Glossary of Holistic Terms

Acupressure – A type of Asian healing art based on ancient Japanese and Chinese medicine. A practitioner puts pressure on specific points on the body with his or her fingers in order to relieve pain and discomfort, prevent tension-related ailments, and promote good health.  Click here for local providers

Acupuncture – The Chinese practice of gently inserting fine needles into the body at specific points to cure disease, relieve pain and balance the energy systems in the body. Click here for local providers

Anthroposophic Medicine: A holistic and human-centered approach to medicine that uses all of the tools of conventional medicine, as well as aspects of spiritual science to assess each individual as a whole entity–physical body, life force, spirit and individual soul quality.  The treatment process is based upon the uniqueness of the individual.  All anthroposophic treatments are designed to stimulate the patient’s powers of self-healing, with emphasis on restoring the balance of bodily functions and strengthening the forces of individuality and autonomy in the organism.  Click here for provider

Applied Kinesiology – A method of testing muscles to find imbalances in the body. Rebalancing using massage of lymphatic areas, holding neurovascular points, running acupuncture meridians, holding acupuncture points, finding the proper nutritional support and addressing emotional aspects that are involved.

Aromatherapy – The use of essential oils extracted from plants and herbs to treat conditions ranging from infections and skin disorders to immune deficiencies and stress. Essential oils are widely used throughout Europe and a system of medical Aromatherapy is currently practiced in France.

Astrology – The study of the interaction between the planets, stars and the astrological signs. The relationships between them and their interactions are mathematically based, and Astrology studies these mathematical cycles. Each Sign represents a different aspect of the whole human; Aries starts the cycle, representing the Self, and Pisces completes it, representing the mass unconscious of all mankind. In between, each other Sign carries the energy of a different phase of (wo)man’s evolution within the universe. Click here for local provider

Ayurvedic Medicine – Practiced in India for the past five thousand years, Ayurvedic (meaning “science of life’) is a comprehensive system that combines natural therapies with a highly personalized approach to treatment of disease. Ayurvedic medicine places equal emphasis on body, mind and spirit, and strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual. Click here for local providers

Biofeedback — Quantum biofeedback is a computerized energetic device that detects and assesses imbalances in the body, then emits healthy, balancing frequencies back to the body. It works by reducing the stresses on a body at the electro-magnetic level caused by food, toxins, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, allergies, parasites, emotions, environment, genetics, and lifestyle. The system searches for stress patterns in the body and then administers appropriate therapies to help the body correct any imbalances found. Click here for local providers

Bodywork -The term bodywork refers to therapies such as massage, deep tissue manipulation, movement awareness, and energy balancing, which are employed to improve the structure and functions of the human body. Bodywork in all its forms helps to reduce pain, soothe injured muscles, stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation, and promote deep relaxation and enable the body to rally its own recuperative powers. Click here for local providers

Bowen Therapy – A series of gentle, simple non-invasive moves performed across muscle fibers and connective tissue, in a succession with waiting periods, incorporated into the session.  The resting time allows the brain to assimilate, correlated and create a positive response to the area being treated. All body systems are accessed allowing muscle and nerve tissue to relax, toxins shed, circulation increased.  Click here for local provider

Breath Work – The human breath has long been honored as a powerful pathway within the self to relieve pain, release blocked emotions, and deepen states of spirituality. Indian “prana,” Chinese “chi” and Japanese “ki” refer to the power of breath and its basic life force energy which enable all living things. When we restrict this life force we create disharmony and dis-ease. Breath Work uses the full dynamics of our natural breathing path to open restricted patterns to access both the inner world and the higher self for personal healing and well-being. Practices such as Rebirthing, Hypnosis, Yoga, Chi Kung and Shamanic healing are all forms of this transformational tool.

Brennan Healing Science (BHS) – BHS practitioners charge, clear and repair the human energy field which is the foundation of physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It was developed by former NASA scientist, Barbara Brennan, author of Hands of Light and Light Emerging. Click here for local providers

Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) – A healing touch modality of Chinese Taoist origin.  Soft touch and gentle massage on the abdomen stimulates the organs to work better and creates beneficial change in all the systems of the body: the digestive, lymphatic, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, urinary, muscular-skeletal, and the acupuncture meridian system that is the pathway for ‘chi’ or energy. A Chi Nei Tsang treatment releases deep-seated tensions and restores vitality.   The modality’s holistic approach integrates the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of our being.  Click here for local providers

Cranial Sacral (CranioSacral)Therapy – A holistic, hands-on technique involving gentle manipulation of the bones of the skull, the underlying meningeal membranes, and the nerve endings in the scalp. A practitioner is able to “listen” with their hands to what is called the cranial rhythmic impulse, which runs throughout our bodies. Click here for local providers

Colon Hydrotherapy – The absorption of nutrients is enhanced when the colon is cleansed. This safe and painless process involves infusing filtered and temperature regulated water into the large intestine to dislodge impacted material and dilute bacteria and toxic concentrations. Colon Hydrotherapy to improves muscle tone and facilitate peristalsis action. Click here for local providers

Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) – Through adjustments of the spine and joints, chiropractors can influence the body’s nervous system and natural defense mechanisms in order to alleviate pain and improve general health. Because of its effectiveness in treating back problems, headaches, and other injuries and traumas, chiropractic has become the second largest primary health care field in the world. Click here for local providers

Dreamwork – Dreams contain metaphorical, symbolic, and archetypal language and images. Many are multilevel, with messages relevant to various aspects of one’s being: physical health, emotional well-being, and soul level. Dreams may contain literal information about potential future paths. Dreamwork explores meanings of dreams and reveals how the different layers relate to one’s life. The dreamer is the authority on the meaning(s) of the dream; the dreamworker(s) offer insights using the “if this were my dream” format. Shamanistic dreamwork includes shamanic journeying on the dream images. Click here for local providers

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) – An advanced, rapid therapy approach for stress-related symptoms, traumatic memories, and to shift core beliefs. With bi-lateral stimulation of both sides of the brain, EMDR allows the brain to reprocess the experience and go for a healthy resolution. The eye movements process the unconscious material like what is happening in REM or dream sleep and unlock the nervous system which allows re-integration of positive information and outcome. Your own brain with this technology does the healing and you are in control. Click here and here for local providers.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) ~  Uses elements of Cognitive Therapy and Exposure Therapy, and combines them with Acupressure, in the form of fingertip tapping on 12 acupuncture points. Over 20 clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical and psychology journals have demonstrated that EFT is effective for phobias, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain, and other problems. Click here, here, and here for local providers.

Eurythmy Therapy – Eurythmy Therapy is a movement therapy that harmonizes the whole human being by balancing the physical body with the life forces and soul forces, drawing upon the formative forces of the creative World Word, the planets and constellations, and the four elements. A key modality in Anthroposophical medicine, Eurythmy Therapy has been successfully practiced for more than 90 years, with application used for many indications from small children to senior citizens. These are non-aerobic exercises done in standing, wearing normal street clothes. Click here for local providers

Feldenkrais Method® ~ A unique body and brain improvement system designed by the physicist Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais to help those with physical problems & chronic pain, as well as to improve movement for athletes, musicians, actors, dancers. This method allows muscles to center bones, clarifies orientation in time and space, and activates new neural pathways.

Feng Shui – The ancient Chinese art of intentionally arranging the spaces in which we live and work so that they are energetically balanced, so that they comfort and nurture and fully support and help us manifest what we need and want. Following the principles of feng shui, we place our furniture, introduce color and accessories, apply cures, and use our intention to create abundance, joy, and harmony in our lives.  Click here for local providers

Guided Imagery – Guided Imagery uses the power of the mind to bring about healing. It is in the body-mind where we hold perceptions of the past, in the form of emotions and images. Our beliefs are different because our perceptions of the past are unique. Though imagery we can disengage beliefs that interfere with a healthy life.

Healing Touch – an energy (biofield) therapy that encompasses a group of non-invasive techniques that utilize the hands to clear, energize, and balance the human and environmental energy fields. With some similarities to Reiki, Healing Touch offers more techniques for physical, emotional and spiritual balancing. Herbal Body Wraps – An excellent detoxifying treatment. A fleece sheet is soaked in an infusion of blended herbs then wrapped around the body. The body is then kept very warm with the addition of additional heated blankets for 20 minutes letting the herbs draw out impurities.

Herbalism – Western herbalism, like the much older system of traditional Chinese Medicine are forms of the healing arts that draw from the herbal traditions of Europe, the Americas and Asia. Both Western and Eastern forms of herbalism emphasize the study and use of naturally occurring substances in the treatment and prevention of illness. Click here for local providers

Holistic Counseling – A counseling approach which focuses on the whole self, feelings, thoughts, and how these are connected to the body.

Holistic Medicine – That form of alternative medicine which focuses on (a) personal accountability for one’s health; (b) the human body’s ability to heal itself; and (c) balancing the body, mind, and spirit with the environment.

Homeopathy – A natural pharmaceutical science that utilizes substances from the plant, mineral, and animal kingdoms and is based on the premise that these naturally occurring substances can cure disease symptoms similar to those they produce if taken in overdose. Each medicine is individually prescribed according to how it stimulates the immune and defense systems of the sick person. Click here for local providers

Hypno-Birthing® – The skill of intentionally going into a profoundly relaxed state, mentally and physically, for comfort in childbirth. Hypnotherapy – Hypnotic techniques can induce everything from a light to a heavy hypnotic state to help a client overcome psychological or physical problems. From helping people to overcome a craving for cigarettes to managing chronic pain from an illness or accident, trained hypnotherapists work with a wide variety of problems. Click here for local providers

Hypnotherapy – Hypnotic techniques can induce everything from a light to a heavy hypnotic state to help a client overcome psychological or physical problems, overcome a craving for cigarettes or overeating, managing chronic pain from an illness/accident, reducing or eliminating fears, and a wide variety of other issues to be overcome. Click here for local providers

Jin Shin Jyutsu – Brings balance to the body’s energies, which promotes optimal health and well-being, and facilitates our own profound healing capacity. It is a valuable complement to conventional healing methods, inducing relaxation and reducing the effects of stress. Click here for local providers

Kundalini – Divine spiritual energy that lies coiled at the base of the spine. Once awakened, it travels upward through the chakra system, until it reaches the crown chakra. Once stabilized in the crown, the individual self merges into the supreme self, (enlightenment) and the cycle of reincarnation comes to an end.

Lapa’au – a Hawaiian healing art practiced for thousands of years in Polynesia. During the healing session the practitioner becomes a bridge for healing, connecting the spirit of one or more Lapa’au Kahunas, the client, and the energies of the client’s Aumakua (personal guardian spirits). The client’s energy is balanced, distorted thought forms (that may result in illness) are removed, and energy links draining the client are disconnected. When the client is a healer, the work takes place under the guidance of a higher level of Aumakua on multiple planes at the same time. The healer’s energy level is optimized for their own unique characteristics and abilities. Click here for local providers

Lomilomi Massage – Hawaiian for “rub rub”, Lomilomi is a massage technique that’s been handed down from  ancient Hawaiian healers. The stroke used are similar to the shiatsu technique of Japan but are gentler and shorter. Pressure wit the fingers at certain points is also part of the technique, but is it of shorter duration than most acupressure.  Two identifying techniques of authentic Lomilomi are the emphasis on spirit-body connection and the use of the forearm and elbow as a massage tool.

Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy – A hands-on technique designed to attain and sustain proper functioning of the human fluid system. The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is critical to our body’s ability to drain stagnant fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system. Click here for provider

Maya Abdominal Massage or ATMAT – Ancient Maya healing techniques that eliminate the primary cause of reproductive and digestive complaints in men and women, the congested pelvis and abdomen, thereby preventing the progression of symptoms to chronic disease. Click here for provider

Medical Intuitive – Medical Intuition is a tool to give an accurate portrait of what is going on in a client’s body by paying close attention to gain accurate insight into the presenting symptoms of a client. The body offers much information to be shared such as the roots and influences of the present condition, what it wants and does not want and a physical, emotional/spiritual portrait of what is currently going on.

Myofasical Release – Fascia is a tough connective tissue which spreads throughout the body in a three dimensional web from head to foot without interruption. Trauma, posture or inflammation can create a binding down of the fascia resulting in excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, osseous structures, and/or organs. The Myofascial Approach consists of the gentle application of sustained pressure into the fascial restrictions which relies on feedback received by the Therapist through the patient’s tissue. Myofascial Release can help by addressing the cause of the problem to eliminate the symptoms and allow the body to make permanent changes resuming a healthy active life style. Click here for local providers

Naturopathic Medicine, Natauropathic Doctor, N.D. – Naturopathic medicine is a distinct and comprehensive system of primary health care practiced by a naturopathic doctor for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human health conditions, injuries, and disease. Naturopathic doctors are state-licensed practitioners who perform physical exams, order lab testing, and prescribe a variety of natural treatments, including clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise, and hormone replacement therapy. Click her for local providers

Naturopathy – a system of Natural Healing which, only through natural methods, assesses and cares for the health of the patient. Naturopathy is concerned with both a healthy lifestyle and the prevention of disease, and also with the use of natural therapeutics in the treating of human conditions such as: Pain, Injury, and any Physical, Chemical or Mental conditions. Naturopathy uses a philosophy of practice which bases its treatments of physiological functions and conditions, upon where the natural laws governing the human body have not been adhered to. Click here for local providers

Neurofeedback – a process that enables an individual to bring about an enduring improved state of function or being. Feedback is instantly and consistently given to the brain through audio and/or visual cues according to EEG (brainwave) measurement. Over time, the learning endures without continued use of an instrument. The first use of neurofeedback enabled people to be free of seizures without medication or surgery. Subsequent studies with humans with conditions including ADHD, Tics, Depression, Anxiety, Sleep Problems, Headaches, and other brain disregulations found that those conditions could also be remediated by brainwave feedback.

NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Patterning is a useful model of beliefs and techniques that offer a way to use the mind and body to achieve excellence in learning, business, counseling, relationships, sports and other experiences of life.

Numerology is a necessary component of astrology, though often not combined.  It is the stand-alone science of numbers—in one’s birth blueprint, year cycles, dates, and names.  By understanding how to read the map of your blueprint, you’ll have the self-empowerment to steer your life much more efficiently. Click here for local provider

Osteopathic medicine  A form of conventional medicine that, in part, emphasizes diseases arising in the musculoskeletal system with an underlying belief that all of the body’s systems work together, and disturbances in one system may affect function elsewhere in the body, Some osteopathic physicians (sometimes known as DO or osteopath) practice osteopathic manipulation, a full body system of hands-on techniques to alleviate pain, restore function, and promote health & well-being. Click here for provider.

Pranic Healing® – 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.

PSYCH-K® –  A set of simple, self-empowering process to change your beliefs and perceptions that impact your life at a cellular level. Applied Kinesiology, or muscle testing, is utilized to establish communication with higher self and sub-consciousness mind.

Raindrop Therapy – The application of therapeutic-grade essential oils using massage and vita flex techniques. Raindrop Therapy aids in the healing of physical and emotional injuries, strengthens the immune system, detoxifies the the body, and helps to bring the body into physical and electrical alignment. Click here for local providers

Reconnective Healing® utilizes new frequencies to allow for the healing of the body, mind, and spirit. These energies, currently being researched by Dr. J. Schwartz at the University of Arizona, are highly palpable and continue working long after the healing session has ended. Initiated without specific intention they result in the healing your body truly needs, not necessarily what you requested or expected. After the initial one to three sessions, there is no need to return for additional work on that particular issue or illness. Click here for local providers

The Reconnection™ – Originally the meridian lines, sometimes called acupuncture lines, on our bodies were connected to the grid lines that encircle the earth. These grid lines were designed to continue outward and connect us to a vastly larger grid, tying us into the entire universe. Over time, we became disconnected from these lines. The Reconnection brings in “new” axiatonal lines that reconnect us to these grid lines. The unique vibratory levels and frequencies they bring in contribute to healing through the reconnection of DNA strands, and ultimately our personal evolution by providing the means to reconnect with our purpose. Click here for local providers

Reflexology – The application of pressure, stretch and movement to the feet and hands to effect corresponding parts of the body. Reflexologists view the feet, ears and hands as a mirror image of the body. By applying technique a reflexologist can break up patterns of stress in other parts of the body. Stress is a barrier to the body’s return to a normal state of equilibrium.

Reiki – A therapy based on Eastern concepts of energy flow and the seven energy centers in the human body. The purpose of treatment is to heal emotional, spiritual, and physical, pain through the transmission of universal life energy, called “ki” in Japanese. It is believed that “ki” flows throughout the universe, and that Reiki connects humans in a more direct way to this universal source. Reiki is used for the healing of animals as well as people. Click here for local providers

Rolfing® structural integration – Rolfing is a holistic, hands on, deep tissue modality that manipulates and changes the myofascial system throughout the body. Through educated touch and movement education, a client’s posture and structure, their whole being is reorganizes within the field of gravity. Click here for local providers

Shamanism – A system of healing based on spiritual practices present in most indigenous cultures. The shaman acquires knowledge, wisdom and spiritual power from personal helping spirits encountered on journeys into other realities. They return with vital information about healing. Shamans are considered “walkers between the worlds” and retrievers of souls. Click here for local Shamanic Wisdom providers

Shiatsu -A Japanese form of physical therapy and therapeutic massage, based on traditional Chinese medicine. It combines massage, gentle physical manipulation, and pressure along channels or rivers of energy called meridians.

Somatic experiencing (SE)  A therapeutic model designed for the treatment of trauma and associated symptoms, developed by Dr. Peter Levine.  SE uses gentle self-awareness techniques to direct the energy of the nervous system in a way that corrects imbalances and restores it’s natural equilibrium. This results in reduced activation in the body and mind, bringing a greater sense of ease, balance and aliveness.  SE is effective in the treatment of emotional, mental and physical symptoms of trauma including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and syndromes such as fibromyalgia.  SE is used around the world to assist people recover from trauma, including accidents, disasters, and war. Click here for provider

Sound Therapy / Vibrational Healing – A range of therapies in which sound is used to treat physical and mental conditions based on the theory that all of life vibrates, including people’s bodies. Treatment by sound waves is believed to restore that healthy balance to the body. The healing sound is transmitted to the affected area of the body and may be produced by any number of methods including voice, chanting bowls, drums, bell, tuning forks and/or music.

Tai Chi – Tai Chi combines movement, meditation and breath regulation to enhance the flow of vital energy in the body, improve blood circulation, and enhance immune functions. Tai Chi is one of the most broadly applicable systems of self-care in the world. In China, it is estimated that 200 million people practice Tai Chi everyday. Click here for providers

Therapeutic Touch – A non-invasive, holistic approach to healing which stimulates the receiver’s own recuperative powers. It is a modern form of laying-on-of-hands and is based on principles of an energy exchange between people. It is most useful to reduce or eliminate pain, promote healing, and elicit a relaxation response. Click here for local providers

ThetaHealing®  A powerful Energy Healing modality using Theta brainwaves and the creative power of the Universe to heal the physical body and to clear negative beliefs & fears held in the muscular tissue and organs. Other techniques facilitated by this process include seeing and speaking with your Guardian Angels, viewing inside the human body, remote viewing, healing and speaking with plants and animals, manifesting your Soul Mate, and more. Click here for local providers

Watsu – Aquatic bodywork involving stretching and Shiatsu which is applied while being floated in warm water. The water temperature (95† – 97† F) is ideal for experiencing a sensation of deep relaxation. Gentle stretching increases flexibility and strengthens muscles. Click here for local provider

Yantra – A geometric image based in the tantric yoga tradition. One can use a it for meditation, inspiration, concentration, energy alignment, and transformation. A yantra creates an opening into sacred space. The vibrational qualities of the yantra will resonate with the vibrational aspects of one’s body, mind, and consciousness. Click here for local provider

Yoga – A general term for a range of body-mind practices used to access consciousness and encourage physical and mental well-being. Forms of “physical” Yoga include Hatha (Iyengar, Bikram, Ananda, Astanga Vinyasa/Power, Phoenix Rising, etc.) and Kundalini. Click here for local providers

Yoga Therapy – A one-on-one application of the philosophy and practices of yoga to directly and holistically facilitate healing. Techniques are chosen according to the individual client to resolve pain and blockages by supporting and nurturing the spine, nervous system, muscles, bones, joints, subtle channels, and the mind. While therapeutic approaches vary by yoga style, all promote non-invasive techniques that utilize yoga poses, breath, and wisdom for increasing prana (life force), tejas (energy) and ojas (resilience). Click here for local providers

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