Japanese Sekkotsu | Traditional Bone Setting

Published: Apr 16, 2021 | Revised: May 2, 2022
Written by: Marce Ferreira

Japanese Sekkotsu | Traditional Bone Setting

© Image from Harlie Raethel

Sekkotsu (in the modern version called Judo Therapy) is the Japanese traditional art of Bone Setting (also written Bonesetting). In its basic form the treatment modality is about the reduction of dislocations, the treatment of bruises and sprains, and bone realignment.

Additionally, the application of medicinal herbs, herbal compresses, massage, and diets, has always been part of the traditional Sekkotsu practice.

Throughout the centuries, the treatment has been used as a healing modality alongside many Japanese martial arts, used to heal wounds, bruises and dislocations of fighters (warriors). In modern terms, Sekkotsu or Judo Therapy can be seen as a mixture of Osteopathy, Physiotherapy, Orthopedic Massage, and Chiropractic.

Today, in Japan, modern Judo Therapy is licensed through a Judo Therapist license, controlled by the Judo Therapist Law (since 1970) which outlines the Judo therapist’s work. Since 2001, the profession has also been acknowledged by the WHO (world Health Organization) as an official Japanese traditional medical treatment type.

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