Holistic, Complementary and Alternative
Brief Definitions and Descriptions
by the Health and Wellness Division
of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
treatments and methods employed in contemporary health and wellness professions
may be unfamiliar to some members of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce. This document
can serve as an initial guidebook to these topics. For detailed information, do
consult with your Cape Ann Chamber members who use these approaches to solve health
- Refreshes the body's natural healing response by regulating the flow of the
blood and the vital energy ('chi'). Like fuses, specific points along bio-electric
circuits affect the body's internal organs and structures. To relieve pain or
injury, the acupuncturist treats with painlessly thin needles or the use of heat,
pressure, laser light, magnets, or minute electrical currents. Chinese medicinal
herbs may also be used to feed the body.
Kinesiology - Analytic method in which an individual's structural, chemical,
or mental conditions are evaluated through the use of muscle strength testing
(resistance to the practitioner's pressure on an arm or leg) and the nerve reflexes
in the body. It can be used to determine whether an imbalance is nutritional,
structural, or psychological in nature and then to determine the appropriate treatment.
Therapy - Is the use of pure essential oils to improve health and reduce stress.
Essential oils have been used to improve health and in the physical, emotional
or mental areas of life. They have been utilized for thousands of years.
- A traditional medical system from India, Ayurveda means "the science of
life". To be "healthy" is not only to be free of disease, but also
to be in a state of balance in all aspects of human life, including the mind and
- Breath Work -
A conscious focus on the breathing process, which fills the body with an abundant
amount of oxygen, supplying cells with freshly charged blood. It can rejuvenate
the body and mind and release emotional memories, which are stored in the individual
cells. It can be used to reach deep inner peace, clarity, relaxation, and healing
on many levels.
- Bowen Technique
- A gentle soft-tissue manipulation that stimulates the circulation of blood and
lymph. The technique involves the therapist using fingers or thumbs to move over
muscle, ligament, tendon and fascia in various parts of the body.
Therapy (CST) - The craniosacral mechanism is composed of the brain, spinal
cord, bones of the skull, sacrum, interconnected membranes, and the cerebrospinal
fluid. CST gently manipulates the cranium and the sacrum to correct misalignments
in the structure of this system. It has been used to treat chronic pain, migraine
headaches, and TMJ and is especially beneficial for head and neck injuries.
-The proper alignment of the spine and vertebrae is considered to be essential
for good health. Misalignments caused by poor posture or trauma result in pressure
on the spinal nerve roots, which may lead to diminished system function and even
illness. Chiropractic adjustments are used for painful musculoskeletal problems
and for functional organic conditions such as migraine headaches, high blood pressure,
or nervous disorders.
Shui - The Chinese art of placement and harmonious design. A Feng Shui practitioner
arranges building sites, living spaces, furniture, and other objects to create
a harmonious flow of energy (chi). Properly adjusted spaces can greatly enhance
career, prosperity, happiness, relationships, success, & personal fulfillment.
- Humor - Humor does
help. It is the body's way of exercising the internal organs by the motions of
laughter. It is the healthy way of feeling a "distance" between one's
self and the problem, a way of standing off and looking at one's problem with
perspective. Laboratory experiments have shown that enjoying comedy has beneficial
effects on components of the immune system.
- Facilitates access to a client's subconscious mind, in order to uncover and
explore memories, emotions, and past events which may affect a person's conscious
mind. It helps treat functional disorders such as personality disorders such as
habitual behaviors and phobias.
Shin Jyutsu - An ancient Japanese art of harmonizing life energy within the
body by hand contact with certain points of the meridian chi system. It facilitates
balance in the body's energy systems, which promotes health and well being.
Drainage Massage - Manual pumping (compression) techniques facilitating the
flow of the lymph fluids.
- There are many approaches to manual, soft tissue manipulation -- including holding,
causing movement, and/or applying pressure to the body. (Specialized styles of
massage therapy include Sports Injury, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Neuromuscular, Myofascial,
& Hot Stone.)
- Is often described as a process of focusing the mind. There are many styles
of meditation and contemplation. The object of focus may be the breath, an external
object, a sound (mantra), a concept, or an image. It helps clear the mind and
settles the emotions. In the medical context, meditation skills regulate the nervous
system and allow the "relaxation response" to occur, reducing the negative
effects of stress and fatigue on one's physiological system.
Therapy - Healthy minds and bodies develop in a step-by-step sequence. When
a stage of growth is missed or disorganized, the result can often be learning
disabilities, autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or other neurologically
based difficulties. Neurodevelopmental Therapy (Active Healing) determines which
developmental steps are problematic and restructures them so to achieve health.
- An advanced form of biofeedback that helps you learn to regulate your own brainwaves
for improved performance and flexibility. Neurofeedback is used for treatment
of attention problems (ADD & ADHD), sleep problems, pain management problems,
emotional and behavior regulation problems. It is also employed by musicians,
athletes and executives to optimize accomplishments.
Therapy - A comprehensive health system that balances the energy fields of
the body, traditionally termed -- Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. With a light
touch and focused intention, the practitioner facilitates a deep relaxation that
enables healing on many levels. For some clients, Polarity Therapy also includes
improvements in diet and exercise.
- Although not, strictly speaking, a medical therapy, religious belief and the
power of prayer have long been recognized to aid in healing and continued health.
- Qi Gong (also spelled
Chi Kung) - These are two Chinese words: "Qi" means energy and "gong"
means a skill or a practice. Qi Gong exercises stimulate the flow of energy along
the acupuncture meridians to restore, maintain, and improve health and vitality.
There are many traditional and modern styles of Qi Gong.
Touch - A method of energy flow treatment that raises one's vibration through
specialized breathing techniques. The practitioner may touch or think of another
person and send that higher energy vibration to them.
- A gentle, non-invasive, ancient form of natural healing brought to the USA from
Japan. The practitioner places his/her hands on the recipient's clothed body,
moving the hands every few minutes. It is a form of energy work that restores
and balances the natural life force energy within the body.
- This abbreviation stands for "Raise Your Sublime Energy," an advanced
form of Polarity Therapy. Using knowledge of the energy anatomy of the human body
and of the subconscious mind, the practitioner uses a variety of methods to balance,
repair, and recharge the client's mind, body, emotions, and spirit. R.Y.S.E. is
also shamanic and healing for the soul.
- Centuries-old practices of spiritual healing performed throughout the world.
All of life, including the illness, trauma and misfortune are perceived to be
spiritual in origin. It is a journey to reclaim lost power, vitality and essence.
- In this traditional Japanese method of therapeutic massage, a practitioner applies
gentle rhythmic pressure along the acupuncture meridians to restore health, balance
and vitality. Stress-related conditions respond well to this form of therapy,
which is typically done with the client remaining clothed.
Release - A craniosacral technique which deals with the physical manifestations
of emotional trauma - which can be caused by an accident, injury, or emotional
stress. The manipulation and release of a physical block will often cause a healing
release of emotional energy.
Chi - Sometimes called a meditation in movement, this exercise system develops
and strengthens a person's internal energy ("chi"). It creates holistic
balance and neutralizes stress. At optional higher levels of training, it is a
Touch - Developed by Dolores Krieger, RN it is a contemporary interpretation
of several ancient healing practices. In this consciously directed process the
practitioner uses the hands as tools that facilitate healing.
Field Therapy - A technique for resolving emotional and psychological issues,
founded by Roger Callahan, Ph.D. It uses acupressure points which are activated
by lightly tapping them with the fingertips while thinking about the specific
problem. It is effective for fears, phobias, anxiety, trauma (post-traumatic stress
syndrome; PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other problems.
Method- A gentle, non-intrusive, technique of natural movements to help release
physical and mental patterns. It facilitates deep relaxation, increases physical
mobility, and increases mental clarity.
Yoga - From India, gentle or vigorous postures that stretch and tone muscles,
joints, organs and glands. Yoga helps relieve physical and mental tension. There
are many styles of Yoga training.
Balancing - A body work system that aligns the energy body with the physical
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