10a. Holistic Health Terminology

The Glossary is a tool for educating people who wish to make informed choices about Holistic Health care.

ACCUPRESSURE
is a form of bodywork in which the practitioner uses thumbs, fingers, palms, and elbows to stimulate points along the Chinese energetic meridians of the body. Popular forms include shiatsu, jin shin do, and polarity.

ACUPUNCTURE
is an ancient Chinese system of healing that views health as the balance within an individual’s healing energy, or chi. Acupuncturists help chi move along pathways, known as meridians, that connect various organs and systems within the body. The uninterrupted and balanced flow of energy along these meridians contributes to one’s overall health. However, blockages and imbalances of chi result in pain and illness. The acupuncturist inserts very fine, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points along the meridians to redirect and reposition the flow of energy. Instead of or in addition to needles, small rolled-up cones of moxa, the dried leaves of the mugwort plant, are often placed on the point and burned until heat is felt.

ADVANCED STRAIN AND COUNTERSTRAIN
is a Myofascial release method for smooth (involuntary) muscle tissue using specific positioning and directional pressure from the therapist. Through ASCS it is possible to directly affect and improve bladder spasms, difficulty swallowing, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions caused by autonomic nervous system disorders.

ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
uses hands-on guidance and verbal instruction by the practitioner to teach simple, efficient ways of moving. This is a means of improving balance, posture and coordination, and relieving pain. It was developed by actor F. M. Alexander after he concluded that his poor posture was responsible for his own chronic voice loss.

AROMATHERAPY
Aromatic oils from plants are used on the skin, inhaled, or mixed into bathwater. Specific oils, or combinations of oils, are employed to give specific effects such as calming, pain relief, or energizing.

ASTROLOGY
charts the interrelationships between an individual and the heavenly bodies in order to understand the cosmological influences on individual fate. In a Natal, or Birth Chart, the astrologer takes one’s date and time of birth as the starting point. The configuration of the planets and stars at the moment of birth determines one’s basic life story – inclinations, strengths, and weaknesses. The resulting chart is used to understand and better respond in general life issues as well as particular situations.