Glossary of Terms

A-B | C-F | H-I | J-M | N-P | Q-Z

Acupuncture: A complete medical system that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago and is now used worldwide as a means of preventing, diagnosing and treating a wide array of conditions. Acupuncture theory is based on the premise that energy ("Chi" or "Qi") circulates throughout the body along well-defined pathways, or meridians; and that when the meridians are blocked, circulation is impaired and pain or illness can occur. Acupuncture treatment consists of the insertion of very thin needles along specific points on the body to restore health by establishing a balanced circulation of energy.

Allopathic Medicine: A term used to refer to conventional western medicine. Mosby medical dictionary defines allopathic medicine to be "system of medical therapy in which a disease or abnormal condition is treated by creating an environment that is antagonistic to the disease or condition (ie: antibiotic for infection)".

Biological Medicine: An approach to health and illness that is based on engaging the body's innate ability to heal when given the right circumstances. Emphasis is placed on identifying and removing obstacles to health, and on stimulating healing processes. Modern assessment tools are combined with a wide variety of treatment options on an individualized basis.

Bodywork: Any of numerous techniques that involve a practitioner doing physical and/or energetic work on a client. For example, massage, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Physical Therapy. Bodywork therapies are designed to enhance the overall function and structure of the human body by stimulating circulation, promoting deep relaxation, and reducing pain.

Chiropractic: The word "chiropractic" is derived from the Greek words "cheir" and "praktkos" meaning "done by hand." Chiropractic physicians diagnose and correct biomechanical disturbances and nervous system blockages which often manifest in symptoms of inflammation, tension, adhesions and other joint mobility restrictions and may have systemic impact. Chiropractors perform spinal adjustments as a means of supporting proper circulation of bio-energy, blood and lymph; normalizing nerve impulses and balancing muscle tension. Regular chiropractic adjustments help to maintain appropriate joint motion, restore normal function and prevent many potential problems.

Contact Regulation Thermography (CRT): a safe, non-invasive, FDA approved scanning device used to compile information about the body's ability to regulate temperatures at specific skin sites. The scan provides an overview of the functional status of the major organs throughout the body. CRT as developed in Europe has amassed over 12,000 citations in the literature as an assessment tool. The system takes measurements of specific points on the skin surface twice, before and after a cool body stress. Research has demonstrated a connection between the deterioration of the body's ability to regulate temperature and the health of the associated organ.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST): A gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the function the craniosacral system comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. CST is based on the work of William Sutherland, D.O. (an osteopath from the early 1900s), Dr. Upledger's research at Michigan State University (1975-83) and extensive clinical application.

Darkfield Microscopy: The examination of a fresh drop of living blood under a high-power microscope. It is able to give us clues to help us understand much about your internal milieu, including the presence or absence of microorganisms and other substances. Dark field microscopy may also allow us to observe multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies, toxicities, allergic tendencies, gut health, excess fat circulation, liver weakness and arteriosclerosis.

Far Infra-red Sauna: A sauna that employs an infrared heater which can penetrate the skin to a depth of three and a half inches. It operates at the relatively low recommended temperatures of 110 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Deeply penetrating heat increases local metabolic activity and aids detoxification.

Herbal medicine: the use of herbs for their nutritive and pharmacological action, to address symptoms and support healing in the body.

Holistic Medicine: A broad approach to understanding health and illness, taking into consideration the many aspects and complexities of an individual's life as well as their physiology. Some of the principles of Holistic Medicine outlined by the American Holistic Medical Association include the following:
  • Searching for the underlying causes of disease is preferable to treating symptoms alone.
  • Holistic physicians expend as much effort in establishing what kind of patient has a disease as they do in establishing what kind of disease a patient has.
  • Prevention is preferable to treatment and is usually more cost-effective. The most cost-effective approach evokes the patient's own innate healing capabilities.
  • Illness is viewed as a manifestation of a dysfunction of the whole person, not as an isolated event.
  • The ideal physician-patient relationship considers the needs, desires, awareness and insight of the patient as well as those of the physician.
  • Optimal health is much more than the absence of sickness. It is the conscious pursuit of the highest qualities of the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of the human experience.

Homeopathy: A system of medicine founded in the early 19th century by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1775-1843). Classical homeopathy is based on three main principles: the law of similars, the single medicine, and the minimum dose. The law of similars states that a disease is cured by a medicine that creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing. The principle of the single remedy states that a single medicine should cover all the symptoms the patient is experiencing: mental, emotional, and physical. Finally the minimum dose principle dictates that remedies are given in very infinitesimal diluted dosages.

Homotoxicology: A theory of disease developed by Dr. Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg (1905-1985), which describes illness as the human body's defense against toxic substances (homotoxins) that threaten to overwhelm the intercellular matrix. According to this therapeutic model, the type and severity of an illness are determined by the duration and intensity of an individual's toxic load in relationship to the body's inherent capacity for detoxification. The resulting disturbances, which eventually manifest as illness, are the body's attempt to restore a state of biochemical balance. For Reckeweg, restoring this balance was the ultimate goal of all medical treatment.

Infusions (nutrient and homeopathic): Intravenous drips are a way to quickly and directly deliver nutrients to the body. IV therapy is especially useful in healing from chronic illness.

Integrative Medicine: a growing field of medicine in which the patient and providers work together to develop a diagnostic and therapeutic program that draws on a variety of traditions, expertise and modalities to address an individual's specific needs. Protocols developed in this framework may include one or more modalities of treatment, diagnostic testing, natural and pharmaceutical therapies, as well as referrals to other practitioners.

Isopathy: A treatment modality based on Enderlein's theory of pleomorphism that uses homeopathic doses of fungal or bacterial components to help reduce the pathogenicity of the microorganisms in the body.

Jin Shin Jyutsu: An ancient healing art that helps to balance the vital energy of the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. Loosely translated, it means "the art (or way) of the Creator through Man." Japanese scholar Jiro Murai revived it in the early 1900's. Murai studied the Kojiki (Ancient Record of Things) and devoted a lifetime to the study of Jin Shin Jyutsu. One of his Japanese-American apprentices, Mary Burmeister, brought Jin Shin to the U. S. in the 1960's.

Lymphatic Drainage: A therapy in which the practitioner uses a range of specialized and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow in order to stimulate the lymphatic vessels. These carry substances vital to the defense of the body, and remove waste products.

Milieu: The internal environment of the body. Practitioners of Biological Medicine work from the premise that most illness is the result of imbalances in the internal milieu of the body. Microorganisms, being pleo-morphic, will change according to the environment to which they are exposed. Therefore, disease in the body, as a biological process, will develop and manifest dependent upon the state of the internal biological terrain.

Naturopathic Medicine: A comprehensive body of knowledge and an approach to healthcare derived from the latest scientific understanding of the human body, as well as from very long-standing traditional systems of healing. This medicine is based on the following principles:

  • First, do no harm.
  • Treat the whole person.
  • Identify and treat the cause of illness.
  • Remove obstacles to healing and health, and allow the healing power of nature to act.
The word doctor means teacher; the physician should educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility.

Neural Therapy (NT): A treatment of dysfunction(s) within the autonomic nervous system using injection. Two physicians, Walter and Ferdinand Huneke, developed NT in Germany in the early part of the 20th century. Neural Therapy treatments typically involve the injection of scars, glands, trigger points, acupuncture points, vascular structures, ligaments and autonomic ganglia with procaine, lidocaine, and/or homeopathic remedies.

pH: describes the degree of acidity or alkalinity. Our bodies regulate pH very precisely, and all of the enzymatic reactions that regulate body function are active at very specific levels of pH. Tiny changes in pH levels make significant change in how our body works. Even though the buffering systems in our body are actively striving to maintain appropriate levels, we can distort systemic pH through diet and toxic load. A diet high in sugar, flour products and animal protein will tend to make the pH of the body more acidic; whereas as diet high in fruits and vegetables will tend to support alkalinity.

Physical therapy: by definition, Physical Therapy is the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise rather than by drugs or surgery.

Pleomorphism: by definition, Pleomorphism means, many or more (pleo-), forms or bodies (morph-). Put simply, pleomorphism describes the process by which microorganisms (bacteria, germs, parasites) can change from one form to another within the human body. The evolution of microbes within an individual depends on the internal environment (or milieu) to which they are exposed. This belief that microorganisms can go through different stages of development and can evolve into various growth forms within their life cycle is a core concept in Biological Medicine.

Qi Gong: Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. People use Qigong use to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirit. Qigong's great appeal is that everyone can benefit, regardless of ability, age, belief system or life circumstances. Website:

Visceral manipulation: A gentle hands-on therapy that works through the body's visceral system (the heart, liver, intestines and other internal organs) to locate and alleviate abnormal points of tension throughout the body. Visceral Manipulation was developed by French Osteopath, Jean-Pierre Barrall.

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