Development in History
Manual Medicine is an ancient part of the natural medicine of many nations and is mentioned long before Christ. Hippocrates already described the spine as a central corporal controlling organ.
There were records of manual treatments at Galen and Hildegard of Bingen. Knowledge of manual techniques was lost in medical education towards the end of the middle ages. It was now used mainly by lay therapists.
Manual medicine appeared in the 19th Century by the American doctor Atkinson. His students included Still, founder of the osteopathic school and Palmer, founder of the chiropractic school.
Still developed a theory according to which the spine occupies a key position in all diseases. He believed that from even the slightest misalignment of a vertebra over a compression of the blood and lymph vessels caused a local decreased blood flow and thus weak defense of the organism.That would result in disease. The manual removal of this malposition should lead to a normalization of the blood flow and thus a reconstruction of the immune system.
Palmer‘s theory describes that the vertebra, at the limit of its normal flexibility remains fixed and can not spontaneously reach its zero point of the resting stage. This vertebral displacement can narrow nerve structures. Its compression can lead to pain caused by the changes in the conductivity of nerves.
In Germany the substantial development of manual medicine continued only after 1945. The Sell'sche school in Isny developed the chiropractic technique under current consideration of empirical and neurophysiological research results. Doctors can learn their manual therapy training here today. I have worked there as an instructor for several years now.