Guide to Some Alternative Therapies

Accupressure
Similar to acupuncture, but using finger pressure rather than fine needles
on specific points along the body to treat ailments such as tension and
stress, aches and pains, menstrual cramps, arthritis.

Acupuncture
Fine needles are inserted at specific points to stimulate, disperse, and
regulate the flow of vital energy, and restore a healthy energy balance. In
addition to pain relief, acupuncture is also used to improve well being and
treat acute, chronic, and degenerative conditions in children and adults.

Aromatherapy
Using “essential oils” distilled from plants, aromatherapy treats emotional
disorders such as stress and anxiety as well as a wide range of other
ailments. Oils are massaged into the skin in diluted form, inhaled, or
placed in baths. Aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with massage
therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology, chiropractic, and other
holistic treatments.

Astrology
Astrology is a humanistic attempt at trying to understand the cycles that
we share with the forces in the Universe. The planets have corresponding
rulership to certain vitamins, minerals, cell salts, herbs, metals, colors
and parts of the body. Through the chart ,one can look to see what natal
health conditions exist. Through these precepts, we can then look at the
present and into the future to see what areas of our lives are being
effected and potentially how we can head off ill health and promote wellness.

Atlas Orthogonal
Atlas Orthogonal is a chiropractic program to evaluate and correct
subluxation based on scientific and biomechanical procedures. By
incorporating the latest advancements in scientific technology,
chiropractors can calculate, in precise detail, the vectors specific to an
individual subluxation pattern, and program their instrument with the
specific correction vectors to deliver the adjustment without any
manipulation at all.

Ayurvedic Medicine
Practiced in India for more than 5,000 years, ayurvedic tradition holds
that illness is a state of imbalance among the body’s systems that can be
detected through such diagnostic procedures as reading the pulse and
observing the tongue. Nutrition counseling, massage, natural medications,
meditation, and other modalities are used to address a broad spectrum of
ailments.

Biofeedback
A method of monitoring minute metabolic changes in one’s own body with the
aid of sensitive machines. The technique is used especially for
stress-related conditions such as asthma, migraines, insomnia, and high
blood pressure. Clients learn to make subtle adjustments to move toward a
more balanced internal state by consciously visualizing, relaxing, or
imagining while observing light, sound, or metered feedback.

Chelation Therapy
Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous injections of the synthetic
amino acid EDTA, designed to detoxify the body. It is also often used to
treat arteriosclerosis. Most frequently, this is administered in an
osteopathic or medical doctor’s office.

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

Chiropractic
The chiropractic views the spine as the backbone of human health:
misalignments of the vertebrae caused by poor posture or trauma cause
pressure on the spinal nerve roots, leading to diminished function and
illness. Through manipulation or adjustment of the spine, treatment seeks to
analyze and correct these misalignments.

Colonics
A colonic is a colon irrigation, the irrigation of the large intestine with
sanitized, filtered water under gentle pressure to wash out or detoxify it
of stagnated fecal material; it is a full intestinal enema.

Counseling/Psychotherapy
This broad category covers a range of practitioners, from career counselors
to psychotherapies who treat depression, stress, addiction, and emotional
issues. Formats can vary from individual counseling to group therapy. Some
therapists may also incorporate bodywork, ritual, energy healing, and other
alternative modalities as part of their practice.

Craniosacral Therapy
This is a manual therapeutic procedure for remedying distortions in the
structure and function of the craniosacral mechanism – the brain and spinal
cord, the bones of the skull, the sacrum, and interconnected membranes. It
is used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, TMJ, and a range of other
conditions.

Dance/Movement Therapies
Dance and/or movement therapy uses expressive movement as a therapeutic
tool for both personal expression and psychological or emotional healing.
Practitioners work with people with physical disabilities, addition issues,
sexual abuse histories, eating disorders, and other concerns.

Dentistry, Holistic
Holistic dentists are licensed dentists who bring an interdisciplinary
approach to their practice. The may incorporate such methods as homeopathy,
nutrition and acupuncture into their treatment plans. Most holistic dentists
emphasize wellness and preventive care while avoiding silver-mercury fillings.

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

Feng Shui
Ancient Chinese practice of arranging the home or work environment to
promote health, happiness, and prosperity. Consultants may recommend changes
in the surroundings – from color selection to furniture placement – in order
to promote a health flow of chi, or vital energy.

Flower Essences
A method of alleviating negative emotional states that may contribute to
illness or hinder personal growth. Drops of a solution infused with the
captures”essence” of a flower are placed under the tongue or in a beverage.
The practitioner helps the client choose appropriate essences, focusing on
the client’s emotional state rather than on a particular physical condition.

Herbalism
An ancient form of healing still widely used in much of the world,
herbalism uses natural plants or plant-based substances to treat a range
of illnesses and to enhance the functioning of the body’s systems. Through
herbalism is not alicensed professional modality in the United States, herbs
are “prescribed” by a range of practitioners.

Holistic Medicine
A 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 many contribute to an illness. Many holistic medical
practitioners combine conventional forms of treatment with natural or
alternative treatments.

Homeopathy
A medical system that uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances -
called remedies – to stimulate a person’s immune and defense system. A
remedy is individually chosen for a sick person based on its capacity to
cause, if given in overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to
those a patient is experiencing. Common conditions homeopathy addresses are
infant and childhood diseases, infections, fatigue, allergies, and chronic
illnesses such as arthritis.

Hypnotherapy
A means of bypassing the conscious mind and accessing the subconscious,
where suppressed memories, repressed emotions, and forgotten events may
remain recorded. Hypnosis may facilitate behavioral, emotional, or
attitudinal change such as weight loss, or smoking cessation.It is also used
to treat phobias, stress, and as an adjunct in the treatment of illness.

Iridology
The 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 individual organ’s health or disease. Iridology is used by
naturopaths and other practitioners, particularly when diagnosis achieved
through standard methods is unclear.

Kinesiology
The study of muscles and movements. Practitioners analyze muscle function,
posture, gait, and other structural factors in addition to inquiring about
lifestyle factors that may be contributing to a health-related problem.
Nutritional supplements, muscle and joint manipulation, and lifestyle
modification may then be used as part of a treatment plan. Applied
kinesiology is used by health-care providers who are licensed to diagnose,
such as chiropractors, osteopaths, dentists, and medical doctors.

Lymph Drainage Therapy
Therapy to drain and improve the lymphatic vessels, a system of tubes or
canals through which lymph is carried from different parts of the body.

MassageTherapeutic
A general term for a range of therapeutic approaches with roots in both
Eastern and Western cultures. It involves the practice of manipulating a
person’s muscles and other soft tissue with the intent of improving a
person’s well-being or health, and may include, but not be limited to,
effleurage, deep tissue, percussion, vibration, and joint movement.

Midwifery/Childbirth Support
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, assistants, and doulas
(women labor coaches who also provide postpartum home care).

Native American Herbology
Native American healers and spiritual leaders seldom travel far from their
homes and even more infrequently publicize their work – it is not the way.
However, there is a body of knowledge about the herbal treatments used by
various Native People. Much of the information has been tested and
incorporated into our present herbal therapies.

Natural Products
Products composed of organically grown plants and containing no chemicals.
These products may be used cosmetically as well as for health and nutrition.

Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic physicians work to restore and support the body’s ownhealing
abilities using a variety of modalities including nutrition, herbal
medicine, homeopathic medicine, and orient medicine. A primary health-care
system emphasizes the curative power of nature, treating both acute and
chronic illnesses in all age groups.

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

Ohashiatsu
A system of physical techniques, exercise and meditation used to relieve
tension and fatigue and induce a state of harmony and peace. The
practitioner first assesses a person’s state by feeling the hara, the area
below the navel. Then, using continuous and flowing movements, the
practitioner presses and stretches the body’s energy channels, working in
unison with the person’s breathing.

Osteopathic Medicine
Osteopathic physicians provide comprehensive medical care, including
preventive medicine, diagnosis, surgery, prescription medications, and
hospital referrals. In diagnosis and treatment, they pay particular
attention to the joints, bones, muscles, and nerves and are specially
trained in osteopathic manipulative treatment – using their hands to
diagnose, treat, and prevent illness.

Reconstructive Therapy/Prolotherapy
Reconstructive therapy uses injections of natural substances such as
dextrose, glycerin, and phenol in order to stimulate the growth of
connective tissue and this strengthen weak or damaged joints, cartilage,
ligaments, and tendons. This therapy is used to treat degenerative
arthritis, lower back pain, torn ligaments and cartilage, carpal tunnel
syndrome, and other conditions.

Reflexology
This modality is based on the idea that specific points on the feet and
hands correspond with organs and tissues throughout the body. With fingers
and thumbs, the practitioner applies pressure to these points to treat a
wide range of stress-related illnesses.

Reiki
Practitioners of this ancient Tibetan healing system use light hand
placements to channel healing energies to the recipient. While 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, and to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity.

Rolfing
A massage technique using deep manipulation of the fascia (connective
tissue) to restore the body’s natural alignment, which may have become rigid
through injury, emotional trauma, and inefficient movement habits. The
process involves ten sessions, each focusing on a different part of the body.

Shiatsu
The most widely known form of accupressure, shiatsu has been used in Japan
for more than 1,000 years to treat pain and illness and for general health
maintenance. Using a series of techniques, practitioners apply rhythmic
finger pressure at specific points on the body in order to stimulate chi, or
the vital energy.

Tibetan Medicine
Evolved as a systhesis of Tibetan, Chinese and Persian Medicine, and even
Ayurveda. These remedies include indigenous herbs, fruits, flowers, metalic
powders and minerals given in tablets, and are especially effected in
treating rheumatism, asthma, gastritis, diabetes and many neurological
disorders.

Unani
Involves the use of plants and herbs, these remedies are known to provide
cures for diseases such as sinusitus , leucoderma, rheumatism, jaundice and
elephantiasis.

Vision Therapies
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 ophthalmologists.

Vitamin Therapy
A complementary therapy of vitamin usage combined with other treatments to
address a range of illnesses and to enhance the functioning of the body’s
systems. Assists the immune system in combating diseases such as Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome and HIV/AIDS.

Wellness Restoration
A comprehensive program designed to increase muscle mass by using adequate
nutrition, supplementation, anabolic steroid therapy and resistance weight
training to prevent/reverse wasting in HIV disease.

Yoga Therapy
The use of yoga to address mental and physical problems while integrating
body and mind.