Holistic Health Terminology

The Holistic Health Terminology Glossary is a tool for educating people who wish to make informed choices about Holistic Health care.  For even more information please visit the ND Health Facts.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


uses art-making processes to engage emotional and psychological issues. Both the physical act of making and the image/content of the work can express and heal trauma and visualize desired outcomes. Oftentimes creating art allows a much more direct access than words to uncomfortable feelings, memories, and ideas.


Recorded soundtracks of soothing music are combined with specific frequencies of pulsed binaural sound (a different frequency into each ear via headphones). It modifies the brainwaves to create meditative states.


is the ancient traditional healing system of India. More than 5,000 years old, Ayurveda is the science of developing health, vitality and harmony within our body and environment. Ayurveda teaches how to keep the physical body healthy, and how this health relates to our spiritual journey. The results of diagnostic procedures, such as mind-body typing (pitta, kapha, vata) and pulse analysis, are employed to develop an optimized lifestyle of dietary habits, herbal supplements and physical and meditative practices.


Uses electronic devices to monitor and to assist learning to control involuntary body processes, including blood pressure and pulse rate, as a way of modifying emotional states such as anxiety or depression. Galvanic biofeedback measures the skin’s electrical conductivity while brainwave biofeedback monitors the different wavelengths of brain activity.


The electro-magnetic field created by all living organisms. Referred to as “animal magnetism” by Franz von Mesmer, an Austrian physician who investigated and popularized energy healing in the late 18th century.


Healing science, healing touch, SHEN therapy, therapeutic touch, “medical chi gong”.


Is a simple, hands-on healing technique in which practitioners use the first two fingers of both hands to lightly touch specific points on the body. The light touching of the correct points enhances the body’s natural healing ability. This simple, easily learned technique complements other health care programs, and is effective from the first time one uses it.


Is a gentle yet powerful form of bodywork that results in the proper alignment of the body’s sacrum. Since the sacrum is the center of gravity of the body, this can in turn result in total body alignment. Additionally, this can unblock base chakra energy and release stored traumas and toxins from the body.


A branch of energy medicine that uses music and sound modalities (tuning forks, foning, mantras, chanting, music and improvisation) to promote healing. Developed by Dr. John Beaulieu, it is the process of tuning into and aligning our natural rhythms with our “LifeSound”. The principles of BioSonics are used to interface with and enhance Cranial Balancing.


Encompasses many practices that utilize manual manipulation of the body. Techniques include massage, acupressure, energy work, movement, structural work, deep tissue massage and other therapeutics to induce relaxation, increase circulation, treat pain and stiffness, and to break up chronic patterns of muscular tension.


Bowen Therapy employs gentle manipulation of tendons, nerves and muscles, releasing a cascade of neuro-muscular responses, resulting in a rebalancing of the whole body.


Is a system of developmental movements that reduces stress and integrates the hemispheres of the brain to enhance and accelerate the learning process. When the mind-body connections are integrated, academic performance improves, confidence and self-esteem increase, and behavioral problems are reduced or eliminated. Brain Gym can help children learn to read, write, and otherwise function effectively in the classroom. The program is also used effectively in business, sports, and the arts.


Sanskrit term denoting one of seven major energy centers situated along the spine, plus scores of minor centers throughout the body. These correspond roughly to the nerve junctions (“little brains”) where nerves from every part of the body join the spinal cord. Many Indian and Chinese modalities, especially acupuncture, focus on re-establishing the free flow of energy throughout the chakras.


Chinese word meaning energy or universal life force.


Chinese exercises of gentle movement, both internal and external, which directly activate and guide chi throughout the body. Promotes self-healing and strengthens the immune system, releases tension and stimulates vitality.


(referred to also as colon irrigation or a colonic) is a soothing process of removing toxins and debris that limit  your energy and keep you from vibrant health and well-being. A small amount of warm, purified water flows into the colon, gently stimulating the natural peristaltic action to release softened waste. This procedure results in better elimination, creating a more favorable environment for good flora, and providing the whole body with a clean water supply (for the colon is the entire body’s reservoir). Enhanced immune function, increased vitality, a clearer mind, and a more positive outlook are frequently reported benefits.


is a manual therapy that addresses distortions in the structures of the spine, skill, sacrum and associated connective tissue. It is most often employed by physical therapists and chiropractors to treat pain, stress, and limitations of movement. Craniosacral Therapy combines ancient healing arts with traditional cranial osteopathy. You lie on a massage table in your own clothes; you feel the warm, healing energy from the therapist’s hands as you let go of long-standing tension in your neck, shoulders, arms, torso, legs, feet, and the delicate areas of your face, cranium and spine.


is a subtle technique that works within the Cranial System of the body, which includes the bones of the cranium (skull) and the spine, the tissues surrounding and including the brain, the spinal column, and the cerebrospinal fluid that circulates within the entire system. Similar to CranioSacral Therapy in form and technique, Cranial Balancing differs in that its focus is on the “Energy” of the system and the flow of the Cerebrospinal fluid. Deep states of relaxation are possible through this gentle and non-invasive work.


Of all natural objects, crystals most clearly demonstrate how all forms, including the human body, manifest a characteristic vibrational pattern. The form of each different type of crystal is determined by the particular geometric pattern of its molecular structure. This geometric pattern, which shaped the crystal, continues to vibrate – as does every other molecule. But the qualities of certain crystals’ vibrations, such as quartz, make them an effective tool for many body and/or energy practitioners due to their power to focus and/or amplify the energy being directed by the practitioner into the patient’s biofield. Crystals may also be worn on the body or placed in one’s living space.


Also known as Singing Bowl/Sound Healing therapy is a sound or vibration therapy to heal the body’s energy system. Sound has been used for healing in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. Tibetans continue to use bells, bowls of crystal or brass along with other devices today as part of their religious practices.  Using sound vibrations which are felt and heard it’s possible to open the blockages and correct the resonant frequency of the chakras, meridans and other energy centers. This process is designed to restore harmony between the physical and subtle or energy body.


Care is based on the premise that the health of the spine is essential to human health. Pain and discomfort caused by misalignments (subluxations) of vertebrae are corrected with a variety of methods including activator methods, upper cervical, Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT), cranial, and low-force adjusting.


releases patterns of chronic tension in the body through slow strokes and/or deep finger pressure on contracted muscles, either following or going across the grain of muscles and tendon. Can be used for specific areas or full-body.


Distance healing may encompass the widest range of concepts in the world of complementary and alternative therapies. Prayer may be the simplest form of distance healing but the concept is also called remote healing, psychic healing, energy healing, quantum healing and many other names. Simply put it involves the ability of mental or life force energy to impact a human body at a distance.


This technique brings in 10 more “virtual” strands of DNA, connects these to our current two strands and brings their functionality into being. This accelerates self-discovery and self-healing on the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels.


apply electronically produced impulses to kill pathogens.


An ancient system of spiritual psychology used for centuries to understand the development of the soul. Although the familiar symbol was devised by Pythagoras, the Enneagram system originated in the Middle East in 2500 BC. Similar to the Meyers-Briggs personality test, the Enneagram can be used to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses among nine major characteristics. As a tool for personal growth and transformation, it goes beyond simple personality “types” by providing compensatory strategies to balance these facets of personality.


Equine Assisted Therapy uses horses as part of the treatment for a wide range of physical and psychological problems. It can be used to help children with autism, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome or developmental delays. People with cerebral palsy, visual impairments or stroke can benefit from it, too. It can also be used to help troubled teens learn how to develop confidence, responsibility, self-control, empathy and affection.

By teaching a patient how to work with a horse, the therapist also indirectly teaches her how to apply the same skills in her personal relationships.


Are the volatile essences extracted from aromatic plants by steam, distillation, expression or solvent extraction. Essential oils are applied topically or inhaled, and act on physical, emotional, and psychological processes.


Music, drama, dance, writing, storytelling, sketching, clay art, and other creative activities that express one’s inner thoughts, dreams, and emotions. The process of performing the activity is the main focus, with little or no concern about the product itself; therefore, there is no need for criticism, perfectionism or judgment.


Expressive writing is a personal essay about your deepest thoughts, feelings and stressful events in your life. It is also called journaling. It allows writers to express themselves about problems in their life which frequently produces beneficial results. Research continues to show that writing deep thoughts and feelings provides beneficial stress release which improves the writer’s outlook and position in life. Expressive writing has also been shown to boost the writer’s immune system, improve grades, decrease blood pressure and reduce pain.


Is the ancient Chinese art of environmental design and placement. Whereas tai chi and acupuncture modify and balance chi within the body, feng shui balances the chi in one’s surroundings. Because one’s home and workplace expresses one’s physical, psychological and spiritual condition, understanding how the qualities and the flow of energy (or lack thereof) in personal spaces affects your mood and mental state can lead to creating a more harmonious, nurturing environment.


Teaches movement re-education to relieve  unnecessary stress from individual body parts and to develop effective, intelligent action. Through gentle corrections the practitioner encourages re-training of body mechanics to : alleviate chronic neck, shoulder and back pain; to improve posture, flexibility and coordination; to achieve greater range of motion; to improve daily functioning; and to enhance graceful skill in athletes, dancers and musicians.

FLOWER ESSENCES (Bach Flower Remedies®, et al)

Flowers have their own personalities. IT is the energy of these personalities that is captured in the essences. This energy works subtly on our energy bodies to dramatically affect us emotionally, mentally and physically. These potent, non-aromatic liquids are vibrational catalysts. After consultation, the practitioner prescribes a specific essence or mixture of essences to facilitate healing and change. Flower Essences help accelerate all therapies, facilitate transformation, and awaken awareness.


Is usually incorporated as part of meditation or hypnotherapy. Affirmative images, words and symbols are conjured and held in the mind to promote physical, emotional, spiritual well-being. Guided imagery can also be used to develop self-confidence in realizing a business or athletic goal.


Like Reiki and acupuncture, Healing Touch operates on the subtle energy system of the human body. IN Healing Touch, manual manipulation is gentle and non-invasive. By assessing and treating the imbalances in the chakra energy system, the practitioner assists the client in self-healing.


Is the use of plants to facilitate healing. Herbs may be administered in many forms, including teas, tinctures, salves, poultices, capsules, volatile oils, infusions, and decoctions. The practitioner may recommend a single herb or a combination of several herbs.


Dealing with the patient as a whole human being – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – as distinct from conventional medicine’s view that physical ailments are separate and unrelated to non-physical aspects such as emotional state and belief system.


The word Holotropic is from the Greek Holos meaning whole and Trepain meaning moving or oriented towards. A powerful method of self-exploration, personal transformation, and healing created by Christina and Stanislav Grof, MD. It is based on and combines insights from modern consciousness research, depth psychology and various spiritual traditions and practices. Through accelerated breathing, evocative music and a unique bodywork technique, non-ordinary states of consciousness are induced. These states allow mobilization of the spontaneous healing potential of the psyche.


A therapeutic system of medicine that is based on the principle of similars – like cures like – which means that a substance that can cause certain symptoms in a healthy person can cure similar symptoms in an unhealthy person. Homeopathy aims to aid and stimulate the body’s own defense and immune processes. Homeopathic medicines are derived form a variety of plants, animal materials and minerals. These medicines are prescribed to fit each individual’s needs, given in much smaller and less toxic doses than traditional medications, and are used for both prevention and treatment. Established 200 years ago by German physician Samuel Hahneman, and is recognized by the World Health Organization as the second largest therapeutic system in the world.


(from Greek, “sleep”) A state of heightened awareness and focused concentration that can be used to manipulate the perception of pain, to access repressed material and to re-program behavior.


Utilizes hypnosis in the treatment of many complaints: a symptom, disease or addiction; chronic pain; emotional trauma and anxiety. Also used to bolster confidence, to instill positive thoughts and feelings, to prepare for competition.


Body care products which are infused with high frequency sound waves that bring the body into balance and promote healing on a cellular level.


An intuitive utilizes perceptual skills not located in rational, analytic thinking. Oftentimes the insights of an intuitive surpass what is available to the conscious mind.


Like reflexology, iridology is based on a system of correspondences between specific parts of the iris and the rest of the body. The practitioner examines the iris to ascertain the condition of the digestive system, the heart, the kidneys, etc.


works with the body’s energy systems, utilizing techniques from acupressure, bodywork and holistic healthcare to eliminate pain and to improve health and performance. These techniques are used to correct structural imbalances, restore energy flow to the meridians, clear emotional blocks and assess nutritional needs.


is a Chinese form of hands-on healing similar to Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. It is a gentle, yet powerful form of energy balancing and healing. Using specific hand positions, the LaHo-Chi practitioner transmits healing intention into the client’s biofield to induce a state of deep relaxation, of full-body meditation. This relaxed state, achieved by the energetic release of accumulated physical, emotional and psychological stresses and traumas, allows the body’s own natural healing powers to be activated and nurtured. LaHo-Chi can also expand perception, inducing awareness of higher states of spiritual consciousness.


The “Light Body”, as described by Katreena Kramer in A Primer for Light Body Activation, is the aspect of oneself of such high and subtle frequency that it interacts with dimensions beyond our usual reality. Light Body Activation is an evolutionary process, occurring on a global scale, by which the functioning of the Light Body infrastructure, deep within the core of the self, is re-established. As the self de-densifies and harmonizes with the new vibratory frequencies of Light it undergoes conscious initiation into a state of being beyond the third dimension.


Activities and practices that promote sound physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and a natural flow of energy.


Magnets stimulate the body’s innate capacity to heal itself. Some of the maladies where the application of magnets is effective are: healing of bones; reduction or elimination of pain; improving sensation in numb tissue; stimulating internal regions of the brain; stopping cramps and diarrhea; enhancing wound healing; dispersing of bruises.


This long-respected healing art has a history which stretches back thousands of years and spans the globe. The first written records of massage date from 3,000 years ago in China, although it is certain that the use of touch to heal and soothe extends back to the earliest human experience. To rub a sore muscle or stroke another in comfort is a natural human instinct, and the “laying on of hands” has been valued among spiritual and healing traditions throughout history.


Although meditation is most often associated with Eastern practices such as Buddhism, every spiritual practice, including Christianity, has similar techniques for the purpose of gaining insight, assessing and managing life processes (physiological, mental, emotional, spiritual), enhancing performance or to just plain relax. These techniques include specific postures and/or activities such as sitting or walking, conscious breathing, observing thoughts and emotions, in order to attain calm, contentment, resolution or realization.


The art of assisting at childbirth. Due to rising medical costs and an interest in home delivery and “natural childbirth”, there has been a resurgence of interest in midwifery. Certified midwives undergo prescribed courses and training in hospitals and medical schools and are now licensed by the state; lay-midwives do not undergo formal training but are regulated by local statutes that limit what services they may perform.


Is a means of manually assessing imbalances and distortions in the skeletal system and correcting them via the soft tissue, using a tiny amount of the patient’s own energy (force) applied in a specific direction. Extremely gentle, MET provides dramatic and lasting improvements in flexibility, muscle tension and comfort. MET is not related to work with the Human Energy Field.


Since vibration is the essence of sound and music and since energy, and thus vibration, is the essence of all things, then it follows that music and sound should be a common element among most, if not all, healing traditions. Examples of the use of sound include: chanting in yoga and meditation, plainsong, drumming, music played during a bodywork or healing session, and hi-tech meditation soundtracks which employ subliminal pulses and/or affirmations.


Relaxes and releases restrictions of the connective tissue by following, or unwinding the inherent, non-muscular movement in the body. It can be applied to whole limbs, surface areas, and even structures as small as a tooth!


Brings together various natural healing therapies such as homeopathic remedies, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy and hydrotherapy for the treatment of all types of illness. Naturopathic physicians the individual as an integral whole and the symptoms of disease as indicators of improper functioning and an unhealthy lifestyle. They encourage the individual to take an active part in the healing process through recommended adjustments in lifestyle, diet and exercise and in maintaining the body’s natural state of balance.


Employs one’s name and birth date to account for intuitive, emotional, mental and physical qualities, as well as for one’s challenges, transitions and karmic development.


Founded by Andres Still, osteopathy is a system of therapy that emphasizes normal body mechanics and manipulation to correct faulty body structures.


Created over eighty years ago by Joseph H. Pilates. Initially popular with dancers and other performers, the Pilates method has become popular in the fitness world. Exercises performed on the floor, or on specialized equipment, Pilates coordinates mind, body and breath do develop sleek and functionally strong abdominal muscles, a strong and supple back, and aligns the shoulder girdle.


Polarity Therapy has been defined as a natural health care system based upon universal principles of energy. It assumes that illness is caused by an imbalance or block in the bipolar energy field. The interrelation of the three principles of attraction, repulsion, and neutrality are viewed as the basis for every aspect and phenomena of life, including one’s experience of health, wellness, and disease. The application of Polarity Therapy attempts to realign balance and recharge the overall level of energy through energetic touch, energetic food awareness, energetic exercise and lifestyle education. Visit Columbus Polarity’s website at www.columbuspolarity.com for more information.


Assists infants and parents with healing of prenatal and birth experiences through infant-centered family therapy sessions. For adults, Prenatal and Birth Therapy helps with healing of ancestral, conception, gestation, and birth experiences which may currently express as unhealthy physical postures, emotional responses, or behavioral patterns.


Sanskrit term for universal energy; used in yoga (pranayama). See also life force, biofield, chi.


The treatment of psychological disorders or maladjustments by a psychological technique, as psychoanalysts, group therapy, or behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy does not include physiological interventions, such as drug therapy or electroconvulsive therapy, although it may be used in combination with such methods. Behavior therapy aims to help the patient eliminate undesirable habits or irrational fears through the use of principles of conditioning.


A person who is sensitive to psychic influences or forces.


Employ frequencies of sound and/or light to entrain the brain waves, creating specific mind-body states, expecially relaxation.


Is a healing approach that uses light touch from the practitioner to channel healing energy to the recipient. Used to relieve physical and emotional pain and to promote spiritual clarity. Reiki also speeds the healing process and balances the body’s energy.


Is a healing process that uses consultation, affirmations and a specific technique of conscious, connected breathing to release patterns and beliefs that may prevent full realization of goals and desires. Rebirthing can help clear limiting psychological conditions, release toxins and tensions from the body, restore the body’s naturally functioning breathing, and promote an increased feeling of safety and comfort in the body.


Identifies and treats various conditions throughout the body by manipulating corresponding “reflex”: points, located along the energy meridians of the hands and feet. Specific treatment with full-body effects.


Employs ritual, dream work, sacred art, drumming and movement to attain nonordinary states of consciousness and to awaken spiritual abilities and connections with nature. The intention of Shamanism is to creatively invite and empower each person’s relationship to their essence, to nature and to Spirit.

ROLFING® Structural Integration

Employs deep manipulation of the connective tissue (fascia) to restore the body’s natural alignment and aid in the integration of psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical aspects. The complete process involves ten sessions, each focusing on a different part of the body. Developed by Ida P. Rolf.


Is an Oriental system of finger-pressure massage, which, like acupressure, treats special points along the invisible channels of energy flow in the body. Blocked energy along these meridians can cause physical discomforts, so the aim is to release the blocks and re-balance the energy flow. Full body or localized treatment.


Is a unique type of vibrational therapy that uses the human voice, specially crafted tuning forks, and Tibetan ongshas, directed into and around the body to balance the energy. This therapy, which may be used in combination with other energy therapies, allows the gentle “tuning” of the body’s nervous system that provides support in its return to a natural balanced state.


Also known as Positional Release, is an indirect technique to painlessly release tender/trigger points in 90 seconds by temporarily repositioning the body in the position of greatest ease, the “counterstrain” position. IT could be described as the opposite of stretching, and works by re-educating the muscle spindle cells, which function as tension regulators for the muscles. It is able to address problems, such as rib dysfunctions, that are not treatable by other means. Developed by Lawrence Jones, D.O. in the 1950’s, it has minimal impact on the circulatory system and is safe for everyone.


Uses a system of long strokes, kneading and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of the muscles, combined with active and passive movements of the joints. Used primarily for a full-body treatment; promotes general relaxation, improves circulation and range of motion, relieves muscle tension.


Is an ancient Chinese form of energy cultivation and self-defense. A specific type of chi gong, t’ai chi consists of many chi gong movements that are arranged according to the principles of the Tao The Ching and the I Ching. The slow gentle movements promote strength, balance, health, vitality, and an overall sense of well-being.


Like other divinatory systems, such as the I Ching or runes, a reading is determined by a chance operation – in the Tarot it is by the “random” shuffling of a deck of cards. Each card represents a god and an archetypal world of associations: an image of existence, a set of feelings and ideas. The synchronistic fall of the cards reveals the specific configuration of these elemental forces in the individual’s life.


Or equine facilitated therapy is the deliberate partnering with a horse and trained therapist to achieve pre-determined goals for a client. This innovative therapy combines traditional occupational, physical and psychological treatment with the added component of a living, feeling, giving, non-verbal co-therapist. It requires all participants to think and act “out of the box” of traditional treatment.


Is similar to Healing Touch, but in Therapeutic Touch no physical contact is involved. Since the human energy field extends outwards beyond the skin, the assessment and clearing of any imbalances and/or blockages is accomplished by moving the hands just above the skin. The intention of the practitioner to heal or to reduce pain generates a directed energy into the patient’s field. Developed by Delores Krieger, PhD, RN, and by Dora Hunt at New York University’s Division of Nursing; derived from the “laying on of hands” tradition.


Vocalizing long, sustained sounds using a vowel, a consonant, or a combination of both without melody, words, beat or rhythm. Toning, an ancient method for pain relief and for treating illness, is one of the oldest forms of healing; also known as sounding, toning is the simplest form of singing. Toning produces vibrations with overtones, or “vocal harmonies” which help restore harmony of body, mind and spirit.


Is a subtle, rhythmic, non-invasive neuro-muscular integration, developed by Milton Trager, MD. A practitioner guides the client in gentle movement facilitating effortlessness. These repetitive, non-intrusive motions tap into the body/mind’s memory of feeling easy and pain free. The movement can be done while the client is fully clothed and standing, sitting, or lying on a table.


(a.k.a. Myotherapy or Neuromuscular Therapy) applies concentrated finger pressure to “trigger points” – painful irritated areas in muscles – in order to break the cycle of spasm and pain. Used for specific treatment of pain.


Is experienced in a very warm (approximately 94 degrees) pool where the client is held in the water by the practitioner and moved using the water to massage the body. Shiatsu (acupressure) points are stimulated along the meridians of the body during the massage. Watsu is used for pain reduction, increased range of motion, increased circulation, psychological problems, relaxation and reduction of stress. IT has been used to help individuals for rehabilitation of physical problems and disabilities, for pregnant mothers, the elderly, as well as for those who have suffered abusive relationships.


Is an ancient Indian mind/body practice that traditionally prescribes physical postures and movements (asana), breathwork (pranayama), diet, ethics, concentration and meditation in order to live skillfully and to achieve emancipation (Samadhi). The many branches of yoga stress various practices, ranging from Hatha Yoga’s emphasis on asana, to Raja Yoga’s emphasis on meditation, to Bakti Yoga’s emphasis on devotion. The many styles of Hatha Yoga popular among Americans include Iyengar, Ashtanga (Power Yoga), Kundalini, and Kripalu.

*Compiled by the Art of Well Being and Institute of Holistic Health Careers