Somesthesia represents all the nervous activity that is related to the perception of the body. This includes tactile sensory perception, proprioception and nociception.
The manual therapist uses his hands. Whatever he is doing, he is going to touch the skin. And touching skin, in any way, is going to activate some nerve receptors. Different receptors will respond to different stimuli; so, each receptor will respond according to the specific type of stimulation that it will have received.
A.D. Craig, How Do You Feel? - An Interoceptive Moment with Your Neurobiological Self
All manual therapies are somesthesia therapies. Once again, it is impossible to practise manual therapy without touching the skin, which is itself full of receptors. Only through skin do we have access to muscles, joints and to some fascia. Bowen, DNM and Niromathé are manual therapies which target different receptors, and they are the methods that I use and teach. The difference between them, which I will explain in more detail in the pages dedicated to each of them, lies in the type of stimulation. There are differences, but there are even more common points.
To the somesthesia therapies, we could add all the other manual therapy methods: kinesitherapy, all forms of osteopathy, physiotherapy, massage therapy, orthotherapy, Rolfing, myofascial release, chiropractic, Trager approach, acupressure, biokinergy, manual lymphatic drainage, etiopathy, fascia therapy, reflexology and many more.
And then, all those movement therapies like yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Kong, Feldenkrais, Pilates, and all the different methods of meditation or breathing therapies will also activate skin, joint and muscle receptors. They are all considered as somesthesia therapies.
Thereupon, we will talk about manual therapies and movement therapies.
I dream of the day when the only terminology used to talk about manual therapy is "manual therapy" or the more generic expression "somesthesia therapy".
D. Jacobs, DermoNeuroModulation
Prof G. Lorimer Moseley and Dr David S. Butler, Explain Pain Supercharged
L. Tremblay, The Therapeutic Pause in Osteopathy and Manual Therapy / The Somatosensory Integration Time