What is Naprapathy and How Can It Help?
Naprapathic Medicine is a doctoral level health and
wellness practice utilizing integrative manual and nutritional medicine
to promote the body's natural healing response. Naprapathy utilizes
hands-on healing techniques as well as nutritional counseling, exercise
and relaxation methods to evaluate and treat a wide variety of health,
pain and mobility concerns. Naprapaths are doctors who align the body
through manipulating soft tissue utilizing techniques from various
origins including Chinese medicine and the practice of Tui Na. Although
the term "naprapathy" was invented in the United States in recent
times, many of the manual medicine techniques have been used for
centuries in cultures throughout the world including Europe and Asia.
Naprapathy represents a modern evidence-based approach to manual
therapy utilizing a blend of the most effective modern and classical
hands-on healthcare techniques. Tui Na, acupressure, trigger point
therapy, active release stretching, yogic and qi gong breathing
techniques along with energy medicine based modalities are an integral
part of this highly effective manual therapy when performed by Dr.
Soft tissue blockages and muscle restrictions develop in response to
mental and emotional stress, physical injuries, poor nutrition,
repetitive motion and improper postural alignment. These blockages and
restrictions may block circulation in the arteries, veins, or lymph
system, and also irritate nerves. During treatment the spinal alignment
is corrected through stretching the soft tissue with gentle movements
and soft tissue manipulation. All muscular and skeletal misalignment is
addressed including back, shoulder and hip pain. This therapy
helps restore the body's natural flexibility by release tension, leaving
the muscles and connective tissue pliable and in balance. This not only
relieves pain and improves mobility, but enhances blood flow, nerve
conduction, and the circulation of vital energy (qi). These are the
things essential to promotion of an optimal healing response.
More About Naprapathic Medicine
Naprapathic Medicine specializes in the evaluation and treatment of
neuro-muscular and musculo-skelatal conditions through gentle
manipulation of muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout the spine and
the whole body to relieve pain, alleviate stress, and promote healing by
restoring the balance of nerve energy circulation.
The term Naprapathy comes from the Czech work Napravit meaning to
correct, and the Greek Pathos meaning suffering. The science of this
unique approach to correct suffering was established at the dawn of the
20th Century by Dr. Oakley Smith (a chiropractor). Through his
painstaking research Dr. Smith discovered that abnormally tense and
improperly balanced ligaments, tendons and muscles can impinge on nerves
causing pain and dysfunction in the part of the body served by that
nerve: it could mean neuromuscular or organ system pathology. His
findings and perspective diverged from the chiropractic perspective he
knew well. His treatment focus was no longer on simply misaligned bones
impinging nerves as being the fundamental origin of pathology. Many
centuries prior to the dawn of the term “naprapathy: manual medicine was
used in the practice of Asian medicine. The theories, philosophy and
style of manual medicine that most resembles naprapathy is known as Tui
Na (translated from Chinese as “push-grasp”) and is used in hospitals
wards to this day throughout Asia.
Dr. McCormick completed training at an integrative medicine hospital
in Nanjing, China were he was an intern in the manual medicine
department. Additionally, he has studied and practiced with numerous
chiropractors, physical therapists, naturopaths, naprapaths and tui na
professionals since the late 1980's. He has many years of experience
teaching yoga, active isolated stretching and rehabilitaive exercise.
Additionally, his career experience included being an elite sports
conditioning coach and personal trainer. He brings many years of skill
and experience to his work with each individual patient.
The Naprapathic treatment restores the balance, which along with
sound nutritional guidance and prescription of herbal and nutritional
medicine (when appropriate), allows your body to heal and stay well.
What is Connective Tissue?
It is the most widely distributed tissue in human body. It includes
skin, hair, nails, blood, lymph, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons,
cartilage, disks, bone, etc. . So your body is a complex network of
these tissues which, when in perfect balance, give you strength and
endurance to accomplish all those daily tasks with vibrant energy. It is
this connective tissue, known as fascia, that serves as the super
highway for vital energy to circulate. The imbalance in tissue and
energy can happen slowly as a result of daily activities such as
repetitive movements, bad postural habits, and poor diet. However, it
can also happen suddenly as a result of injury from sprains/strains,
falls, and accidents. All this, combined with environmental factors from
pollution, radiation, magnetic fields, and most of all--stress--results
in connective tissue damage and vital energy imbalance. Connective
tissue damage causes restrictions in spinal mobility, blood supply,
lymphatic flow, and most importantly, interference to nerve energy
conduction. You may be totally unaware of the imbalance until a build-up
of symptoms reaches a level your body can no longer accommodate,
culminating in pain and loss of function.
Why Naprapathy Works?
By removing nerve interference caused by mental, emotional or physical
stressors, the brain is able to communicate without obstruction to all
the organ systems in the body. This free flow of energy restores the
delicate inner-workings of the body, allowing it to heal and to perform
at optimum levels. Regular naprapathy treatments help to maintain the
body's natural balance and vitality. There is a famous traditional Asian
medicine text that says “where there is pain there is no free flow (of
nerve energy circulation), where there is no pain there is free flow.”
Maintaining the normal free flow of circulation of vital energy is
essential to optimal health and healing.
A first time Naprapathic visit includes a comprehensive medical history
followed by a thorough spine examination and postural analysis along
with a vital energy assessment of the nervous system through meridian
analysis. Additionally, an evaluation of the "Three Pillars of Health" –
Immune System, Detoxification System, and Digestive System - is made to
help identify the underlying cause of the patient's condition and
pattern of imbalance.
Nutritional and Botanical Medicine Approach
The nutritional aspect of Naprapathic treatment involves balancing the
internal chemistry of the body. You may have heard before that "you are
what you eat." This is true only if your digestion and absorption are
perfectly efficient, and match your needs. Naprapaths are highly trained
in botanical medicine and nutritional therapy. This is accomplished
through an extensive questionnaire and health analysis. Lab tests and
blood panel results are helpful as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Expect From My Visit?
Your first visit begins with an extensive review of your health history
followed by an evaluation of body alignment, muscle strength, and joint
range of motion along with analysis of your nerve energy circulation via
meridian analysis. The treatment follows: series of stretches, specific
for your condition manipulation, and, if your condition warrants,
adjunctive therapy such as col laser, infra-red heat, cryotherapy,
electro-therapy, micro-current stimulation, ultrasound, dry needling
(acupuncture) and other manual therapies such as gua sha (similar to
Graston) and cupping. You may be prescribed therapeutic exercises to do
at home and a botanical medicine formula or nutritional supplements from
our natural pharmacy. Mostly, however, you will leave feeling
regenerated and the pain retreating or, often, already gone. Please,
allow us about 90 minutes for your first visit, about 45 for the
subsequent ones to accomplish this.
How Does Naprapathic Medicine Differ From Chiropractic and Why Is Naprapathy A More Holistic Approach?
Chiropractic approach is based on the subluxation theory: bones that are
out of alignment are realigned by high velocity techniques. Our
clinics' practitioners share an approach to care does not support this
flawed chiropractic philosophy. In many ways this opinion was shared by
the founder of Naprapathy who a chiropractor and did not fully support
"subluxation theory" as the cause of disease, pain and low vitality.
Naprapathic Medicine is based on the belief that it is the muscle,
ligament, or tendon that holds and moves the bone, so they have to be
balanced for the bone to be aligned. This allows for the slow, gentle
movements to stretch the tensed, contracted tissue to relieve your pain.
The traditional Asian style of “naprapathy” (known as Tui Na) also
addresses imbalances of the flow of vital energy through the energetic
systems of the body. Promotion of the proper flow of circulation through
these various connective tissue structures is essential restoration and
maintenance of health including joint and spinal alignment.
Do You Refer To Other Specialists?
Yes, we do. We also welcome input from your other healthcare providers.
In fact Naprapapathic Medicine is gaining recognition as being a vital
part of integrative medicine and many doctors in related fields are
becoming naprapaths by embracing the philosophy and utilizing their
skills in manual medicine.
Is A Naprapath Just A Glorified Massage Therapist?
Naprapaths are complementary healthcare providers and practitioners that
hold doctoral degrees in manual medicine, completing a minimum of four
years of full-time graduate college study that includes many hundreds of
hours of clinical internship. They take national board examinations
demonstrating proficiency and safety in their field of manual medicine.
Just as the founder of Naprapathy was originally a chiropractor, many
doctors from similar manual medicine disciplines have realigned the
focus of their practice with the principles of Naprapathic Medicine.
Naturopathic Doctors (ND) and Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental
Medicine (DAOM) extensively trained in Tui Na and manual medicine are
among the growing community of naprapaths. Naprapathy practitioners stay
updated on new developments in their field through attending continuing
education seminars on a regular basis and CEU's are a requirement for
ongoing membership in professional associations.