Manual Therapy is an umbrella term for "hands on" intervention for the treatment of various health ailments.
In the context of this practice, manual therapy is based on the osteopathic philosophy. Manual therapy helps the body release restrictions, tensions, or areas of immobility that inhibit the body’s normal self-correcting abilities. The therapist listens to the body by feeling for restrictions or "strain patterns" in connective tissue (fascia) and muscles as well as assessing posture, mobility, motility, tissue texture/temperature, rhythm, fluids, and range of motion. When the therapist follows this gentle approach, the method is extremely safe and effective. People usually descibe sessions as quite unique from other reductionistic approaches. There is no singe path back to the origin of manual therapy. Manual Therapy is a specialized training and is practiced and taught by osteopaths, physical and occupational therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors and other holistic bodyworkers.
Advanced manual therapies such as craniosacral therapy and myofascial release are known for their ability to promote relief from pain, recovery from injury, and aid in functional rehabilitation. These therapies also have many health benefits and are also useful for stress relief, peak performance, and overall wellness.
copyright 2009 Walter Blick, Craniosacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, and Kinesiology: New York, New York