Roles of Judo therapist

Judo therapist was popular as "bonesetter"
"The Judo Therapist" is a person with the national license to treat damage of bones, joints, muscles and soft tissues by the conservative therapy (without operation) based on Japanese traditional medicine or Judo therapy skills (which were popular and trusted by people from a long time ago) and Western medical knowledge.

Historically-developed, patient-friendly treatment skills without medical equipment used
The treatment skills unique to Judo therapy are not clearly standardized due to a lot of schools handed down orally except for a common consideration that man's natural move, self-medication and immune strength are to be respected. Therefore it can be said that Judo therapy contains all the theory-based treatment skills without using medical equipment existing in the world today. Thus it is very profound.
In recent years, physical medicine and kinesiology using science-based electric equipment (low frequency, high frequency, supersonic wave, etc.) has become popular. In Judo therapy, however, these methods are considered as complementary to the treatment without using medical devices.

Medical act based on Judo Therapy Law
The Judo therapist license and the operation is controlled by the Judo therapist Law and related enforcement regulations issued in 1970 as a single law.
In these regulations, the Judo therapist's work is stipulated, and the provisions related to the right to open a clinic of Judo therapy, the treatment of bone fracture and bone dislocation based on the premise of a doctor (excluding first aid) are contained.
The subjects for national licensing examination for Judo therapist specified in these regulations are anatomy, physiology, kinematics pathology summary, hygieiology, public health study, general clinical medicine, surgery summary, orthopedic surgery, rehabilitation medicine, Judo therapy theory and related laws. Through these subjects, we can know that today's "traditional medicine (national medicine) is closely connected with the special knowledge of the modern Western medicine.

History of Judo therapy

Specialists to treat damaged bones and joints existed before recorded history
History of Judo therapy started when people treated external injury for the first time, but as historical evidence recorded, there is a description about the specialist who treated bone fracture and joint damage in an ancient code made in 701. This must be the birth of the traditional medicine (national medicine) in Japan.
In the civil war period when samurais gained power, surgeons called "kinsoi" treated bone fracture and displacement for samurais injured in the fighting, according to a record.

Martial art medicine developed from Jujutsu
The headstream of Judo therapy was "kung fu" and "redressment", which was transferred by asylum seekers from China in the beginning of the 17th century and developed into the headstream of Japanese jujutsu to spread nationwide as the "skills for both killing and curing." This is why there are many schools of Judo therapy handed down orally.
In 1746, a book titled "Bonesetting Treatment Book" was written, which is said to be the oldest osteopathy book in Japan. Also, in a book titled "Redressment Arcanum", a method of traumatic bone dislocation therapy is described as a Judo first aid.
Moreover, in 1807, "Redressment Models" was written and redressment was recognized as an art of medicine.
In the Edo period when various Japanese cultures were developed, Western studies flourished and Western science books in many fields were translated into Japanese. In the Judo therapy field, Western knowledge was adopted and Judo therapy was blended with Western medicine.

Social recognition of Judo therapy
In 1874 Health Policy was issued, by which Judo therapists entered the age of difficulties to survive. In 1919 official regulations were revised by the "movement to petition the official recognition of Judo therapist", and in 1920 the first certification examination was conducted as part of the qualification system.

Health insurance coverage
In 1936, the health insurance coverage for the cost for treatment by Judo therapists was approved for the purpose of supplying healthy medical care in depopulated areas as well as densely-populated areas. This means that the importance of the role of Judo therapists as part of local medical care was recognized and at the same time their responsibility was clarified.

Education licensing system
In 1951 when Japan was still in the postwar years of recovery, the government established the education licensing system related to cultivation of Judo therapists by the joint ministerial decree by Education Ministry and Health and Welfare Ministry (present Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry). Thus the licensing system for fully-fledged training and education was established and many Judo therapist training schools were founded.

To the stage of national license
In 1990, the administration of the license of Judo therapist was transferred from prefectural governments to Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, and in 1933 the first national licensing examination for Judo therapist was conducted

Increasing qualified therapists along with the increase in training facilities

The number of the examinees in the first national licensing examination was only 1066, but in the 12th examination held in Mar. 2004 the examinees increased to 3,000.
This is because the social change since 2000 including deregulation following the Big Bang, corporate downsizing, bank bankruptcy and collapse of corporate myth made people worry about their future and they wanted to obtain qualification. Also the accelerating corporate advance into different business fields or business categories is one of indirect causes for rapid increase of Judo therapist training institutions.
In this way, the number of Judo therapist training schools in 1998 was 14 nationwide, which increased to 107 in 2014 and the full complement has increased from 1050 students to over 8000.

Conclusion - Cultivation of Judo therapists who build a future

While traditional things were destroyed one after another, people apply such a great energy to Judo therapy or a Japanese traditional medicine as above-mentioned. Thus it is a key to stably select and cultivate high-quality human resources for next generation, which is the due responsibility of a training facility.
Also we think it is required to execute fair and public measures to create a new environment or a social system to nurture competent and right-quality Judo therapists by the industry, government and academia tie-up.

(Written by TMJ)

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