History of Naprapathy

Naprapathy was established in the 1900s by Dr. Oakley Smith, an osteopathic student and early chiropractor. Dr. Smith was one in a handful of early chiropractors to study under Daniel David Palmer (D.D. Palmer), considered to be the founder of modern Chiropractic. In time, Dr. Smith developed his own theories on Palmer's concepts of vertebral subluxation, one which focused more on healing and repairing connective tissue. Through extensive anatomical research, Dr. Smith discovered that fibrous, or dense, connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, and muscles) when damaged or over-used, led to a rigid, scar-like condition in the body that often interfered and aggravated closely aligned nerves.

Spine X-RayIn 1907, after devising a system of treatment for evaluating and healing damaged connective tissue, Dr. Smith founded the science of Naprapathy. Dr. Smith was an avid traveler. He liked learning about other cultures and health care practices around the world. While traveling in Czechoslovakia, he learned about an old healing practice called napravit. Dr. Smith observed the practice of napravit and found it to be similar to the technique he had been developing in United States, a gentle manipulation of constricted joints to loosen and relax.

In the Czechoslovakian language, napravit means "to correct, or fix." Dr. Smith took "napra" from napravit (to correct) and added the Greek word pathos (suffering, or pain) to coin the name naprapathy, to correct suffering or pain. Dr. Oakley established his practice in Chicago, Illinois. Today, Chicago is the home of the largest university devoted to naprapathy, the National College of Naprapathic Medicine.