Chinese Art Showing Neck Manipulation
History of Physical Medicine
Among the earliest Western writings regarding physical manipulation are those from Greece.
Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, wrote prolifically about medicine. Of his many separate
manuscripts, he devoted one entirely to manipulative therapy. It is said that he advised his students:
"Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases."
A Roman physician, Claudius Galen, who lived about 300 years after Hippocrates, was documented to have
restored the use of the paralyzed arm of an important scholar by manipulating the bones in his neck.
Restoring health and correcting specific injuries through the physical manipulation of bones as well as
soft tissue in the body has existed as a healing art throughout recorded history. The only two treatment
methods that are believed to be older are herbal medicine and hydrotherapy (both discussed elsewhere in this
website). Early references to physical manipulation are found in the literature from India, China, Egypt and
other cultures throughout the world.
Virtually every system of healing on the planet, including the indigenous cultures on every continent,
had a portion of their healing systems dedicated to the manipulative physical therapies. Ironically, it
is only modern, "scientific" medicine, which ignores the manipulative arts. In the 19th century,
Chiropractic and Osteopathic Medicine evolved about the same time as the Naturopathic profession, both of
which used physical manipulation as their primary treatment method. A Naturopathic version of physical
manipulation also was developed, and is still taught in Naturopathic Medical schools.
Thai Statue showing Leg Manipulation
Dr. John Howard, D.C.
Founder of the Kinesiological Physiotherapy System
Over time, Dr. Howard developed a complicated but elegant system of physical and energy medicine which was
very successful for a wide variety of complaints. The key points of his system are:
Dr. John Howard, a Chiropractor from Southern California, researched all the various systems of manipulation
available and found useful elements in many of them. He also found that no one system worked for every patient
all the time. In fact, he found that many practitioners who rigidly followed a system and tried to force
every patient to "fit the theory", ended up hurting as much as they helped.
Due to the relative complexity of his system of medicine, coupled with the fact that it is very different
from most traditional forms of manipulative therapy, Dr. Howard found no other chiropractors who were
interested in learning it. A few tried but never stuck with it.
Dr. Arlan Cage became acquanted with Dr. Howard's method first as a patient. Later, after attending
Naturopathic Medical school, Dr. Cage studied with Dr. Howard for five years, learning everything he
could about the system. Dr. Cage is the only individual to ever learn Dr. Howard's method of diagnosis
and treatment. Dr. Cage and Dr. Howard were in the process of preparing to teach continuing
education courses to other doctors on the use of this system, when Dr. Howard tragically died
following injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.
- Specific Diagnosis Using Feedback from the Body's Energy System
- Specific Manipulation of bones (both spine and appendages)
- Specific Manipulation of soft tissue: muscles, tendons, ligaments and organs
- Gentle, non-force manipulation techniques, safe for all ages
Physical Medicine at South Bay Total Health
Dr. Cage uses the Howard Method of Kinesiological Physiotherapy as his primary method of physical medicine,
and combines this with other elements of his treatment as needed. Nutritional deficiencies, food allergies,
and other metabolic illnesses can compound "phyiscal" problems. Likewise, physical lesions can impede
healing of other metabolic disorders. Starting in 2008, Dr. Cage plans to finish the process of preparing
courses for other doctors, in order to pass on Dr. Howard's legacy.