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What is manual therapy?

Manual therapy is a general term for a type of treatment performed using the hands.  As the roots of Des Moines University are in Osteopathic Medicine, one of the foundations of our training is in using our hands to facilitate improvements in pain, range of motion, strength and sense of self.  Many professionals use manual therapy including physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and osteopathic physicians, and each profession defines and justifies the use of manual therapy a little differently, though the techniques are frequently the same. 

There are a variety of schools and types of manual therapy available for use, and our therapists are well trained in their applications:

  • Joint Mobilization
  • Joint Manipulation
  • Myofascial Release
  • Muscle Energy Technique
  • Strain/Counterstrain or Positional Release
  • Massage and other soft tissue techniques
  • Neural Mobilization
  • Visceral Mobilization
  • ASTYM and other instrumented assisted techniques

Our therapists perform a careful evaluation and work together with our clients and patients to determine the best combination of manual therapy’s (if they are necessary) that will complement the plan of care.  At Des Moines University, we believe human touch is an essential ingredient for healing, especially when combined with a plan of care that addresses the whole person.