Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

Glossary

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AcupunctureFind this term in site
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, filiform needles through the skin at specific points on the body with the intention of manipulating Qi. The filiform needles are solid, as opposed to the hollow hypodermic needles most people are familiar with, and are usually made of stainless steel, but can also be gold or silver.
AromatherapyFind this term in site
People commonly think that aromatherapy refers to anything that smells good, like scented candles, potpourri, and perfumes. We use the term aromatherapy to refer to the therapeutic application of plant essential oils (usually diluted in some type of solution) by qualified individuals.
Ayurvedic MedicineFind this term in site
Ayurvedic medicine evolved in India, and is considered to be the world’s oldest healthcare system. It is named for the Sanskrit word Ayurveda, meaning the “science of life.”
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BiofeedbackFind this term in site
Biofeedback trains patients to observe shifts in their bodily functions by using electronic monitors (i.e., heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, muscular tension, and brain activity). With this focus, patients learn to adapt and modify their mental and emotional responses to alleviate symptoms and regulate specific conditions.
Botanical MedicineFind this term in site
Simply put, they are plants (or substances that come from plants) that are used to treat or prevent disease. Plants have been used in this way in all cultures from pre-history on.
BreathworkFind this term in site
One way to master stress is to be aware of your breathing. When people feel panicked or unconsciously stressed, they tend to take short, shallow gasps of air. The resulting lack of oxygen restricts blood flow and causes muscles to tense. The way you breathe affects your whole body. Full, deep breathing is an effective way to reduce tension, feel relaxed, and reduce stress.
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Chinese Dietary TherapiesFind this term in site
Dietary considerations have always held central importance in Chinese medicine. Sun Si Miao, the great Tang dynasty physician, advised doctors to tend first to their patient’s diet and lifestyle before considering other forms of intervention. He considered diet a precious opportunity for safeguarding good health and preventing disease. Diet has held center stage in Chinese medicine ever since.
Chinese Herbal TherapiesFind this term in site
Herbal therapy, next to dietary therapy, is perhaps the most widely used TCM treatment modality. TCM relies on herbal therapies both for the treatment of illness and in the optimization of health and prevention of disease.
ChiropracticFind this term in site
Chiropractic is a complete system of healthcare focused on restoring, preserving, and optimizing health by natural hands-on care.
Clinical HypnosisFind this term in site
Clinical hypnosis teaches patients to use a deep relaxation state to address issues such as smoking cessation, weight loss, pain relief, or self-improvement. The decision to use hypnosis in clinical settings in addition to treatment can only be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider who has been trained in the use and limitations of clinical hypnosis.
Craniosacral TherapyFind this term in site
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on healing modality that focuses on the wave-like rhythmic pulse that goes through the entire body. This therapy stems from osteopathy, which is an approach that emphasizes the role of the musculoskeletal system in health and disease.
Creative Arts TherapiesFind this term in site
Creative arts therapies are based on the premise that when someone works creatively under the guidance of a qualified therapist, they become more expressive and communicative. This raises their awareness of issues and brings impetus for change. The creative work can involve music, art, dance, movement and other creative activities.
CuppingFind this term in site
Cupping applies suction to the surface of the body to draw out pathogenic factors or to invigorate the flow of Qi at the surface of the body.
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Dermal FrictionFind this term in site
Dermal friction therapy (called gua sha and pronounced gwa shaw) is a method that involves increasing circulation at the surface of the skin by means of scraping the skin vigorously with a blunt edged object.
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Healing EnvironmentFind this term in site
When you think of a healing environment, what comes to mind? A spa, a Japanese garden, perhaps a corner of your house? Few of us would immediately think of their local health clinic or a hospital. But that is beginning to change as healthcare organizations pay attention to a growing body of research that clearly demonstrates the benefits of a healing environment.
Healing TouchFind this term in site
An energy therapy that uses gentle hand techniques thought to help re-pattern the patient’s energy field and accelerate healing of the body, mind, and spirit.
Holistic Pregnancy & ChildbirthFind this term in site
A holistic pregnancy and childbirth recognizes the impact of the mind and spirit, as well as the physical body, on the experience of pregnancy and birth. Physical health, values and beliefs, relationships, emotional well-being, and spirituality all affect pregnancy and birth. In turn, the experiences of pregnancy and birth influence body, mind, and spirit.
HomeopathyFind this term in site
Homeopathy is described by NIH as being a complete system of medicine that purports to work with the body's innate ability to heal. It uses very dilute doses of substances that practitioners believe stimulate the body's own defense mechanism and healing powers and return it to a state of balance—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
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ImageryFind this term in site
Imagery exercises use creative imagination to picture scenarios that relax and heal. They can be done on your own, or with a facilitator guiding you, which is called guided imagery.
Integrative TherapiesFind this term in site
Integrative therapies are modalities and healing practices that complement conventional care, particularly in offering preventive strategies or managing symptoms of chronic diseases and other conditions. Integrative therapies generally embrace a holistic perspective, addressing the wellbeing of mind, body, and spirit. The federal government refers to these therapies as complementary health approaches, and they are also known as complementary and alternative medicine. Integrative therapies may include mind/body practices (such as meditation, yoga, and biofeeback), natural products (such as vitamins and dietary supplements like fish oil), traditional or cultural healing practices (such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine), or energy-based therapies (such as Healing Touch and Reiki).
Intuition in HealthcareFind this term in site
If you are like many people, you may already have a good idea what intuition is and the role it plays in your life. Perhaps you have had experiences like these: You had a sense of the best decision, like who to hire or when to make a career change. You had a feeling or a sense about a situation or person, for example you knew something was wrong with your child or that you could trust a particular person. You knew in advance who was calling on the phone or what someone was going to say. You encountered intuition as part of your religious or spiritual life; perhaps receiving intuitive guidance in a variety of circumstances.
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Massage TherapyFind this term in site
Massage therapy means many things to many people. In fact, a recently published scholarly article identifies more than 80 different styles of massage, many of which have been developed in the past 30 years! But to start, let’s simply define massage as the manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments) to enhance health and well-being.
MeditationFind this term in site
Meditation is a self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind. In many traditions, meditation is used to achieve insight and expanded awareness. People can meditate while sitting quietly, chanting or reciting, or moving mindfully, as in walking meditation, tai chi, aikido, or yoga.
Mind-Body TherapiesFind this term in site
They are techniques designed to enhance the mind’s positive impact on the body.
Mindful MovementFind this term in site
While many types of aerobic and anaerobic exercise promote physical and mental well-being, there are specific schools of physical activity with a more distinct mind-body approach.
MoxibustionFind this term in site
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called moxa are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.
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NaturopathyFind this term in site
Naturopathic medicine is a science-based tradition that promotes wellness by identifying the unique aspects of each patient and then employing non-toxic natural therapies to restore his or her physiological, psychological, and structural balance.
NutritionFind this term in site
We believe that nutrition involves more than simply eating a good diet-it is about nourishment on every level. It involves relationships with family, friends, the greater society, and the world. Choices about nourishment are very much linked to other human beings and other life forms on this planet, so healthy (and unhealthy) decisions have great impact.
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OsteopathyFind this term in site
Osteopathy, more commonly referred to as osteopathic medicine in the U.S., is not a modality, but rather a system of healthcare. It considers the whole body and focuses on preventive care. The osteopathic concept is essentially that any observable alteration in the normal anatomy is a sign that disease is present and that correction of this abnormality would resolve or improve the disease's effects.
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PrayerFind this term in site
Prayer has a very personal meaning arising from an individual’s religious background or spiritual practice. For some, prayer will mean specific sacred words, for others, it may be a more informal talking or listening to God or a higher power.
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QigongFind this term in site
Qigong, which is sometimes spelled Chi-Kung (and pronounced chee-gung), is the study and practice of cultivating vital-life-force through various techniques, including: Breathing techniques Postures Meditations Guided imagery
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ReflexologyFind this term in site
Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure by thumbs and fingers to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, or ears in order to improve the recipient’s health.
ReikiFind this term in site
Reiki is a spiritual, vibrational healing practice used to promote balance throughout the human system. Reiki does not involve physical manipulation or the ingestion or application of any substances, but works with the subtle vibrational field thought to surround and penetrate the body. (Reiki is commonly translated from the Japanese as universal life energy.)
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ShamanismFind this term in site
Because it is not an organized religion as such, but rather a spiritual practice, shamanism cuts across all faiths and creeds, reaching deep levels of ancestral memory. As a primal belief system, which precedes established religion, it has its own symbolism and cosmology, inhabited by beings, gods, and totems, who display similar characteristics although they appear in various forms, depending upon their places of origin.
ShiatsuFind this term in site
Shiatsu is a form of therapeutic bodywork from Japan. It uses kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching techniques and is performed without oils through light, comfortable clothing. Shiatsu translates as finger pressure.
Social SupportFind this term in site
The term social support often appears in discussions of relationship. Social support means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image. Social support enhances quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events.
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Therapeutic TouchFind this term in site
In Therapeutic Touch, therapists place their hands on or near their patient’s body with the intention to help or heal. In doing so, therapists consciously direct or modulate an individual’s energies by interacting with his or her energy field. The focus is on balancing the energies of the total person and stimulating the body’s own natural healing ability rather than on the treatment of specific physical diseases.
Traditional Chinese MedicineFind this term in site
TCM is based on the Chinese concept of Qi, pronounced chee and usually translated as vital energy, and the theory of yin and yang, the harmony of all the opposite elements and forces that make up existence. It believes that Harmony brings health, well-being, and sustainability. Disharmony leads to illness, disease, and collapse.
Tui NaFind this term in site
The term tui na (pronounced twee naw), which literally means pinch and pull, refers to a wide range of TCM therapeutic massage and body work. Tui na is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony.
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WellbeingFind this term in site
Wellbeing is a state of balance or alignment in body, mind, and spirit. In this state, we feel content; connected to purpose, people, and community; peaceful and energized; resilient and safe. In short, we are flourishing.
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YogaFind this term in site
Yoga is a spiritual tradition that began in India about 5,000 years ago. Historically its practices have been adopted by such religions as Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. However, the practice of yoga is compatible with any religion, as well as atheism. The word yoga means union in Sanskrit.

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