Glossary of Modalities

The idea for this Glossary came from the January 2011 Issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine. We have since added to and are continually updating the list. If you notice your modality is not listed, please send us the name and a brief description of your modality to us via our contact form, and we will add it to the glossary.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

~ A ~

  • Acupressure

    Based on the same system as acupuncture, but fingers and hands are used, instead of stimulation with needles, to restore the balanced flow of the body’s life energy (qi or chi, pronounced “chee”). This force moves through the body along 12 energy pathways or meridians, which practitioners unblock and strengthen. Common styles of acupressure include Jin Shin, which gently holds at least two points at once for a minute or more, and Shiatsu, which applies firm pressure to each point for three to five seconds.
  • Acupuncture

    An ancient Chinese technique that stimulates the body’s ability to sustain and balance itself, based on the theory that an electromagnetic life-force (qi or chi, pronounced “chee” is channeled in a continuous flow throughout the body via a network of meridians. Disease is understood as an imbalance in the meridian system. Diagnosis of an imbalance is made by “reading” the pulse, face, tongue and body energy. To correct it, a practitioner inserts acupuncture needles at specific points along the meridians to stimulate or disperse the flow of life-force. Acupuncture principles include the yin and yang polarities and the associations of the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood with bodily organs. Air Purification: The process of reducing contaminants in the air.
  • Air purifiers

    Air purifiers are either passive (waiting for particulates to come to the device) or proactive (sending out the solution to the pollution). Filter based purification traps airborne particles. UV lamps sterilize air that passes by the lamp via air currents or forced air. Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) induct unites are mounted in forced-air HVAC system. Ionizers generate electrically charged ions to attract airborne particulates. Radiant Catalytic Ionization (RCI) uses a combination of UVX light and ionization to remove airborne particulates and sterilize surfaces. Ozone generators are used as whole-house air cleaners to remove major smoke odors, musty smells and toxic mold.
  • Akashic Records

    The Akashic Records (Akasha is a s Sanskrit word meaning sky, space or ether) is a term used to describe a library of consciousness or collection of mystical knowledge encoded in a non-physical plane of existence. These records are described as containing all knowledge of human experience. They are considered a profound spiritual resource for useful insight, guidance, wisdom, inspiration and healing information from the past, present and future. Because Akashic Records are energetic records, the language and culture of the reader does not matter. They are referred to as “The Book of Life” or simply “The Book” in the Bible.  It is said the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs enjoyed the counsel of Akashic Record Readers.  Very likely, various other cultures have been calling them by different names.
  • Alexander Technique

    A system of reeducating the body and mind to support and facilitate proper posture and ease of movement. Through gentle manual guidance, accompanied by verbal directions, the Alexander teacher coaches the student to become aware of unnecessary tension and to unlearn longstanding patterns of movement. The Alexander Technique is used to help improve chronic conditions such as back, shoulder or neck pain, nervous tension, poor coordination, breathing problems and vocal strain. It is frequently used by athletes and performing artists to improve performance level.
  • Alkaline Water

    Drinking water that has been treated through the use of a water ionizer. Proponents of alkaline water believe that high acidity in the body contributes to a number of physical illnesses and conditions, from fatigue and weight gain to more serious disorders. They believe that drinking alkaline water can help resolve these health problems by raising the body’s pH level.
  • Angel Guidance

    Powerful healing messages about your life's purpose, relationships, world events, and more – directly from your angels through a certified intuitive angel guide. There are 4 main methods or channels of angel communication or divine guidance. They are Clairvoyance (clear seeing), Clairaudience (clear hearing), Clairsentience (clear feeling), and Claircognizance (clear knowing).
  • Aromatherapy

    An ancient healing art that uses the essential oils of herbs and flowers to treat emotional disorders such as stress and anxiety, as well as a wide range of other ailments. Oils are massaged into the skin, inhaled or added to bathwater. Often used in conjunction with massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology and chiropractic or other holistic treatments.
  • Art Therapy

    Uses the creative process of making art to improve and enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being and to deepen self-awareness. The therapist makes a diagnosis and determines treatment plans by encouraging a client to express his or her feelings and unconscious thoughts through the nonverbal creative process and by observing the forms and content created.
  • Astrology

    A system of traditions and beliefs that holds that the relative positions of celestial bodies either directly influence life on earth or correspond to events experienced on a human scale. Modern astrologers define astrology as a symbolic language, art form and type of  divination that can provide information about personality and human affairs, aid in the interpretation of past and present events, and predict the future.
  • Ayurveda

    The oldest medical system known to man, and a comprehensive spiritual teaching practiced in India for 4,000 years. Ayurveda focuses on achieving and maintaining perfect health via that balance of the elements air, fire and water; illness is considered an excess of any element. A patient’s body type, determined according to Ayurvedic principles, is the basis for individualized dietary regimens and other preventive therapeutic interventions. Ayurvedic prescriptions might include purification procedures for the restoration of biological rhythms; expanded consciousness through meditation; nutritional counseling; stress reduction; enhancing neuromuscular conditions; and behavioral modification.

~ B ~

  • Bee Venom Therapy (BVT)

    The therapeutic application of honeybee venom, through live bee stings, to being relief and healing for various spinal, neural, joint or musculoskeletal ailments.
  • Bioenergetics

    A psychotherapy that works through the body to engage the emotions. Performing specified postures and exercises causes the release of layers of chronic muscular tension and defensiveness, termed “body armor.” The unlocking of feelings creates the opportunity for understanding and integrating them.
  • Biofeedback

    A relaxation technique that monitors internal body states and is used especially for stress-related conditions such as asthma, migraines, insomnia and high blood pressure. During biofeedback, patients monitor minute metabolic changes (e.g., temperature, heart rate, and muscle tension), with the aid of sensitive machines. By consciously thinking, visualizing, moving, relaxing, etc., they learn which activities produce desirable changes in the internal processes being monitored.
  • Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement

    The treatment of the symptoms of menopause (and its male equivalent, andropause) through the use of hormones that have the same chemical structure as those naturally produced by the body. Many compounding pharmacies have staff trained in Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), which is thought by its proponents to have fewer risks and side effects than traditional methods of hormone replacement.
  • Birth Networks

    Birth Networks all over the world are promoting, supporting and protecting mother-friendly births. By making informed choices and having confidence in the process, families can experience safe and satisfying childbirth.
  • BodyTalk

    Developed by chiropractor/acupuncturist John Veltheim, BodyTalk is based upon bio-energetic psychology, dynamic systems theory, Chinese medicine and applied kinesiology. By integrating a series of tapping, breathing and focusing techniques, BodyTalk is thought to help the body synchronize and balance its systems and strengthens the body’s innate knowledge of self-repair. BodyTalk is used to address a range of health challenges, including fibromyalgia, infections, parasites, chronic fatigue, allergies, addictions and cellular damage. Practitioners are usually licensed massage therapists (LMT) or bodyworkers.
  • Bodywork

    Massage and the physical practices of yoga are perhaps the best known types of bodywork; both have proven successful in relieving tension and stress, promoting blood flow, loosening stiff muscles and stimulating the organs. Massage therapies encompass countless techniques, including Swedish massage, shiatsu and Rolfing. The same is true for yoga. Other types of bodywork include martial arts practices like aikido, ki aikido and Tai chi cuan. Some others are the Alexander Technique, Aston patterning, Bowen, Breema bodywork, Feldenkrais method, Hellerwork, polarity therapy, Rosen method, Rubenfeld synergy and Trager. Finding bodywork that improves mental and physical health is a highly individual process. Several types may be combined for the greatest benefit.

~ C ~

  • Chelation Therapy

    A painless, nonsurgical medical procedure intended to improve metabolic and circulatory function by removing undesirable heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and copper from the body. A series of intravenous injections of the synthetic amino acid EDTA are administered, usually in an osteopathic or medical doctor’s office. The EDTA are thought to block excess free radical production, protecting tissues and organs from further damage. Over time, proponents say, injections may halt the progress of the underlying condition that triggers the development of various degenerative conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and cancer. More recently, chelation therapy also has been used to help reverse symptoms of atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by removing obstructive plaque built up in the circulatory system.
  • Childbirth Preparation

    Childbirth classes for expectant families help them be better prepared for natural childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting. They cover relaxation techniques, exercise, nutrition, anatomy, stages of the birthing process, birth positions, postpartum recovery, caring for and feeding the newborn, and consumer issues. Childbirth educators are certified by one or more organizations, having studies that organization’s specific birthing philosophy. Some focus on relaxation and pain-coping techniques. Some encourage women to recognize that use their innate abilities and intuition to birth. Hypnosis for childbirth is a method of childbirth preparation that uses hypnotic techniques, imagery and positive affirmations to create a calm, comfortable birth experience.
  • Chinese Medicine

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the world’s oldest and most complete systems of holistic health care. It combines the use of medicinal herbs, acupuncture, food therapy, massage and therapeutic exercise, along with the recognition that wellness is mind, body and emotions depends on the harmonious flow of life-force energy (qi or chi, pronounced “chee”).
  • Chiropractic

    Based on the premise that proper structural alignment permits free flow of nerve activity in the body. When spinal vertebrae are out of alignment, they put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves radiating from it, potentially leading to diminished function and illness. Misalignment can be caused by physical trauma, poor posture and stress. The chiropractor seeks to analyze and correct these misalignments through spinal manipulation or adjustment.
  • Colon Therapy

    An internal bath that washes away old toxic waste accumulated along the walls of the colon. It is administered with pressurized water by a professional using special equipment. One colonic irrigation is the equivalent of approximately four to six enemas and cleans out matter that collects in the pockets and kinks in the colon. The treatment is used both as a corrective process and for disease prevention. Proponents may use colonics for ailments such as constipation, psoriasis, acne, allergies, headaches and the common cold.
  • Color Therapy and Colorpuncture

    Color therapists believe that the vibrations of color waves can directly affect body cells and organs. Thus, different hues can treat illnesses and improve physical, emotional and spiritual health. Many practitioners also believe that the body emits an “aura,” or energy field, with colors reflecting a person’s state of health. Color therapists apply colored lights or apply color mentally, through suggestion, in order to restore the body’s physical and psychic health. Colorpuncture combines the principles of light physics with those of the meridian points emphasized in Chinese acupuncture. This noninvasive technique is through to clear blockages in the meridians and restore healthy energy flow. Kirlian photographs track improvements. Another related sensory healing technique is light therapy, which attempts to restore well-being and can be successful in treating the depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  • Consciousness

    Consciousness is a level of awareness of you and All That Is. There are many levels of consciousness one experiences upon the journey of spiritual evolution. Ranges may be from lower level, seeing oneself as separate and part of the collective whole, and with eyes of the judgment — "how I think they should be", to a highly enlightened consciousness where one views everything as independent yet interconnected and part of the whole, able to see everything for what it is, and without judgment.
  • Conscious Living

    As we become increasingly aware of the interdependence of humans, animals and the planet, progressive businesses are concerning themselves with far more than the bottom line. They know that today’s consumers are willing to invest in what they believe in, from fair-trade goods to animal-friendly and environmentally sound products and services.
  • Counseling/Psychotherapy

    These terms encompass a broad range of practitioners, from career counselors, who offer advice and information, to psychotherapists, who treat depression, stress, addiction and emotional issues. 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.
  • Continuum Movement

    Is a unique combination of healing sound and movement with the latest in Neurobiology and mind/body research. Developed by Emilie Conrad, Continuum is on the leading edge of Somatic practices. The underlying premise of Continuum is that water is the source of all life and possesses an innate healing intelligence. As we consciously connect with this mysterious Fluid Field, our movements follow the natural flow forms of water. There is exploration of the dissolving of old forms and the taking on of new to reinvigorate our entire being. Benefits of the practice include increased vitality, flexibility, enhanced creativity and reduced stress.
  • Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

    A manual therapeutic procedure to remedy 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. Craniosacral work is based upon two major premises: that the bones of the skull can be manipulated, because they never completely fuse; and that the pulse of the cerebrospinal fluid can be balanced by a practitioner trained to detect variations in that pulse. CST is used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, temporomandibular join disorder (TMJ), ear and eye problems, balance problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia and hyperactivity.
  • Crystal and Gem Therapy

    Practitioners use quartz crystals and gemstones for therapeutic and healing purposes, asserting that the substances have recognizable energy frequencies and the capacity to amplify other frequencies in the body. They also absorb and store frequencies and can essentially be programmed to help effect healing. In the ancient art of “laying-on stones,” practitioners place crystals and gemstones on various parts of the body, corresponding to its chakra points (energy centers), in order to balance energy flow.

~ D ~

  • Dance/Movement Therapy

    A method of expressing thoughts and feelings through movement, developed during the 1940’s. Participants, guided by trained therapists, are encouraged to move freely, sometimes to music. Dance/movement therapy can be practiced by people of all ages to promote self-esteem and gain insight into their own emotional problems, but is also used to help those with serious mental and physical disabilities. In wide use in the United States, this modality is becoming established around the world.
  • Decluttering

    Based on the theory that clutter drains both physical and mental energy. Decluttering involves two components. The first focuses on releasing things (clothing, papers, furniture, objects and ideas) that no longer serve a good purpose in one’s life. The second focuses on creating a simple system of personal organization that is easy to maintain and guards against accumulation things that are neither necessary nor nourishing.
  • Dentistry (Holistic)

    Regards the mouth as a microcosm of the entire body. The oral structures and the whole body are seen as a unit. Holistic dentistry often incorporates such methods as homeopathy, biocompatibility testing, and nutritional counseling. Most holistic dentists emphasize wellness and preventive care, while avoiding (and often recommending the removal of) silver-mercury fillings.
  • Detoxification

    The practice of resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. According to some holistic practitioners, accumulated toxins can drain the body of energy and make it more susceptible to disease. Detoxification techniques may include fasts, special diets, sauna sweats and colon cleansing.
  • Doula

    A woman who supports an expectant mother through pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum period. Studies indicate that support in labor has profound benefits, including shorter labor, less desire for pain medication, lower rate of Caesarian delivery, and more ease in initiation of breastfeeding. Fathers have reported that they were more relaxed with a doula present because they felt reassured, and therefore freer to support their mates.
  • Dowsing

    A type of divination originally intended to locate ground water, minerals or other underground object, through the use of a forked stick or “divining rod.” Modern advocates, who may or may not use a divining rod, believe that dowsing also can be used for much broader purposes. Those may include finding missing persons or lost objects, spiritual or distance healing, or gaining insight into money or relationship issues.

~ E ~

  • Eden Energy Medicine

    Eden Energy Medicine is one of the most comprehensive systems today for holistic mind/body healing and growth. EEM incorporates extensive work with the meridians of Chinese acupuncture, chakras of ancient Indian medicine, auric field, "strange flows" of the Jin Shin methods, neurovascular emotional holding points, the body's electrical system, the basic grid and much more.
  • Eidetic Imagery

    Eidetic Imagery Practitioner is someone who is certified with the International Imagery Association (IIA) and practices Eidetic Imagery from Ahsen’s Image Psychology. The Eidetic (eye-DET-ic) is a “psychical visual image of unusual vividness,” ]seen like a movie inside of the brain. The Eidetic Image remains constant, accessible over the long term. “Eidetic” derives from the Greek eidos, mean “form,” and idein, meaning “to see.” Eidetic Imagery is a fast moving method that identifies areas of need quickly and generates change by using revolutionary tools. Eidetic Imagery has identified how the brain stores potentials and the methods to bring them forward.
  • Electrical Noise Filtration

    “Dirty electricity” is a newly recognized and ubiquitous pollutant. It refers to unusable electrical energy which produces harmonics in the electrical power lines. Filtration reduces the potential for electrical leakage into the human environment and the creation of additional “trash” (dirty electricity), and protects appliances and electronic devices.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

    A self-help procedure founded by Gary Craig that combines fingertip tapping of key acupuncture meridian points while focusing on an emotional issue or health challenge. Unresolved, or “stuck,” negative emotions, caused by a disruption in the body’s energy system, are seen as major contributors to most physical pains and diseases. These can remain stagnant and trapped until released by the tapping. EFT is portable and easy to memorize, so it can be done anywhere.
  • Energy Healing

    The art and practice of realigning and re-attuning the body between the physical and the etheric and auric fields to assist in natural healing processes. Working directly with the energy field in and around the body, the practitioner is thought to channel and direct energy into the cells, tissues, and organs of the patient’s body to effect healing on physical and nonphysical levels simultaneously. Sessions may or may not involve the physical laying on of hands.
  • Environmental Medicine

    Explores the role of dietary and environmental allergens in health and illness. Factors such as dust, mold, chemicals and certain foods may cause allergic reactions that can dramatically influence diseases, ranging from asthma and hay fever to headaches and depression.
  • Enzyme Therapy

    Can be an important first step in restoring health and wellbeing by helping to remedy digestive problems. Plant and pancreatic enzymes are used in complementary ways to improve digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. Treatment includes enzyme supplements, coupled with a healthy diet that features whole foods.
  • Equine Therapy

    Equine Therapy is the discipline of using horses as a means to provide metaphoric experiences in order to promote emotional growth. It has shown to be very effective with patients who manifest depression, attention-deficit, conduct disorders, dissociative disorders, anxiety, dementia, autism, and many other related disorders. Also, those who are resistant to traditional therapy often gain very positive results with Equine Therapy.

~ F ~

  • Feldenkrais Method

    Founded by Israeli physicist and engineer Moshe Feldenkrais (1904 - 1984,) the Feldenkrais Method® helps to improve the connection and communication between your body and your brain. Through an enjoyable and exploratory process, students become aware of their habitual movement patterns, and discover better, personalized ways to move, using their innate abilities to think, sense, and feel.
  • Feng Shui

    The ancient Chinese system of arranging manmade spaces and elements to create or facilitate harmonious qi or chi (pronounced “chee”), or energy flow, by tempering or enhancing the energy where necessary. Feng shui consultants may advise on both personal and business spaces, either before.
  • Flotation Therapy

    An isolation tank is a lightless, soundproof tank inside which subjects float in salt water at skin temperature. They were first used by John C. Lilly in 1954 to test the effects of sensory deprivation. Such tanks are now also used for meditation and relaxation and in alternative medicine. The isolation tank was originally called the sensory deprivation tank. Other names for the isolation tank include flotation tank, John C. Lilly tank, REST tank, sensory attenuation tank, and think tank. (For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_tank)
  • Flower Remedies

    Flower essences have been recognized for their ability to improve well-being by eliminating negative emotions. In the 1930’s, English physician Edward Bach concluded that negative emotions could lead to physical illness. His research also convinced him that flowers possessed healing properties that could be used to treat emotional problems. In the 1970’s, Richard Katz completed Bach’s work and established the Flower Essence Society, which has registered some 100 essences from flowers in more than 50 countries.
  • Functional Medicine

    A personalized medicine that focuses on primary prevention and deals with underlying causes, instead of symptoms, for serious chronic diseases. Treatments are grounded in nutrition and improved lifestyle habits and may make use of medications. The discipline uses a holistic approach to analyze and treat interdependent systems of the body and to create the dynamic balance integral to good health.

~ G ~

  • Guided Imagery & Creative Visualization

    Uses positive thoughts, images and symbols to focus the mind on the working of the body to accomplish a particular goal, desired outcome or physiological change, such as pain relief or healing of disease. This flow of thought can take many forms and involve, through the imagination, all the physical senses. Imagination is an important element of the visualization process; it helps create a mental picture of what is desired in order to transform life circumstances.

~ H ~

  • Healing Touch

    A non-invasive, relaxing and nurturing energy therapy designed to help restore physical, emotional, mental and spiritual balance and support self healing. A gentle touch is used on or near the fully-clothed client to influence the body’s inner energy centers and exterior energy fields. Healing Touch is used to ease acute and chronic conditions, assist with pain management, encourage deep relaxation and accelerate wound healing.
  • Healthy Steps™

    Is an international therapeutic exercise and movement program with wonderful music and a special lymphatic sequence to boost the immune system. The program is medically based and improves overall wellness, range-of-motion, balance, strength and endurance, as well as emotional well-being and self-image. Originally designed to assist women recovering from breast cancer, the program has expanded to benefit anyone who is experiencing movement and energy challenges such as cancer, arthritis, chronic fatigue and more.
  • Herbal Medicine

    This oldest form of medicine uses natural plants in a wide variety of forms for their therapeutic value. Herbs produce and contain various chemical substances that act upon the body to strengthen its natural functions without the negative side effects of synthetic drugs. They may be taken internally or applied externally via teas, tinctures, extracts, oils, ointments, compresses and poultices.
  • Holistic Healthcare

    A healthcare practice with considers and treats all aspects of a patient’s needs; psychological, social and physiological. Holistic healthcare generally includes a variety of alternative to traditional Western medicine, which tends to be reactive rather that proactive, and which often relies on pharmaceutical treatment of symptoms.
  • Holotropic Breathwork

    A self-exploration technique that combines breathing, evocative music and a specific form of bodywork to integrate one’s physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions. At workshops run by facilitators, participants try to access the four levels of experience that are available during breathing: sensory, biographical, perinatal and transpersonal. By accessing buried memories, individual are thought to relive their birth experience or traumatic life events, free up “stuck” emotional viewpoints, or experience a mystical state of awareness, such as connecting with the universe.
  • Homeopathy

    A therapy that uses small doses of specially prepared plants and minerals to stimulate the body’s defense mechanisms and healing processes in order to cure illness. Homeopathy, taken from the Greek words, homeos, meaning “similar,” and pathos, meaning “suffering,” employs the concept that “like cures like.” A remedy is individually chosen for a person based on its capacity to cause, if given in an overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing.
  • Hydrotherapy

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

    A range of hypnosis techniques that allow practitioners to bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious. The altered state that occurs under hypnosis has been compared to a state of deep meditation or transcendence, in which the innate recuperative abilities of the psyche are allowed to flow more freely. The subject can achieve greater clarity regarding his or her own wants and needs, explore other events or periods of life that require resolution, or generally develop a more positive attitude. Often used to help people lose weight or stop smoking, it is also used in the treatment of phobias or stress and as an adjunct to the treatment of illnesses.

~ I ~

  • Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT)

    A combination of diagnostic and treatment methodologies that asses and treat pain, dysfunction, disease and disability. Developed by Sharon Giammatteo over 30-plus years, IMT is intended to address the complex needs of patients. IMT practitioners identify and address the underlying causes of dysfunction using a comprehensive and holistic approach. While IMT diagnostics and treatment modalities are predominately hands-on, IMT also integrates a wide range of diagnostic and treatment technologies, nutritional programs (i.e. natural supplements, diet and herbs), and IMT body-based psychotherapeutic approaches to develop a customized solution for a patient’s needs.
  • Integrative Medicine

    This holistic approach combines conventional Western medicine and complementary alternative treatments, in order to simultaneously treat mind, body and spirit. Geared to promote health and prevent illness, it neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies without serious evaluation.
  • Intuitive Arts

    A general term for various methods of divination, such as numerology, psychic reading, and tarot reading. Individuals may consult practitioners to seek information about the future or insights into personal concerns or their personality. Numerology emphasizes the significance of numbers derived from the spelling of names, birth dates and other significant references; psychics may claim various abilities, from finding lost objects and persons to communicating with the spirits of the dead; tarot readers interpret a deck of cards containing archetypal symbols.
  • Iridology

    Analysis of the delicate structure of the iris, the colored portion of the eye, to reveal information about conditions within the body. More than 90 specific zones on each iris, for a combined total of 180-plus zones, correspond to specific areas of the body. Because body weaknesses may be noticeable in the iris long before they are discernible through blood work or other methods of laboratory analysis, iridology is thought to be a useful tool for preventive self-care.

~ J ~

  • Jin Shin (Jin Shin Jyutsu)

    A gentle, non-invasive energy-balancing art and philosophy that embodies a life of simplicity, calmness, patience and self-containment. Practitioners employ simple acupressure techniques, using their fingers and hands on a fully-clothed client to help eliminate stress, create emotional equilibrium, relieve pain and alleviate acute or chronic conditions.

~ K ~

  • Kinesiology/Applied Kinesiology

    The study of muscles and their movement. Applied kinesiology tests the relative strength and weakness of selected muscles to help identify decreased function in body organs and systems, as well as imbalances and restrictions in the body’s energy flow. Some tests use acupuncture meridians; others analyze interrelationships among muscles, organs, the brain and the body’s energy field. Applied kinesiology is also used to check the body’s response to treatments that are being considered.

~ L ~

  • Learning Therapy

    An interactive, non-drug treatment for learning challenges (like ADD/ADHD or classroom behavioral issues) or for enhancing learning, often through patterns of movement thought to stimulate neural pathways. Types of learning therapy include programs/curricula designed by Brain Gym and the Seattle-based HANDLE Institute.
  • Life Coach

    A professional who helps clients identify their personal and/or professional goals and design a plan or institute techniques for achieving them. They life coach works with clients to recognize and overcome and obstacles that may interfere with achievement of those goals.

~ M ~

  • Macrobiotics

    An Eastern philosophy best known in the West for its dietary principles. Macrobiotic theory posits that there is a natural order to all things. By synchronizing our eating habits with the cycles of nature, we can achieve a fuller sense of balance within ourselves and with the world around us. Although not a specific diet, it emphasizes low-fat and high-fiber foods, whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables and seeds, all cooked in accordance with macrobiotic principles.
  • Magnetic Field Therapy

    Based on the belief that electromagnetic energy and the human body have a vital and valid interrelationship, thereby making it possible to use magnetic field therapy as an aid in diagnosing and treating physical and emotional disorders. This process is thought to relieve symptoms and, in some cases, retard the cycle of new diseases. Magnets and electromagnetic therapy devices are now being used to eliminate pain, facilitate the healing of broken bones and counter the effects of stress.
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

    Invented in the 1930's, this gentle form of massage is intended to stimulate the lymphatic system, thereby promoting the body’s ability to detoxify itself. Practitioners of manual lymphatic drainage believe it facilitates elimination of metabolic waste products, excess fluid and bacteria. MLD is also thought to enhance circulation and cell regeneration.
  • Martial Arts

    Systems of codified practices and traditions originally designed primarily for self-defense or combat. Now more often practiced as a sport, the martial arts have a strong emphasis on honor and self-discipline. The best-known martial arts originated in Asia and include aikido, karate, judo and tae kwon do, and jujitsu. American martial arts tend to combine elements of a number of different of Asian martial arts in an effort to create a complete self-defense system.
  • Massage Therapy

    A general term for the manipulation of soft tissue for therapeutic purposes. Massage therapy incorporates various disciplines and involves kneading, rubbing, brushing and tapping the muscles and connective tissues by hand or using mechanical devices. Its goal is to increase circulation and detoxification, in order to reduce physical and emotional stress and increase overall wellness.
  • Matrix Energetics

    Matrix Energetics is a consciousness technology which enables transformation. This occurs at the quantum level, rather than requiring physical manipulation or chemical/hormonal changes associated with allopathic medicine. Using focused intent, the transformation may be instantaneous and/or play out over time, and is not totally dependent on the status of the client. Health and Physical issues, Relationships, even finances may be affected positively with this technology. Everything is composed of light and information, Matrix Energetics accesses the Field and allows desired improved circumstances to be realized.
  • Mayan Astrology

    Tzolkin, the Sacred Mayan Calendar, guided several Mesoamerican cultures for divination and rituals purposes, and it is still in use in the Highlands of Guatemala (Cholq’ij). Each day has a unique combination of energies that affects a specific part of your being. It serves as a great tool for conscious evolution to get acquainted with your own essence assisting you in your journey to unfold your true potential and Life Purpose. Becoming familiar and in tune with these energies helps you to live in harmony with your own self, Nature and the Universe.
  • Meditation

    The intentional directing of attention to one’s inner self. Methods and practices to achieve a meditative state are based upon various principles using the body or mind and may employ control or letting-go mechanisms. Techniques include the use of imagery, mantras, observation, and breath control. Research has shown that regular meditation can contribute to psychological and physiological well-being. As a spiritual practice, meditation is used to facilitate a mystical sense of oneness with a higher power or the universe. It can also help reduce stress and alleviate stress-related ailments, such as anxiety and high blood pressure.
  • Mediumship

    A medium professes to mentally see, hear and/or sense persons or entities in a spiritual dimension, and convey messages from them to people in the physical world. Readings focus on evidential messages from recognizable personalities in the spirit world. The messages are delivered as a guidance for one’s “highest good.”
  • Midwife

    A birth attendant who assists a woman though the prenatal, labor, birth and postpartum stages of pregnancy. The mother is encouraged to be involved and to feel in control of her birthing experience. Midwives are knowledgeable about normal pregnancy, labor, birth and pain relief options. They respect the process of birth as an innate and familiar process. Certified nurse-midwives are registered nurses who have received advanced training and passed a national certification exam. Nurse-midwives collaborate with physicians as needed, especially when problems arise during pregnancy. (See also: Women’s Wellness.)

~ N ~

  • Nambudripad's Allergy Eliminiation Techniques (NAET)

    A non-invasive, drug free, natural modality intended to test for and eliminate allergies. NAET uses a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture, acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, kinesiology and nutritional medicine. One allergen is treated at a time.
  • Natural Products

    (See also: Health Foods, Natural/Organic Foods & Nutrition)
  • Naturopathy

    A comprehensive and eclectic system whose philosophy is based upon working in harmony with the body’s natural healing abilities. Naturopathy incorporates a broad range of natural methods and substances aimed to promote health. Training may include the study of specific approaches, including massage, manipulation, acupuncture, acupressure, counseling, applied nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy and minor surgery, plus basic obstetrics for assistance with natural childbirth.
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

    A systematic approach to changing the limiting patterns of thought, behavior and language. Through conversation, practitioners observe the client’s language, eye movements, posture, breathing and gestures, in order to detect and help change unconscious patterns linked to the client’s emotional state.
  • Nutrition

    Embracing a wide range of approaches, nutrition-based, complementary therapies and counseling seek to alleviate physical and psychological disorders through special diets and food supplements. These will be either macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fiber) or micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements that cannot be manufactured in the body). Nutritional therapy/counseling often uses dietary or food supplements, which can include tablets, capsules, powders or liquids.

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  • Oncology Esthetics

    Oncology Esthetics is a specialty that provides skin care services to cancer patients while they are undergoing treatment therapies or post therapies. Most cancer therapies have a negative effect on the skin and many patients may not know how to handle these skin changes or where to turn for help. Understanding how to safely and effectively treat the skin, particularly when it is challenged by cancer is paramount to the psychological and physical care of the client.
  • Orthomolecular Medicine

    Employs vitamins, minerals and amino acids to create nutritional content and balance in the body. Orthomolecular medicine targets a wide range of conditions, including depression, hypertension, cancer, schizophrenia and other mental and physiological disorders.
  • Osteopathy/Osteopathic

    Physicians: Osteopathy uses generally accepted physical, pharmacological and surgical methods of diagnosis and therapy, with a strong emphasis on body mechanics and manipulative methods to detect and correct faulty structure and function, in order to restore the body’s natural healing capacities. Doctors of Osteopathy (DO) are fully trained and licensed according to the same standards as medical doctors (MD) and receive additional, extensive training in the body’s structure and functions.
  • Oxygen Therapy

    Designed to alter the body’s chemistry to help overcome disease, promote repair and improve overall function. Properly applied, oxygen is thought to be an effective tool to treat a wide variety of conditions, including infections, circulatory problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, allergies, cancer and multiple sclerosis. The major types of oxygen therapy used to treat illness are hyperbaric oxygen and ozone. Hydrogen peroxide therapy (oral or intravenous) can be dangerous and should be avoided.

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  • Past Life Regression

    Past life and regression therapies operate on the assumption that many physical, mental and emotional challenges are extensions of unresolved problems from the past, either childhood traumas or experiences in previous lifetimes. The practitioner uses hypnosis or other altered states of consciousness 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.
  • Personal Fitness Trainer

    A certified fitness professional who designs fitness programs for indiciduals desiring one-on-one training. The goal is to provide optimal fitness results in the privacy of one’s home or at another location, such as a club or office.
  • Pilates

    A structure system of small, isolated movements that involves concentrated focus on every nuance of muscle action while working out on floor mats or machines. Emphasizes development of the torso’s abdominal power center, or core. More gentle than conventional exercises, Pilates, like yoga, yields long, lean, flexible muscles whose graceful balanced movements readily translate into everyday activities like walking, sitting and bending. Can help in overcoming injuries.
  • Pranic Healing

    Pranic Healing® is a highly evolved and tested system of energy medicine developed by GrandMaster Choa Kok Sui that utilizes prana to balance, harmonize and transform the body's energy processes. Prana is a Sanskrit word that means life-force. This invisible bio-energy or vital energy keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health. In acupuncture, the Chinese refer to this subtle energy as Chi. It is also called Ruach or the Breath of Life in Hebrew, and ki in Japanese.
  • Prolotherapy

    A rejuvenating therapy that uses injections of natural substances to stimulate collagen growth, in order to strengthen weak or damaged joints, tendons, ligaments or muscles. Often used as a natural alternative to drugs and /or surgery to treat pain syndromes, including degenerative arthritis, lower back, neck and joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, and torn ligaments and cartilage.
  • Pure Bioenergy

    The aim of Bioenergy Healing is to adjust and balance the biofield, to achieve better energetic, emotional, mental and physical health by restoring and balancing bioenergetic information. Bioenergy healing works to optimize overall health and doesn't focus on curing any one particular disease, but awakening the body's ability to heal on all levels, including the physical.

    Pure Bioenergy Healing is a gentle, non-invasive, medicine free, sustainable and the safest way to promote better health. Pure Bioenergy is a simple but powerful way to achieve better overall physical and mental health.

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  • Qigong and Tai Chi

    Combine movement, meditation and breath regulation to enhance the body’s flow of vital energy (qi or chi, pronounced “chee”), improve circulation, and enhance immune function. Qigong traces its roots to traditional Chinese medicine. Tai chi was originally a self defense martial art and descended from qigong and employed to promote inner peace and calm.
  • Quantum Touch

    Founded by Richard Gordon, Quantum-Touch is a method of natural healing that works with the Life Force Energy of the body to promote optimal wellness. Life Force Energy, also known as “chi” in Chinese and “prana” in Sanskrit, is the flow of energy that sustains all living beings. Quantum-Touch teaches how to focus, amplify, and direct this energy, for a wide range of benefits with surprising and often extraordinary results.

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  • Real Time EEG Neurofeedback

    Involves direct training of brain function. Using computer processing to capture electrical activity in the brain with positive feedback, changing its activity to desired, more appropriate patterns. Gradually, the brain learns and remembers how to exhibit only the good patterns.
  • Rebirthing Breathwork

    Also known as conscious connected breathing, or vivation. Rebirthing is considered a means to access and release unresolved emotions. The technique uses conscious, steady, rhythmic breathing, without pausing between inhaling and exhaling. Guided by a professional “ rebirther,” clients reexperience past memories, including birth, and let go of emotional tension stored in the body.
  • Reconnnective Healing

    Uses light and dimensional frequencies thought to work on all levels of the body/mind to reduce stress, foster relaxation and raise the body’s healing vibration. The idea of Recconective Healing is to reconnect the meridian or acupuncture lines on the body that have become disconnected from the larger, universal grid of meridian lines.
  • Reflexology

    A natural healing art based upon the principle that there are reflexes in the feet and hands that correspond to every part of the body. Correctly stimulating and applying pressure to the feet or hands is thought to increase circulations and promote specifically designated bodily and muscular functions.
  • Regression Therapies

    Operate on the assumption that many physical, mental and emotional problems are extensions of unresolved problems from the past, such as childhood traumas. The practitioner uses hypnosis, or other altered states of consciousness, and relaxation techniques to access the source of “unfinished business,” and helps clients analyze, integrate and release past traumas that are interfering with their current lives.
  • Reiki

    Means “universal life-force energy.” A Japanese method of activating and balancing the life-force (ki, pronounced as "chi", also written as qi). Practitioners use light hand placements to channel healing energies to organs and glands, or to align the body’s chakras (energy centers). Studies show various Reiki techniques can ease emotional and mental distress, heal chronic and acute physical problems, and facilitate spiritual focus and clarity. For this reason Reiki is used widely in cancer hospitals. Reiki is often used to complement the work of chiropractors, massage therapists, nurses, and others for whom the use of touch is essential and appropriate.
  • The Results System

    A non-intrusive system using kinesiology (biofeedback via muscle testing) to identify and release body stressors at a cellular level, allowing body to operate at the highest levels of efficiency possible. It may have a positive effect on conditions such as chemical imbalance, learning disorders, Attention Deficit Disorders and alcoholism.
  • Rolfing Structural Integration (Rolfing)

    A hands-on technique for deep tissue manipulation of the myofascial system, composed of the muscles and the connective tissue, or facia, in order to restore the body’s natural alignment and sense of integration. As the body is release from old patterns and postures, the range and freedom of physical and emotional expression are believed to increase. Rolfing may be used to help ease pain and chronic stress, enhance neurological functioning, improve posture, and restore flexibility.
  • Rubenfeld Synergy Method

    Combines touch, talk and compassionate listening in a dynamic system for the integration of body, mind, emotions and spirit. Through gentle touch and verbal sharing, each of these four levels can be accessed simultaneously, with the intention of releasing pain and fears held in the body/mind. This method is designed to facilitate pain management, increase ease of movement, improve body image and self-esteem, and ease recovery form physical and emotional trauma.

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  • Shamanism

    An ancient healing tradition based on the belief that loss of power is the real source of illness, and that all healing includes the spiritual dimension. Shamanic healing usually involves induction into an altered state of consciousness and journeying into the spirit world to regain personal power and to access the powers of nature and of teachers. Shamanic healing may be taken literally or employed symbolically, but in or out of its cultural context, the tradition is thought to facilitate both self-empowerment and self-healing.
  • Shiatsu

    The most widely known form of acupressure, Shiatsu is a Japanese word meaning “finger pressure.” Practitioners of the technique apply varying degrees of pressure to balance the life energy that flows through specific pathways, or meridians, in the body. Shiatsu is intended to release tension and strengthen weak areas in order to facilitate even circulation, cleanse cells, and improve the function of vital organs. It may be used to help diagnose, prevent and relieve many chronic and acute conditions that manifest on both physical and emotional levels.
  • Skincare Specialist

    Also known as Facial Esthetician, Skin Care Professional, Facialist, Licensed Skin Care Specialist, Skin Care Specialist. A skincare specialist is someone trained to cleanse and beautify the face and body to enhance a person’s appearance, providing any of the following:
    • Evaluate clients' skin condition and appearance
    • Discuss available treatments and determine which products will improve the clients' skin quality
    • Remove unwanted hair using wax or sugar treatment
    • Clean the skin before applying makeup
    • Recommend skincare products, such as cleansers, lotions, or creams
    • Teach and advise clients on how to apply makeup and how to take care of their skin
    • Refer clients to other skincare specialists, such as a dermatologist, for serious skin problems
    • Sterilize equipment and clean work areas
    • Give facials, full-body treatments, and head and neck massages to improve the health and appearance of the skin. Some may provide other skincare treatments, such as peels, masks, or scrubs, to remove dead or dry skin. In addition to working with clients, skincare specialists also keep records of skincare regimens that their regular clients use.
  • Sound Healing

    Employs vocal and instrumental tones, generated internally or externally. When sounds are produced with healing intent, they are thought to create sympathetic resonance in the physical and energy bodies. Sound healing also is used to bring discordant energy into balance and harmony.
  • Spiritual Healing/Counseling

    Practiced in two forms. In one, the healer uses thought or touch to align his or her spiritual essence with that of the client. The healer works to either balance the spiritual field or shift the perceptual base of the client to create harmony between mid and body and to draw the client into the active presence of the divine spirit. In the other, the healer transforms healing energy into a vibrational frequency that the client can receive and comfortable assimilate, facilitating self-healing.
  • Subtle Therapies

    Non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive techniques thought to promote physical, psychological and/or spiritual well being. Many subtle therapies, like energy healing, involve minimal or very delicate physical contact between practitioner and client.

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  • Tantra

    Has emerged as a modern spiritual path of embodied consciousness, with roots in ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Tantra views the “spiritual” as being directly present within the “physical” and respects sensory experience as a vehicle for accessing higher states of awareness. Tantric practices balance the chakras (energy centers) and can contribute to a sense of presence, intimacy and fulfillment in all aspects of living.
  • Tantra Tai Chi

    A recently developed practice of Tai chi/qigong-style body movements designed to be performed with a partner. It can enhance intimacy by sequentially and simultaneously focusing attention on the root, or sexual center, near the base of the spine, the heart or love center in the mid chest region, and the upper spiritual center in the head. The cycling of energy though these chakra centers encourages a blended experience of intimate presence with one’s own internal being and one’s partner.
  • Thai Massage

    A form of body therapy that incorporates gentle rocking motions, rhythmic compression along with the body’s energy lines, and passive stretching to help stimulate the free flow of energy, break up blockages, and restore general well-being. One of the branches of Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM), Thai massage is performed on a floor mat, with the client dressed in lightweight, comfortable clothes. No oils are used. Thai massage aids flexibility, inner-organ massage, oxygenation of the blood, and quieting of the mind.
  • Thermography (Thermal Imaging)

    A diagnostic technique that uses and infrared camera to measure temperature variations on the surface of the body, producing images that reveal sites of inflammation and abnormal tissue growth. Inflammation is recognized as the earliest stage of nearly all major health challenges.
  • Thought Field Therapy (TFT)

    Promoted as a highly effective, non-invasive, healthy alterative to long-term or drug-related psychotherapy. Used for stress management and stress relief, as well as the reduction or elimination of anxiety and anxiety related problems. TFT is designed to address the fundamental caouses of specific problems, balancing the body’s energy system and eliminating most negative emotions within minutes, while promoting the body’s won healing ability.
  • Trager Approach (Psychophysical Integration)

    A system of movement reeducation that seeks to address the mental roots of muscle tension. By gently rocking, cradling and moving the client’s fully clothed body, the practitioner encourages him or her to see that physically restrictive patterns can be changed. The Trager approach includes “mentastics”, simple, active, self induced movements that can be done by the client during regular daily activities. Trager work has been used to address a variety of neuromuscular disorders, and to the stresses and discomforts of everyday living.

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  • Vegetarianism

    The voluntary abstinence from eating meat and/or other animal products for religious, health and/or ethical reasons. Lacto-ovo vegetarians supplement their plant based diet with diary products and eggs. Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products, but not eggs; ovo vegetarians include eggs, but no dairy; and vegans do not eat any animal derived products.

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  • Whole Body Vibration

    Whole Body Vibration machines were developed first in Russia and mirrored by NASA to increase muscle mass and bone density for astronauts due to the rapid loss in zero gravity. With a quick 10-12 minute workout equaling 1 hour in the gym, Whole Body Vibration Machines caught on rapidly. This opened the door for numerous institutions, sports teams, Olympians, golfers, and celebrities to research the beneficial health properties associated with this pioneer health and fitness product. In these studies, the low impact fitness and superb results of the Whole Body Vibration machines shined a beam of brilliant light for a revolutionary fitness machine with many amazing health benefits. There are now several independent companies that produce Whole Body Vibration machines as FDA approved medical devices for health, fitness, and rehabilitation. Now available to the general public, you too can discover Whole Body Vibration machines for their benefits for: muscle toning, firming, strengthening, increasing bone density, boosting metabolism rate, decreasing cellulite, improving balance or coordination, enhancing mobility or flexibility, activating the lymphatic system to flush toxins, improving circulation, relieving stress, remedying back/neck pain, spinal health, serotonin/endorphin/testosterone release and much more.

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  • Yoga

    Practical application of the ancient Indian Vedic teachings. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj which means “union” or “to join,” and which refers to the joining of man’s physical, mental and spiritual elements. The goal of good health is accomplished through a combination of techniques, including physical exercises called asanas (or postures), controlled breathing, relaxation, meditation, and diet and nutrition, Although yoga is not meant to cure specific diseases or conditions directly, it has been found effective in treating the symptoms of many physical ailments.

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  • Zentherapy®

    Combines structural integration with functional and energetic components to free the body from physical and emotional stress and chronic pain. Developed by Dub Leigh, Zentherapy® seeks for the client and practitioner to become free from hate, greed, pain and fear, to live fully moment by moment by moment.