[ Browse by Service Category : Specialized Treatment and Prevention : Sub-Topics of Alternative Medicine (25) ]

Acupuncture

Programs that produce regional anesthesia, eliminate or reduce pain or treat other health problems by passing long needles through the skin to specific points. The free ends of the needles are twirled or in some cases used to conduct a weak electrical current to increase stimulation at the desired point. In some cases moxibustion is used in combination with traditional acupuncture to enhance the treatment. Moxibustion involves the burning of dried herbs (mugwort) at or near specific acupuncture points or whole areas of the body. Benefits come both from the heat of the smoldering leaves and from the nature of the herb itself.

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Massage Therapy

Programs that utilize any of a wide variety of techniques involving the application of methodical pressure, kneading and friction to manipulate the muscles and surrounding structures of the body to stretch and loosen muscles, increase blood and lymphatic circulation, improve mobility, reduce stiffness and pain, and facilitate general relaxation. Included are manual massage by trained professionals and the utilization of a variety of equipment including hydroneumatic devices and electric vibrators.

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Naturopathy

Programs that utilize an approach to health and healing which relies on a combination of natural treatments including dietetics; therapeutic fasting; nutritional supplements; medications of plant or animal origin; exercise; therapeutic manipulations of muscles, bones and the spine; acupuncture; homeopathic medicine; diagnostic radiology and other imaging techniques; and minor surgery. Major surgery and utilization of synthetic drugs are not employed.

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Oxygen Therapies

Programs that utilize inhaled oxygen or injected oxygen, ozone or hydrogen peroxide to treat diseases such as cancer, arthritis and AIDS; or which provide ozone blood treatment in which a pint of the patient's blood is infused with ozone and then returned to the body. The objective is to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood and tissues as a means of destroying disease-producing organisms and enhancing the repair of tissue damage.

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Reflexology

Programs that utilize special techniques for massaging the feet (or other parts of the body like the ears or hands) in order to induce relaxation, relieve tension and stress, and produce a general sense of well-being.

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Spiritual Healing

Programs that utilize psychic awareness, compassion, religious faith or therapeutic touch techniques, as in the laying on of hands, to strengthen vital energy and restore health.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine

A 3,000 year old holistic system of medicine that combines the use of acupuncture, diet, herbal therapy, meditation, physical exercise and massage to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. It is based on the belief that qi (the body's vital energy) flows along meridians (channels) in the body and keeps a person's spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health in balance. Traditional Chinese medicine aims to restore the body's balance and harmony between the natural opposing forces of yin and yang, which can block qi and cause disease.

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Traditional Indigenous Healing

Programs that offer alternative treatments that are based on Indigenous traditions about health and illness. Traditional healing is holistic in nature, comes from ancient beliefs about how individuals fit in the web of life, generally focuses on restoring harmony and connectedness to universal powers and may involve sweat lodges, talking circles, ceremonial smoking of tobacco, shamans, herbalism, animal spirits or "vision quests". The techniques by themselves are not "traditional healing". They are only steps towards becoming whole, balanced and connected.

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Vitamin Therapy

Programs that utilize large amounts of specific vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients to achieve and maintain health and to prevent and treat illnesses or other conditions.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.


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