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  • To treat or operate with the hands in a skillful manner.
  • To adjust an object by hand (from Latin manus: hand)
  • To control or operate upon (a person or group) by unfair means to one's own advantage.


In the context of joints, manipulation is the skilled passive movement of a joint that is applied at varying speeds and amplitudes, including a small-amplitude/high velocity therapeutic movement or thrust. It can also refer to the process of bringing fragments of fractured bone or displaced joints into normal anatomical alignment (otherwise known as 'setting' the bone).

Manipulation does not imply specificity or the correction of the chiropractic subluxation, and therefore is not entirely synonymous with the chiropractic adjustment.

Social psychology

In a psychological context, manipulation means to influence a person or a group of people in such a way that the manipulator tries to get what he or she wants or makes a person believe something in a calculating, indirect and somewhat dishonest way. It is a form of psychological abuse.

For example, a manipulator will

  • use arguments that the manipulator does not believe in himself
  • or withhold or distort relevant information,
  • or launch false information (disinformation)
  • or "play" on the emotions of the person.

This might also involve propaganda when it is directed to more than one person.

There is a debate concerning the use of manipulation. For example, in general it is disturbing to have one's free will tampered with, while on the other hand, it may be desirable to manipulate or intimidate youths into taking a course of action that is alternative to their current course of actions, such as abusing firearms or narcotics.

See also


Manipulation can also refer to sleight of hand tricks in magic or XCM.