Glossary of Terms

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Alleviates pain and can increase immune response by balancing the flow of vital life energy throughout the body. It is a complete system of healing and provides effective treatment for numerous conditions.

Based on the principles of acupuncture, utilizes finger pressure on specific points along the body to treat ailments such as tension, stress, aches, pains, cramps or arthritis.

In chiropractic, a small controlled thrust that moves a joint slightly beyond its normal range of motion.

Is both a method of self-defense and a spiritual discipline, with the goal being to harmonize one's chi (vital energy) with that of one's opponent, so that the opponent's strength and weight are used against him or her. Many of the moves are flowing and graceful, similar to those of tai chi.

Akashic Records
Akasha is Sanskrit for ether, and it is said that within this Etheric state of being, the records of everything is stored, the future, as well as the present, and past.

Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is a system of reeducating your body and mind, to facilitate proper posture, ease of movement, and attainment of optimum health.

The term is sometimes used to refer to conventional Western medicine. Drugs and surgery are allopathic treatments.

Amma Therapy
Uses traditional oriental medical principles for assessing and evaluating imbalances in the energetic system and aims to restore balance through the treatment of the physical body, bio-energy, and emotions.

The use of the essential oils extracted from plants and herbs to treat a wide range of conditions and reduce stress.

Art Therapy
The use of art as a means of reconciling emotional conflicts, fostering self-awareness, developing social skills, managing behavior, solving problems, reducing anxiety, aiding reality orientation and increasing self-esteem.

Is the study of the positions of the planets in the solar system and their possible influence on human affairs. Based on this information, a counselor can work with a client to provide individualized insights into emotional, professional, and health matters, or into the personality.

Aura Color Healing
Drawing from ancient Hindu beliefs and the work of healers such as Edgar Cayce, it is believed that that a dark or grayish area in aura field surrounding the body is an indication potential health problems. Color healers apply remedial colors where they notice a color deficiency.

Practiced in India for the past five thousand years, "Ayur" means life and "Ved" means knowledge and has been translated to mean "the science of life." It is a highly personalized approach to treatment of disease, which places equal emphasis on body, mind and spirit, and strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual.

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Bach Flower Remedies
Dr. Edward Bach believed "dis-ease" to be the result of conflict between the soul, mind and body. The Flower Remedies were developed to deal directly with ailments at their root cause.

Through physical exercises, breathing techniques, verbal psychotherapy, or other forms of emotional-release work, the therapist attempts to loosen muscular tension and restore diminished vitality and energy.

Biofeedback Training
Teaches a person how to change and control their bodyís functions through the use of simple electronic devices. Particularly useful for learning to reduce stress, eliminate headaches, control asthmatic attacks, recondition injured muscles, and relieve pain.

An electromagnetic field or energy field, which surrounds all living bodies, and extends several inches beyond the body. Healing Touch, Medical Qigong, Therapeutic Touch, and Reiki Practitioners utilize this field in the practice of their therapies.

Live Blood Cell Analysis
Using a microscope fitted with a camera, a blood cell sample is examined and displayed on a television monitor for examination. Provides the opportunity for a client to see the conditions within their blood, and discuss appropriate remedies, such as life-style changes, proper nutrition and nutritional supplementation.

Refers to therapies such as massage, deep tissue manipulation, movement awareness, and energy balancing, which help to reduce pain, soothe injured muscles, stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation, and promote deep relaxation. Includes modalities such as; Swedish Massage, Rolfing, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, Myofascial Release, Trager, Rubenfeld Synergy, Rosen Method, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Therapeutic Touch, CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, Holotropic Breathwork, Polarity Therapy.

A variety of techniques that use patterned breathing to promote physical, mental and/or spiritual well-being. Used as a calming, peaceful way to induce relaxation or manage pain. Used therapeutically, a stronger breathing technique can stimulate emotions and emotional release.

Breema Bodywork
Is an ancient non-diagnostic health-improvement method that uses a series of gentle, rhythmic movements to release tension and to promote health, vitality, and inner harmony. Breema Bodywork is done fully clothed, with the recipient lying or sitting.

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Most commonly referring to the seven vital energy centers of the body. The chakras extend from the base of spine to the crown of head. Each chakra is believed to correspond to certain colors, emotions, organs, nerve networks, and energies.

Chelation Therapy
Typically administered in an osteopathic or medical doctor's office, chelation therapy is a series of intravenous injections of the synthetic amino acid EDTA, designed to detoxify the body. It is often used to treat arteriosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries."

Chinese Medicine - Oriental Medicine
Oriental medical practitioners are trained to use a variety of ancient and modern therapeutic methods, including acupuncture, herbal medicine and massage, as well as nutritional and lifestyle counseling, to treat a broad range of both chronic and acute illnesses.

Based on the premise that the spine is literally the backbone of human health. That misalignments of the vertebrae caused by poor posture or trauma result in pressure on the spinal nerve roots, which may lead to diminished function and illness. The chiropractor seeks to analyze and correct these misalignments through spinal manipulation or adjustments.

Colon Hydrotherapy
Purified water is gently introduced into the colon through sterilized tubes in order to flush out toxins, gas, accumulated matter and mucus deposits along the walls of the colon. The results of a hydrotherapy session are increased energy, reduced cravings and better absorptions of nutrients. Is increased when the encrustation on the colon wall are cleaned.

Originated by German scientist and naturopath named Peter Mandel. Colorpuncture involves focusing colored light on acupuncture points on the skin to energize healing impulses in the physical and energy bodies.

Conscious Bodywork
A form of neuromuscular reprogramming and therapy which combines massage techniques with muscle testing, to help the client learn how to use their muscles with greater strength and less effort.

Core Energetics
A form of body-oriented psychotherapy that aims to break down the client's defenses in order to reach the "core" level of consciousness, or spiritual self. Using bodywork and counseling techniques and offering spiritual guidance, the practitioner seeks to evoke cathartic reactions that open the way to "core energy." The goal is to enable the client to become a more loving, creative, receptive, and vibrant person.

Counseling, Holistic
This broad category encompasses a range of practitioners, from career counselors to psychotherapists. Formats can vary from individual counseling to group therapy. In addition to verbal counseling techniques, some holistic therapists may use bodywork, ritual, energy healing, and other alternative modalities as part of their practice.

Craniosacral Therapy
A manipulates the bones of the skull to treat a range of conditions, from headache to more chronic conditions. Cranial manipulation has been used to improve overall health and body functioning.

Crystal Therapy
Dates back to Incan, Egyptian, Mayan, Atlantean, and Lemurian Civilizations. Quartz crystals, and other stones and crystals are placed on and around the body to stimulate and sensitize subtle vibrational patterns, release energy blockages, and harmonize vibrational frequencies.

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Dance and Movement Therapies
Dance and/or movement therapy uses expressive movement as a therapeutic tool for both personal expression and emotional healing. Used in the treatment of physical disabilities, addiction issues, sexual abuse histories, eating disorders, as an adjunct to other therapies.

Deep Tissue Bodywork
A general term used to describe for a range of therapies that seek to improve the function of the bodyís connective tissues and/or muscles. Among the conditions treated are whiplash, low back and neck pain, and degenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.

Dentistry, Holistic
The practice of licensed dentists, who bring an interdisciplinary approach to their practice, often incorporating such methods as homeopathy, nutrition and acupuncture into their treatment plans. Most holistic dentists emphasize wellness and preventive care and avoid silver-mercury fillings.

Dietary Supplement
Products intended to supply nutrients and other healthful substances that may be lacking in a diet. Term used to apply only to vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Herbs are now classified as dietary supplements, and the definition also includes amino acids, glandulars (processed animal glands), enzymes, fish oils, and various extracts, such as flower essences.

Each year people are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals and pollutants in the earth's atmosphere, water, food, and soil. These pollutants manifest themselves in a variety of symptoms, including decreased immune function, neurotoxicity, hormonal dysfunction, psychological disturbances, and even cancer. Detoxification therapy helps to rid the body of chemicals and pollutants and can facilitate a return to health.

Doctor of Naturopathy (D.N.)
The scope of a naturopathic doctor's practice includes all aspects of family care from natural childbirth through geriatrics. Naturopathic doctors are licensed in a number of states and several Canadian provinces. These physicians are trained in natural medicine. Training involves four years of postgraduate study, including two years of medical sciences and a diversity of natural therapies. The therapies studied include herbal medicine, hydrotherapy and manipulation, with specialty areas of natural childbirth, homeopathy, and acupuncture. Naturopathic Medicine is a unique and comprehensive approach to improving health and addressing illness. Focusing on prevention and using natural approaches, naturopathic doctors (ND's) support and stimulate the body's ability to heal itís self. The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of illness, rather than simply treat or suppress symptoms. The patient is seen as a whole person and the ND takes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions into account when making an assessment and developing strategies for recovery of health.

Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)
This discipline was begun by Andrew Still in the late 1800s to teach bone manipulation to promote natural healing. Osteopathy helps the body to stimulate and restore its own immune systems and is very effective in treating many autoimmune disorders such as arthritis. Osteopaths use a system of healing that emphasizes realignment of the body through manipulation to correct faulty structure and function. They specialize in manipulating muscles and joints to treat problems. Doctors of Osteopathy are fully trained and licensed according to the same standards as M.D.'s and receive additional extensive training in the body's structure and function

Counselors use a client's dreams to help awaken a better understanding of psychological or emotional disturbances. Some methods focus on teaching a client to do effective dreaming to change basic behavioral patterns or overcome certain problems.

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Emotional Release Work
There are a number of bodywork techniques, which can be adapted for emotional release work. Practitioners often combine bodywork with verbal counseling to encourage the spontaneous release of fears, emotional traumas and phobias.

Environmental Therapy
Through environmental therapy, practitioners seek to identify significant factors and probable causes of illness or allergy in the individual's life, home, and work. They then work with the individual to lessen or eliminate the impact of toxins and allergens.

Ear Candling
Is an ancient technique, which involves placing the narrow end of a specially designed hollow candle at the entry of the ear canal, while the opposite end is lit creating a vacuum with the ear. Primarily used for wax buildup and related hearing problems, ear candling is also used for ear infections and sinus infections.

Energy Balancing
Is the practice of realigning, balancing, and re-attuning the bodyís electro-magnetic energy field. Everything in creation is energy, and we, as energy, relate to it harmoniously or inharmoniously depending upon the degree to which we are in a balanced state of harmony within ourselves.

Energy Field Work
By using natural plant and pancreative enzymes as supplements, practitioners seek to improve digestion and correct potential problems created by the malabsorption of essential nutrients. Practitioners look for weaknesses in the energy field in and around the clientís body and seek to restore its proper circulation and balance. Energy channeled through the practitioner is directed to strengthen the bodyís natural defenses and help the clientís physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual state.

Enzyme Therapy
During digestion, the bodies own digestive enzymes are not the only ones at work; the enzymes present in raw fruits and vegetables also contribute to the breakdown of food in the stomach. Because the average diet is low in raw foods, enzyme therapy advocates supplementation to reduce the work that the body has to do. Enzyme supplements are available over the counter in health food stores.

Expressive Therapies
Is the use the arts to promote physical & mental health and personal growth. Examples of expressive therapies include art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, poetry, and psychodrama.

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Fasting / Natural Hygiene
Natural Hygiene is a health system that seeks to remove the causes of disease and encourage the body's self- healing capacity through natural-food diets and therapeutic fasting. Professional Natural Hygienists are primary care doctors (M.D.s, osteopaths, chiropractors, and naturopaths) who specialize in fasting supervision as a part of natural hygienic care. Natural Hygiene is employed for a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions.

Feng Shui
Is an ancient Chinese practice of configuring home or work environments to promote health, happiness, and prosperity. Feng Shui consultants may advise clients to make adjustments in their surroundings, from color selection to furniture placement, to promote a healthy flow of chi, or vital energy.

Is experienced in a flotation tank, which is a specially designed chamber containing sufficient salt-saturated water to enable one to float. In this state of suspension, floating effortlessly, allows the mind and body to release tension.

Flower Essences
Are intended to alleviate negative emotional states that may contribute to illness or hinder personal growth. Drops of a solution infused with the captured essence of a flower are placed under the tongue or in a beverage. The appropriate essences are chosen, to focus on the clientís emotional state rather than on a particular physical condition.

Teaches, through movement, how to use our bodies in a way that improves the capabilities to function with a greater range of ease and skill, thus improving well-being.

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Gestalt Therapy
This psychotherapy aims to help the client achieve wholeness (gestalt is the German word for "whole") by becoming fully aware of his or her feelings, perceptions, and behavior. The emphasis is on the "here and now" of immediate experience rather than on the past. Gestalt therapy is often conducted in a group settings, such as weekend workshops.

Freeze-dried animal glands, processed into pill form and taken to provide the body an extra dose of a hormone. Typically made from cow, sheep, or pig glands, glandulars on the market include adrenal, testicular, ovary, pancreas, pituitary, prostate, and thymus products.

Guided Imagery
Also known as Guided Meditation or Guided Visualization. This experience is achieved by listening to the narration given by a practitioner guiding the visualization or "journey," or by listening to an audiocassette tape or CD. The experience allows one to travel within the mind to areas of beauty and peace, and further allows the individual to release any stress and tension.

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Developed by former aerospace engineer (and one-time Rolf Institute president) Joseph Heller, this technique combines systematic structural bodywork and movement reeducation with dialogue about the emotional issues that may underlie a physical posture. Participants go through eleven sixty- to ninety-minute sessions. Stressing the mind-body connection, Hellerwork is used to treat chronic pain or to help "well" people learn to live more comfortably in their bodies.

Also known as HERBALISM, is found in practically all the ancient cultures throughout the world, and utilizes plants and trees, and their derivatives for preventative and curative medicine. Herbs are prepared for internal and external use in various ways, including teas, tinctures, extracts, oils, ointments and compresses. Herbal therapy is used to strengthen the immune system, and heal the body naturally.

Holistic / Wholistic
Is an adjective meaning targeted to the whole person - mind, body, and spirit. Holistic medicine considers not only physical health but also the emotional, spiritual, social, and mental well-being of the person.

Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine is a broadly descriptive term for a healing philosophy that views a patient as a whole person, not as just a disease or a collection of symptoms. In the course of treatment, holistic medical practitioners may address a client's emotional and spiritual dimensions as well as the nutritional, environmental, and lifestyle factors that may contribute to an illness. Many holistic medical practitioners combine conventional forms of treatment (such as medication and surgery) with natural or alternative treatments.

Holistic Physician (Doctor of Medicine, M.D.)
Holistic Physicians are medical doctors who practice some type of natural therapy, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, or other specialty. Holistic physicians assume that all aspects of life create and comprise a total state of health. They analyze nutritional, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and life-style values of the client to treat the individual rather than the disease.

Homeopathy utilizes minute doses of natural remedies that are created from herbal, mineral and animal substances to stimulate a personís immune and defense system. Homeopathic remedies are named for the plant or animal ingredient they are made from.

Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy
A state in which the practitioner has accessed the subconscious mind in order to address the condition that influences a particular activity or attitude. It may be regarded as a trance-like state, which is artificially produced. This state allows the subject to bypass the limitations of dealing with and healing anything which has been suppressed, repressed, and in many situations, unresolved elements from previous lives (past life recall). The subject is susceptible to suggestions by the practitioner, to help the subject heal, even the most traumatic of conditions.

Hydrotherapy is the use of water, ice, steam, and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, stream baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation, and the application of hot, and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program.

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Inner Child
When used in counseling or psychotherapy, clients imagine their return to childhood experiences (traumatic or otherwise), with the goal of healing and resolving present psychological problems and gain greater self awareness.

Interactive Guided Imagery
Interactive Guided Imagery is a mind-body modality in which the practitioner helps clients explore their own unconscious imagery for therapeutic purposes. Used for a variety of illnesses, stress management, anxiety disorders, depression, pain management, addiction recovery, and as part of counseling.

Intuitive Arts
Is a general term for various methods of divination, such as numerology, psychic and tarot readings. Individuals may consult practitioners to seek information about the future or insights into personal concerns or the personality.

Diagnostic system based on the premise that every organ has a corresponding location within the iris of the eye, which can serve as an indicator of the organís health or disease. Used by naturopaths and other practitioners, particularly when diagnosis achieved through standard methods in unclear.

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Jin Shin Do
Developed by a psychotherapist, it combines acupressure, Taoist yogic breathing and Reichian segmental theory (addresses how emotional tension affects the physical body) with the goal of releasing physical & emotional tension and armoring. Aims to promote a state in which the patient can address the emotional factors that underlie various physical conditions.

Jin Shin Jyutsu
Jin Shin Jyutsu is an oriental system intended to harmonize the flow of energy through the body. The system holds that tension, fatigue, or illness can trap energy in the body's twenty-six "safety energy locks": Practitioners use their hands to restore balance and reduce stress. Jin Shin Jyutsu is not a form of massage, however, as it does not involve physical manipulation of the muscles.

Juice Therapy
Juice therapy uses the fresh, raw juice of vegetables and fruits to nourish and replenish the body. Used as a nutritional support during periods of stress and illness, juice therapy can also be used as part of a comprehensive health maintenance plan.

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A basic concept common to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The doctrine holds that one's state in this life is the result of physical and mental actions in past incarnations and that present action can determine oneís destiny in future incarnations. Karma is a natural, impersonal law of moral cause and effect.

Kinesiology / Applied Kinesiology
Can determine health imbalances in the body's organs and glands by identifying weaknesses in specific muscles. By stimulating or relaxing these key muscles, an applied Kinesiologist can diagnose and resolve a variety of health problems.

Kripalu Bodywork
Based on the principles of Kripalu Yoga, this bodywork method seeks to promote a deep state of relaxation and to help recipients reconnect with the healing wisdom of their bodies. Along with specific massage strokes, Kripalu bodyworkers use verbal and nonverbal means to guide recipients into a meditative state wherein physical and mental tension may be accessed and released.

Kripalu Yoga
Developed by Yogi Amrit Desai, Kripalu Yoga uses classical hatha yoga postures and breathing techniques to help students enter a state of "meditation in motion." Besides offering guidance in these yoga techniques, Kripalu Yoga teachers provide an atmosphere where sensations, thoughts, and emotions can be experienced in safety and relaxation. The principles of Kripalu Yoga are the foundation for Phoenix Rising yoga therapy and Kripalu Bodywork.

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Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Ac)
An acupuncturist is a licensed health care professional who, based on the concepts of oriental medicine, maintains the health of patients and evaluates and treats their illness and pain. Using the principles of oriental medicine, the acupuncturist will examine you by looking, listening, asking questions, and touching.

Light Therapy
Light and color have been valued throughout history as sources of healing. Today, the therapeutic applications of light and color are being investigated in major hospitals and research centers worldwide. Results indicate that full-spectrum, ultraviolet, colored and laser light can have therapeutic value for a range of conditions from chronic pain and depression to immune disorders and cancer.

Lymphatic Therapies
The practitioners listed in this category use a range of therapies that seek to affect the body's lymphatic system, which is important to the effective functioning of the immune system

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Macrobiotic Counseling
Macrobiotic counselors assist people in making the transition to a low-fat, high-fiber "macrobiotic" diet of whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, and seeds. A diet of these natural foods, cooked in accordance with macrobiotic principles designed to synchronize our eating habits with the cycles of nature, is used to promote health and minimize disease.

Magnetic Therapy
Magnetic field therapy or bio-magnetic therapy involves the use of magnets, magnetic devices or magnetic fields to treat a variety of physical and emotional conditions, including circulatory problems, certain forms of arthritis, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and stress.

The application of manual force for healing. Term describes the techniques used in osteopathy, chiropractic, massage, and other bodywork therapies. Manipulation may involve various forms of massage, muscle pressure, and joint realignment or adjustment.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, mystic word used in ritual and meditation. It is believed to have power to bring into being the reality it represents. Use of such mantras usually requires initiation by a guru, or spiritual teacher.

Martial Arts
While the West often thinks of the martial arts as a sport or form of self-defense, these techniques originally developed in the East to increase mental acuity, health, and spiritual development through intense physical training. The many forms range from more externally oriented types such as karate and tae kwan do, which emphasize muscle and endurance, to the internally oriented tai chi and aikido, which seek to restore harmony and balance to the body.

Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has been used since the time of Hippocrates in the fourth century BC. The basic philosophy of massage is to manipulate the soft tissue to enhance the body's tendency to heal itself. It consists of physical methods that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding and moving parts of the body.

Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance a person's physical, emotional, and mental states. It is easily learned and has been used as an aid to treating stress and pain management. It has also been employed as part of an overall treatment for other conditions, including hypertension and heart disease.

Midwives provide education and support during pregnancy, assist the mother during labor and delivery and provide follow-up care. Practitioners of childbirth support include childbirth educators, childbirth assistants and women labor coaches who also provide post-partum home care.

Music / Sound Therapy
Therapists in this field utilize music or sound to improve a client's sense of emotional, physical and spiritual health and well-being. Various experiments with music have shown a range of benefits for all types of situations, from the elderly suffering from Alzheimerís to young people with learning disabilities.

Myofascial Release
Trauma, posture, or inflammation can create a binding down of fascia resulting in excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, osseous structures and/or organs. This hands-on technique seeks to free the body from the grip of tight fascia, or connective tissue, thus restoring normal alignment and function and reducing pain.

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Network Chiropractic
Uses Network Spinal Analysis, a method characterized by the sequential application of a number of gentle, specific chiropractic adjusting techniques. Care progresses through a series of levels that parallel spinal and quality-of-life changes.

Neural Therapy
A form of therapy based on the idea that illness is the result of disruptions in biological energy and that the disruptions are caused by changes in the electric activity of the autonomic nervous system (which controls involuntary functions like breathing).

Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a set of techniques whose goal is to alter limiting patterns of thought, behavior, and language. In conversation, practitioners observe the client's language, eye movements, posture, breathing, and gestures in order to detect and then help change unconscious patterns linked to the client's emotional state.

Nia Technique
Nia, Neuromuscular Integrative Action, is an expressive, barefooted, dance/fitness practice developed by Debbie and Carlos Rosas. It addresses fitness as well as the unique and ever-changing needs of your thinking and feeling body. Nia draws on aspects of Martial Arts, Aikido, Yoga, T'ai Chi, Dance and other body integration therapies.

Nutritionists use diet as therapy. They determine a patient's individual nutritional requirements as well as whether he or she has food allergies. Nutritionists then provide specific dietary guidelines and food supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, to be taken at regular intervals over a long period of time in the maintenance of health and treatment of disease. Many common conditions can be treated effectively by dietary measures.

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Organic Food
Is cultivated and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides (insecticides and herbicides), preservatives, colorings, artificial additives or radiation. Certified Organically grown food is such: that has been grown on land where synthetic fertilizers or pesticides have not been used for five years; that has been inspected by a licensed independent third party; and that the product is supported by documentation on soil tests, a statement of organic intent, and an affidavit of confirmation.

Orthomolecular Medicine
A form of nutrient therapy that uses combinations of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids normally found in the body to maintain good health and to treat specific conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, depression, and schizophrenia. "Orthomolecular" means an approach based on a correct (ortho) balance of substances present in the body.

Oxygen Therapy
Hydrogen peroxide therapy, ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) supply increased oxygen to the body.

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Past Life / Regression Therapy
Past-life therapy and regression therapy are based on the premise that many physical, mental, and emotional problems are extensions of unresolved problems from the past--whether from childhood traumas or from experiences in previous lifetimes. The practitioner uses hypnosis and relaxation techniques to access the source of this "unfinished business," and helps clients to analyze, integrate, and release past traumas that are interfering with their current lives.

Pilates Method
The Pilates Method is a full-body exercise system that emphasizes body alignment and correct breathing. With the help of an instructor, clients perform strength, flexibility, and range-of-motion exercises on specially designed equipment. Improves flexibility and range of motion, and can be used in physical therapy to aid in recovery.

Polarity Therapy
Polarity Therapy asserts that balancing the flow of energy in the body is the underlying foundation of health. Practitioners use gentle touch and guidance in diet, exercise, and self-awareness to help clients balance their energy flow, thus supporting a return to health.

Refers to the yogic concept of a cosmic energy or life force, similar to the Chinese idea of chi, which enters the body with the breath. Prana is thought to flow through the body, bringing health and vitality. It is considered the vital link between the spiritual self and the material self.

A term from yoga and Ayurveda meaning breath control.

Substances such as acidophilus and bifidus that restore the beneficial bacteria normally present in the intestines. Stress, poor diet, antibiotics, and oral contraceptives can throw off the normal balance of bacteria and fungi. This imbalance may be manifested as a yeast infection, or in symptoms such as diarrhea or gastrointestinal disturbances.

Psychic Healing
A psychic receives information from Spirit, and in accordance with universal permission, and the permission of the recipient, is able to provide information and guidance to the recipient. There are also occasions where the psychic can also be a catalyst for the stimulation of the innate healing energy within the recipient. The psychic healer is also able to receive information from spirit about the causes of a person's challenges in life, be it physical, emotional or spiritual.

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Qi Gong (Chi - Kung)
Qi gong (also referred to as chi-kung) is an ancient Chinese exercise system that aims to stimulate and balance the flow of qi (chi), or vital energy, along the acu-puncture meridians, or energy pathways. Qi gong is used to reduce stress, improve blood circulation, enhance immune function, and treat a variety of health conditions.

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Also known as conscious-connected breathing or vivation. A technique in which the therapist guides clients through breathing exercises to help them re-experience past memories - including birth - and let go of emotional tensions stored in the body.

Also known as ZONE THERAPY, is the practice of massaging the feet, where it is understood all the energy meridians of the body are represented, together with many nerve endings that also relate too much of the body and organs. The hand and ears are regarded in the same way. In either case, specific areas on the hands, feet and ears correspond to specific areas of the body and organs. In this sense, there is a similarity in philosophy to acupuncture and acupressure.

Psychological defense mechanism, viewed as a return to an earlier mode of behavior, thought, or feeling. The unconscious process that helps the mind resolve conflicts or lessen anxiety by returning to forms of gratification previously abandoned.

Practitioners of this ancient Tibetan healing system use light hand placements to transmit healing energies to the recipient. While the practitioners may vary widely in technique and philosophy, Reiki is commonly used to treat emotional and mental distress as well as chronic and acute physical problems, as well as to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity.

Uses deep manipulation of the fascia to restore the body's natural alignment, which may have become rigid through injury, emotional trauma, and inefficient movement habits. The process, developed by biochemist Ida P. Rolf, involves ten sessions, each focusing on a different part of the body.

Rosen method
Developed by former physical therapist Marion Rosen, the Rosen Method combines gentle touch and verbal communication to evoke relaxation and self-awareness. Because the work can bring up buried feelings and memories, it is used as a tool for personal growth as well as pain relief.

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Shamanism / Shamanic Healing
Many people associate shamanic healing with the use of Native American rituals to help correct a spiritual or physical imbalance within a person. However, every culture has its shamanic healing rituals in its spiritual traditions, and today shamanic healers in North America may draw from Tibetan rituals or African teachings as easily as from Native American thought. Shamanic Healer may call upon spiritual helpers such as power animals, angels, inner teachers, the clientís Higher Self, or other spiritual forces.

Shen Therapy
As a form of touch therapy, SHEN (specific human energy nexus) Therapy seeks to enable normal energy flows through the body through light hand placements.

Means "finger pressure," and is known for its particular technique of massage. Originating in Japan, many centuries ago, it is a form of acupressure, and uses varying rhythms and degrees of pressure to balance the life-energy that flows through specific pathways (meridians) in the body.

Soma Neuromuscular Integration
This bodywork method seeks to improve posture, joint function, and body alignment through deep manipulation of the muscular and connective tissue. The ten-session process, which incorporates movement training and other adjuncts, also seeks to promote greater access to the functioning of each hemisphere of the brain. Has been found to be extremely helpful in the treatment of chronic back pain and limited mobility due to arthritis.

Sound Therapy
Sound and music can have a very powerful effect on one's health. Sound therapy is used in hospitals, schools, corporate offices, and psychological treatment programs as an effective treatment to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, alleviate pain, overcome learning disabilities, improve movement and balance, and promote endurance and strength.

Sounding the Body
A diagnostic and therapeutic technique used in sound healing. Sound healers read a patientís body by singing a series of tones and listening for imbalances in the natural frequencies of the body or itsí energy fields. Imbalances are said to be indicated, by changes in the tone of the healerís voice. To correct a problem, the sound healer applies sound to the patientís body by singing certain tones near the affected organ, or by applying tuning forks or electronic vibratory instruments to the body.

Structural Integration
A systematic approach to relieving patterns of stress and impaired functioning, structural integration seeks to correct misalignments in the body created by gravity and physical and psychological trauma. As in Rolfing, in ten sessions the practitioner uses hands, arms, and elbows to apply pressure to the fascia, or connective tissue, while the client participates through directed breathing.

In chiropractic, a misalignment of bones within joints said to interfere with the flow of nervous impulses and diminish the bodyís ability to stay healthy.

Tai Chi / Martial Arts
The martial arts are perhaps best known as means of self-defense, but they are also used to improve physical fitness and promote mental and spiritual development. The highly disciplined movements and forms are thought to unite body and mind and bring balance to the individual's life. "External" methods (such as karate and judo) stress endurance and muscular strength, while "internal" methods (such as tai chi and aikido) stress relaxation and control.

Thai-Style Bodywork
Thai-style bodywork is a general term for a range of bodywork therapies that are indigenous to or derive from Thailand. Practitioners may use their hands, elbows, knees, and feet to exert pressure; gently rock the client's body or specific body parts; and lead the client in deep stretching and mindfulness techniques. The goal is to create energetic balance and wholeness of mind, body, and spirit in both the client and the practitioner.

Therapeutic Touch
Practiced by registered nurses and others to relieve pain & stress. Practitioner assesses where a person's energy field is weak and congested, and then uses his or her hands to direct energy into the field to balance it.

Treatment and care of someone to combat disease, injury, or mental disorder.

Herbal remedy made from herbs taken to maintain health or ward off illness, rather than to treat an illness. Also known as a normalizer.

Touch for Health
A self-help technique taught by instructors, Touch For Health is a system of balancing the body's energy by applying gentle pressure to contracted muscles and other points along the body. Regular balancing is used to improve overall health and strengthen resistance to common ailments and physical complaints.

Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient method of health care that combines the use of medicinal herbs, acupuncture, food therapy, massage, and therapeutic exercise. It has proven effective for many conditions, including chronic degenerative disease, cancer, infectious disease, allergies, childhood ailments, heart disease and AIDS. [Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide]

Trager Bodywork
Movement-education approach that gently rocks, cradles, and moves the clientís body. Meant to promote relaxation, increase mobility and mental clarity. Used by athletes for performance enhancement and by people with musculoskeletal and back problems.

Trance Dance
For more than 40,000 years people have danced as a way to induce the trance state. They have danced the animals, the elements, their joys and fears. Trance Dance, developed by the Natale Institute, is a facilitated blindfolded dance experience, in which participants join with their spirit to learn and to heal.

Trigger Point / Myotherapy
Practitioners of this technique apply pressure to specific points on the body to relieve tension. Trigger points are tender, congested spots on muscle tissue that may radiate pain to other areas. Though the technique is similar to shiatsu or acupressure, this therapy uses Western anatomy and physiology as its basis.

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Veterinary Medicine, Holistic
Practitioners of holistic veterinary medicine are typically licensed D.V.M.s who incorporate both conventional and holistic modalities in serving the well-being of their animal patients. Alternative treatments can include homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and more.

Vibration Healing
Everything in creation is vibrating in varying frequencies. Sound and other tools, like crystals, gemstones, semi-precious stones, and in fact anything that is appropriate can be used in this healing modality. Even a tree! The appropriate vibrational frequency is applied to help remedy the imbalance, from whence you may be able to maintain your own equilibrium in harmony on all levels.

Vision Therapies, Holistic
Holistic vision therapies maintain that, through exercise and relaxation techniques, vision may actually be improved to the point that glasses may no longer be needed. Therapies are typically offered by licensed optometrists and opthalmologists.

Vibrational Healing/Medicine
Promotes healing by balancing the bodyís energy field. Can include acupuncture, homeopathy, flower essences, sound & color healing, crystals, gems, aromatherapy, and energy-based bodywork (Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Polarity Therapy).

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Watsu (Water Shiatsu)
Watsu, or Water Shiatsu, is a form of massage performed in chest-high body-temperature water. The practitioner guides the client through a series of dance like movements while using Zen shiatsu techniques (stretches and finger pressure) in order to release blockages in the body's meridians, or energy pathways. Watsu is used to release tension and to treat a wide variety of physical and emotional problems.

Wellness Coaching
The art of helping the client to help themselves. The coach encourages the client to share the past. Through deep connection with the client, together they can uncover images and situations from the past. The coach will work with the client in whichever way seems most appropriate.

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Yoga Therapy
Emerging field of practices that use yoga to address mental and physical problems while integrating body & mind. Practitioners work one-on-one or in a group setting.

Yoga is among the oldest known systems of health practiced in the world today, and research into yoga practices has had a strong impact on the fields of stress reduction, mind/body therapies, and energy work. The physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation practices of yoga have been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, regulate heart rate, and even retard the aging process.

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Zero Balancing
Method for aligning body structure and body energy. Through touch akin to acupressure, practitioner seeks to overcome imbalances in the bodyís structure/energetic interface, which is said to exist beneath the level of conscious awareness. Zero Balancing is often used for stress reduction.

Every attempt has been made to provide a complete Glossary of Holistic Terms and to include all Alternative Healing Modalities. The information provided has been gathered from a variety of sources found on the Internet. If you feel the information for your modality is incorrect, incomplete, or is not provided, please contact us and provide the missing information.

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