Per Henrik Ling, the discoverer of Swedish Medical Gymnastics is regarded as one of the founders of Naturopathy and Natural Medicine.
Born in 1776, Ling was afflicted by a number of physical problems, including rheumatism. lung disease, and gout. In an attempt at self-help he began a series of various movements that involved stroking, pressing and kneading his body. He noticed over time that these actions had a positive effect upon the conditions.
Ling began to experiment with these movements, and to systematize them into a system which he called Medical Gymnastics, and began to educate people in his medical gymnastic movements in order to help the sick. He founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 as a means of educating doctors and the public in the "Ling System".
In 1887, physiotherapists (physical therapists) were given official registration by Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare, and other countries followed establishing Physiotherapy schools.
Included with Ling's system of Medical Gymnastics were Bernarr MacFadden's Physicultopathy, a system of exercise and physical conditioning which MacFadden had developed.
Sister Kenny, the famous nurse who developed a system of massage and physical therapy to heal patients of polio became associated with USSP after Dr. Frederick W. Collins invited her to work with USSP in the 1940s.
Dr. Collins was the first in America to establish a free clinic treating polio victims.
The United States School of Physiotherapy was incorporated under an Act of Congress in the District of Columbia in 1926, as a perpetual non-profit corporation. The College has been, since its inception, a branch of First National University of Natuorpathy and Allied Sciences; America's only University of Natural Medicine..
The College currently grants the degree of Bachelors (B.S.), Masters (M.S.) and Doctor of Physiotherapy (D.P.T.).
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