Body

How can body therapy nourish your soul?

Body therapy, often also called bodywork, involves hands-on manipulative techniques that improve the function of the musculoskeletal system, and may consequently affect other bodily systems. The various bodywork modalities are associated with different parts of the body, or different approaches to treatment. 

For example, chiropractors can be described as “musculoskeletal practitioners with a special emphasis on spinal pain”,  while podiatry is concerned with the health of the feet and legs. Osteopathy involves moving and stretching the limbs as well as the torso to help support the body’s innate healing ability. Physiotherapy, on the other hand, is focused on relieving pain and restoring as much natural function as possible to parts of the body affected by disability, illness or injury.

Popular varieties of body therapy

Benefits of body therapy

Research suggests physiotherapy may be a reliable alternative to surgery or medication for managing pain and improving mobility after illness or injury. Physiotherapy is often used to help people with disability with evidence to suggest it may improve the mobility and coordination of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It is also reported that physiotherapy may make it easier for people with multiple sclerosis to coordinate voluntary movement

Research indicates chiropractic may help relieve migraine, as well as possibly being one of several modalities that can reduce chronic lower-back pain. Osteopathy is reported to possibly reduce bowel discomfort in people with a history of Crohn’s disease, and it may also reduce the length of time premature babies require hospital care.

What to expect from a body therapy session

The common theme in most types of body therapy is that the practitioner works with you to help you align your musculoskeletal system and restore its optimal function. Although the details will depend on the particular modality, your first session will start with your practitioner asking about your medical history and the health concern that has prompted you to seek treatment. 

They will perform an assessment or diagnosis, for example by observing the way you walk or testing your range of movement in an affected joint. Your practitioner will treat you using massage, stretches, spinal adjustment or other techniques, or help you do exercises to restore or improve mobility. At the end of each session, you will often be prescribed further exercises to do at home, and you may be given a written document outlining your care or treatment plan.

As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing body therapy. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your practitioner, who will be happy to address these and advise you whether the modality in which they specialise is a good treatment option for your individual requirements. 

References

The new chiropractic | Chiropractic & Manual Therapies

Osteopathy | betterhealth.vic.gov.au

How can physical therapy help? | medicalnewstoday.com

Physiotherapy benefits patients with Parkinson's disease | Clinical Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy Approaches in the Treatment of Ataxic Multiple Sclerosis | Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults With Headache | Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain | cochrane.org

Osteopathy decreases the severity of IBS-like symptoms | European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Preterms | Public Library of Science

What to expect from Osteopathic Treatment | bodyandhealthcreation.com.au

Biomechanical and gait assessment | walkingclinicpodiatrist.com.au

What to expect from physiotherapy treatment | nuffieldhealth.com

How physiotherapy can improve your health | lifeforcehealth.com.au