BCMT Goals and Objectives.

Purpose of the Certification:

To standardize and specialize clinical practice of rehabilitation disciplines at international standard for quality care.



History &Science.

Manual Therapy History

Manual therapy has a long and diverse history, dating back thousands of years. The use of manual techniques to alleviate pain, promote healing, and improve health has been practiced by various cultures around the world. Here's a brief overview of the history of manual therapy:

Ancient Civilizations: The roots of manual therapy can be traced to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, China, and India. Historical records suggest that these cultures used hands-on techniques, massage, and manipulation to treat various ailments and injuries.

Ancient Greece and Rome: In ancient Greece, renowned physicians like Hippocrates and Galen advocated for the use of manual therapies, including massage and joint manipulation, to treat musculoskeletal conditions. These techniques were also popular in ancient Rome.

Asian Traditions: In China and India, manual therapies were integral components of traditional medicine systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. Acupuncture, acupressure, and various massage techniques were commonly used to balance the body's energy and promote healing.

Middle Ages: During the Middle Ages, manual therapies continued to be practiced, but their prominence waned with the rise of religious institutions and limited scientific understanding.

Renaissance and Early Modern Period: With the advent of the Renaissance, there was a resurgence of interest in human anatomy and medicine. This period saw the development of more systematic approaches to manual therapy.

19th Century: The 19th century witnessed significant advancements in manual therapy. Pioneers like Swedish physician Per Henrik Ling developed what is now known as Swedish massage, a popular form of therapeutic massage.

20th Century: Manual therapy continued to evolve in the 20th century. Techniques like osteopathy, chiropractic, and physiotherapy gained recognition and became established healthcare professions. These modalities involved various forms of hands-on manipulation to treat musculoskeletal disorders and promote overall well-being.

Modern Era: In the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st century, manual therapy continued to develop and integrate with evidence-based medicine. Researchers and practitioners explored different manual techniques, their mechanisms of action, and their efficacy for various conditions.

Today, manual therapy is a significant component of various healthcare disciplines, including physiotherapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, massage therapy, and more. While some techniques have ancient origins, the field continues to evolve with ongoing research and innovations in healthcare. It remains a valuable approach for managing pain, promoting mobility, and improving the quality of life for many individuals.

Why more than one definition?

The existence of more than one definition of manual therapy is primarily due to the diversity of healthcare disciplines that incorporate manual techniques and the historical development of different approaches to hands-on therapy. Here are some reasons why there isn't a singular, universally accepted definition:

Diverse Healthcare Disciplines: Manual therapy is used in various healthcare professions, such as physiotherapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, massage therapy, and more. Each discipline has its own specific training, techniques, and goals for manual therapy. As a result, definitions can vary depending on the perspective of the profession.

Historical Development: Manual therapy has evolved over centuries and across different cultures. The historical roots and traditions have shaped the techniques and philosophies of manual therapy in various regions, leading to multiple interpretations and definitions.

Different Techniques and Modalities: Manual therapy encompasses a wide range of techniques, including joint mobilizations, soft tissue manipulation, stretching, massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and more. Each technique may have a specific definition within the context of its use.

Evolving Research and Evidence: As scientific knowledge advances, new research may lead to refinements or changes in the understanding of manual therapy. This can result in updated definitions based on the latest evidence.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: In some cases, healthcare professionals from different disciplines collaborate and share manual therapy techniques. This exchange of knowledge can result in variations in how manual therapy is defined and practiced.

Regional and Cultural Differences: Manual therapy practices can also be influenced by regional and cultural factors. Different countries or cultures may have unique approaches to manual therapy, leading to variations in definitions.

Overall, the diversity of definitions and practices in manual therapy reflects the richness of this field and the many ways it can be applied to address various health conditions. While the specifics may vary, the underlying goal of manual therapy remains consistent: to improve the health and well-being of individuals through hands-on techniques and interventions.

The science of Manual Therapy

The science of manual therapy involves the study and application of hands-on techniques to diagnose, treat, and manage musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. It is an essential aspect of various healthcare disciplines, including physiotherapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, and massage therapy. The science of manual therapy is based on a combination of anatomical knowledge, biomechanical principles, neurophysiological mechanisms, and evidence-based practice.

Key aspects of the science of manual therapy include:

Anatomy and Biomechanics: Manual therapists have a deep understanding of human anatomy, including the structure and function of muscles, bones, joints, nerves, and soft tissues. Knowledge of biomechanics helps them analyze movement patterns and identify dysfunctions or imbalances that may contribute to pain or dysfunction.

Physiology and Neurophysiology: A sound understanding of the body's physiological processes, especially those related to the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, is crucial. Manual therapists consider how the nervous system, including sensory input and reflexes, influences pain perception and functional outcomes.

Manual Techniques: The science of manual therapy encompasses a wide array of techniques, each designed to achieve specific therapeutic goals. These may include joint mobilizations, manipulations, soft tissue techniques, stretching, traction, and more. Manual therapists are trained to apply these techniques with precision, considering individual patient needs and conditions.

Evidence-Based Practice: Modern manual therapy is increasingly focused on evidence-based practice, where interventions are supported by scientific research and clinical studies. Research is conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of various manual therapy techniques, refine treatment protocols, and identify the patient populations that can benefit most from specific approaches.

Patient Assessment and Diagnosis: Manual therapists use a systematic approach to assess patients, considering their medical history, physical examination, and any relevant imaging or diagnostic tests. This process helps them formulate accurate diagnoses and individualized treatment plans.


Clinical Reasoning: Manual therapists employ clinical reasoning skills to interpret assessment findings and determine the most appropriate manual therapy techniques for each patient. This involves considering the underlying pathophysiology, patient goals, contraindications, and the expected outcomes of treatment.

Holistic Approach: Many manual therapists take a holistic approach to patient care, recognizing that musculoskeletal issues can be influenced by various factors, such as lifestyle, mental health, and environmental factors. They may consider the whole person when developing treatment plans.

Continuing Education: The science of manual therapy is continually evolving, with ongoing research and advancements in techniques and technology. Manual therapists often engage in continuing education to stay updated with the latest developments in the field and refine their skills.

Overall, the science of manual therapy combines a solid understanding of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics with evidence-based techniques to provide effective and patient-centered care for musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions.

Trans-Synovial Pump:

In manual therapy, the term "Trans-Synovial Pump" refers to a theoretical concept used to describe the movement of synovial fluid within a joint during specific manual techniques. The trans-synovial pump mechanism is thought to contribute to joint lubrication, nutrition, and overall joint health.

Synovial fluid is a viscous fluid found in synovial joints, such as the knee, hip, shoulder, and other articulating joints. Its primary function is to lubricate the joint surfaces, reducing friction during movement. Additionally, synovial fluid contains nutrients that nourish the articular cartilage, which is the smooth, rubbery tissue that covers the ends of bones within the joint.

During certain manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilizations or oscillatory movements, the therapist applies controlled forces to the joint. This controlled motion is believed to create pressure changes within the joint capsule. As the joint surfaces move relative to each other, the pressure changes can cause synovial fluid to flow within the joint space. This movement of synovial fluid is referred to as the "Trans-Synovial Pump."

The idea behind the Trans-Synovial Pump is that this pumping action enhances the distribution of synovial fluid, facilitating nutrient exchange and waste removal within the joint. It is theorized that this mechanism may have benefits for joint health, particularly in maintaining the integrity of the articular cartilage and preventing degenerative changes.

It's important to note that while the concept of the Trans-Synovial Pump is discussed in manual therapy literature and teachings, its exact mechanisms and clinical significance are still areas of ongoing research and discussion within the field. Additionally, the effectiveness of manual therapy techniques, including those that may influence the trans-synovial pump, can vary depending on the specific condition being treated and the individual patient's response.

As with any manual therapy technique, it's essential for therapists to apply their skills based on a thorough assessment and an evidence-based understanding of the underlying anatomy and physiology. If you are seeking manual therapy treatment, it's recommended to consult with a qualified and experienced healthcare professional who can appropriately apply these techniques based on your specific needs.


Mechanotransduction in the context of manual therapy refers to the process by which mechanical forces applied to the body's tissues during hands-on techniques elicit cellular responses and physiological changes. It involves the conversion of mechanical signals into biochemical responses within cells and tissues. This concept is fundamental to understanding how manual therapy interventions can affect the body at a cellular level.

Here's how mechanotransduction works in manual therapy:

Mechanical Forces: During manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilizations, soft tissue manipulation, stretching, and compression, mechanical forces are applied to the body's tissues. These forces can be either direct (e.g., pressure on soft tissues) or indirect (e.g., joint mobilization).

Cellular Response: The mechanical forces applied during manual therapy generate mechanical deformation in the tissues. This mechanical deformation is sensed by various cells, including fibroblasts, chondrocytes, and osteocytes, as well as receptors on nerve endings.

Intracellular Signaling: When the mechanical signals are sensed by the cells, they trigger intracellular signaling pathways. These pathways involve the activation of specific proteins and enzymes that initiate a cascade of biochemical reactions.


Gene Expression and Protein Synthesis: The intracellular signaling ultimately leads to changes in gene expression, resulting in the production of new proteins or the modification of existing ones. These changes in protein synthesis play a vital role in tissue repair, remodeling, and adaptation.

Tissue Remodeling and Adaptation: Over time, repeated mechanical stimulation from manual therapy can lead to tissue remodeling and adaptation. For example, increased mechanical loading through stretching or joint mobilization may stimulate collagen synthesis and remodeling, leading to improved tissue flexibility and function.

Pain Modulation: Mechanotransduction in manual therapy can also influence pain perception. Mechanical stimulation can activate nerve fibers and impact pain-modulating pathways in the nervous system, leading to pain relief or improved pain tolerance.

It's important to note that the effects of mechanotransduction in manual therapy are influenced by various factors, including the type and intensity of the applied forces, the duration and frequency of treatment, the specific tissues targeted, and individual patient factors.

Understanding mechanotransduction in manual therapy is essential for healthcare practitioners to tailor treatments effectively and maximize therapeutic outcomes. However, while the concept of mechanotransduction is well-established in scientific research, the specific cellular and molecular responses to manual therapy techniques are complex and can vary based on the specific intervention and the individual patient's condition. Therefore, ongoing research in this field continues to deepen our understanding of how manual therapy can impact the body at a cellular and molecular level.

BCMT outcomes.

Competency list/Outcome:

 The following clinical skills through this certification will be achieved:

  1. Comprehensive assessment (Scan-Exam) of the spine including Cervical, Thoracic, +and lumbo-sacral.
  2. Application of PIVMs of the Lumbar and Cervical spine
  3. Application of Spine manipulation (Lumber, Thoracic and Cervical)
  4. Application of Spine mobilization (Lumber, Thoracic and Cervical)
  5. Comprehensive Assessment of shoulder complex and application of manual techniques (Mobilization and manipulation along with other relevant manual techniques)
  6. Comprehensive Assessment of the elbow and application of manual techniques (Mobilization and distraction along with other relevant manual techniques)
  7. Comprehensive Assessment of the wrist and hand and application of manual techniques (Mobilization and manipulation along with other relevant manual techniques)
  8. Comprehensive Assessment of the hip and application of manual techniques (Mobilization, manipulation, and distraction along with other relevant manual techniques)
  9. Comprehensive Assessment of the knee and application of manual techniques ((Mobilization and manipulation along with other relevant manual techniques)
  10. Comprehensive Assessment of the ankle and foot and application of manual techniques (Mobilization and manipulation along with other relevant manual techniques)


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