling and other therapeutic techniques like heat, ultrasound or cold lasers. Like many other natural alternative medical methods, naprapathy is now increasing in popularity despite its long history.

Naprapaths use therapies derivative of chiropractic and osteopathic methods to focus on the spine and the ligaments connected to it. There are no side-effects of this type of treatment because it is non-invasive. As a holistic method, naprapathy considers the overall health of the patient including his or her mental and emotional health. Often, naprapaths are also trained in hypnosis and psychotherapy.

Naprapathy is most often used to treat connective tissue disorders originating in the spine and joints, by manually manipulating and stretching of the connective tissues. Constriction of muscles, ligaments and tendons is believed to impair nerve function and blood flow. Various areas of the body can be affected by this constriction and it often causes pain and inflammation. Through tissue stretching and massage, naprapaths aim to remove these blockages and ease various painful conditions.

The blockages of blood and impairment of nerve conduction can occur in many areas of the body, causing targeted pain such as back pain, neck pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain, headaches, knee strain and tennis elbow. In other cases, overall body conditions like fibromyalgia and rheumatological disorders develop. Sports injuries, car accidents and other traumatic injuries as well as heavy lifting, bad posture and repetitive motion syndrome can all cause constriction of the connective tissues.

Though they are connective tissues specialists, naprapaths are not required to hold a medical degree of any kind to practice in the United States. There are only two states in the U.S. - New Mexico and Illinois - that offer licenses in naprapathy. It is common for practitioners to become licensed in one of those two states and then practice wherever they choose in the country. Naprapaths will then often acquire other licenses in their home state for massage therapy or, as was previously mentioned, psychotherapy or hypnotherapy.

By comparison, naprapaths in Sweden take a full-time five-year course at the Scandinavian University-College of Manual Medicine. Naprapathy practitioners are currently the largest group of orthopaedic medical practitioners in Sweden.

Naprapathy treatment begins with a review of the patient's medical history and a spinal examination. These, as well as an in-depth interview with the patient, are used to determine the location of the pain and create a treatment plan. The naprapathy plan will generally begin with tissue manipulation and other therapeutic physical techniques based on the findings of the spinal exam and medical history. The plan will also uphold the philosophy of restoring the natural balance of the body. Based on the interview with the patient, naprapathic treatment may also include posture counselling, hypnosis, psychological counselling and correction of dietary issues.

Insurance plans in some states now cover naprapathic therapy. This is important because once the plan has been established; regular visits are required to carry out the treatment. At the root of naprapathy is the belief that the body is inherently capable of recuperating from any pain or illness. The job of the naprapath is to determine and then establish the optimal environment for each particular patient so that his or her body can once again achieve overall balance.

If you’re interested in trying this holistic approach to your aches and pains, a simple Internet search will likely bring forward options in your state or local area.

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