Active Release Techniques (ART)
A patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
An ancient Oriental technique that stimulates the body’s ability to sustain and balance an electromagnetic life-force (qi or chi, pronounced “chee”) which 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.
Aerial yoga and aerial silk classes utilize fabric harnesses to suspend the body in the air for a novel fluid and acrobatic form of yoga. Aerial classes are suitable for all experience levels and can be used to relax joints and help realign the body.
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.
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.
The oldest medical system known to man and a comprehensive spiritual teaching practiced in India for 4,000 years. It focuses on achieving and maintaining perfect health via the balance of the elements air, fire and water (illness is considered an excess of any element). A patient’s body type, determined according to Ayurveda principles, is the basis for individualized dietary regimens and other preventive therapeutic interventions. Ayurveda prescriptions might include purification procedures for the restoration of biological rhythms; experience of expanded consciousness through meditation; nutritional counseling; stress reduction; enhancing neuromuscular conditions; and behavioral modification.
Bee Venom Therapy (BVT)
The therapeutic application of honeybee venom, through live bee stings, to bring relief and healing for various spinal, neural, joint or musculoskeletal ailments.
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 (BHRT)
The treatment of the symptoms of menopause (and its male equivalent, andropause) through the use of hormones produced using raw materials derived from plant sources 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.
Bowen Technique (also called Bowtech and Bowenwork)
This muscle and connective tissue therapy employs gentle, purposeful moves, through light clothing, to help rebalance the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The practitioner’s subtle inputs deliver signals to the ANS at specific locations—muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves—and the body responds in its own time, within its vital capacity. The technique is named after its originator, Australian Tom Bowen, who also introduced the concept of inserting periods of rest between a series of movements within a treatment session. Sometimes called the homeopathy of bodywork, Bowtech addresses imbalances and both acute and chronic pain. Learn more at Bowtech.com.
An entity or process that achieves net zero carbon footprints by obviating or offsetting more carbon emissions than it produces.
A safe, painless, nonsurgical medical procedure that improves 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 blocks excessive free radical production, protecting tissues and organs from further damage. Over time, 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.
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 in mind, body and emotions depends on the harmonious flow of life-force energy (qi or chi, pronounced “chee”).
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.
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. A colonic irrigation is the equivalent of approximately four to six enemas and cleans out matter that collects in the pockets and kinks of the colon. The treatment is used as both a corrective process and for prevention of disease. Colonics are used for ailments such as constipation, psoriasis, acne, allergies, headaches and the common cold.
Color Therapy & 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 claim 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, to restore the body’s physical and psychic health. Colorpuncture combines the insights of light physics with the knowledge of the meridian points emphasized in Chinese acupuncture. The noninvasive technique is used 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).
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.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST)
The practitioner applies manual therapeutic procedures 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: the bones of the skull can be manipulated because they never completely fuse; and the pulse of the cerebrospinal fluid can be balanced by a practitioner trained to detect pulse variations. CST, also referred to as cranial osteopathy, is used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), ear and eye problems, balance problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia and hyperactivity.
Crystal & 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 of 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.
Dance / Movement Therapy
A method of expressing thoughts and feelings through movement, developed during the 1940s. 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.
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 accumulating things that are neither necessary nor nourishing.
Deep Tissue Bodywork
In this method, stretching and moving the connective tissue that envelops the muscles (fascia) works to lengthen and balance the body along its natural, vertical axis. Distortions of the connective tissue may be caused by internal reactions and complications due to accidents, emotional tensions or past unreleased traumas. The practitioner uses slow strokes, direct pressure or friction across the muscles via fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep tissue massage works to detoxify tissue by helping to remove accumulated lactic acid and other waste products from the muscles. The therapy is used to ease or eliminate chronic muscular pain or inflammatory pain from arthritis, tendonitis and other ailments, and help with injury rehabilitation. Learn more at DeepBodywork.com.
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).
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.
Directional Non-Force Technique (DNFT)
The original non- or low-force technique of chiropractic developed by Dr. Richard Van Rumpt. At the heart of the technique is a method of challenging and leg measuring (similar to muscle testing) to detect the presence and location of spinal misalignment (subluxation), and a thumb thrust for correction. Structures included in analysis and corrections are vertebrae, ribs, muscles, discs, cranial, soft tissues, extremities, and some ligaments.
Features of DNFT are:
- A direct analysis of disc subluxation and a direct correction for a bulging or even herniated disc.
- The ability to distinguish between nerve interference being produced by muscles, vertebrae, discs or any combination thereof.
- A knee correction, which includes all osseous structures, ligaments, meniscus, and related muscles.
- A comprehensive TMJ/cranial correction.
- A comprehensive and effective shoulder correction.
A woman who supports an expectant mother through pregnancy, labor, birth and the 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 breast-feeding. Fathers have reported that they were more relaxed with a doula present because they felt reassured and therefore freer to support their mates.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT is an emotional therapy process based on the Chinese meridian, or energy system, to heal diseases and physical ailments. Through the EFT self-help process, one mentally tunes in to specific issues while tapping on meridian points with the fingertips. This tapping stimulates corresponding areas of the body, thus balancing disturbances in the meridian system and allowing non-serving emotions to be released. View free tutorial at EmoFree.com.
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.
Fair trade includes sustainable, environmentally sound agricultural practices, just like green living, and focuses specifically on fair labor practices and fair prices for farmer’s crops across national borders.
The ancient Chinese art of positioning objects according to the laws of Heaven (spiritual) and Earth (natural) to create a living and working environment that facilitates a harmonious and positive flow of energy to improve one’s life. Proper practice of feng shui is meant to create and maintain good health, wealth, relationships, creativity and more. Consultants can be an asset by assisting with proper placement of objects within personal and business spaces, either before or after the spaces are created.
Flower essences are recognized for their ability to improve well-being by eliminating negative emotions. In the 1930s, 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 1970s, 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.
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.
Green living is an attempt to carry out your life in an eco-friendly, environmentally responsible manner or an attempt to minimize the size of your ecological footprint. Green living concerns itself with a range of topics and practices including conservation of resources, recycling, sustainability, green construction, alternative energy, organic food choices, and other environmental topics.
Gases that allow solar radiation to enter the Earth’s atmosphere and warm its surface, but prevent thermal radiation from escaping from the atmosphere, thereby contributing to global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions come primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels to produce energy.
Guided Imagery & Creative Visualization
Uses positive thoughts, images and symbols to focus the mind on the workings 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.
Body-centered, experiential, transformational therapy. Clients are guided with mindfulness and loving presence into a deep understanding and healing of previously unconscious, detrimental patterns. Integrating scientific, psychological, and spiritual sources, Hakomi has evolved into a complex and elegant form of psychotherapy that is highly effective with a wide range of issues. The method draws from general systems theory and modern body-centered therapies including Gestalt, Psychomotor, Feldenkrais, Focusing, Ericksonian Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, and the work of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen. Core concepts of gentleness, nonviolence, compassion, and mindfulness evolved from Buddhism and Taoism.
Hatha yoga is the foundational discipline on which nearly all other styles are based. In Sanskrit, ha represents the sun and tha, the moon—hence, the practice is designed to bring the yin and yang, light and dark, masculine and feminine aspects and polarities into balance. Essentially, Hatha yoga brings all aspects of life together. A class described as hatha will likely include slow-paced stretching, asanas, or postures, that are not too difficult, simple breathing exercises and perhaps, seated meditation. Hatha yoga classes provide a good starting point for beginners, who can learn basic poses and relaxation techniques.
Healing in America
The Healing In America (HIA) method of energy therapy brings universal energy to the person, unblocking the flow of energy and allowing the clients own body to heal itself. It is the restoration of a sense of wholeness – a balancing of the mind/body/spirit connection. Started in Britain in 1954 by internationally known healer Harry Edwards, this evidence-based method of energy therapy is now available in Michigan by certified HIA practitioners who are trained using the highest standards of ethical and professional practice. HIA’s vision is to act as a catalyst to help integrate complementary therapies into mainstream healthcare, in line with practices in Europe, working alongside the medical community.
A non-invasive, relaxing and nurturing energy therapy that helps to 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.
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, individuals can 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.
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.
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, stress and as an adjunct to the treatment of illnesses.
This holistic approach combines conventional Western medicine with complementary alternative treatments, in order to simultaneously treat mind, body and spirit. Geared to the promotion of health and the prevention of illness, it neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies, without serious evaluation.
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.
Ionic Foot Detox
This machine is a modern energy therapy device that balances the body’s natural energy system. By introducing a high level of negative ions into the water of a foot bath, the feet, utilizing principles of reflexology and the science of ionization and osmosis, create a positive cellular environment and enable the body’s natural detoxification processes to function at their peak.
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 are often noticeable in the iris long before they are discernible through blood work or other laboratory analysis, iridology can be a useful tool for preventive self-care.
Kinesiology / Applied Kinesiology
The study of muscles and their movement. Applied kinesiology tests the relative strength and weakness of selected muscles to 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 and 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.
A powerful, enlightening style that incorporates mantras (chanting), meditation, visualization, breathing and guided relaxation, with precise postures. According to Hindu philosophy, kundalini is a concentrated form of prana, or life force, represented by a coiled, sleeping serpent said to reside at the base of the spine. When breath and movement awaken the serpent (energy), it moves up the spine through each of the seven chakras (energy centers) of the body, bringing energy and bliss. Once a closely guarded secret in India, kundalini yoga was first brought to the West in 1969 and has been known to help with addictions and releasing endorphins in the body. Kundalini will not appeal to everyone and should be practiced under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
A professional who helps clients identify their personal and/or professional goals and designs a plan or institute techniques for achieving them. The life coach works with clients to recognize and overcome any obstacles that may interfere with achievement of those goals.
Magnetic Field Therapy
Electromagnetic energy and the human body have a vital and valid interrelationship, making it possible to use magnetic field therapy as an aid in diagnosing and treating physical and emotional disorders. This process is reported to relieve symptoms and may, 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
This gentle, non-invasive, rhythmical, whole-body massage aims to stimulate the lymphatic system to release excess fluid from loose connective tissues, thus helping to remove toxins. Lymph glands are part of the body’s defense against infection; blockage or damage within the system may lead to conditions such as edema, acne, inflammation, arthritis and sinusitis. By stimulating one of the body’s natural cleansing systems, it supports tissue health. It’s also been effective in assuaging lymphedema following mastectomy surgery. Learn more at VodderSchool.com and LymphNet.org.
At its most basic, this ancient hands-on therapy involves rubbing or kneading the body to encourage relaxation, healing and well-being. Benefits also include increased circulation and detoxification and reduced physical and emotional stress. More than 100 methods of massage are available. Massage offers proven benefits to meet a variety of physical challenges and may also be a useful preventive therapy. Learn more at AMTAMassage.org.
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 and observation, and the control of breathing. 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.
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 guidance for one’s “highest good”.
Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET)
A non-invasive, drug free, natural modality that tests for and eliminates 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.
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.
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.
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 (D.O.) are fully trained and licensed according to the same standards as medical doctors (M.D.) and receive additional extensive training in the body’s structure and functions.
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.
Pilates, like yoga, yields long, lean, flexible muscles whose gracefully balanced movements readily translate into everyday activities like walking, sitting and bending. It is a structured system of small, isolated movements that demand powerful focus on every nuance of muscle action while working out on floor mats or machines. This technique emphasizes development of the torso’s abdominal power center, or core. Gentler than conventional exercises, it is excellent for overcoming injuries.
Based on a healing ritual of the Lakota Native Americans, in which warm fluid substances are dropped onto the spine, the intention is to relax and open the body’s energy centers. Modern raindrop therapy also blends aromatherapy, soothing heat and gentle massage. Essential aromatic oils are allowed to methodically drip onto the spine from a height of five or six inches. The oils are then gently brushed up the spine and lightly massaged over the rest of the back, followed by application of a hot compress to facilitate oil absorption and muscle relaxation.
Also known as conscious connected breathing or vivation, rebirthing is 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 re-experience past memories, including birth, and let go of emotional tension stored in the body.
Uses light and dimensional frequencies that work on all levels of the body/mind to reduce stress, foster relaxation and raise the body’s healing vibration. The idea of Reconnective 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 (Zone Therapy)
This is a natural healing method of pressure point massage used to relieve tension, pain and treat and cure illness by pressing on a part of a person’s head, hands, body or feet. Reflexology is based upon the principle that there are reflex points or zones that correspond to every part of the body. Correctly stimulating and applying pressure to these areas increases circulation and promotes specifically designated bodily and muscular functions. Learn more at Reflexology-USA.net.
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 to analyze, integrate and release past traumas that are interfering with their current lives.
A healing practice originated in Japan in the 1920s as a way of activating and balancing the life force present in all living things. Reiki means, “universal life force energy.” Light hand placements channel healing energies to organs and glands and work to align the body’s energy centers, or chakras. Various techniques address emotional and mental distress, chronic and acute physical problems and/or increases spiritual focus and clarity. Reiki is a valuable addition to the work of chiropractors, massage therapists, nurses and others in the West. Learn more at Reiki.org.
An ancient healing tradition, which believes 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 can be both self-empowering and self-healing.
Body-oriented healing. Somatic therapy encompasses a wide variety of healing modalities which engage the physical body as a primary gateway to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. A partial list of somatic therapies includes Hakomi, SensoriMotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, Radix, Feldenkrais, Trager, CranioSacral Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release, Myofascial Release, Rolfing, and Bioenergetics. Core principles of somatic therapies include the unity of mind and body, and the body as a storehouse of implicit memory and information.
Employs vocal and instrumental tones, generated internally or externally. When sounds are produced with healing intent, they can 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 mind and body and draw the client into the active presence of Divine Spirit. In the other, the healer transforms healing energy into a vibrational frequency that the client can receive and comfortably assimilate, reminding the person’s intuitive core of its inherent healing ability.
The most commonly practiced form of massage in Western countries. Swedish massage integrates ancient Oriental techniques with contemporary principles of anatomy and physiology. Practitioners rub, knead, pummel, brush and tap the client’s muscles, topped with long, gliding strokes. Swedish massage is especially effective for improving circulation; relieving muscle tension and back and neck pain; promoting relaxation; and decreasing stress. Practitioners vary in training, techniques and session lengths.
Tai Chi and Qigong
Tai chi and qigong combine movement, meditation and breath regulation to enhance the flow of vital energy (qi) in the body, improve circulation and enhance immune function. Qigong traces its roots to Traditional Chinese Medicine and is often referred to as the mother of Tai Chi. When the gentle movements of Qigong mixed with the animal style martial arts, it became Tai Chi. Both practices promote calmness and harmony to reduce stress.
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
This Tai chi/qigong-style body movement is a recently developed practice that you perform 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 through these chakra centers encourages a blended experience of intimate presence with one’s own internal being and one’s partner.
A form of body therapy, also called nuad bo-ram, Thai massage incorporates gentle rocking motions, rhythmic compression along the body’s energy lines and passive stretching to stimulate the free flow of energy, break up blockages and help restore general well-being. One of the branches of Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM), it is performed on a floor mat, with the client dressed in lightweight, comfortable clothing. No oils are used. Thai massage aids flexibility, inner organ massage, oxygenation of the blood and quieting of the mind. Learn more at Thai-Institute.com.
Thermography (Thermal Imaging)
A diagnostic technique that uses an 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.
A manipulative therapy integral to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), tui na (“tui” means to push and “na” is a squeezing, lifting technique) that employs Taoist and martial arts principles to re-balance the body. Practitioners possess more than 365 hand techniques; most are variations of pressing, rubbing, waving, shaking, percussing or manipulating movements. Tui na is used to relieve arthritic joint pain, sciatica, muscle spasms and other pains in the back, neck and shoulders. It may also help ease chronic conditions such as insomnia, constipation, headaches and stress associated with tension. Learn more at Tui-Na.com.
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 dairy (lactose) products and eggs (ovo). Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products, but not eggs; ovo vegetarians include eggs, but no dairy; and vegans do not eat any animal-derived products.
A challenging style that matches breath to movement. Vinyasa yoga poses incorporate alignment principles and are woven together in a flowing practice that is both intense and dance-like. Translated from Sanskrit, vinyasa means “without obstacle”. This style is best suited for energetic, physically fit students.
Watsu (Water Shiatsu)
This uniquely nurturing therapy combines the acupressure and meridian stretches of Zen Shiatsu with yoga-like postures, all performed in water; this takes weight off the vertebrae and allows for movements not possible on land. In the most basic move, the Water Breath Dance, the practitioner gently floats an individual in their arms, letting the person sink a little as they both breathe out, then allowing the water to lift them as they both breathe in. This connection is maintained in all the stretches and moves and returned to throughout the session. Pioneered by multilingual author Harold Dull in 1980, watsu’s goal is to free the spine and increase the flow of energy along the body’s meridians; he also developed tantsu, which replicates watsu’s nurturing stretches on land. Learn more at Watsu.com.
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 refers to the joining of a person’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 ailments directly, it has been found effective in treating many physical ailments.
Individuals of every age and physical condition can benefit from the regular practice of yoga, which has been proved to enhance flexibility, strength, stamina and concentration. Using a combination of asanas, or postures, and breathing techniques, yoga works to induce deep relaxation and reduce stress, tone the body and organs, increase vitality and improve circulation and energy flow. Uplifting and meditative, yoga can be applied as a spiritual practice, as well.
The application of yoga principles, methods and techniques to empower individuals to progress towards greater health and freedom from disease, represents a first effort to integrate traditional yogic concepts and techniques with Western medical and psychological knowledge. Yoga therapy aims at the holistic treatment of various kinds of psychological or somatic dysfunctions, ranging from emotional distress to back problems.
Founded by writer Shizuto Masunaga, this method of acupressure includes the practice of Buddhist meditation and integrates elements of shiatsu with the goal of rebalancing and revitalizing qi, or life-force energy. A client lies on a mat or sits in a chair, fully clothed, while the practitioner uses one hand to “listen” and the other to provide the appropriate pressure. Full-body stretches and pressures may be used to release areas of chronic stagnation and blockage; clients are encouraged to breathe deeply into their lines of tension. Zen Shiatsu can be effective in conditions where emotional disturbance or stress is an underlying factor.