Naprapathy is a term that is applied to a type of alternative and complementary medicine that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of neural-musculoskeletal conditions. Naprapathy is sometimes also known as bodywork or manual therapy. Naprapathy is a relatively contemporary umbrella term, and the types of treatments a person receives may vary. Naprapathy may involve pressing, rubbing, and stroking of the skin and its underlying structures. The therapist may apply light pressure, or they may press very firmly. The therapist may use back and forth motions, move along the body of a muscle, strum across muscles, or pull the muscles in different directions. Hands are the most common tool used in naprapathy, but elbows or knees may be used as well.
All bodywork techniques involve the use of the practitioner's hands as tools to aid in the wellness and health of the patient. Practitioners who perform bodywork are sometimes called "bodyworkers" or "manual therapists."
Naprapathy has its origin in a variety of places and times. For instance, Asian Bodywork was developed over thousands of years in parts of China, whereas the Alexander Technique was developed between 1890 and 1900 in the United Kingdom. Today, most body workers are trained in multiple naprapathy techniques, even though these techniques were not practiced together at their inception.
Naprapathy is most often used for muscle and sports injuries. However, bodywork may also be used to treat a variety of conditions including mental illness, nerve disorders, and pain. Some individuals use naprapathy for relaxation or as a way to improve their quality of life. For instance, some types of naprapathy may provide a deep sense of relaxation.
Naprapathy is difficult to study, as it is an umbrella term used to describe many different healing traditions, and practitioners differ in their treatment approaches. In addition, the techniques considered appropriate or curative by manual therapists often involve attention to slight differences in muscle tone and tightness, and such aspects of the human body do not have ways to be measured in contemporary mainstream medicine.
An increasing number of people use naprapathy as an adjunct to treatment with Western medicine, and many hospitals and hospices now integrate naprapathic practices into patient care programs. Naprapathy is sometimes used alone or when conventional medical treatment has not been proven successful.

Related Terms

Alexander technique, applied kinesiology, body work, bodyworker, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, hands on treatment techniques, Hellerwork, Jones counterstrain, manual therapist, manual therapy, massage, MFR, mobilization, myofascial release, reflexology, RolfingĀ®, shiatsu, strain-counterstrain, tuina.