Acupuncture literally means 'needle piercing," the practice of inserting very fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body for therapeutic purposes. Along with the usual method of puncturing the skin with the fine needles, the practitioners of acupuncture also use heat, pressure, friction, suction, or impulses of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the points. The acupuncture points are stimulated to balance the movement of energy in the body and to restore health.
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.
The technique of guided imagery focuses the power of the mind on some aspect of the workings of the body in order to cause a real, positive physical response. This technique is used to relieve stress, explore psychological conflicts, and manage pain.
A procedure during which a health professional or researcher suggests that a client, patient, or experimental participant experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behavior. Generally, under hypnosis people become more receptive to suggestion, causing changes in the way they feel, think, and behave, although contrary to popular belief they do still remain theoretically in control of their actions.
Massage therapy is the systematized manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of normalizing them. Practitioners use a variety of physical methods including applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, or causing movement to the body. Therapists primarily use their hands, but may also use their forearms, elbows, or feet.
Meditation is a state of extreme relaxation and concentration, in which the body is generally at rest and the mind quieted of surface thoughts. Several major religions include ritual meditation; however, meditation itself need not be a religious or spiritual activity. Most of the more popular systems of meditation are of Eastern origin.
The word Qigong (pronounced chi kung) is a combination of two ideas: “Qi” means air, breath of life, or vital energy of the body, and “gong” means the skill of working with, or cultivating, self-discipline and achievement. The art of Qigong consists primarily of meditation, relaxation, physical movement, mind-body integration, and breathing exercises. Practitioners of Qigong develop an awareness of qi sensations (energy) in their body and use their mind to guide the Qi. When the practitioners achieve a sufficient skill level (master), they can direct or emit external Qi for the purpose of healing others.
Reflexology is the practice of stimulating points on the feet, hands, or ears (termed reflex zones), in the hopes that it will have a beneficial effect on some other parts of the body, or will improve general health. The most common form is foot reflexology. The foot reflexologist applies pressure to points on a person's foot. The foot is believed by participants to be divided into a number of reflex zones corresponding to all parts of the body.
Reiki practitioners channel energy in a particular pattern to heal and harmonize. Unlike other healing therapies based on the premise of a human energy field, Reiki seeks to restore order to the body whose vital energy has become unbalanced.
Reiki energy has several basic effects: it brings about deep relaxation, destroys energy blockages, detoxifies the system, provides new vitality in the form of healing universal life energy, and increases the vibration frequency of the body.
Shiatsu utilizes a combination of pressure and assisted-stretching techniques, some of which are common to other therapies, such as Massage, Physiotherapy, Acupressure, Osteopathy, Lymphatic Drainage, Do-in and others. The treatment stimulates the circulation and the flow of lymphatic fluid, releases toxins and deep seated tensions from the muscles, stimulates the hormonal system and the immune system, and acts on the autonomic nervous system, allowing the recipient to relax deeply.
T'ai Chi is a Chinese martial art which is known for the claims of health and longevity benefits made by its practitioners and in some recent medical studies. T'ai Chi is known as a soft style martial art, an art applied with as complete a relaxation or "softness" in the musculature as possible, to distinguish its theory and application from that of the hard styles which use a degree of tension in the muscles.
Yoga is a system of physical exercises, breathing techniques, and philosophy with the aim of achieving unity of the self with the universe.