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Glossary of Enviromental, Natural Health and Mind & Spirit Terms

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - V - W - Y -


Acupressure— Acupressure practitioners. Acupressure is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that the body consists of meridians which are pathways through which life energy, qi, flows. Acupuncture points, or acupoint, exist along the meridians. They are associated with and can affect specific organs or parts of the body. Acupressure practitioners, like in acupuncture, stimulate these acupoints by applying pressure, except that it is done with fingers and hands rather than needles. The goal is to facilitate the flow of qi and stimulate self-healing.

Acupuncture— Acupuncturists, health centers with acupuncture treatments, training centers, and supply stores. Acupuncture is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to Chinese medicine, qi, the vital energy, flows through pathways in the body, called meridians, which are connected to organs and parts of the body. Discomfort results when the flow of qi is interrupted. Acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health by regulating the circulation of qi and blood. Acupuncturists stimulate specific points along the meridians, called acupuncture points, by inserting thin metal needles through the skin. The needling techniques used determine the intended results (Source).

ADD & Learning Disabilities— Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also commonly referred to as ADD. Those with the disorder exhibit long-term excessive distractibility, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity. The disorder affects both children and adults in their daily lives at school, home, work or social settings. ADHD is likely caused by biological factors which influence neurotransmitter activity in certain parts of the brain. Research suggests that genetic is a factor. Treatment may involve medication, behavior and cognitive therapies that help to develop coping skills and adaptive behaviors. (source: Attention Deficit Disorder Association)

Allergy & Chemical Sensitivity— Allergists and practitioners who focus on treating allergy and chemical sensitivity using alternative medicine. Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system that causes reactions of our immune system to our environment. Allergic reactions can be triggered by many sources such as food, insects, pets, or chemicals found in our surrounding. Normally, our immune system defends against germs that threaten one's health. In most allergic reactions, however, the immune system is responding to a false alarm.

Alternative Energy & Fuel— Businesses that provide eco-friendly energy solutions by utilizing alternative energy sources. Alternative energy, as defined in Princeton University Wordnet, is derived from sources that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment. According to a National Energy Information Center study in 2001, greenhouse gas emissions in the US come mostly from energy use. And out of the energy-related carbon dioxide emission, 82% is accounted for by fossil fuel combustion. Whether greenhouse gas emission causes climate change is still being debated. In the meantime, the impact of mining on the environment is gaining attention. Examples of renewable energy sources include wind power, solar power, hydro power, geothermal power, wave and tidal power, and biomass.

Applied Kinesiology— Applied kinesiology is a form of diagnosis using muscle testing as a primary feedback mechanism to examine how a person's body is functioning. The discipline was developed in 1964 by chiropractor George Goodheart. The basis is that organ dysfunction is accompanied by weakness in a corresponding muscle. The manual muscle test is used to diagnose the problem and provides a basis for determining treatments. It is often used by chiropractors but is also employed by other alternative medicine practitioners. A variety of therapeutic treatments are used, including joint manipulation, myofascial therapies, acupressure, nutritional counseling, massage, and exercise. (Applied Kinesiology.com, Wikipedia)

Architects & Building Designers— Architects and designers that focus on environmentally-conscious designs and construction practices. Green buildings are constructed with the goal of creating comfortable living spaces while maintaining the health of the environment, and that of the people living in them. Many factors are considered when building green. Examples include location and accessibility, energy usage, material selection and sourcing, water conservation, land preservation, indoor air quality, and waste management. The US Green Building Council developed a measurement system, the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), to assess the sustainability of buildings. LEED is now a widely recognized certification program for eco-buildings.

Aromatherapy— Aromatherapists. Aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy). The use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes can be traced back to ancient times. The discipline was formalized by French chemist Rene Gattefosse in 1930s. The scent of the oils is analyzed by the part of the brain which controls emotions and memories, hence influencing the overall wellbeing of a person. The therapeutic properties can be obtained through inhalation or topical application.

Aura & Chakra Clearing & Restructuring— Human energy fields are believed to impact one's bodily function and health. Aura is a field of energy that surrounds the body, and chakras are energy centers. Disruption of these energy fields is believed to impact one's health. Clearing is aimed to remove the interference and restore the aura and chaka, thus health.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine, or Ayurveda, is considered to be a whole medical system. It originated in India more than 5000 years ago. The word "Ayurveda" in Sanskrit means "the science of life". It continues to be practiced in India, where 80% of the population uses it exclusively or with other medicine.
There are three underlying concepts in Ayurvedic medicine:

  • People, their health, and the universe are interconnected. Health results when there is harmony in that relationship.
  • The body's constitution (the ability to resist or recover from disease) is influenced by the person's unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics.
  • A person's chances of falling ill are related to the balance of life forces, the state of the physical body and mental factors.

Based on these concepts, treatment is tailored to each person's constitution. A broad range of techniques are used including massage, herbs, oils, minerals, exercise, meditation, and diet. (National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine)


Bioenergetics— Bioenergetics, or bioenergetic therapy, is a body-oriented form of psychotherapy developed by Dr. Alexander Lowen in the 1960s. According to Lowen, an individual's history of dealing with stress and trauma is "programmed" into his muscles. These unique muscular patterns inhibit self-expression. Bioenergetic psychotherapists focus on the pattern of muscular tension in a person and try to understand how that tension directly relates to the person's emotional history and childhood relationships. Bioenergetic exercises, such as breathing techniques, seek to open blocked and tense areas of the body, that are linked with buried memories, enabling past traumas to be explored.

Biofeedback— Biofeedback is a technique in which the patient learns to improve health or control bodily functions using signals from his body. Instruments are used to provide bio measurements of the patient's body (feedback). Using the measurement as a gauge, the patient learns to make subtle changes to the body, such as relaxing certain muscle, to control the bodily functions. Examples of applications include helping stroke victims regain movements, circulating blood pressure and heart rate.

BodyTalk— When a body is operating at its best, each system, organ and body part, down to the cellular level are in constant communication with one another. Disruption in this communication, often due to stress, trauma or injury, can lead to decline in physical, emotional and mental well-being. The BodyTalk System® aims to restore this communication. (source: Washington BodyTalk Association) The technique believes the body has inherent knowledge of itself. Following the established protocol of questions, using neuromuscular biofeedback, the practitioner identifies what communication circuits need to be repaired and in what order. Tapping that follows signals the body to repair the problem areas. (IBA Global Healing)


Bowenwork is a soft-tissue technique that applies light pressure on specific points throughout the body over tendons, muscles and nerve bundles. The points are designed to reach the nervous system. As such, the touch sends message deep into the body, stimulating the nervous system to reset and initiate healing. Each person responds differently to the treatment session according to his body's needs. It can be used to treat a variety of problems including musculoskeletal, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and other conditions. The technique was developed by the late Tom Bowen of Geelong, Australia. (Bowenwork Academy USA)

Breathwork & Breathing Techniques— Breathwork refers to the conscious alteration of breathing patterns. There are many forms or styles of breathwork. On one hand, the practice is believed to be able to reduce stress, clear the mind, and result in spiritual and psychological benefits. On the other hand, conscious breath is believed to be able evoke self-healing.


Certified Lumber— Certification enables consumers to support responsible forestry and provides forest owners with an incentive to maintain and improve forest management practice. There are only a few legitimate certification groups for sustainably harvested materials, one such being the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certification program.

Channeling— Channeling refers to the process of receiving and conveying thoughts from spiritual entities. The channeler, or medium, serves as the "translator" of the message and conveys the meaning in human language. The medium normally focuses on channeling for a particular spiritual entity.

Chelation Therapy— Chelation is used to remove toxins and heavy metals from the body. Chelation agents are used in the therapy to bound with the metals. The resulting complex is water-soluble, which enters the bloodstream to be excreated. (Wikipedia) Today, specially trained physicians use chelation to treat other conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and chronic inflammatory diseases (WebMD.com).

Chinese Medicine— Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in China thousands of years ago. In the Chinese medicine perspective, human is interconnected with nature and are subject to its forces. At the same time, the different parts of the body are interdependent, and as such, health is depended on the balance of their functions. TCM emphasizes individualized treatments which encompass a wide range of therapies. Common therapies include acupuncture, herbs, Chinese bodywork, mind-body therapies such as qi gong and tai chi, and dietary therapy. (National Center of Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Chiropractors— Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the body's structure, mainly the spine, and its function, with the goal of normalizing this relationship to restore health. Following principles first developed by Daniel David Palmer (1845-1913), chiropractors seek to improve general health by adjusting spinal vertebrae to their normal position as well as using adjustments to treat specific problems, such as back pain. Chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states.

Chronic Fatigue & Illness— Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder that causes extreme fatigue that lasts a long time and limits the patient's ability to do ordinary daily activities. Symptoms may also include muscle pain, memory problems, headaches, pain in multiple joints, sleep problems, sore throat and tender lymph nodes. (source: MedlinePlus, a National Institutes of Health website). Many practitioners who treat CFS also treat other chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia.

Co-ops - Food— Co-operatives that offer local, natural/organic grocery and healthy food options. Co-operatives, or co-ops, are business organizations owned by their members for their mutual benefits. The form of business structure had been around since the 1800's. They are founded based on principles that carry ethical dimensions.

Colon Therapy

Colon Therapy is a form of colon cleansing. The goal of the therapy is to clean and remove toxins from the colon and intestinal tract. The concept was based on an ancient idea of "auto-intoxication", the idea that the body cannot fully dispose of its waste and toxin accumulated in the intestine, leading to illness. One form of colon therapy involves injecting water into the colon for cleansing. Oral cleansing is an alternative approach to colon cleansing by using dietary fiber, herbal supplements or laxatives. (Wikipedia)

CranioSacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle hands-on approach that releases tensions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. Examples of conditions it can address include migraines and headaches, chronic neck and back pain, autism, stress and tension-related disorders, and more. (The Upledger Institute) In the early 1900s, Dr. Sutherland discovered that cranial sutures have small degrees of motion. This motion, which is connected to that of the craniosacral system, is supported by rhythms in the body. These rhythms determine the state of health. Health diminishes when the rhythms are disturbed by injury, stresses, trauma or toxicity. Craniosacral therapy aims to resolve these disturbances and enhance the body's self-healing. (Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America)

Crystals, Gemstones & Jewelries— Crystals and gemstones are believed to have spiritual and healing power. Crystal healing is a type of vibration medicine as it is believed to transmit energies that can be tuned to a body's fluctuating vibration. Crystals can be carried, or placed directly on the bodied for healing. Crystals are chosen based on their energy properties or the patients' needs.


Dance & Movement Therapy— Under the assumption that body and mind are interrelated, movement therapies are used in psychological healing. According to the definition of the American Dance Therapy Association, dance and movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of an individual.

Dentists & Orthodontists

According to Holistic Dental Network, holistic dentistry looks at dental health as part of a person's overall health, not just the teeth. Some examples of holistic dentistry approaches include:

  • Proper nutrition to prevent dental diseases
  • Avoidance of toxins. E.g. biocompatible materials for restoration, mercury free fillings
  • Prevention and treatment of malocclusion and gum disease. E.g. TMJ treatment

Holistic dentists also utilize alternative treatment techniques such as dental acupuncture and homeopathic remedies.

Detoxification Therapy— Detoxification techniques seek to cleanse the body of chemicals, pollutants and other toxins to improve overall health.


Dream work is a type of psychotherapy in which the clients' dreams are explored for deeper meaning. The Freudian and Jungian schools believe that dreams reveal the unconscious thoughts that are subpressed or unexpressed during waking life. As such, dreams provide a way to tap into the unconscious mind. More modern theories believe that dreams are reflections of waking life. Exploring the dreams can lead clients to gain awareness and insight into themselves. (Source: The Use of Dreams in Modern Psychotherapy, by C. Hill & S. Knox)



Egoscue (pronounced e-GOSS-cue) is a postural alignment therapy system founded by Pete Egoscue in the 1970s. The Egoscue Method is comprised of a series of personalized stretches and movements designed to improve musculoskeletal function and eliminate pain. A fundamental principle of Egoscue is the empowerment of the individual to tap into the body’s ability to heal itself without the use of drugs, surgery or manipulation.

Electrosmog Radiation— Practitioners offer treatments for conditions resulting from electrosmog. Electrosmog is the electromagnetic radiation emitted form electric and electronic systems.


EMDR standards for eye movement desensitization reprocessing, a therapy often used in trauma or PTSD treatment. During the therapy, the patient focuses on a traumatic experience while tracking the therapist's finger as it moves back and forth across his/her visual field. The experiment is repeated till distress is dissolved. The patient then focuses on the desired positive behavior while tracking the therapist's stimulus. The process is repeated till confidence in the positive belief is achieved. Besides using eye movement as the external stimulus, auditory tones, tapping or other stimulus can be used.

The combination of focusing on the personal experience and stimulus is believed to help release internal resources for mental and emotional healing. EMDR creates a cognitive restructuring of the event and a resolution of negative emotions.


Empathology is a body-mind approach that is used to address behavioral issues that are caused by unconscious limiting thoughts. Therapists use applied kinesiology or other means to assess the physical and emotional imbalances in a person. Through the process, they attempt to identify the root causes of the unconscious and limiting beliefs that may have influenced the person's behavior. Using affirmations and other remedies, such as exercise and dietary changes, the behavior is re-programmed.

Energy and Space Clearing— Energy and space clearing is often used in feng shui to clean out negative emotional energy, and revitalize and harmonize energies in a space. It is believed that negative energy in a space can be created by the feeling of disconnect, the emotional residue left behind at the space, naturally occuring energy patterns, and electro-magnetic fields from our environment. By revitalizing the energy in the space, space clearing aims to promote healing and emotional well-being.

Energy Balancing & Energetic Healing— Energy balancing and energetic healing is a generic term for many energy healing modalities. Energy healing is built on the concept that vital life energy flows through our energy systems. Disruption in the flow will result in illness or emotional disturbance. Energy healing aims to clear energy blockage, rebalance energy flow, and restore health physically and emotionally. Examples of often referenced energy systems include aura, chakra, and meridian. Examples of energy healing modalities include reiki, acupuncture, reflexology, aura and chakra balancing, crystal healing, and color therapy.

Environmental Medicine— Environmental Medicine involves the study of how the environment impacts human health. The factors may be classified as physical (e.g. UV lights), chemical (e.g. toxins in cleaners), biological (e.g. bacteria), and social. Practitioners identify environmental factors and probable causes of illness or allergy in a person's life, home and work. They work with the individual to lessen or eliminate the impact of toxins and allergens.

Enzyme Therapy— Practitioners that offer enzyme therapy. Enzyme therapy involves the use of enzyme supplements to facilitate digestion and improve the absorption of essential nutrients. The therapy can be to treat disease, deficiencies, and other conditions.

Essential Oils & Flower Remedies— Suppliers of essential oils or flower remedies. Both essential oils and flower essenses are derived from flower or plants to be used for alternative medical treatments. Essential oils used in aromatherapy are extracted from the plants through various processes, such as distillation and pressing. The scented oils contain concentrated physical properties of the plants from which they are extracted. They trigger chemical processes in the part of the brain that controls emotions and memories and hence influences the overall wellbeing of a person. Flower essenses are diluted. The non-fragrant liquids contain the vibrational energy of the plants. They affect emotions, which in turn influencese physical conditions.


Fair Trade— A trading partnership which aims at sustainable development for excluded and disadvantaged producers by providing better trading conditions.

Farmers' Market

A place where farmers sell locally grown, farm-fresh produce to consumers.

Feldenkrais Method

According to the Feldenkrais® Educational Foundation of North America, the Feldenkrais® method is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. The Method works to improve the students' use of their bodies by regulating and coordinating movement, within their existing structural conditions. The training consists of two formats - group sessions called Awareness Through Movement, and individual sessions called Functional Integration. The Method was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and has been practiced worldwide for the last 40 years. The Feldenkrais Method is particularly effective in treating chronic pain resulting from repetitive movements.

Feng Shui— Consultants and designers that practice feng shui principles. Feng Shui is a traditional Chinese practice that was developed thousands of years ago and now have many branches. The general belief is that the qi of the site, influenced by site location, structure orientation, shape of the land, the flow of wind and water around it, and placement of objects can impact one's life. Some disciplines include the time dimension in their analysis. Traditionally, feng shui was used to identify location and orientation of the auspicious sites. Today, it is often used to arrange rooms, furniture and buildings into harmonious patterns that can bring a sense of abundance, balance and happiness to the residents.

Fibromyalgia— Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia have chronic widespread pain, as well as "tender points" on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs, which hurt when slight pressure is applied. The causes of the disease are unknown and conventional therapies are limited. Patients often turn to alternative medicine for relief. Examples of treatments include acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, hypnosis, supplementation, magnet therapy, massage therapy, and t'ai chi. (National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Flower Therapy— Flower therapy is a specific cross between homeopathy and herbal medicine. The discipline was developed by English practitioner Dr. Edward Bach. The thirty-eight Bach Flower remedies derived from English wildflowers serve as catalysts to alleviate the underlying causes of stress. Flower essences are diluted plant extracts which contain the energy of the plants. It affects the emotions which in turn influences the overall wellbeing of the patient. Many practitioners have gone beyond Bach to develop a whole range of Flower Essences from a wide variety of American, European and Australian wildflowers.


Providers of green burial and alternative death care services. Traditional burials have many negative environmental impacts, including material usage, and chemical contamination. According to statistics from the Casket and Funeral Association of America and Cremation Association of North America, each year we bury roughly 104,000 tons of steels, 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete, 30 million board feet of hardwoods, and 827,000 gallons of embalming fluid. Adding to this list is the impact from transporting these products and pesticides usage at the cemetery. Even cremation is harmful to the environment. Cremation requires a lot of energy. And toxins are released during the burning process. Green burials provide green-to-the-end options for the environmentally conscious. Some of the choices include biodegradable burial materials, natural burial sites, no/organic embalming, and carbon-neutral cremation.


Geriatric Care & Assisted Living— Facilities that provide holistic geriatric care, with the emphasis on natural living. and natural/organic food.


Restaurants, grocery stores, and health-food stores that offer gluten-free foods.

Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley. It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins and even the glue on stamps and envelopes. A gluten-free diet is essential for people who have celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis (a gluten induced skin sensitivity). Some people may choose to follow a gluten-free diet for other reasons. A gluten-free diet involves the avoidance of foods made from or containing wheat, rye, barley and usually, oats. Some doctors say oats may be permitted, although The Coeliac Society advise against the inclusion of oats in a gluten-free diet.


Genetically modified organisms have had genes from other species transferred into their genetic material by the technique of "gene-splicing."

Guided Imagery— Guided imagery is a technique that uses images or symbols to train the mind to create a definitive physiological or psychological effect. It can be used to help relieve physical problems caused by stress, such as tension headaches. It has been effectively used in some cancer treatment programs for pain management.


Hands of Light Healing— A hands-on energy healing system that was popularized by Barbara Brennan. The healing system believes that human is surrounded by an energy field. The energy field has many levels and each of which has a different frequency. Any imbalance in the energy field will lead to discomfort and illness. Healers channel energy to the patients for healing.

Healing Touch— Healing touch is a hands-on energy healing therapy. It uses touch to influence the human energy system, specifically the energy field that surrounds the body (aura) and the energy centers (chakras) that control the flow of energy from the energy field to the body. Through either off body touch or gentle touch, practitioners assess, clear and balance the patients' biofield to facilitate self-healing. (Healing Touch Program) While similar to other energy healing methods, healing touch has specific techniques for treating certain conditions. (healing.about.com)

Hellerwork— Hellerwork fuses deep tissue bodywork, movement education, and emotional dialogue into a specific sequence designed to realign the body and release chronic pain or stress. The therapy is a form of somatic education which focuses on the body "as experienced from within the body". The underlying belief is that one's health is optimized when he can experience the integrity in the body, the movement, and its relationship with the world. The therapy was developed by Joseph Heller, an early student of Ida Rolf, who founded rolfing. (source: Hellerwork International)

Herbalism/Herbal Medicine— Herbalism is the use of plant as medicine. The phytochemicals found in plants are found to have therapeutic effect on human. The practice of using herbal medicine predates human written history. It can be found in traditional medicine systems around the world such as that of the Native American, Chinese, Ayurvedic, Tibetan and Namil Nadu. Herbs can be consumed in many forms such as herbal teas, extracts, fresh herbs, dried herbs and juices. (source: Wikipedia)

Homeopathy— Following homeopathy's principle of "like cures like", homeopathic remedies aim to stimulate the body's own healing power by introducing tiny doses of natural substances that in larger doses would produce similar symptoms. The chosen substance is diluted in alcohol or distilled water, followed by succession (forceful striking on an elastic body), which is believed to increase the remedy's potency. There are about 3000 commonly used homeopathy remedies. Some are made from animal, plant, mineral and synthetic substances. Others are made from diseased or pathological products (nosos), and some from healthy specimens (sarcodes). (source: Wikipedia)

Hydrotherapy— Hydrotherapy utilizes water, specifically the properties of water, such as temperature and pressure, to stimulate blood circulation or treat illness. The practice has its history in ancient civilization. Nowadays, it is often used in physical therapy and as a cleansing agent. Hydrotherapy comes in many forms, such as cold water, hot water, or a combination of hot and cold. Examples of application include water jets, underwater massage, mineral baths, whirlpool bath, hot Roman bath, Jacuzzi, and cold plunge. (source: Wikipedia)

Hypnotherapy— First developed by Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), hypnotic techniques can induce a range of hypnotic, or relaxed, states 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.


Iridology— Iridology is based on the theory that each organ of the body can be matched to a corresponding section of the iris, which is mapped into zones. As such the colors, patterns, and other characteristics of the iris can reveal information about a person's health. A similar diagnostic tool, sclerology, focuses on the white of the eye. This practice believes that the characteristics of the sclera reflects the health condition of a person.


Life Coaches— Life coaches are advisers who take a holistic approach to facilitate clients with life transformation, may it be new projects, business changes, career development, or life and relationship transition. Life coaching is action-and solution-oriented, different from counseling which deals with deeper psychological issues. Life coaches take an active and hands-on approach to guide clients through the transition process.

Light & Color Therapy— Light therapy uses exposure to light to treat conditions such as sleep, mood disorder and other conditions. Color therapy, or chromo therapy, is based on the belief that physiological functions respond to specific colors. The various frequencies of light emanating from different colors of light are used for medicinal and healing purposes. Colorpuncture is an alternative to acupuncture, and employs light rays instead of needles.

Lymphatic Drainage, Support and Therapy— The flow of the lymph systems depend on contractions of the muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels. Lymphedema results if fluid accumulates in the tissues. Lymphatic drainage therapies restore a free-flowing lymphatic system by reducing and eliminating blockages. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) uses gentle rhythmic massage on the skin to stimulate lymph flow. Compression via garments, bandaging, or pump, can be applied to the affected area to maintain edema reduction and promote fluid movement. Complete decongestive therapy combines these treatments with exercise and skin care. (source: Wikipedia, Stanford University School of Medicine)


Martial Arts— Martial arts techniques originally developed in the East to increase mental acuity, health, and spiritual development through intense physical training. The many forms range from more externally oriented types such as karate and tae kwan do, which emphasize muscle and endurance, to the internally oriented tai chi and aikido, which seek to restore harmony and balance to the body.

Massage - Deep Tissue

Deep tissue bodywork is designed to relieve tension in the muscles and the connect tissues. The therapy focuses on the muscles located below the top muscles. The top muscles have to be first relaxed to allow deep penetration into the lower layers. Common applications include the relief of chronic muscular pain, injury rehabilitation, reduction of inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis, and recovery after heavy physical activities. (Wikipedia, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals) A number of therapies are considered to be deep tissue bodywork - myofascial release, Hellerwork and rolfing.

Massage - Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi— Massage incorporates the use of touch to stimulate circulation, relax muscles and promote a sense of well-being. Lomi lomi means "massage" in the Hawaiian language. Based on the Hawaiian belief that health has to be achieved with body/mind harmony, this type of massage seeks to provide both physical and mental relaxation. Practitioners use different methods for massaging the body, including using palms, forearms, fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees, feet, even sticks and stones. The massage session may start with a prayer for healing.

Massage - Hot Stone— Massage incorporates the use of touch to stimulate circulation, relax muscles and promote a sense of well-being. Hot stone massage utilizes smooth heated rocks, placed at key points on the body to relax muscles so that the therapists can apply deeper pressure, if desired. The stones are usually placed on specific points on the back, but can also be placed elsewhere, or held by the therapists to massage over the body. The heat from the stone can also improve circulation and calm the nervous system. (source: Cathy Wong for About.com)

Massage - Pregnancy & Infant— Massage incorporates the use of touch to stimulate circulation, relax muscles and promote a sense of well-being. Some therapists specialize in pregnancy and infant massage. Pregnancy massage seeks to alleviate discomforts that are caused by physical changes due to pregnancy, as well as to promote well-being. Infant massage seeks to enhance the bonding between parents and infants, improve digestion, and establish good sleeping patterns.

Massage - Sports— Massage incorporates the use of touch to stimulate circulation, relax muscles and promote a sense of well-being. Sports massage is targeted for athletes. It is a systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body that focuses on muscles relevant to a particular sport.

Massage - Swedish— Massage incorporates the use of touch to stimulate circulation, relax muscles and promote a sense of well-being. Swedish massage is a common form of massage that focuses on the superficial muscle layer. It uses five main strokes, including soothing tapping, rubbing, pummeling and kneading, to relieve sore muscles and joints.

Massage - Thai— Massage incorporates the use of touch to stimulate circulation, relax muscles and promote a sense of well-being. Thai massage involves stretching and deep massage. Clients are clothed and no oil is used.

Medical Intuitive— Medical intuitives use psychic abilities or intuition to help search for causes of health and emotional conditions. These practitioners specialize in perceiving information concerning the human body and can "read" the body to identify areas of imbalance or emotions that may lead to disease. This information can be used to aid formal medical diagnosis and treatment.


Meditation is a mind-body practice that helps to focus and calm the mind, creating a restful state of physical being. There are many types of meditation, most of which originated in ancient religious and spiritual traditions. Some forms of meditation focus on being mindful of thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and to observe them in a nonjudgmental way. This practice is believed to result in a calm, relaxed state, and psychological balance. Practicing meditation can change how a person relates to the flow of emotions and thoughts. (Source: National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine)

Metaphysics— Metaphysics examines the nature of reality and attempts to answer questions that cannot be answered scientifically. Many techniques are involved. Astrology theorizes that the positioning and movement of the heavenly bodies can have enormous consequences for a person. This information is used to counsel individuals about emotional, professional or health-related problems. Tarot uses a pack of tarot cards for divination.

Midwifery— Midwives work with women so they can experience a healthy pregnancy and a safe natural childbirth, as well as providing necessary education and follow-up care. Licensed midwives, or nurse-midwives (both are recognized in Washington), receive extensive training in gynecology, fetus development, obstetrical complications, nutritional assessment, counseling, community health, family planning, various forms of delivery management, and other issues surrounding pregnancy and birth.

Mind-Body Medicine— Mind-body medicine recognizes that the mind plays in important role in a person's health. Using an integrative medicine approach, health care providers attend to patients' emotional, mental, behavioral and physical health. The concept of mind-body medicine dates back to ancient times but has given way to empirical based models during the Renaissance. This integrative approach has gained popularity in recent years and is often used in pain management and cancer care. Common therapies include meditation, counseling, support groups, hypnosis, tai chi and yoga.

Music & Sound Therapy

Practitioners offer music and sound to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

SOUND HEALING uses sound to align the physical body with its energy centers. Everything in the Universe is energy in vibration. Healing occurs when the body is returned to its natural frequencies of vibration.

MUSIC THERAPY is a research-based discipline, using music interventions to further health treatment and educational goals. Music Therapy combines the knowledge in psychology, medicine, and music.

Myotherapy— Myotherapy was developed by Bonnie Prudden in 1976. The therapy involves applying pressure to trigger points to relieve pain. Trigger points are irritated spots in muscles that are developed when muscles are damaged. When activated under stress, these points can cause mucles to shorten and/or spasm. By applying steady pressure on a trigger point, a therapist can relieve muscle spasm, relax the muscle and connective tissues surrounding it, and thus reduce pain.


Native Plants

Plants which are indigenous to specific conditions of a region. They tend to need less pesticides, irrigation and care to maintain in an urban landscape.

NaturalA product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural. The label must explain the use of the term natural (such as - no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed.)

Naturopathic Medicine— Naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, believes in the healing power of nature. Naturopathic doctors view their role as supporting the patients' inherent ability to maintain and restore health. A holistic approach, the discipline focuses on treating the whole person, disease prevention, and treating the cause. Practitioners prefer to use treatments they consider to be natural and non-invasive and may involve many modalities. Examples include nutritional counseling, supplementation, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, bodywork, exercise and lifestyle counseling. (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Network Spinal Analysis— Network spinal analysis was developed by Donald Epstein DC in the late 1970s. The technique, through specific low force touches to the spine, assists the brain in developing new wellness promoting strategies (Dr. Donald Epstein's website). The therapy uses a slightly different sequence of adjustments than standard chiropractic methods. In network chiropractic, a person's physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects are considered to be all connected, thus "network". (Accessing the Selves through the Spine) The therapy focuses on the central nervous system as the instrument of integration. The patient's emotional as well as physical well-being are being addressed.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)— Neurolinguistic programming is a form of psychotherapy. NLP was founded by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who believed in the "connection between neurological processes, language and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience and can be organized to achieve specific goals in life". (source: Wikipedia) The neurolinguistic programming techniques can help to change unconscious patterns of thought, behavior and language. As such, patterns of behavior can be modelled and learned. NLP practitioners examine their clients' speech and behavior patterns, and provide therapeutic interventions to alter behaviors. The technique may be used by psychotherapists, hypnotherapists, or life coaches.


Neurofeedback, also known as neurotherapy, neurobiofeedback or EEG biofeedback, is a type of biofeedback that focuses on the central nervous system. The instrument used to monitor the brain activity is electroencephalography (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sensors are placed on the scalp for the measurement. Feedback is provided via video display. The patient attempts to change the behavior so that the brainwave frequencies will move towards the desired range. Examples of conditions that can be improved with neurofeedback include children's sleep problems, drug abuse, anxiety and depression (EEGInfo). It's use for attention deficient disorder (ADHD) is being tested by various research groups. (US News)

Neuromuscular Therapy

Neuromuscular therapy is a form of soft tissue massage that involves applying static pressure to specific myofascial points of muscle to relieve pain. The goal is to balance the central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system. Normally, nerves transmit impulses slowly to signal movements. When in distress, the transmission is sped up, creating pain and body dysfunction. The therapy aims to rebalance the neurological activity to return to normal function. The therapy is used to address five elements that cause pain: ischemia (lack of blood supply to soft tissue), trigger points (highly irritated points in muscles), nerve compression or entrapment, postural distortion, and biomechanical dysfunction. (Wikipedia, Buckland)

Nia— A body, mind, and spirit well-being fitness practice that uses 9 movement forms from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts.


Organic Food & Products— Organic refers not only to the food itself, but also to how it is produced and processed. Organic food production is based on a system of farming that mimics natural ecosystems and maintains and replenishes the fertility and nutrients of the soil. Organic Production integrates cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Organic foods are produced without the use of genetically modified organisms, conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives. Processed organic foods are handled carefully to maintain the integrity of organic ingredients going into the products.

100% Organic:

  • All organic ingredients
  • Any processing aids used must be organic. No non-organic ingredients are used
  • USDA Seal allowed
  • Must list organic certification agent. Example: 100% Organic Cereal


  • At least 95% organic ingredients
  • Remaining 5% can be non-organic allowed ingredients (i.e. vitamins, citric acid, baking powder). All agricultural ingredients must be organic unless not available
  • USDA Seal allowed
  • Must list certification agent

Made with Organic Ingredients:

  • At least 70% organic ingredients
  • Remaining 30% can be non-organic allowed ingredients (i.e. vitamins, citric acid, baking powder) or non-organic agricultural ingredients.
  • Must list certification agentExample: Cereal made with organic oats, raisins, and dates.

Products with less than 70% Organic Ingredients:

  • Any level of organic ingredients
  • No restrictions on remaining ingredients.
  • No certification claims can be made.
  • Only mention organic in ingredient listing. Example: ingredients: organic oats, organic raisins.

Orthomolecular TherapyNobel Prize winner Linus Pauling coined this term to describe the therapeutic use of naturally occurring substances, especially nutrients and vitamins, as supplements to maintain health or combat disease.

Orthopedic Medicine— Orthopedic medicine is a branch of medicine focused on the functioning of the musculoskeletal system, such as bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Sports medicine is a branch of orthopedic medicine that focuses on treating athletic injuries.

Osteopathic Medicine— Most osteopathic doctors (DOs) work as primary care physicians, combining conventional Western medicine (drugs/surgery) with specific manipulative techniques taught in the osteopathic medical colleges. Osteopathic medical training focuses on preventive care with a special emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. Because their medical degree and license is legally recognized as the equivalent of a MD in the United States, DOs can utilize all recognized diagnostic and therapeutic methods in their practice.

Oxygen Therapy— Oxygen therapy intends to increase the supply of oxygen to the body. It may refer to a number of different therapies. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves the breathing of oxygen in a pressurized room to increase the amount of oxygen absorbed to promote healing. Ozone and hydrogen peroxide therapies are used to increase oxygen supply in the blood creating an environment that is unfriendly to disease bacteria and viruses.


Past Lives/Regression Therapy— Based on the belief that current physical and emotional problems stem from unresolved issues from early childhood or even past lives, past lives and regression therapists use hypnosis or other techniques to help the individual resolve the root causes of their problems.

Pilates— Pilates is a fitness system that uses controlled movements to build flexibility, strength, and endurance. The exercises can be done on apparatus, many built with springs for resistance training, or on mat.

Prolotherapy— "Prolo" means proliferation. Hence, prolotherapy is also known as proliferation therapy, regenerative injection therapy or nonsurgical ligament reconstruction. It is used to treat musculoskeletal pain. The treatment encourages growth of new ligament tissue, through the injection of a non-pharmacological and non-active irritant solution to the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself. (source: prolotherapy.com, wikipedia)

Psychics— Psychic means "of the mind, mental". Psychics are believed to have the ability to perceive information not normally sensed by other. They help clients reach a better understanding of their personal characters, past influences and future prospects. They may use various forms of divination, such as tarot cards and astrology, or rely on their natural psychic talents. Medical intuitives focus on health issues affecting the client.


Psychotherapy is a general term for treatments for mental and emotional health. There are many branches of psychotherapy. Behavioral and cognitive therapies focus on altering a person's behaviors and thinking in order to influence emotions and actions (e.g. hypnotherapy, NLP). Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies analyze how unconscious elements influence a person's emotions so coping methods can be developed (e.g. dreamwork, EMDR, emotional release work, past lives/regression therapy, voice dialogue). Light therapies use the frequency of light to affect mood (e.g. light & color therapy). Interpersonal and family-focused therapies address relationship issues (e.g. counseling). Creative art therapies utilize art to promote expression and emotional health. (e.g. dance & movement, music & sound).

Explore individual categories for therapists focused on specific techniques mentioned above.


Qi Gong & T'ai Chi

Qi Gong (qigong or chi kung) originated in ancient China. Qi refers to the vital energy of the body. Gong means skills cultivated through steady practice. The two words together can be translated as cultivating energy. It integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and mental focus for healing. The practice helps to increase the flow of qi, improve blood circulation and strengthen the immune system. T'ai Chi (taiji or taijiquan), is a martial art form that combines mental concentration, coordinated breathing and slow, graceful body movements to increase well-being, ease stress, and strengthen the body. Qi Gong can be practiced individually, or as part of other martial art such as T'ai Chi.


Raw Food— Raw food refers to a diet of primarily unheated food, or food cooked to a temperature less than 40 °C (104 °F) to 46 °C (115 °F). The most popular raw food diet is a raw vegan diet, but other forms may include animal products and/or meat. The diet suggests that the enzymes from raw foods, which can be destroyed by heat, can aid digestive system. Raw foods can also introduce beneficial bacteria/micro-organisms, which can be destroyed by cooking, to the body to aid with immune and digestion. (source: Wikipedia)


First developed by Leonard Orr, rebirthing sought to help patients experience a rush of healing energy while releasing long-held psychological or physical pain. By using focused, circular breathing techniques, practitioners work with patients to free stored tensions from the mind and body.

Reconnective Healing— The Reconnection is a process of reconnecting to the universe which allows Reconnective Healing to take place. The healing modality was discovered by Eric Pearl. The Reconnection represents a comprehensive spectrum of vibrational frequencies with the power to catalyze spontaneous healing. These frequencies are accessible to everyone. Healing facilitators applies these frequencies to assist others in healing. (source: Reconnective Healing, The Reconnection)

Reflexology— The underlying concept of reflexology is that there are "reflex" points on the feet, hands and ears that correspond to specific organs, glands and parts of the body. It is believed that by applying pressure on these reflex points, one can restore health in the corresponding areas of the body. The linkages between the reflex points and the corresponding body parts are documented in reflexology maps.

Reiki— Reiki, derived from Japanese, can be translated into spiritual, or more loosely, universal life energy. It is based on the idea that there is universal (or source) energy that supports the body's innate healing abilities. Practitioners seek to access this energy, allowing it to flow to the body and facilitate healing. Practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above the person receiving treatment, with the goal of facilitating the person's own healing response. (source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Rolfing— Rolfing® is a form of bodywork that reorganizes the fascia as a means to realign and balance the whole body. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, nerves and organs. It is similar to an internal guide wire network. If any part of the network is imbalance, pain and postural shifts may result. Through deep strokes, the tension in the fascia and related muscles is released. The body is returned to balance, enhancing posture and freedom of movement. The therapy was founded by Dr. Ida Rolf. (source: Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration)


Shamanism/Shamanic Healing— Shamanism was practiced by many ancient cultures around the world. It refers to the beliefs that spirits (good or bad) play an important role in human lives. Shamans are believed to be intermediaries between the two worlds, human and spiritual. They interact with the spiritual world by conducting rituals, and their spirits can enter into the supernatural world. They bring guidance to human, provide healing, and bring harmony to the community. On the other hand, animals are believed to have spiritual significance in shamanism. Shamanic healing refers to healing offered by shamans.

SHEN Therapy— SHEN therapy is a hands-on practice that helps to release locked emotions which commonly lead to physical pain. Practitioners place hands on locations on the body based on the patients' emotional conditions and use qi, or life energy, to release the trapped emotion. The process facilitates both emotional and physical recovery.

Shiatsu— Shiatsu is a Japanese-oriented therapy. Shiatsu means "finger pressure". The therapy combines the application of pressure on specific points along the body's meridian with massage. It can be performed with fingers, palms, elbows, or even a knee. The goal is to stimulate the body's innate healing and balancing mechanisms by stimulating the autonomic nervous system (source: Shiatsu Therapy Association of Ontario). While similar to acupressure, diagnostic methods may be different.

Sleep Medicine— Sleep medicine focuses on treating sleep disorders. There are over 80 defined sleep disorders. Common examples include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. Sleep deprivation and fatigue, besides negatively impacting the quality of life, also has significant economic implications to the society. Natural treatments may include the use of herbs and herbal supplements, aromatherapy, dietary supplements, acupuncture, cognitive forms of relaxation (such as meditation and yoga), and cognitive-behavioral therapies (such as sleep restriction and stimulus control). (Source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Soap Making— Suppliers of natural soaps and soap making products. Many of the conventional soaps contain chemical ingredients that can cause allergic reactions and skin dryness. Consumers can easier buy or make their own natural or organic soaps today. There are four basic methods to produce home-made soaps. The melt-and-pour and the rebatching methods use pre-made soap base or soap bars as a start. The cold and hot processes make soaps from scratch. (source: About.com)

Spiritual Centers— Spiritual centers are places for carrying out spiritual practices. This category may include establishments from different religious disciplines, such as churches, temples, religious centers, and multi-faith establishments.

Spiritual Healing— Spiritual healing originates from the belief that a person is a combination of three parts - body, mind and spirit. Wholesome health requires all parts to be in harmony. Spiritual healing addresses the third leg of the healing process, dealing with the truth of being, to restore wholeness in a person.

Sports Medicine— Sports medicine is a branch of orthopedic medicine that focuses on treating and preventing injuries related to sports and exercises. While the discipline began as a special focus on athletic injuries, many of the techniques have been adapted to treat other types of physical injuries. These practitioners may incorporate holistic healing techniques such as acupuncture, herbal therapies manipulative therapies into the treatment plan.

Structural Integration— Structural integration aims to realign the body by focusing on the fascia, the connective tissues, of the body. By applying pressure to the fascial system, therapists lengthen and reposition the fascia. When restriction in the fascia is released, the body is realigned to the structurally optimal position. (source: The Guild for Structural Integration). Structural integration is an umbrella term of this style of bodywork that was developed by Ida Rolf. Rolfing and hellerwork are specific forms of structural integration therapy.


As the name suggests, dietary supplements augment our diets. Normally, nutrients should first be derived from daily diets. Supplements can be used to augment missing nutrients. Common reasons for taking supplements include (Source: Livestrong):

  • Supplement missing nutrients from restrictive diets (e.g. vegan)
  • Increase bioavailability, the body's ability to absorb and use vitamins
  • Illness prevention (e.g. boosting immune, preventing bone loss) 
  • Treatment of medical condition (e.g. high cholesterol)

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) is a Federal law that defines dietary supplements and sets product-labeling standards and health claim limits.


Tantra— Tantra means "to weave, to expand, and to spread". According to tantrik masters, the fabric of life can provide true and ever-lasting fulfillment only when all the threads are woven according to the pattern designated by nature. This pattern was form at birth, but often distorted by the many obstacles in life. Tantra practice can help to reweave the fabric, and restores the original pattern. (Source: hinduism.about.com/od/tantra/a/what_is_tantra.htm) The training integrates sexuality (solo and relationship) into whole-being spiritual energy upliftment/bliss.

Thermography— Infrared radiation is emitted by all objects and the amount emitted increases with temperature. Thermography uses thermal imaging cameras to detect infrared radiation from the body and produce images accordingly. As disease or cancerous areas may have increased metabolic activities which generate additional heat, thermography can be used as a detection and diagnostic tool by examining the changes in temperature of the body. Examples of application include breast cancer detection, healing process monitoring, disease and virus monitoring, and fever screening. (source: Wikipedia)

Trager® Approach (Tragerwork)— Developed by Milton Trager, M.D., the Trager® Approach is a movement education/bodywork therapy that uses gentle and non-intrusive movements to produce deep relaxation, increase flexibility/mobility, and relieve pain. Patients passively receive movement work from the trager practitioner, and receive training in how to explore movements on their own, called "mentastics."


Vegetarian & Vegan— Restaurants that offer local vegetarian and/or vegan food.

A vegetarian diet consists of plant-based foods and no flesh from animals. Plant-based foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and grains. Many vegetarians do consume some animal-derived products like eggs, milk cheese, and other dairy products.

Veganism is a subset of vegetarianism. A vegan diet consists of plant-based foods, and excludes dairy, eggs, honey or any animal ingredients. Vegans also don't wear leather, fur, wool, silk, or other products made from animals.

Visceral manipulation— Visceral manipulation focuses on releasing the strain in the tissues surrounding internal organs. The technique involves using soft manual forces to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera (internal organs) and their connective tissues. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body. (source: barrelinstitute.com)

Voice Dialogue— Developed by Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone, Voice Dialogue therapy invites clients into a discussion with their "many selves." Having dialogues with these different selves allows the client to explore different parts of his life, creating new perspectives on life.


Watsu (Water Shiatsu)— Watsu is a specific form of bodywork developed by Harold Dull. The therapy combines traditional shiatsu pulls and stretches while floating the patient in a pool of warm water. Because of the support of the water, practitioners can often work with patients whose physical disabilities may preclude the use of normal shiatsu.


Yoga Instruction— Yoga is a body-mind exercise that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. It is used to develop greater consciousness and encourage physical and mental well-being. There are many schools and styles of yoga. Some forms concentrate on achieving perfection in posture and alignment of the body, while other forms focus on mental control, or on the interrelationship of body, mind, and energy. Some yoga teachers emphasize yoga exercises that relieve stress, improve circulation and boost the immune system.

Yurts— Suppliers of yurts. Yurts have been used as shelters for Asian nomads for centuries. In modern days, they are built with many amenities and can be used as flexible housing alternatives. They are often used for accomondation in nature such as vacation cabins. Other usages include temporary housing and guest lodges.