Glossary

Here are the definitions of many of the terms you’ll find on this website. These are provided by holistic professionals themselves, describing what they do.

Acupuncture
An alternative treatment that relies on the insertion and manipulation of needles at specific points along meridians defined by traditional Chinese medicine.

CST [See Craniosacral Therapy]

Craniosacral Therapy
Developed by osteopath Dr. John Upledger, Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the physiologic body system called the craniosacral system, which is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Therapists work with the central nervous system using a light touch to engage the body’s self healing mechanism, so the body can release the effects of injury, pain, and stress to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. — definition by Sally Morgan, PT

Feng shui
A practice that seeks to arrange human habitation in a way that is harmonious and beneficial to its users. Many variables may be considered including but not limited to the magnetism of the earth, the slope of the land, astronomy, solar radiation, the elimination of clutter, local vegetation, and soil quality. Originally limited to placing buildings, today the practice may be applied to interiors as well.Flower essence therapy employs dilutions of plant material in alcohol mostly as a treatment for emotional conditions, stress, and sometimes for insomnia.

Health Coach
A Health Coach is a wellness consultant and supportive mentor who motivates and guides individuals to cultivate positive health choices. Health Coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through realistic and sustainable nutrition, lifestyle and behavior adjustments, filling in the gap left by the conventional medical establishment. The relationship between the coach and client is an accountability partnership focused on meeting health and lifestyle goals and overall preventive care. — definition by Cheryl Berkowitz, CHHC, CHC

Herbology
The study of herbs and their medical properties.

Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are trance-like states in which you have heightened focus, concentration and inner awareness. While under hypnosis you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensations. Hypnosis is a relaxed state where the hypnotist makes positive suggestions to the client. Hypnotherapy is an interactive dialogue to facilitate the release of old emotional energy, outdated belief systems and greatly increases the rate of healing through insight, by quickly removing psychological or emotional barriers to your success. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve your health and well-being and is different from so-called stage hypnosis used by entertainers. In the hypnotic state you are more open to suggestion, however, your free will remains intact and there is no loss of control over your behavior. It is a completely natural state of mind. — definition by Jean Conway, Certified Hypnotherapist, Blue Moon Hypnotherapy

Iridology
The careful examination of the iris of the eye to assist in determining issues that may be affecting wellness. Studies of its efficacy are mostly negativebut often flawed or biased! The practice’s reputation was initially hampered by unskilled, under-trained practitioners. Anecdotal evidence strongly supports its use when in the hands of a skilled, properly trained iridologist.

Jungian-based psychotherapy
Talk therapy using Jungian techniques. Carl Jung (d 1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist who taught that psychoanalysis, delving into childhood and past wounds, helps one on the journey of “individuation” or wholeness that we all seek during our lifetime. — definition by Faith Sullivan, M.Div.

Kinesiology
The study of body movement, especially the muscles. Applied kinesiology is the use of the knowledge of kinesiology to determine a body’s response to certain substances. www.kinesiology.net/research.asp is a good starting point.

Life Coaching
Coaching is about getting clarity–your own clarity–about every aspect of your life so that you can take the kind of authentic action that leads you to the most satisfying version of your own unique life. — definition by Nerissa Nields-Duffy, Life Coach.

Reiki
A spiritual practice originally developed by a Japanese Buddhist. Practitioners transfer healing energy (ki) through the palms of their hands. It is often used in conjunction with other medical treatments. Reiki means universal healing energy.

Somatic Therapist
“Somatic Therapy,” “Bodywork” or “Body-Centered Psychotherapy” are different names used to describe a category of complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices that involve working with the human mind-body connection to improve quality of life and promote healing. The ‘Soma’ in Somatic Therapy is a term that refers to the unified ‘mind-body’ whole that cannot be separated into parts. Techniques vary greatly and may focus on assessing and improving posture, promoting awareness of the mind-body connection, working with the breath, movement and vocalization, tracking nervous system activation for working with trauma or cathartic release of emotions. — Kristen Chamberlin, MS LMT, Massage Therapist & Somatic Therapist

T’ai chi
A Chinese exercise system of slow, meditative physical movements intended to relax, develop balance, and improve health.
Shiatsu is a form of therapy that originated in Japan. As in acupuncture, it makes use of specific points along meridians defined by traditional Chinese medicine, using pressure applied to those points.

 

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