Naprapathy is a healing method that works through the connective tissues holding the skeleton together. Examples of connective tissue include ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which are flexible and resilient when healthy. You could almost say that a naprapath is a chiropractor for soft tissue. Like tension in the skeleton, tension in the connective tissues may cause a structural imbalance. Naprapaths work by gently manipulating this tissue with their hands, thereby releasing tension and restoring balance.

One area often affected by unhealthy connective tissue is the back. As you can guess, this often leads to lower back, neck, or shoulder pain. But problems with the spine’s connective tissue can cause much more than just a backache.

Most of the connective tissue encasing the spinal nerves is ligament. When the ligaments become constricted or tightened, they become a "ligatite." Ligaments can degenerate into ligatites from aging, poor posture, stress, an accident, or even daily wear and tear. Ligatites are made of scar tissue, which are less flexible than normal tissue and can therefore interfere with the vital nerves that they encase. Such interference will cause malfunction in the nerve’s target area; for example, if the nerve controls the stomach, the ligatite may cause digestion problems.

The task of a naprapath is to locate the ligatite, determine it’s effects, and then do something about it. You can ease the tension caused by a ligatite through a series of gentle manipulations, which will free up the spinal nerves to function normally. In the previous example, a naprapathic treatment would remove the stress on the stomach nerve, normalizing your digestive functions. Any back pain that the ligatite had caused would also be relieved. The treatment effectively re-connects the natnun circuit, stopping pain and starting the body’s own healing process.

Is it important to do something about these ligatites? Absolutely. Even if you don’t mind a ligatite’s effects on your digestion or back, you cannot afford to ignore it because it will get worse. Ligatites are self-perpetuating. Once a ligatite develops, it causes stress, triggering more ligaments to tighten, forming larger ligatites, causing more stress, and so on. Therefore it is important, as with any illness, to treat the problem early.

The field of naprapathy has been around for about a century, starting with the discoveries of Dr. Oakley Smith in the late 1800’s. Dr. Smith first became a chiropractor as a result of his own chronic back pain. However, he eventually found that chiropractic methods only provided him with fleeting relief and his pain inevitably returned. Through the course of his research, he discovered the importance and healing potential of the soft tissue that lay between the bones. Experimenting on himself with the help of his brother, Dr. Smith successfully cured himself of his lifelong problem. With this knowledge and extensive experimentation, he developed the practice of naprapathy. Dr. Smith was able to heal many people on whom other healing methods had failed. This was because the cause of their condition lay in the ligaments, which other doctors did not know, and since the doctors didn’t go to the root of the problem, they couldn’t correct it.

The term naprapathy comes from the Czech word "napravit," meaning to correct, and the Greek word "pathos" meaning to heal. Like other natural healing methods, naprapathy maintains a whole body approach to health.