Physical therapy aims at improving the stability and mobility of the physical body. The term “Physical therapy” (or “Physiotherapy”) has become a container for all sorts of therapy that ai mto improve the mobility of the human body, for example massage therapy, manual therapy, sport physiotherapy, labor physiotherapy and edema therapy. While most of these therapies build on the basics of physical therapy, the Cesar and Mensendieck therapies employ different perspectives.
Physical therapy can be useful in the case of sympoms that hinder physical freedom of movement. This might be due to arthralgia or myalgia (muscular strain). In addition, the various physical therapies can aid in improving body posture, lessening physical pains, and learning to cope with various forms of chronic disease. The physiotherapist facilitates the work that the patient will largely have to do him/herself to establish significant improvement. Also, the therapist can provide support through massage, for example.
Due to the various theoretical schools and variety of therapies, many physiotherapists differ in the way they diagnose and treat patients, depending on what course and grade they completed. For example, the practice physiotherapy often employs fitness gear to improve stability and mobility, while other forms of physiotherapy do not use such aids at all. The massage therapy for example aims at directly manipulating the musculature tissues, while the manual therapist focuses more on the spine area; other forms of physiotherapy stress the importance of bodily movement.
Most forms of physical therapy (except the psychosomatic physiotherapy) do not really pay attention to the other bodies in the four-body model in this book. They do acknowledge the link to the mental body, as seen in the analysis of stress-related symptoms. Still, the treatment will usually be on the physical level, with a strong focus of repairing the physical symptom or limitation. An analysis of chakras, for example, is not usually involved. The therapies of Cesar and Mensendieck, however, do focus explicitly on a change of mind, a change in behavior. Such therapists hold that unhealthy ways of life can result in physical symptoms. An enduring improvement requires a change at the source of the problem. The goal therefore is to get the patient to be self-reliant and self-confident again.
The therapist, while working on improved stability and mobility, will usually try to get the best possible result, not just from the viewpoint of the symptom, but for life functioning as a whole. The step-by-step improvement of the locomotive learning process (re-conditioning of mobility) is key. By acquiring new skills in this regard, you can try to reach maximum self-reliance and self-confidence.
Some forms of physiotherapy are somewhat controversial. Especially the manual therapists are sometimes labeled as quacks because scientific validation experiments could not objectively confirm the active healing mechanism. It is useful to note, however, that such validation experiments are done from a traditional scientific paradigm point of view, wherein many principles of the energetic body cannot be measured by definition. In this book, the experience of wholeness is more important than objective traditional scientific evidence. Still, as with any therapy, there are many well-qualified and poorly qualified therapists out there. Certification is valuable, but is never a guarantee for the best treatment. Especially the crowd sourcing of experiences with therapists might help to assess with some certainty whether a particular therapists is adept and fits your particular need.