D.D. Palmer's theory states that improper positioning of the vertebra (bones in the back) may interfere with nervous system function and the body's ability to balance and heal itself. There is an interrelationship between the structure and function of the body. The imbalance of the musculoskeletal system plays a role in health or disease states.
Naturopathic manipulation focuses on both tissue and bone alignment. A patient receives a soft tissue massage followed by an adjustment. Bony prominences of the vertebrae are used along with a gentle force applied to the muscles in order to move the body part.
The musculoskeletal system accounts for greater than half of the body's mass. It uses the most amount of energy compared to any other system in the human body. If the musculoskeletal system does not function properly, then other systems require greater efforts.
Proper functioning of the neuromuscular system helps in the creation of health and wellness. Dysfunction of this system can cause challenges with the motor system and lead to impaired functioning of the human body. The nervous system has direct effects on organs and tissues in the body.
Biomechanics are also important for the relationships between the skeleton, muscles, and joints. Patients are taught proper body mechanics in order to allow the adjustment to hold.
The main goals in naturopathic manipulation are for the body to self-regulate and heal pathological states. Manipulation to the musculoskeletal system helps to improve the body's ability to normalize and rebalance the nervous system to create homeostasis in the body. This treatment is indicated for: muscle spasm or pain, back pain, joint pain or dysfunction, nerve pain, tingling or numbness, or limited range of motion.