nah-prap´ah-the) a system of therapy employing manipulation of connective tissue (ligaments, muscles, and joints) and dietary measures to facilitate the recuperative and regenerative processes of the body.
A system for gentle manipulation of soft tissues-muscles, tendons and ligaments, developed in 1907 by the chiropractor O Smith, which is intended to release tension and restore the normal flow of energy through the body. Naprapathy is based on the belief that normal physiologic activities (e.g., circulation and flow of neural information), can be compromised by connective tissue that has become contracted and rigid through improper posture, poor nutrition, trauma and mental and emotional conflicts. The naprapathic practitioner explores soft tissues for “knots” and painful areas, which are kneaded, stretched and pounded upon (the thrusts being known as “directos”) until the tension in the contracted tissue is released, the compromised nerve(s) reactivated and the circulation restored to a state of normalcy.
The use of electrical stimulation of the body, topical application of heat and cold, manipulation, massage, nutritional counseling, stretching, and ultrasonography to improve neuromuscular and connective tissue diseases. Practitioners of naprapathy are called naprapaths. The first school of naprapathy was founded in the U.S. in 1907 by Dr. Oakley Smith.
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