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Acupressure: Acupressure - An acupressurist stimulates same points used in acupuncture with finger pressure, rather than inserting fine needles. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, acupressure is effective in the relief of stress-related ailments, in self-treatment, and in preventive health care.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture – An ancient element of traditional Chinese medicine. This practice can balance the flow of vital life energy, or qi throughout the body. Practitioners insert special needles into accupoints just below the skin’s surface in order to bring qi into harmony. It can treat a wide range of diseases, help manage pain, and build the immune response.

Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy - Aromatherapy uses essential oils (volatile oils that have been distilled from plants) to treat emotional disorders such as stress and anxiety as well as a wide range of other ailments. Oils are inhaled, massaged into the skin in diluted form or placed in baths. Aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology, chiropractic and other holistic treatments.

Chinese Medicine: Chinese Medicine – One of the oldest forms of holistic medicine. This complete system seeks to balance the flow of life force energy or qi through the use of acupuncture, herbs, massage therapy, exercise and food therapy.

Ayurvedic Medicine: Ayurvedic Medicine – Practiced in India for the last 5,000 years. The underlying philosophy of this medicine is that people have one of three metabolic types: vata (ether/space and air), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (water and earth). Courses of treatment are designed based on these types in order to bring the patient into a mind, body, and spirit balance. Treatments may include massage, yoga, herbal tonics, sweat baths, and medicated enemas.

Birthing Services: Birthing Services – Midwives, doulas and integrated OB/GYNs take a holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. They believe in the values of non-intervention childbirth, child bonding and breast-feeding. Often they perform home-birth services and use herbs, movement and relaxation techniques to ease the pain of labor.

Herbal Medicine: Herbal Medicine – Herbs have been used throughout history to treat major and minor conditions. Like in modern pharmacology, herbs contain natural chemicals that can influence biological activity. In general certain types of herbs can increase resistance to stress, increase vitality, sooth inflammation, help the body fight pathogens and produce many other responses.

Holistic Nursing: Holistic Nursing – Holistic nursing embodies the philosophy of holism, which was first formulated in the 1930s and emphasized the importance of understanding a person's whole being rather than breaking down, studying, and treating only the component parts. In fact, the "hol" in holistic is also the root of several other words that help to define this profession: whole, health, heal, hale (as in "hale and hearty"), and holy.

Homeopathy: Homeopathy – This practice, established in the late 18th century, is based on the idea that one’s body contains its own healing power. Practitioners introduce diluted remedies that match the body’s symptoms in order to stimulate a natural healing response. Homeopathy is often best used in treating chronic illness and in cases where conventional medicine has failed.

Integrative Medicine: Integrative Medicine – Unlike conventional doctors, integrative medical practitioners take a holistic approach to healing. Rather than treating symptoms, these practitioners seek out the root of the problem and may use a combination of conventional and alternative therapies in order to restore the body to optimum health.

Naturopathic Medicine: Naturopathic Medicine – A comprehensive practice that includes techniques from multiple modalities. Naturopathy is based on the belief that one’s body has a unique equilibrium. An unhealthy lifestyle disrupts this delicate balance and can lead to illness. Naturopaths see themselves as teachers. Their role is to educate patients to take responsibility over lifestyle, diet and habits.

Osteopathy: Osteopathy – This form of medicine works with the musculoskeletal system to treat joint problems, chronic pain, menstrual problems, arthritis and many other conditions. Doctors use joint manipulation and physical therapy to stimulate the body’s healing capabilities.

Reflexology: Reflexology – Reflexologists believe key areas of the hands and feet influence corresponding areas of the body. Practitioners apply pressure to these areas in order to stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities. Reflexology is believed to relieve stress, asthma, high blood pressure, back pain, constipation and a number of other conditions.

Bioenergetics: Bioenergetics – The biology of energy transformations and energy exchanges within and between living things and their environments, a system of therapy that combines breathing and body exercises, psychological therapy, and the free expression of impulses and emotions and that is held to increase well-being by releasing blocked physical and psychic energy.

Breathwork: Breathwork - A general term for a variety of techniques that use patterned breathing to promote physical, mental and/or spiritual well-being. Some techniques use breath in a calm, peaceful way to induce relaxation or manage pain, while others use stronger breathing to stimulate emotions and emotional release.

Chiropractic: Chiropractic – Works with the body’s skeletal structure for improved posture, balance and ease of movement. It is based on the philosophy that the body is a healthy system. However, any distortion of the spine can negatively affect other areas of the body. Chiropractors use manipulation techniques to right the spine and vertebrae.

Craniosacral Therapy: Craniosacral Therapy – Manipulates bones in the skull, neck and tailbone to bring in balance the cranial rhythmic impulse (CRI). CRI affects connective tissue throughout the body. It can treat a range of conditions from earache to spinal cord injury and can also improve the body’s overall function.

Detoxification: Detoxification – Nutritionists, herbalists or other practitioners may recommend detoxification therapy to eliminate toxins from the body. Some detoxification therapies include a diet of fruits, vegetables, water and herbs. Others might include an enema or sweat bath. Detoxification is believed to help with respiratory and hormone problems, headaches, allergies and other ailments.

Feldenkrais: Feldenkrais – This is often described as a system of “physical reeducation.” Practitioners believe that over time the body learns bad habits of posture and movement. Feldenkrais breaks bad patterns of sitting or standing and helps patients find a personally comfortable style of posture and movement. Using touch, practitioners direct a client’s body through movements specifically designed for his or her needs. This practice can ease muscle pain, neuromuscular disorders and the side effects of stroke.

Massage Therapy: Massage Therapy – Based on the idea that touch is read through the skin and can produce a sense of physical and emotional well-being. It works with both deep and light touch to stimulate functions of the body such as the circulatory and lymphatic systems. It can improve circulation and the supply of oxygen to the body’s tissues and is often used to reduce stress, ease pain and treat depression and digestive disorders.

Nutrition : Nutrition – Practitioners use diet and vitamin/mineral supplements to help the body fight illness and injury and maintain overall health and longevity. The underlying philosophy suggests that the modern diet lacks some essential nutritional elements.

Shiatsu: Shiatsu – This deep massage technique releases tension and improves circulation and muscle tone. In Japanese the word “shiatsu” means, “finger pressure.” Practitioners apply firm pressure to the body’s accupoints and maintain the pressure for a few seconds. Shiatsu is often used to treat chronic pain and stress.

Thai Massage: Thai Massage – The principles of Thai Massage are derived from Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Practitioners stimulate channels and points through which “vital force” is said to flow. It often involves stretching and bending in order to improve the flow of this vital energy. Thai Massage is used to threat pain, poor posture, stress, and musculoskeletal problems.

Yoga: Yoga – This is a system that integrates breathing, movement, energy and diet for optimum health. Yoga promotes the mind/body connection and involves meditation in order to achieve a sense of heightened awareness and peace. One of Yoga’s best known practices involves holding poses for minutes or far longer while meditating. It can help ease a variety of ailments, including reducing blood pressure and improving respiratory function.

Color & Light Therapy: Color & Light Therapy – Using color and light to balance energy wherever our bodies are lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental.

Energy Healing: Energy Healing – Hands and/or prayer and/or intuitive abilities are used as a conduit to address physical and emotional health and to help create clarity, flow and restoration.

Feng Shui: Feng Shui – The Chinese art or practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects.

Intuitive Readings: Intuitive Readings – Readers use divine wisdom to guide clients through major life choices and difficulties. Also used to treat and address health issues.

Qi Gong: Qi Gong – A type of ancient Chinese system of postures, exercises, breathing techniques, and meditations to improve one's chi/qi (energy field).

Reiki: Reiki – a system of hands-on touch based on the belief that such touching by an experienced practitioner produces beneficial effects by strengthening and normalizing certain vital energy fields held to exist within the body

Shamanism: Shamanism – Shamans say they treat problems of the soul that are negatively impacting the body and mind. They offer spiritual guidance that often involves putting clients in traces or working through visualization techniques.

Sound Healing: Sound Healing – Practitioners believe that different sounds can stimulate blood flow and increase awareness. They often use sound waves to restore the body’s natural rhythms. Treatment sometimes includes a machine that transmits sound waves directly to affected areas of the body. Sound healing is believed to treat stress, depression, dyslexia and muscle pain.

Tai Chi: Tai Chi – A system of non-combative martial arts movements that are expected to increase energy and improve the flow of vital life energy or qi. It can relax muscles, improve posture and enhance mental control. Tai Chi finds its roots in the 13th century when Taoist monks practiced this form of movement.

Akashic Records: Akashic Records – a collection of mystical knowledge that is stored in the aether. The Akashic seer/reader can investigate probable future responses and give the highest future probability.

Counseling: Counseling – professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods.

Guided Imagery: Guided Imagery - Involves using mental images to promote physical healing or changes in attitudes or behavior. Practitioners may lead clients through visualization exercises or offer instruction in using imagery as a selfhelp tool. Guided imagery is often used to alleviate stress and to treat stress-related conditions such as insomnia and high blood pressure. It is also used by people with cancer, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome and other disorders in order to boost the immune system.

Meditation: Meditation – General term for a wide range of practices that involve training one’s attention or awareness so that one’s body and mind can be brought into greater harmony.While some meditators may seek a mystical sense of oneness with a higher power or with the universe, others may seek to reduce stress or alleviate stress-related ailments such as anxiety disorders and high blood pressure.

Hakomi: Hakomi – Through touch and massage, clients are encouraged to pay attention to their sense of self-awareness and be mindful of what is occurring inside their bodies. This technique helps clients observe their coping mechanisms and change the way they react to stressful situations or environments.

Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy – Practitioners put patients into a deep state of relaxation or daydreaming. In this state patients are open to suggestions that could help them quit unhealthy habits or put to rest fear and anxiety. Hypnotherapy has been used to treat depression, insomnia, digestive disorders, skin conditions and addictions.

Life Coaching: Life Coaching – Coaches help clients move forward in their life by defining and achieving personal and professional goals.

Numerology: Numerology – The study of the occult meanings of numbers and their supposed influence on human life.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy – Psychotherapists can treat a variety of mental disorders and emotional problems. This form of therapy often involves a patient talking out his or her fears and anxieties with a skilled listener. Psychotherapy is rooted in the work of Sigmund Freud and can treat depression, stress, eating disorders, sexual problems and many other ailments.

Voice Dialogue: Voice Dialogue – A process of integrating unconscious parts of the personality to expand one’s sense of freedom and life satisfaction.

Wellness: Wellness - The condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.

Sources: Peters, Dr. David and Anne Woodham. Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2000. Trivieri, Larry Jr. and John W. Anderson. Alterative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition. Berkley: Celestial Arts, 2002. Gursche , Siegfried. Encyclopedia of Natural Healing Second Edition. Canada : Alive Publishing, Inc., 2002.

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