A bonesetter is a practitioner of joint manipulation. Before the advent of chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists, bonesetters were the main providers of this type of treatment.[1] Traditionally, they practiced without any sort of formal training in accepted medical procedures.[2] Bonesetters would also reduce joint dislocations and "re-set" bone fractures.


The practice of joint manipulation and treating fractures dates back to ancient times and has roots in most countries. The earliest known medical text, the Edwin Smith papyrus of 1552 BC, describes the Ancient Egyptian treatment of bone-related injuries. These early bonesetters would treat fractures with wooden splints wrapped in bandages or made a cast around the injury out of a plaster-like mixture. It is unknown if they performed amputations as well.[3]

In the 16th century, monks and nuns with some knowledge of medicine went on to become healers and bonesetters after the dissolution of monasteries in the British Isles. However, many bonesetters were non-religious and the majority of them were self-taught. Their skills were then passed on from generation to generation, creating families of bonesetters. Notable families include the Taylor family of Whitworth and the Matthew family of the Midlands.[4]

With the advancement of modern medicine beginning in the 18th century, bonesetters began to be recognized for their efficiency in treatment but did not receive the praise or status that physicians did. Some of these self-taught healers were considered legitimate, while others were perceived as "quacks". In Great Britain, one of the most famous was the bonesetter Sally Mapp (d. 1737).[5] Known as "Crazy Sally", she learned her skill from her father and was known for her arm strength[6] and ability to reset almost any bone. Though she lacked the medical education of physicians, she successfully treated dislocated shoulders and knees, among other treatments, at the Grecian Coffee House in London and in the town of Epsom.[5][6]

Bonesetters treated the majority of the common people since they were cheaper than licensed physicians. Royal families would employ bonesetters when the court physicians were inadequate or inefficient.[7]

The Apothecaries Act 1815 in Great Britain called for surgeons to take courses similar to physicians – a move that would raise the status of surgeons to be more in line with that of the elite physician. This allowed for some bonesetters to transition into the medical profession and encouraged interest in bone and joint surgery. As a result, surgical instruments and tools for bone-related injuries were then developed.[8]

21st century

In developing parts of the world, traditional bonesetters are widely popular and often the only address for treatment of bone-related injuries. Most often it will be the case that there is a shortage of orthopedic doctors and surgeons in the country and so the two practitioners coexist in the same setting. In parts of South America, Asia, and Africa, traditional bonesetters treat musculoskeletal injuries in general, not just fractures and dislocations.[9] Traditional bonesetters are also known to offer cheaper services and allegedly faster treatment options.[10]

In Japan, bone-setting is known as sekkotsu. In China, it is known as die-da, and is practiced by martial artists.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ Pettman, E (2013-08-12). "A History of Manipulative Therapy". The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. 15 (3): 165–174. doi:10.1179/106698107790819873. PMC 2565620. PMID 19066664.
  2. ^ Agarwal, A; Agarwal, R. "The Practice and Tradition of Bonesetting". Education for Health.
  3. ^ Phillips, S-A; Biant, L.C. (2011). "The Instruments of the Bonesetter". The Bone & Joint Journal. 93-B: 115–119. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.93B1.25628.
  4. ^ Phillips, S-A; Biant, L.C. (2011). "The Instruments of the Bonesetter". The Bone & Joint Journal. 93-B: 115–119. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.93B1.25628.
  5. ^ a b Hartley, Cathy (2003). A Historical Dictionary of British Women (Revised ed.). Psychology Press. p. 297. ISBN 1857432282.
  6. ^ a b The Cabinet of Curiosities: Or, Wonders of the World Displayed, Forming a Repository of Whatever is Remarkable in the Regions of Nature and Art, Extraordinary Events, and Eccentric Biography. J. Limbird. 1824. pp. 187, 189–190.
  7. ^ DiGiovanna, Eileen (2005). An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-0-7817-4293-1.
  8. ^ Phillips, S-A; Biant, L.C. (2011). "The Instruments of the Bonesetter". The Bone & Joint Journal. 93-B: 115–119. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.93B1.25628.
  9. ^ Nwachukwu, Benedict (2011). "Traditional Bonesetters and Contemporary Orthopaedic Fracture Care in a Developing Nation: Historical Aspects, Contemporary Status and Future Directions". The Open Orthopaedics Journal. 5: 20–6. doi:10.2174/1874325001105010020. PMC 3027080. PMID 21270953.
  10. ^ Agarwal, A; Agarwal, R. "The Practice and Tradition of Bonesetting". Education for Health.
  11. ^ Aries MJ, Joosten H, Wegdam HH, van der Geest S (2007). "Fracture treatment by bonesetters in central Ghana: patients explain their choices and experiences". Trop Med Int Health. 12 (4): 564–74. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01822.x. PMID 17445148.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  12. ^ Huber BR, Anderson R (1996). "Bonesetters and curers in a Mexican community: conceptual models, status, and gender". Med Anthropol. 17 (1): 23–38. doi:10.1080/01459740.1996.9966126. PMID 8757711.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
1960 in Germany

Events in the year 1960 in Germany.

Adrenal fatigue

Adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia is a term used by alternative medicine providers to suggest that the adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily cortisol, due to chronic stress or infections. There is no scientific basis for the existence of adrenal fatigue, and the term should not be confused with a number of actual forms of adrenal dysfunction such as adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease.The term "adrenal fatigue" was invented in 1998 by chiropractor James Wilson and applied to a collection of mostly non-specific symptoms. There is no scientific evidence supporting the concept of adrenal fatigue and it is not recognized as a diagnosis by the scientific or medical communities. A systematic review found no evidence for the term adrenal fatigue, confirming the consensus among mainstream endocrinologists that it is a myth.Blood or salivary testing is sometimes offered but there is no evidence that adrenal fatigue exists or can be tested for. The concept of adrenal fatigue has given rise to an industry of dietary supplements marketed to treat this condition. These supplements are largely unregulated in the U.S., are ineffective, and in some cases may be dangerous.


Auriculotherapy (also auricular therapy, ear acupuncture, and auriculoacupuncture) is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that the ear is a micro system, which reflects the entire body, represented on the auricle, the outer portion of the ear. Conditions affecting the physical, mental or emotional health of the patient are assumed to be treatable by stimulation of the surface of the ear exclusively. Similar mappings are used in many areas of the body, including the practices of reflexology and iridology. These mappings are not based on or supported by any medical or scientific evidence, and are therefore considered to be pseudoscience.


Filsum is a small municipality in the Leer district, in the North West of Germany.

The municipality lies approximately 30 km from the Netherlands border, and 50 km from where the coast meets the North Sea.

It is home to the 'horse whisperer' and bonesetter, Tamme Hanken.

Gua sha

Gua sha (Chinese: 刮痧), kerokan or coining, is a pseudomedicine practice which is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Its practitioners use a tool to scrape people's skin to cause tissue damage in the belief this has medicinal benefit. Gua sha is sometimes referred to as "scraping", "spooning" or "coining" by English speakers. The treatment has also been called the descriptive French name, tribo-effleurage.Gua sha is actively harmful and has no medical benefit. Any apparent benefit from gua sha is due to the placebo effect.

Jack Pfiester

John (Jack) Albert Pfiester (May 24, 1878 in Cincinnati, Ohio – September 3, 1953), was a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1903 to 1911.

Pfiester finished with a 1.51 ERA in 1906 (one of the best rookie seasons by any pitcher since), and a 1.15 ERA in 1907. His career ERA is 2.02, 3rd lowest among pitchers with 1,000+ innings thrown, and he had a .617 winning percentage. On September 23, 1908 against the New York Giants he pitched a complete game, allowing five hits, all with a dislocated tendon in his pitching forearm. He had to be assisted off the field a few times after throwing curve balls. And as soon as the game ended he went to Ohio to be treated, his tendon snapped back into place by trainer Bonesetter Reese.

Although Bonesetter got Pfiester throwing again, it would prove to be only a matter of time before the wear and tear got to Pfiester. In 1909, Pfiester posted 17 wins and a 2.43 ERA in his last full season. Over the next two years he would make 20 more appearances as a major league pitcher, and by the age of 33 he was done.

After Pfiester's playing career ended, he and his wife settled in Ohio with their son, Jack Jr. Pfiester died in Loveland, Ohio, at the age of 75.Pfiester was the starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the 1908 World Series, the team's last championship until 2016. He was also the winning pitcher of Game 2 of the 1907 World Series.

Jimmy McAleer

James Robert "Loafer" McAleer (July 10, 1864 – April 29, 1931) was an American center fielder, manager, and stockholder in Major League Baseball who assisted in establishing the American League. He spent most of his 13-season playing career with the Cleveland Spiders, and went on to manage the Cleveland Blues, St. Louis Browns, and Washington Senators. Shortly before his retirement, he became a major shareholder in the Boston Red Sox.His career ended abruptly. During his brief tenure as co-owner of the Red Sox, McAleer quarreled with longtime friend and colleague Ban Johnson, president of the American League. In the wake of this disagreement, he sold off his shares in the Red Sox and broke off his relationship with Major League Baseball.McAleer's rift with Johnson, along with his sudden retirement, damaged his professional reputation, and he received little recognition for his contributions to baseball. Today, he is most often remembered for initiating the customary request that the President of the United States throw out the first ball of the season.

John D. Reese

John D. "Bonesetter" Reese (May 6, 1855 – November 29, 1931) was a trainer in early 20th-century Major League Baseball who was known for his ability to get injured athletes "back in the game". Although he gained wide visibility as the nation's "baseball doctor", Reese reportedly "drew no line between rich and poor patients".During his long career, the Welsh-born Reese delivered therapy to clients including industrial workers, celebrity athletes, and heads of state. His work brought him considerable recognition within the Welsh-American community during his later years.At the time of his death, Reese was regarded as a national figure, and his death was marked by The New York Times, which printed a detailed obituary.

List of horror films of 2003

A list of horror films released in 2003.

Myofascial release

Myofascial release (MFR, self-myofascial release) is an alternative medicine therapy that claims to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.Fascia is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective tissue that wraps most structures within the human body, including muscle. Fascia supports and protects these structures. Osteopathic theory proposes that this soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow.The use of myofascial release as a treatment is not supported by good evidence; as a replacement for conventional treatment, it risks causing harm.

Peter Brennan (Newfoundland politician)

Peter Brennan (1786 – August 13, 1887) was an Irish-born political figure in Newfoundland. He represented St. John's West in the Newfoundland Assembly from 1866 to 1873.

He was born in County Kilkenny and came to St. John's in 1819, where he worked for a time as a bonesetter. He was first elected to the assembly in an 1866 by-election. Brennan died in St. John's in 1887.

Robert Howard Hutton

Robert Howard Hutton (1840–1887), bonesetter, was born at Soulby, near Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, on 26 July 1840. He was the son of Robert Hutton. He was a member of a family of farmers who for two hundred years had resided in the north of England. The family were bonesetters for the benefit of their neighbours. Robert's uncle, Richard Hutton, was the first of the family to make bonesetting his profession. He set up in practice in London at Wyndham Place, Crawford Street, London, and died at Gilling Lodge, Watford, on 6 January 1871, aged 70. Among the well-authenticated cases of cures by the elder Hutton were those of the Hon. Spencer Ponsonby on 27 June 1865, and of George Moore, the philanthropist, in March 1869.The younger Hutton was from 1863 to 1869 at Milnthorpe in Westmoreland, where he farmed land and set bones. About 1869 he came to London, and resided with his uncle Richard. He then set up for himself first at 74 Gloucester Place, Portman Square, and afterwards at 36 Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square. He soon obtained a name and a position. He owed his reputation to his mechanical tact and acute observation of the symptoms of dislocations. His general method of procedure was to poultice and oil the limb for a week, and then by a sudden twist or wrench he often effected an immediate cure. Hutton's extensive practice brought him a large fortune, but his tastes were expensive. He was devoted to all field-sports, and was well known as a huntsman at Melton Mowbray. He often set animals broken limbs. In 1875 Miss Constance Innes, daughter of Charles Leslie, was thrown from her horse and broke her arm. After many months, having, a permanently stiff arm, she went to Hutton. He restored it and on 26 July 1876 she became his wife.On 16 July 1887, at 36 Queen Anne Street, London, a servant gave him some laudanum instead of a black draught. He died soon afterwards at University College Hospital. A verdict of death from misadventure was returned at the inquest. He left one child, Gladys Hutton.

Sally Mapp

Sarah "Crazy Sally" Mapp (baptised 1706 – 1737) was an English lay bonesetter, who gained fame both by performing impressive bone-setting acts in Epsom and London, and by being a woman in a male-dominated profession. Bone-setting was a medical practice used to manipulate and fix musculoskeletal injuries using manual force. Mapp grew up in Wiltshire, England, and learned about the practice from her father, who was also a bone-setter. She frequently fixed horse racing injuries, but her most famous case was fixing the spinal deformity of Sir Hans Sloane's niece.


Soulby is a village and civil parish in the Eden district of Cumbria, England. The village has a village green.

Tamme Hanken

Tamme Hanken (May 16, 1960 – October 10, 2016) was a German horse whisperer and animals bonesetter known from the two documentary TV shows Der XXL-Ostfriese on NDR and Knochenbrecher on Tour on kabel eins, the latter of which had had up to two million viewers. Born in Filsum, he also was the author of a book, Das Glück der Pferde in meinen Händen, which was published in 2001.

Tamme Hanken, who didn't have any formal chiropractic education, died in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on October 10 2016, from sudden heart failure. 2,06 m (6 ft 9 in) tall and weighing 140 kg (309 lbs), he was described as a "gentle giant" by an NDR obituary.

Thomas Burke (Clare politician)

Thomas T. Burke (1876 – 20 November 1951) was an Irish independent politician. He was born in Dunsallagh, Milltown Malbay, County Clare and was well known in his locality as a bonesetter, a service for which direct payment was, by tradition, not requested; instead, he asked locals to vote for him. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) at the 1937 general election for the Clare constituency. He was re-elected on four occasions and served until he was defeated at the 1951 general election.

Tony Summers

Tony Phillip Summers (3 January 1924 – 21 November 2013) was a British competition swimmer and Olympian. He was born in Newport, South Wales, the son of Edwin Charles Summers. His grandfather was the bonesetter A. E. Kennard.

From an early age he was a well-known figure in Newport Swimming Club, becoming known as Tony the Diver and featuring in a 1930 British Pathè film. During World War II, Summers joined 136 Squadron RAF in 1944 (later 152 Squadron) and flew Spitfires and Tempests in India and the Far East. On his release from the RAF in 1947, Summers started training for the London Olympics of 1948. He had originally aimed to swim in the Olympics of 1940 and 1944, but war had intervened. He represented Great Britain for Men's 100 Metre Backstroke, where his heat was won by the eventual gold medallist, Allen Stack.

Summers worked as an engineer for the Air Ministry and for British Nuclear Fuels, before joining the Forestry Commission where he became Commissioning Engineer for Wales. He continued to swim competitively until shortly before his death and achieved many Welsh and British records in older age groups. Summers died on 21 November 2013. He was survived by his daughter and two grandchildren.

Traditional Asian medicine

Traditional Asian medicine is a collective term for several types of medicine practiced in Asia.

Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine)

Kampo (traditional Japanese medicine)

Traditional Chinese medicine

Traditional Korean medicine

Traditional Vietnamese medicine

Unani medicine

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