Modality

Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body's life force to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands (and even feet).

 

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has become widely accepted in the United States and has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).  Acupuncture is scientifically recognized as effective in the treatment of over 50 common diseases including: headaches, allergies, back pain, chronic fatigue, digestive ailments, infertility, gynecological conditions, addictions, hypertension, joint pain, asthma, chronic illness and stress.  However, you need not have any symptoms to benefit from acupuncture.  You can also prevent illness, experience well-being and improve your current state of health through treatment.

 

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy means "treatment using scents". It is a holistic treatment of caring for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils are added to the bath or massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or diffused to scent an entire room. Aromatherapy is used for the relief of pain, care for the skin, alleviate tension and fatigue and invigorate the entire body. Essential oils can affect the mood, alleviate fatigue, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, they work on the brain and nervous system through stimulation of the olfactory nerves.

The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses and seeds with distinctive therapeutic, psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness. There are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. Other properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in aromatherapy are their stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it should be made from natural, pure raw materials. Synthetically made oils do not work. (Holistic Online)

 

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine, also called Ayurveda, originated in India several thousand years ago. The term “Ayurveda” combines the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Thus, Ayurveda means “the science of life.” As with other such systems, it is based on theories of health and illness and on ways to prevent, manage, or treat health problems. Ayurvedic medicine aims to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit; thus, some view it as “holistic.” This balance is believed to lead to happiness and health, and to help prevent illness. Ayurvedic medicine also treats specific physical and mental health problems. A chief aim of Ayurvedic practices is to cleanse the body of substances that can cause disease, thus helping to reestablish harmony and balance.

 

Chiropractic

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.  Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches. Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.”   The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal. (American Chiropractic Association)

 

 

Counseling

Individual counseling provides an opportunity to learn to make better decisions, improve one’s relationships, and generally increase personal effectiveness. With the help of a counselor, a person can explore feelings and express them better, examine beliefs, and work toward making healthy changes.

Group counseling offers an individual a chance to understand feelings and change problem behaviors with the support of peers with similar concerns. Groups can focus on such topics as managing stress, coping with grief, surviving trauma, and dealing with dysfunctional families.

Couple counseling is for partners who want to improve an intimate relationship.  Both members usually attend the first session with a counselor.

 

Energy Work

Energy medicine is the art and science of working with and teaching people to work with these energies to empower them to live happier, healthier lives. Long recognized by Eastern cultures, subtle energy fields are only recently being detected, studied, and utilized by Western medicine. Energy medicine is transforming health care, as well as having an impact on education, business, sports, and all other endeavors involving human performance. Examples of energy medicine include Integrative Manual Technique, Polarity Therapy, Applied Kinesiology, Qi Gong and Yoga. (The Energy Medicine Institute)

 

Fitness & Personal Training

A personal trainer is certified and qualified to coach others in order to achieve a desired level of fitness. A personal trainer does not just show people how to work the machines in a gym. He or she also has the skills and experience to help clients reach a fitness level that is appropriate for their body.

Whether you are going to a gym for the first time or as an experienced regular, there are many benefits to using a personal trainer. He or she should start by thoroughly examining your lifestyle. The personal trainer will want to know what sort of diet you have and how much regular exercise you take, as well as what level of fitness you hope to achieve. He or she will be able to optimize workouts that cater specifically to your present level of fitness. One of the biggest problems with fitness programs is willpower. The client may be enthusiastic in the first few weeks, but may later become bored with the program. A good personal trainer should be encouraging to the new client.
 
Another benefit to the personal trainer is that of safety. A personal trainer will develop the safest fitness program for each client. All too often, people run to the gym and start exercising way beyond their capabilities. This will do nothing for their fitness level and can cause more harm than good. The trainer will be able to show the client how work out most effectively and how to minimize injury. (Wise Geek)

 

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine searches for the underlying imbalance, or root cause, which can contribute to illness or chronic disease. If you have an imbalance, it can affect your body in many ways. Functional changes occur long before disease is manifested, so functional testing becomes an early warning test for disease which is ideal for prevention-oriented physicians and patients concerned about finding the root cause of their problem.

 

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine -- also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine -- refers to using a plant's seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Herbalism has a long tradition of use outside of conventional medicine. It is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control along with advances in clinical research show the value of herbal medicine in the treating and preventing disease.

Plants had been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian papyrus writings describe medicinal uses for plants. Indigenous cultures (such as African and Native American) used herbs in their healing rituals, while others developed traditional medical systems (such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) in which herbal therapies were used. Researchers found that people in different parts of the world tended to use the same or similar plants for the same purposes.
The World Health Organization estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care. In Germany, about 600 - 700 plant-based medicines are available and are prescribed by some 70% of German physicians. In the last 20 years in the United States, public dissatisfaction with the cost of prescription medications, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has led to an increase in herbal medicine use.
In many cases, scientists aren't sure what specific ingredient in a particular herb works to treat a condition or illness. Whole herbs contain many ingredients, and they may work together to produce a beneficial effect. (University of Maryland Medical Center)
 

 

Holistic Dentistry

Holistic Dentistry is a field of dentistry where the dental practitioner looks at the health of your “whole” body and its relationship with your oral cavity.  In essence, holistic dentistry is more comprehensive and complete than traditional dentistry. The holistic dental practitioner uses techniques, materials, methods, and processes that are both safe and compatible with the mouth and the body.  The dentist invests a tremendous amount of time in educating their patients about this ever-important mouth/body connection.  He/she also becomes an integral part of the patient’s overall wellness team. (The Center for Natural Dentistry)

 

Homeopathy

Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a medical philosophy and practice based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. Homeopathy was founded in the late 1700s in Germany and has been widely practiced throughout Europe. Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as normal responses of the body as it attempts to regain health.

Homeopathy is based on the idea that "like cures like." That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness. In theory, a homeopathic dose enhances the body's normal healing and self-regulatory processes. A homeopathic health practitioner (homeopath) uses pills or liquid mixtures (solutions) containing only a little of an active ingredient (usually a plant or mineral) for treatment of disease. These are known as highly diluted or "potentiated" substances. There is some evidence to show that homeopathic medicines may have helpful effects. (WebMD)
 

 

Hypnotherapy

The term "hypnosis" comes from the Greek word hypnos, meaning "sleep." Hypnotherapists use exercises that bring about deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, also known as a trance. A person in a deeply focused state is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but this does not mean that a hypnotist can control the person's mind and free will. On the contrary, hypnosis can actually teach people how to master their own states of awareness. By doing so they can affect their own bodily functions and psychological responses. Since 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recommended hypnotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain. Other conditions for which hypnotherapy is frequently used include anxiety and addiction. (NCCAM)

 

Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine (IM) is a medical approach that describes the fusion of the best of conventional medical practices with lifestyle modification to optimize health. Included in this approach are indigenous practices and alternative therapies that have a scientific rationale for use. At the core of the practice is the belief that the body has an innate capacity to heal and that the individual has the power to manage disease and maintain the highest level of wellness.

What’s novel about IM is the breadth and the depth of the knowledge that forms the foundation of practitioners’ approach. These healthcare professionals provide a wealth of valuable information to patients by researching both lifestyle management topics—including nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction, which become powerful preventive tools—as well as indigenous practices and other nonmedical alternative modalities that can be used alongside conventional care to maximize wellness or manage complicated chronic diseases. (Women’s Health)

 

Massage Therapy

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immune suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.

 

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Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and cutting edge natural therapies to enhance their bodies’ ability to ward off and combat disease. NDs view the patient as a complex, interrelated system (a whole person), not as a clogged artery or a tumor. Naturopathic physicians craft comprehensive treatment plans that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat disease, but to also restore health. (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians)

 

Nutrition

Nutritionists have a healthy regard for food and its life-sustaining properties. They are primarily concerned with the prevention and treatment of illnesses through proper dietary care. Nutritionists evaluate the diets of patients and clients suffering from medical disorders and suggest ways of fighting various health problems by modifying the patient’s intake of certain food items. As one nutritionist puts it, “It’s basically all about balance—the older you get, the more you begin to understand the importance of balance in your life, and your diet is no exception.”Hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are some of the common health problems that nutritionists work to alleviate. Through education and research, they also promote sensible eating habits in communities, schools, hospitals, prisons, clinics, and nursing homes. Like all other health professionals, nutritionists are motivated by a concern to improve people’s quality of life. (The Princeton Review)

 

Osteopathy

Osteopathic medicine is a distinct form of medical practice in the United States. Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine)

 

Other***

Many complementary medicine modalities and health and wellness products fall outside the common descripitions listed.  We encourage anyone interested in any of the modalities to research these therapies and products and always ask about the training and qualifications of the provider.

 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries.  They often incorporate massage or teach specific exercise techniques to help the patient heal.

 

Reflexology

Reflexology is the systematic application of pressure techniques to the feet and hands. Research has shown the specific techniques of Reflexology to be effective in many ways creating relaxation and easing pain. The theory behind reflexology is that these reflex points relate to specific organs and glands in the body, and stimulating those points with finger pressure promotes health in those organs and glands via the body's energetic pathways.

When done by a skilled practitioner, reflexology is a deeply relaxing treatment with benefits that can be felt throughout the body. The therapist will use various techniques that include holds, finger pressure, kneading, rotation and rubbing.
 

 

Reiki

Reiki is a gentle yet powerful form of healing energy that brings us back into balance physically and emotionally.   When we are in greater balance, our system runs better – we sleep and digest better, have better immune function, experience less pain and are more resilient to stress.  People routinely report feeling calmer and refreshed after a Reiki session.

Reiki has been practiced for almost a century and has grown widely in popularity.  For example, in 2007, 15% of American hospitals offered Reiki as part of hospital services (American Hospital Association).  The demand for Reiki continues to grow from patients, nurses and doctors who report that “Reiki reduces stress, decreases the amount of pain medication required, improves sleep and appetite, and accelerates the healing process.” (Center for Reiki Research).

 

Sport Psychology

Sport psychology is the study of how psychology influences sports, athletic performance, exercise and physical activity. Some sport psychologists work with professional athletes and coaches to improve performance and increase motivation. Other professionals utilize exercise and sports to enhance people’s lives and well-being throughout the entire lifespan.

 
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