What Are the Fields of Physiotherapy



– A short history of physiotherapy

– Applied physiotherapy

– Specialised physiotherapy

– Fields of application

The term “physiotherapy” refers to the study of human movement. This discipline, which originated in the United States in the 1960s, has spread throughout the world and is now used in over 80 countries.

Numerous alternatives have emerged from the initial physiotherapy movement, and there are significant differences between countries and even between practitioners. For example, a distinction is made between applied physiotherapy (the most commonly practised) and specialised physiotherapy. Let’s discover them together.

A brief history of physiotherapy

Good to know: the origin of physiotherapy is due to Dr Goodheart. This American chiropractor observed that a lack of muscle tone was often linked to a diseased organ and designed various manual muscle tests to prevent and treat specific disorders.

Over the years, other practitioners have researched these initial observations and proposed various alternative methods.

Today, we can distinguish in particular:

– “touch for health”;

– psycho-emotional physiotherapy, which itself includes several sub-branches;

– “brain gym” physiotherapy

– physiotherapy for athletes;

– the “three in one concept”, which focuses on emotional well-being, personal development and stress relief;

– applied physiotherapy from psychotherapy and alternative medicine: reprogramming kinesiology, visual kinesiology, nutritional kinesiology…

Applied physiotherapy

Under the term “physiotherapy”, applied kinesiology and specialised kinesiology are grouped with different practices and training.

It includes influences from Chinese medicine, chiropractic, osteopathy, acupuncture and naturopathy.

It is practised by health professionals (doctors, dentists, osteopaths, nutritionists, etc.).

Note: In the United States, it is considered a branch of medicine. However, it is essential to remember that physiotherapy foundations are not scientifically validated and cannot replace medical advice.

It can treat different imbalances divided into 3 categories

– chemical imbalances;

– structural imbalances

– psychological imbalances.

Please note: there are no contraindications to physiotherapy, but muscle testing is not recommended in recent trauma or surgery cases.

A session of applied physiotherapy follows the following pattern:

– the interrogation;

– general examinations (blood pressure…), then more specific ones (skin sensitivity, balance, reflexes…);

– evaluation of the muscular strength;

– manual manipulations to stimulate the lymphatic system, improve blood circulation, balance the meridians, and various lifestyle advice.

Specialised physiotherapy


It includes many techniques using muscle testing to promote balance and physical, mental and social well-being.

It is not about establishing a diagnosis and proposing a treatment in the form of a prescription.

Thus, physiotherapy is particularly interested in neuromuscular function in its relationship with physiological, structural, chemical and emotional regulatory mechanisms.

It is associated with other soft manual techniques inspired by Chinese medicine, acupressure, chiropractic or physiotherapy. This results in different streams of practice.

In practice, a session of specialised physiotherapy proceeds as follows

– definition of the objective;

– evaluation of the imbalances through situational exercises and appropriate muscle tests;

– research and implementation of solutions;

– post-evaluation of changes through tests;

– anchoring the results.

Please note: this global approach, halfway between physiology, Chinese energetics and neuroscience, aims to accompany a better mental, emotional, physical and energetic balance by identifying the sources of conflicts and inner discomfort that lead to physical and psychological tensions and maladaptive behaviours.

Thus, physiotherapy uses muscle testing to identify and resolve blockages at all levels. It can also be used to access the body’s memory and find old blockages.

Having recourse to kinesiology

Fields of application

They are broad: professional, family, personal, sports, educational.

Attention: Kinesiology (physiology) is neither a medicine nor a therapy. Therefore, it does not commit to a cure.

Duration of a session

In practice:

– one may need only one session for a “punctual” pain or 4 to 6 sessions for more deep-rooted suffering;

– a session lasts on average from 30 minutes to 1 hour;

– some mutual insurance companies include it in “natural medicine” packages, in the same way as osteopathy, for example, and provide for the reimbursement of a part of the price for a limited number of sessions.


On the one hand, applied physiotherapy is not a substitute for traditional, modern medicine. However, it can be an interesting complement to help prevent or treat functional disorders.

Specialised physiotherapy, on the other hand, is a gentle method used by non-medical practitioners. It facilitates learning and performance and eliminates physical, emotional and psychological disorders caused by energy imbalances.

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