Manual Therapy in History

HistoryI was reading the book Sei-Ki Life in Resonance by Shinobu Kishi and Alice Whieldon when I came about a history of manual therapy and its origins according to the written records. This intrigued me since some of the techniques mentioned here are quite similar to the modern techniques used today and to whom was the technique available to at that time.

You see from the dawn of time or at least when humans have began healing themselves human contact has been the foundation of medicine and is usually seen in eastern medicine or at least to my knowledge of the origins of western medicine. One of the earliest documents to reference manual therapy is the Nihon Shoki or the chronicles of Japan. The part that is of interest here is the Sukunahikona no Mikoto which describes healing directly through manual touch. Having documents recorded like this is quite interesting since it shows you that manual therapy has been present for a long time. Although the problem in the knowledge of eastern medicine is that it has been passed through personal contact as such not much of the information can be found in written form as they are usually passed from generation to generation. I fact the holistic approach nowadays has its roots in Japanese, Korean and Chinese documents since basically the Chinese have combined these knowledge to what people know today as Chinese medicine which is practically a combination of knowledge from many eastern continents and might be a biased naming system given forth by the west trying to classify things for simplicity. Well basically this medical system uses moxibustion, acupuncture, herbs and manual therapy as its treatment modalities. These things are already present during the seventh century CE. History is interesting as sometimes it has trends that seems to repeat itself as this treatment method was only seen in high society as that time. The usual holistic treatment at this time of history was quite expensive as such people began trying to find other ways of healing themselves as such some folk medicine or traditional medicine came about. This interest me quite a bit as this seems to be appearing again but history seem to regard manual therapy as the lowest level of medical treatment at that time as it mirrored Chinese medicine at that time.

Have you guys heard of visceral manipulation? The manipulation of the organs using the fascia of a person do you guys know that they have been mentioned in history as early as the 1600. In the 1600 when the Japanese Shinto religion was forced to put their teaching to writing because of the Chinese religion of Confucianism. There was a technique used by manual therapy specialist known as Anpuku or Haratori or treatment of the stomach area. For the manual therapist at that time treatment of the stomach area was inseparable from being able to perform correctly. The description to why it is important to manual therapy at that time is quite dodgy since they seem to explain it differently or just have the “right feeling” when it is done correctly. As such at that time Hara is only practiced by the best practitioners and is one of the highest level of manual therapy at that time.

Then in the 1800 the preferred treatment method became the western method and is the medicine and rehabilitation that we see today. It is just recently again that we have began to consider the human body as an integrated whole.

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