Physiotherapy is a branch of contemporary clinical medicine which makes use of various forms of energy for the purposes of treatment, rehabilitation and prevention. Its origins lie in physical therapy based on natural resources and practiced from the most ancient of times and the term defines those methods which have been scientifically proved and, on that basis, substantially developed.
Physiotherapy can be a stand-alone treatment method or constitute both a supplement to pharmacotherapy and operative treatment and a basis for rehabilitation and prevention. In other words, the term generally describes treatment which makes use of stimuli in order to restore the state of equilibrium. The methods applied in physiotherapy are considered as falling within the category of natural means of treatment for two reasons; they act on the natural, which is to say, the physiological mechanisms of homeostasis, and they constitute a natural component of the external environment.
From among the physiotherapeutic methods, we can single out balneotherapy, hydrotherapy, thermotherapy, also known as heat therapy; therapeutic massage; kinesiotherapy; climatotherapy; ultrasonic therapy, light therapy, also referred to as phototherapy; electrotherapy; magnetotherapy, also termed magnet therapy; aerosol therapy; and spa therapy. In addition to the methods described above, diet, psychotherapy, health education and pharmacotherapy are all aspects which serve to support the treatment in question.