The History of Indian Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy has definitely come a long way, from the first documented account of the master of medicine himself, Hippocrates, to advanced electronic and scientific physiological treatments. The profession has greatly diversified and diversified over the past two decades, now encompassing practices such as cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy, community physical therapy, sports physical therapy, skin physical therapy, and orthopedic physical therapy.
Physiotherapy, as it is more popularly known, is a form of therapy that helps a patient to rehabilitate from diseases or disabilities of different kinds. Basically, it provides primary care by using certain movements and mechanical forces on the affected areas of the body. Physical therapy strives to increase mobility and motor movements, reduce impairments, and improve the overall quality of life for patients. From neonatal to geriatric, patients of all ages can make use of the healing techniques of physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy in India - Germination
The famous Indian physician, proper breathing techniques and physical exercises of Sushruta enjoy great popularity to this day. His book, Sushruta Samhita, written around 600 BC, is one of the most comprehensive treatises on the entire medical discipline, and whose detailed descriptions of surgery and medicine are relevant even today. His written works featured accounts of the use of physiotherapy in ancient times, such as treating a joint problem with water therapy, massages, and proper stretching. Then the seeds of physiotherapy were sown.
Yoga is another domain that has had strong ties to physical therapy. In a country steeped in tradition and rich culture, yogis have held an important place. Yogic texts give detailed descriptions of nearly 800 different exercises that helped a person slowly recover from illness or disease.
Although the origins of Yoga date back to 5000 years ago, over the years, a rehabilitation therapy known as Physioyoga has become popular for its effectiveness. Combining the benefits of Yoga and Physiotherapy together, it is therapeutic and promotes the general well-being of the body and mind. One of India's major contributions to the medical sciences is its practice of Ayurveda, which means "Science of life"; a therapy that has evolved over two millennia.
Ayurvedic massages generate a "wellness" factor that helps relieve pain and stress, while increasing blood circulation and eliminating toxins. These massages also lend their practice and corresponding benefits to modern physiotherapy.
So we see how physiotherapy in India has had precedence that goes back further than almost any country in the world, except perhaps Greece. His influence and knowledge have spread throughout the world and have found a well-deserved place in Western medicine.
Physiotherapy in Modern India
Today, physical therapy has turned 65 in India as a full-fledged medical profession. It first started in 1952 with the polio outbreak in Mumbai. The following year, India's first physiotherapy school and center was opened in Mumbai itself, with the support of the government and the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP) first was established in 1962 and is now a registered medical body with more than 30,000 physiotherapists.
Today, it is slowly but steadily gaining its due acceptance and importance not only as an alternative form of medicine, but as a conventional form of treatment that is more holistic, effective, long-lasting, and safe compared to older forms of treatment. Some of the more common conditions that respond very well to physical therapy include arthritis, frozen shoulder, dizziness and vertigo, back pain, headache, sciatica, various sports injuries, and much more.
What is Next?
With the advent of increasingly skilled techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, physical therapists can better serve their patients with each passing day. In a country reeling from diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, there is a growing need for physical therapy treatments. The hustle and bustle of everyday life takes its toll on our bodies, and physical therapy can act as preventive and / or curative medicine, which is much cheaper and more beneficial than simply curative medications.
So if you or a loved one think they can benefit from physical therapy, don't hesitate to ask.