Musculoskeletal and body-based therapies treat various conditions through bodily manipulation. These therapies include Chiropractic Medicine, Massage Therapy, Osteopathy, Physical Therapy, and ROLFing.

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Chiropractic

Chiropractic care is an Integrative Healthcare modality that deals with the relationship between the body’s structure and function. The goal of chiropractic care is to correct alignment problems, ease pain, improve function, and support the human body’s ability to heal itself. Generally, this is carried out by a series of manual adjustments to the patient’s musculoskeletal system, namely the spine, joints, and bones. Chiropractic care has been shown to improve back pain, nerve interference, headaches, and physical injuries.

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Massage Therapy

Using massage as a form of therapy dates back thousands of years. There are texts that reference the healing power of massage from China, India, Egypt, Japan, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome. Massage therapy involves a licensed practitioner who uses their hands or other objects to work on muscle and soft tissue to help alleviate levels of pain. There are several different types of massage therapy:

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Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathy considers and treats the whole patient rather than focusing on a specific ailment. Developed by Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917) in 1874 as an alternative to the medical practices of his era, making it the oldest complete form of healthcare originating in the United States. The most fundamental aspects of osteopathic medicine is the diagnosis of structural problems within the musculoskeletal system and selecting the corresponding manipulative treatments. Doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.s) believe that the structure of the human body is closely related to function and that both are susceptible to disorders. The Osteopaths goal is to utilize musculoskeletal manipulation to allow the body’s natural healing capabilities to function more effectively.

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Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists (PTs) are certified, licensed health care professionals who treat patients that often have medical issues or other health-related challenges that limit their capabilities to move and function in their daily lives. PTs can also help to avoid the loss of mobility in healthy individuals by developing fitness and wellness programs that improve a patient’s lifestyles. Physical therapists use their client’s medical history to diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and improve movement and function or to prevent the onset or exacerbation of symptoms. The terms physical therapy and physiotherapy, and the terms physical therapist and physiotherapist, are interchangeable. PTs are often the primary source of care when movement or musculoskeletal issues arise. Physical therapy is covered by federal, state, and private insurance plans. Physical therapists’ services have an evidence supported, often positive, impact on a patient’s quality of life.

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Rolfing

Rolfing is named after its creator, Dr. Ida P. Rolf who received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University in 1920. She furthered her knowledge of the body through scientific work in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute. After extensive research for solutions to family health problems led her to examine many care modalities including yoga, osteopathy and chiropractic medicine, Dr. Rolf combined her research with her scientific knowledge. The result was a deeper appreciation of the body’s structural order, and her very own integrative modality, the theory and practice of Rolfing. There are more than 1,200 Certified Rolfers in 27 different countries. The Rolf Institute’s international headquarters is in Boulder, Colorado, with offices in Germany, Brazil, and Japan.

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