Glossary

Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient healing art developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago, using the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-healing abilities. These points, the body’s own life force energy which is called chi or Qi (pronounced chee) activate the body’s healing response. Muscular tension is released and circulation improves which aids in healing. The difference in acupuncture and acupressure is acupuncturists use needles, while the hands are used in place of the needles in acupressure with gentle but firm pressure. 

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 in China and today is revered as a very valuable healing technique.  It is a traditional Chinese medical technique for unblocking chi (ch'i or qi) by inserting needles at particular points on the body, called meridians. Traditional Chinese medicine has identified some 500 specific points where needles are to be inserted for specific effects. Acupuncture is very well known in the western world but many people are still hesitant to try it since they think it is painful but that is so far from the truth.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the mind, body connection is always part of a patient evaluation.

Acupunctures’ goal is to restore the flow of Qi (pronounced chee) which is the body’s energy or life force.  We everything requires Qi to exist. The Chinese believe that when the circulation of Qi is disrupted or halted, disease occurs.  By redirecting the flow of Qi, acupuncture can help cure disease, prevent illness and restore balance to the body. The treatment involves inserting needles at various points along the meridians or energy channels while the patient is lying down.  They can, however be sitting or standing.  The insertion of the needles is painless. The needles may be twirled in or moved in a back and forth motion.  The amount of sessions one needs depends on the illness. 

Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique is a technique whereby the practitioner teaches the client particular movements to help alleviate certain conditions.  Focusing on specific areas with gentle movements can help alleviate pain, help breathing and improve other conditions.

Aromatherapy        

Aromatherapy is an ancient healing art that uses essential oils extracted from certain species of flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, roots and trees. Scientific research has been conducted on essential oils that prove their effectiveness.  They are usually applied to the skin diluted with a base oil or inhaled.  Each oil or a combination of oils can address a specific problem (skin, emotional, physical problem). They have healing, calming and rejuvenating properties. They are used in massage, baths and as perfumes. They are used in household products as they are great for cleaning and disinfecting without being toxic.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a holistic science from India more than 5000 years old. “Ayur” means life and “veda” means knowledge.  Ayurveda is the knowledge of life which offers healing, rejuvenation and self-realization using herbs, diet, exercise, yoga, massage, aromatherapy, tantras, mantras and meditation. According to Ayurveda tradition health is the balance of elements air, earth, fire and water and illness is an excess of an element.  There are three basic body types, Vata (thin), Pitta (muscular) and Kapha (heavy) which have great influence on a person's health and wellness as do genetics, seasonal and environmental factors. Often diagnosing by checking pulse and areas of the tongue that correlate with specific organs, Ayurvedic practitioners treat illness at its source rather than at the level of symptoms, believing that an individual can take responsibility for their health.

Bach Flower Essences

Bach flower Essences are plant based remedies that address emotional and mental issues. They were developed by a Homeopath and Bacteriologist in the 1920’s named Dr. Edward Bach.  Dr. Bach was not happy with the establishment’s way of treating the patient.  He felt it only dealt with the disease and not the person and their emotional state. He determined that there were 38 negative states of mind and that the energy of the plants can help a variety of emotional problems and hence came up with 38 flower remedies. They are in liquid form made from flowers and you take them using a dropper to place the flower essence under your tongue.  They are also great for pets.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a technique by which a practitioner uses a machine to gauge what is going on inside your body and what needs to be treated. This helps the patient be aware of their unconscious activity.  By becoming aware the patient can focus on the area that needs attention.  It has been known to reduce the need for medications.

Bowen Technique

The Bowen Technique was developed by Dr. Tom Bowen in the 1950’s.  It uses a holistic approach to help the body’s ability to heal itself by gently working with the muscles and connective tissues.  It is used to treat various musculoskeletal problems as well as emotional issues.

Chakra Balancing

The word Chakra in Sanskrit (a beautiful ancient Hindu language) describes the Chakra system as wheels of light or energy centers. If any of them are blocked, illness (mental or physical) can occur so it’s important to keep the channels clear so energy can freely flow through them. There are seven main chakras and they all correspond to a different area of the body and they are all associated with specific emotional states. Each chakra has a color associated with it. Read more on my blog on chakras:

http://www.theholisticroot.com/blog/?s=chakra

Chiropractors

Chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and their effect on the overall health of the body with an emphasis on the spine. They believe that adjustments such as manipulation of the spine and soft tissue help correct imbalances in the nervous system which can lead to disease. 

Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon Hydrotherapy is the detoxification of the large intestines with an enema like procedure with various solutions such as herbs, enzymes, water and even coffee.  It is believed that cleansing the colon of toxins improves overall health and can help the liver and kidney function more optimally.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a way of training the mind to respond differently to situations, or re-training our minds how to think. If we don’t change the way we think then we cannot get rid of the thought patterns that cause anxiety. It has been heavily researched and has been shown to be very effective for treating anxiety long-term. CBT is really a collaborative effort between therapist and patient. The therapist helps the patient to identify and examine the specific thoughts that are contributing to their feelings of anxiety. Once they discover where these feelings are coming from the patient and the therapist work together to examine information to “deactivate” the thoughts or beliefs the patient holds, and in doing so develops alternative thoughts that are more realistic and less anxiety-provoking.

Color Therapy

Color Therapy is a technique by which specific colors are used for specific health issues.  Colors have been known to have effects on our mood, health and thoughts.  The colors we choose for our surrounding can greatly affect our mood which in turn affects our health.  A lamp may be used with a color light that corresponds to the health issue and it is beamed on to the area where the problem occurs.

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle touch that uses slight movements and light pressure to adjust the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid. This helps unblock energy by improving circulation, relieving tension and stimulating the immune system.

Crystal & Gemstone Healing

Crystal & Gemstone Healing is a healing technique that uses different crystals for each chakra to bring physical, emotional or spiritual healing to a person. The crystals bring energy flow to the chakras to clear them. Read more on my blog on chakras:

http://www.theholisticroot.com/blog/?s=chakra

Cupping

Cupping is an ancient technique used to increase blood flow to specific areas of the body. The treatment feels like a vacuum using small cups.  It is know for helping respiratory and musculoskeletal problems.

Detoxification

Detoxification is a process to rid the body of toxins which is believed to cause disease.  There are many ways to do this but you should seek a professional before doing any detox program.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) (aka Tapping)

EFT is healing technique where subtle tapping is used on different parts of the body. It clears our emotional issues to enable your body to release and heal the physical problems. Many times affirmations are repeated during the tapping.  It works in a similar way to acupuncture.

Energy Healing

Energy healing encourages healing by increasing the energy flow in the “energy field or aura” of a person.  It occurs when a practitioner trained in a form of helaing lays their hands either on or over a personds body to enahcne the flow.  This helps to clear blockages of stuck energy whoich can lead to diseae whether its from the mind or body. There aer various forms of energy healing.

Feldenkrais Method

The Feldenkrais Method is a system that focuses on movement.  Many artists prefer this method since it uses movement to heal.  It is great for people who want to reduce pain or who have limited movement.  The method is based on the idea that the mind and body are connected and the health of one affects the other.  If your body is free flowing, you are able to release emotional issues.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an art that helps brings positive energy into your life.  Most are familiar with Feng Shui when it comes to decorating a home but it also applies to your whole way of living.

Gluten Free Diet

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.

Guided Imagery

Guided Imagery is a method where a person is directed to focus on certain thoughts that can bring peace and calm into your mind and body. It is similar to hypnosis in that a person is asked to visualize something and feel what it’s like to be in that place. It can reduce stress by promoting relaxation.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine is made from plant based substances that have been used for thousands of years to strengthen our body’s ability to cure illnesses by strengthening the immune system. You can take herbs in pill form or tinctures which are the liquid extracts of the herbs. 

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is based on the principle called the Law of Similars.  What that means is that “like cures like”.   Homeopathy believes that if your internal energy is out of balance, you will have problems.  Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body's own healing powers. Practitioners conduct one to two hour consultations to get a detailed picture of your health and symptoms. They ask about your occupation, daily routine, eating habits, dreams, and how you react to changes in weather, temperature, and environment. Based on this information, the homeopath creates the remedy and potency that best match your needs. Homeopathic pharmacists prepare the remedies on-site.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a procedure in which the patient enters a deep state of relaxation so the therapist can enhance the patients own self healing mechanism with the use of positive suggestions and thoughts. It can be very effective for trauma, fear and addiction.

Iridology

Irodology is a method that can determine a patienst health byt Iridologists believe that you can tell a lot about a persons overall health through their eyes.  The left and right iris is examined for specific markings that will correspond to specific organs in the body.

Kinesiology

kinesiology is a technique where muscle testing is used to evaluate how the body is functioning.  The theory is that muscles are connected to specific gland and organs. If a particular muscle is weak it means there is a problem in a specific part of the body and by correcting the muscle you can correct the other issue. It’s a non-invasive way to treat internal problems that could be potentially serious. Many chiropractors use it in their practice.

Light therapy

Light therapy or phototherapy uses exposure to a specific type of light to recreate natural light. Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which happens in the winter when there is less light.  It can cause a mild to severe depression.  During the therapy a person sits near a light box which replicates natural light.  It is also known to help skin disorders.

Macrobiotics

Macrobiotics is a way of eating consciously and only eating whole foods, nothing processed or refined.  It also encompasses the act and experience of eating and enjoying our food.

Magnet therapy

Magnet therapy consists of placing different size magnets on the body to treat a condition or alleviate pain. The magnets work with a person’s energy field.  It is believed that blocked energy can disrupt health.  The magnets help to unblock the stuck energy and restore the body back to health and balance. They have been used for migraines, headaches, stress, arthritis and even cancer.

Marma Therapy

Ayurveda believes there are 108 specific points within the human body which are known as marma points. Marma points are believed to be located in the area where the physical body meets the mind. It is the same principal as acupuncture and acupressure.  It is usually done as a massage with herbal oils formulated for the specific issue.  It will improve circulation and detoxify the body

Massage

Massage not only helps relieve muscle and joint pain, it helps circulation so nutrients are better distributed throughout the body. Many ancient wisdom traditions use massage daily for overall good health. There are so many forms of massage and in some cases, is also covered by insurance.

Meditation

Meditation is a practice of getting your mind clear of all the chatter that runs through your head everyday. Thinking is wonderful but we do so much of it that it is wonderful to be able not to think.  It clears our mind and will bring us great joy and clarity.

Moxibustion

Moxibustion is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine. Heat is applied to an herb (it’s usually mugwort but can also consists of other herbs) and held over certain points on the body to generate heat to the area.  It is also used in conjunction with acupuncture. It helps to restore the flow of life energy therefor promoting healing.

Music or Sound Healing Therapy

Music Therapy has a direct impact on physiological components of the body. The heart rate will respond through matching the tempo musically of a person’s heart rate. Therefore your heart rate can change based on the tempo of what you're listening to. Research shows that music helps reduce anxiety and perceptions of pain. It also promotes relaxation so the body’s own healing ability kicks in. It also helps people to express their emotions. Controlled studies have shown that sound waves can produce changes in the brain and that music therapy helps strengthen the immune system.

Myofascial

Myofascial release is a soft tissue therapy for the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. This alternative medicine therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.

Myotherapy

Myotherapy is a hands-on method that improves circulation and relaxes muscles therefore alleviating pain in all parts of the body while it increases strength, flexibility, coordination, stamina and energy and improves posture, gait, sleep patterns and work and play performance quickly, effectively and lastingly. During the session, the patient lies on a table as the practitioner checks trigger points to see if there is pain.  The therapist then preseason the trigger point to alleviate the pain.

Naturopathy

Naturopathic doctors (ND’s) have the same training as an MD however they believe the body is capable of healing itself  They find the underlying obstacles and prescribe remedies to clear the path, including taking a detailed medical history, doing a physical exam, requesting lab tests, and using natural treatments that encompass nutrition, botanical medicine, counseling, supplements, and acupuncture. In the initial hour plus consultation, you'll be asked about your diet, environment, stress levels, and any mental, emotional, or spiritual concerns. An N.D. may also request x-rays and blood tests.

Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a technique derived from the belief that many issues arise from a misaligned musculoskeletal system. Treatment by an Osteopath includes light pressure and joint and spine manipulations to enhance the body’s mobility.

Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet also known as “caveman diet, stone age diet and hunter-gatherer diet” is based on the eating habits of cavemen and the theory that we are programmed to be able to better digest the foods our ancestors ate. The diet doesn’t not allow refined sugar, dairy, grains and legume and instead focuses on meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit.  

Past Life Regression Therapy

Past Life Regression Therapy was discovered by German Psychologist Thorwld Dethlefsen.  Based on the theory that if a person is having emotional difficulty, it may be due to some trauma that happened in a past life and once you uncover the repressed issue, you can start the healing process in this life.

Pilates

Pilates is a series of controlled movements that many people use as their exercise routine. It is recommended like yoga and Tai chi that the benefits come from making it a regular practice. It can build strength and makes the body more flexible, helps balance and coordination.

Polarity Therapy

Polarity therapy is based on the idea that the energy in the body must be balanced and flow in order for a person to have good health.  The practitioner will talk to the client to find the energetic imbalance and use light touch and movement such as rocking to help bring the body back to balance.

Qi Gong

Qigong is Chinese an integration of slow gentle movements, physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality. Qigong practices can be classified as martial, medical, or spiritual. All styles have three things in common: they all involve a posture, (whether moving or stationary), breathing techniques, and mental focus.

Reflexology

Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific points on the hands or feet that connect to the body’s internal systems and organs.  Depending on where you need relief, whether you have back or neck pain or problems with your kidneys or liver, the reflexologist will work those points on the hands or feet to increase circulation and trigger your natural healing process. Reflexology is so relaxing, especially when some calming essential oils are applied during the treatment.        

Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese hand on healing technique.  It was discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 1900’s.  The word Reiki comes from 2 Japanese words…rei and ki.  Rei means spiritual or higher power consciousness and ki (which is the same as chi in Chinese or prana in Hindu) means life energy or universal life force.  Anyone can do Reiki.  You perform Reiki by laying your hands on a specific area of the body. The practitioner is not guiding Reiki.  Reiki is just being channeled through the practitioner to the recipient. As long as something is alive, it has life energy flowing through it.  If your life energy becomes depleted, that is when you are vulnerable to getting sick both physically and emotionally.

Rolfing

More than fifty years ago, Dr.Ida P. Rolf recognized that the body is a network of tissues which surround, support and penetrate all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. The Rolfing practitioner will begin by assessing the body’s posture. Rolfing works on the connective tissues to balance the body and bring it back into alignment.  This will give a person more energy and reduce and alleviate pain. 

Rubenfeld Synergy Method

The Rubenfeld Synergy Method was developed by Ilana Rubenfeld.  She was a symphonic conductor suffering from paralyzing muscle spasms so she developed this method originally to help with her own ailment.  On the belief that we store our emotions and memories in our bodies, the Rubenfeld Synergy Method works to listen to our body to release emotions in order to live a better life. During a session you will lie fully clothed on a cushioned table or sit in a chair. The Synergist begins by inviting you to notice and express what you are feeling or thinking. She/he then makes gentle contact with your body, often beginning at your head or feet. You will verbally share what you are sensing and experiencing at each point of contact. This process can lead to new experiences of awareness, self-discovery and deep emotional connection.

Shamanic Healing

Shamanic healing is a spiritual healing. Shamans go into a very deep state of consciousness to help a patient heal by accessing the spirit or energy field of a person.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a martial art form of movement that has developed into an entire system of exercise which, in addition to many health benefits, is very helpful for anxiety. The healing power of this martial art routine may lie in combining movement, meditation and breathing exercises. It consists of beautiful, slow, fluid, continual movements that help the body’s’ flow of chi (life energy). It is also a discipline of the body and mind. The movements help strength, balance, flexibility and focus, improves blood circulation, and enhances the immune system.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based mainly on the balance of yin and yang and the five elements. Qi or your life energy force is very important in determining your health.  If your Qi is not flowing freely, then illness can result. A Traditional Chinese Medicine physician will take your personal and family health history, work and living habits, physical environment, emotional life, and even the sound of your voice into account to determine where Qi is blocked and which organ networks are affected. Practitioners also believe the body is divided into Organ Networks: Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung, and Kidney and each organ is related to specific issues.

Trager

The Trager Approach helps release deep-seated physical and mental patterns and facilitates deep relaxation, increased physical mobility, and mental clarity. It is gentle and non-intrusive using natural movements, These patterns may have developed in response to accidents, illnesses, or any kind of physical or emotional trauma, including the stress of everyday life. A session usually lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. During the table work session the client is passive and lying on a comfortably padded table. The practitioner moves the client in ways they naturally move, and with a quality of touch and movement such that the recipient experiences the feeling of moving that effortlessly and freely on his/her own. The movements are never forced so that there is no induced pain or discomfort to the client.

Vegan Diet

A Vegan diet is one that does not use any animal products, no meat, milk, eggs, honey, wool, goose down, or leather. Vegans will not eat, wear or use anything derived from an animal. They also do not use products that are tested on animals.

 

Vegetarian Diet

A Vegetarian diet is one that does not consume any animal products.  There are many variations to vegetarianism.  Some vegetarians are ovo-vegetarian which means they eat eggs but not dairy products.  Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products but not eggs and an ovo-lacto vegetarian eats both eggs and dairy. A pescetarian is someone who eats fish but not the flesh of other animals.

Yoga

Yoga was created thousands of years ago by ancient sages to be able to bring the mind and body together in union to create peace and higher consciousness.  It is not poses on a mat but a philosophy of life which helps us achieve peace of mind, body and spirit. The physical aspect of yoga consists of a series of movements that will bring mind and body together.   It should be performed as a practice since this is how the body and mind will benefit.

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