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, with a history of practice by skilled physicians for over 3,000 years. Although the term "naprapathy" was invented in the United States in recent times (around the same time as chiropractic in the early 1900's), 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. McCormick.
Soft tissue blockages and muscle restrictions develop in response to mental and emotional stress, physical injuries, poor nutrition, repetitive motion, exposure to environmental factors and improper postural alignment. These blockages and restrictions may restrict circulation in the arteries, veins, or lymph and energetic systems, 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 of 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 vs. Chiropractic and Its History: A Wake-Up Call To Patients "Hypnotized" By Chiropractors
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 in Chicago. During the same time in Davenport, Iowa chiropractic was founded by D.D. Palmer, a grocery store worker who also dabbled in hypnosis and understood how to manipulate minds and pitch a good sale. Through the power of suggestion and an aggressive, carefully worded, persuasive sales pitch, his flawed, non-medical and non-scientific philosophy known as chiropractic was spread throughout rural population with the help of local churches and 'old boy network' of many Midwest towns, one small town at a time until it spread like a virus. During this time, Dr. Smith was also promoting and researching naprapathy's manual therapy techniques among the Midwest population, including rural areas like Davenport, Iowa. However, his promotion of naprapathy was not based on fanaticisism and a hypnotizing sales pitch delivered with religious fervor and entrancing word scripts. One can easliy see this slick sales pitch used by chiropractors even today. It is an inherent part of the practice of chiropractic.
Dr. Oakley Smith was a student of osteopathic medicine. As a medical student grounded in years of university education in human anatomy and physiology he understood the flaws in the uneducated and non-medical perspective of chiropractic. Chiropractic was clearly determined to be a very distinctly different profession from naprapathy with a completely different philosophy. Through his research as a medical school student, 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. However, this was not a new discovery since physicians throughout China and India had an understanding of this concept for centuries prior to his "discovery" and conclusions. His findings and perspective diverged from the chiropractic philosophy he knew well since Palmer and Smith were rivals in the heartland of the United States. As a side note, Palmer had a strong dislike for Smith because of his divergent medically based perspective and practice (and possibly due to Smith's advanced education in medicine and being a world traveler). However, this did not stop Smith from helping get Palmer out of jail when he was arrested for practicing osteopathic medicine without a license. Palmer had no college or medical education. Smith, potentially putting himself in an unfavorable light among his medical colleagues, argued Palmer's defense based despite it being an unscientific and not properly referenced manual that Palmer had written (completely based on conjecture). Smith's compassion for this uneducated grocery store worker may have unintentionally saved the practice of chiropractic. Palmer's manual helped him get free from jail and later supported him in writing a law that wound prevent him and other chiropractors from further arrests. That legislation was quickly adopted in many other States.
Dr. Oakley Smith was an educated and internationally traveled young man that came to the local grocer's defense in time of need (and even after this kind act of grace Palmer still set out to destroy Oakley's developing and promoting naprapathy because it was perceived as competition and a threat to the survival of the practice of unscientific, non-medical chiropractic. This attack was based out of greed, fear and the need to 'save face' since there was much concern Palmer was exposed as a fake and a quack. With his limited exposure to the world and other cultures other than his Iowa town (with no formal study in any form of health practice or medicine), Palmer went on a quest with his influential minister friends to spread the "gospel' of chiropractic like a religion (and often did it with the help of the local rural church communities in tent revivals as a healing crusade). However, Oakley went on to focus his energy on medical education, healing, and helping others free of charge. Unlike chiropractic, Smith's treatment focus was not on simply "fixing misaligned" bones impinging nerves as being the fundamental origin of pathology. Chiropractors have market the term that is still part of common jargon with many patients being brainwashed to say "my back is out" when in fact they have tight muscles (connective tissue, etc.) causing their pain.
Many centuries prior to the dawn of the term “naprapathy", manual medicine was used in the practice of Asian medicine (this also influenced much of Eastern European manual medicine which Oakley experienced first hand in his travels). The theory, 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. The founder of chiropractic had no medical background and was simply an ignorant grocer and hypnotist that never was exposed to Asian medicine or the Eastern European influence combined with this ancient medicine, as Oakley had experienced. Palmer's minister friend Rev. Samuel Weed (who knew how to pack churches with his charismatic communication) helped Palmer name his practice "chiropractic" and groom Palmer to explode his new business venture and pseudo-health religion. He created what the American Medical Association (AMA) then and today still considers to be an "unscientific cult". It was no mistake that religion and hypnosis formed the basis for brain-washing many of the flock of accepting faith filled people with this flawed philosophy and "pseudo-religion" of chiropractic. There is no mistake that the chiropractic professions logo closely resembles a very sacred religious symbol since chiropractic was and continues to be marketed like a form of religion mixed with shwarmy sales tactics. Not to mention the encroachment on other natural health professions and hijacking of patients from other professionals when they don't have the training or knowledge (i.e. acupuncture and Chinese medicine).
The AMA recognizes the practice of manual therapies including acupuncture and embraces them as part of complementary medical care. There departments in many prominent medical institutions and medical research facilities throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. Chiropractic has not been welcome in any of these conventional medical settings and for many good reasons. The chiropractic profession has hypnotized the insurance industry to pad their pockets with profits (and often my corrupt and deceptive means) but the establishment of real medical professionals will never embrace this "unscientific cult" practice that hypnotizes its patients and gets them coming back again and again for "treatment" with religious fervor. Looking at the history and origins of chiropractic it is very clear there is something very questionable about the profession and the practice. The public needs to stay away from the hypnosis and cult-like brainwashing that chiropractors are trained to do, to "hook" an ever returning patient in the "chiropractic lifestyle". The roots of hate, deception, shwarmy sales and hypnotic scripting to influence faith-filled people will soon end. We life in the age of technology and information. Chiropractic was initially based on taking advantage of the uneducated in rural Midwest communities. Times have changed for the better now that information is at our finger's tips. The time of chiropractic is going away as the profession is dying and it will be a good thing once it is gone for good. If insurance didn't cover the cost of chiropractic care, the profession would have died a long time ago. Most chiropractors would easily admit to that. It is time to watch the rise of Naprapathy that will fill the void left when chiropractic fades away. Chiropractors know this and that is what motivates them to intrude on the professional turf of other complementary and alternaive medicine practitioners (through loop-holes in their legislative Practice Acts in various slower evolved States).
Dr. McCormick completed training at an integrative medicine hospital in Nanjing, China were he was an intern in the manual medicine department with medical professionals rooted in the sophisticated and advanced medicine that has a history of more than a few thousands years of practice by countless skilled physicians and researches. Additionally, He has studied and practiced with numerous medical doctors, physical therapists, naturopaths, naprapaths and tui na professionals since the late 1980's (including chiropractors where he learned the flaws of chiropractic from the inside of clinical practice on so many levels). He has many years of experience teaching yoga, active isolated stretching and rehabilitative exercise. Additionally, his career experience included being an elite sports I 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, discs, 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 Safer and More Holistic Approach?
Chiropractic approach is based on the subluxation theory: bones that are out of alignment are realigned by high velocity techniques and this approach has resulted in many documented cases of rib fractures and other more serious injuries. Chiropractors are notorious for unsafe practices including performing acupuncture with dangerously limited 'crash course' training that is less than 3% of the minimum basic education required for entry level in the field of acupuncture and with no supervised student internship in an approved supervised teaching clinic. Our clinic takes an approach to care that does not support this limited and dangerously flawed chiropractic philosophy. In many ways this opinion was shared by the founder of Naprapathy who studied chiropractic extensively 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?
No, they are not massage therapists and naprapathy is not simply some form of massage since it is its own distinct field of health care. The typical massage therapist holds a certificate of completion from trade school (most commonly a 500 hour program) and is not required to hold a pre-med college degree prior to entry into massage school. Naprapaths are complementary healthcare practitioners that hold doctoral degrees in manual medicine, completing a minimum of four years of full-time undergarduate and another four years of 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 student of chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, 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. Dr. Oakley Smith is and will always be the pioneer of authentic,educated and sincere manual medicine in America. However, he was influenced by a medicine with a lineage of physicians and practice that had been developing for thousands of years before his "discoveries" since he fundamentally embraced Tui Na. Tui Na is part of the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is the practice of Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine around the world. Dr. McCormick has been practicing Naprapthy/Tui Na since 1989 and often made many chiropractors mad because he actually helps people get well so they don't have to make care a "lifestyle" of keep coming back again and again until the insurance benefits run out.
More About The Founder of Naprapathy - from The Naprapathic Association
Dr. Oakley Smith was born on January 19th, 1880 to parents named Robert Bankinson Smith, and Ann Beeson Smith on a farm in West Branch, Iowa. He was a strong child until at the age of four years he suffered and attack of scarlet fever which made him weak, pale, skinny, and puny and he remained that way for 16 more years. His Parents took him to doctor from state to state to find something that would improve his health and make him stronger again. He tried different medication, multiple springs of water in different states, and then he was taken to an Osteopath, Chiropractor and enrolled into Medical school to find out what was wrong with him. Dr. Smith said if no one else could help him he was going to find out what would.
Naprapathy was established in the early 1900s by Dr. Oakley Smith, an osteopathic student and early chiropractor. Dr. Smith was one in a handful of early chiropractors to study under Daniel David Palmer (D.D. Palmer), considered to be the founder of modern Chiropractic. In time, Dr. Smith developed his own theories on Palmer's concepts of vertebral subluxation, one which focused more on healing and repairing connective tissue. In the fall of 1899, he was 19 years of age at that time; he enrolled as a special student at the Medical School, University of Iowa. There he took classes in anatomy, physiology and dissection. He also witnessed two to three hundred surgical operations during his two year stay at the university. Oakley talked his engineering student brother Horton, into doing some manual manipulation on him that Dr. Smith developed himself. Oakley would give Horton specific direction and input to as the treatment and how it felt. Horton gave Oakley treatments everyday five days a week for the two years of Oakley's medical school training. Within two or three months his paleness began to subside, and then the cold hands and feet began to warm. His vitality increased and before you know it he was getting cured. By the time Horton finished his degree in engineering Oakley was able to work all day and way into the night. Oakley states, "I was a recipient of a miracle." This with a little forming of the method of treating Dr. Oakley Smith had branded a new Health Profession. He quit medical school in 1901and moved to Chicago, Illinois where he started to treat patients in a clinic for free. Then many of his patients wanted to be taught by him and eventually he opened a school. He named the school,”Chicago College of Naprapathy."
He invented the charting of a recording of what your fingers felt when taking an examination and giving a treatment. It was called "Chartology". He had letters of Patents from the U.S. Government; this was a break through in the science of diagnosis and treatment of disease. Prior to his invention no healing profession had any method for recording what their fingers felt. On November 16th, 1905 at 11:45 p.m. Dr. Smith discovered through extensive anatomical research, that fibrous, or dense, connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, and muscles) when damaged or over-used, led to a rigid, scar-like condition in the body that often interfered and aggravated closely aligned nerves. Thus the discovery of the "Ligatite" which constituted the beginning point of the "Profession of Naprapathy."
In 1907, after devising a system of treatment for evaluating and healing damaged connective tissue, Dr. Smith founded the science of Naprapathy. Dr. Smith was an avid traveler. He liked learning about other cultures and health care practices around the world. While traveling in Bohemia, he learned about an old healing practice called the "Napravit Thrust". Dr. Smith observed the practice of "Napravit me". A person would lie on the ground after a long days work in the field and the other fellow worker would work up the spine with gentle pushes. Dr Smith found it to be similar but different to the technique he had been developing in United States, a gentle manipulation of constricted joints to loosen and relax. But it gave him the idea for naming it "Naprapath".
In the Bohemian language, napravit means "to correct, or fix." Dr. Smith took "napra" from napravit (to correct the cause) and added the Greek word pathos (suffering, or pain) to coin the name naprapathy, to correct suffering or pain.