Saturday, November 3, 2007


“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” Hippocrates

Health and Wellness Glossary

ACE (American Council on Exercise)

The American Council on Exercise is a nonprofit organization committed to enriching quality of life through safe and effective physical activity. As America’s Authority on Fitness, ACE protects all segments of society against ineffective fitness products, programs and trends through its ongoing public education, outreach and research. ACE further protects the public by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness professionals. For more information, visit

Acute Pain

A pain that comes on quickly, can be severe, but lasts a relatively short time. It is not ongoing or constant (chronic).


An ancient Chinese healing technique, acupressure uses similar principles as acupuncture but without the needles. Specific points on the body receive pressure with fingers. The goal is to relieve a variety of symptoms including tension, stress, aches, pains, menstrual cramps, or arthritis. This can also be done on a preventative measure for general, ongoing health and wellbeing.


Also practiced in China and several other Far East counties for centuries, this form of therapy applies needles to specific body points to relieve or treat symptoms. The goal is to release trapped or blocked “energy” known in Chinese philosophy as “Qi”. The needles are placed by a trained acupuncture therapist in a series of meridians in the skin. The puncture into such meridians, or channels, in the body should invoke a healing response and help the individual regain natural balance.


A Japanese martial art, this is both spiritual in nature and a self-defense technique. The goal is to synchronize and balance one’s chi (vital energy) with that of one’s opponent, so that the opponent’s strength and weight are used against him or her. Many of the moves are flowing, fluid and graceful — similar to those of tai chi.

Alternative Medicine

Typically complementary techniques that include therapies, herbs and remedies. N ot mainstream, standard or generally recognized by the medical community. Often viewed as unconventional treatments.


Aromatherapy can be used as a holistic healing practice (for preventative care) as well as to help relax the body. Aromatherapy involves the use of volatile, pungent plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical wellbeing. The aromas emitted from the oils are a natural, non-invasive way to address the entire person, and not one specific symptom or problem. The goal is to help the body’s natural ability to balance, heal and maintain itself by the correct use of essential oils.

Ayurveda/Ayurvedic Medicine

Practiced in India for more than 5,000 years, Ayurvedic tradition holds that illness is a state of imbalance among the body’s systems that can be detected through such diagnostic procedures as reading the pulse and observing the tongue. Ayurveda is a holistic approach of medicine and -the balance and harmony of the body, resulting in self-healing, good health and longevity.

Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy pain-free, safe and non-surgical medical procedure used to help remove unwanted heavy metals such as lead, mercury, nickel, copper, cadmium, and others from the body. More recently Chelation Therapy has also been used to reverse symptoms of atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis (hardening of arteries) by removing the obstructive plaque that has built up in circulatory system.

Chinese (Oriental) Medicine

This includes the use of a variety of ancient and modern therapeutic methods — including acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, moxibustion (heat therapy), and nutritional and lifestyle counseling — to treat both acute and chronic conditions.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain may be defined as a pain that ranges from mild to severe but is present for long periods of time – from months to years. Chronic pain has many causes such as injury, infections, illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, and nerve damage. Treatment for chronic pain includes medication, acupuncture, physical therapy, mind-body therapies such as hypnosis and meditation, massage, chiropractic, herbal medicine, and Reiki . It is not a short, sporadic pain (acute).

Dietary (Nutritional) Supplements

Nutritional or dietary supplements come in a variety of assortments and often contain minerals, vitamins, and sun dried herbs. The delivery method of supplement can be tablets, capsules, sub-lingual drops, or teas. The purpose is to give your body something extra that is beneficial in addition to the nutrients from regular food. Supplements are developed to aid in a variety of ailments including joint problems, healthy skin, weight loss, energy, sexual performance, and more. They are not regulated by the Food or Drug Administration (FDA).

Feng Shui

Feng shui (fung shway) is the ancient Chinese practice of configuring your physical space or environment (i.e. home or work) into a place that promotes health, happiness, and prosperity. This could involve color selection or furniture placement that’s conducive to a healthy flow of chi, or vital energy.

Healing Touch

Typically done by a R.N. (registered nurse), this technique aims to help accelerate wound healing, relieve pain, promote relaxation, prevent illness, and ease the dying process. The practitioner uses light touch with his/her hands near the client’s body in an effort to reinstate balance to the client’s energy system.

Herbal Therapy

Another form of ancient Chinese therapy (based on Taoist principles), herbal therapy includes diet and nutrition and is the oldest and most widely used method in the Chinese system of health care. Herbs are categorized according to their basic biochemical structure and therapeutic effects, which determine their gui-jing or “natural affinities” There are numerous methods for administering herbal remedies including one of the most common forms, tea.

Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine promotes the healing philosophy that views the patient as a whole person, not as just a disease or a collection of symptoms. During treatment, holistic medical practitioners may address a patient’s emotional or spiritual dimensions as well as other factors that can affect ones health including nutrition, environment, and lifestyle. Many holistic medical practitioners combine conventional forms of treatment (such as medication and surgery) with natural or alternative treatments.


Homeopathy is based on the principle that substances, which are poisonous in large doses, can be very beneficial in small doses. Homeopathy is a form of medicine that treats the body as a whole and helps it to heal itself. It can be used for acute and chronic illnesses. The objective is to prevent the patient from getting the illnesses again. Homeopathy looks at each patient and develops an individualized remedy or treatment plan. Homeopathic remedies are made from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral substances.

Life Coaching

People hire a coach when they are making a career transition, starting a new business, feeling dissatisfied, re-evaluating life choices, or simply looking for personal and professional breakthroughs. This isa professional service that offers clients feedback, insights, and guidance from an outside viewpoint. Similar to the practice of a physician, attorney, or psychologist — the major difference is that coaching is an on-going collaborative partnership built on taking action.


Meditation is the art of relaxing your mind and body in an effort to relieve stress and feel calm and at peace. There are different forms of meditation including prayer, TM (Transcendental Meditation), mindfulness meditation, Zen meditation, Buddhist meditation, and Taoist meditation. The main focus is to “free the mind” of busy thoughts. To relax yourself through one image in your mind, restful breathing, or a tranquil sound. Some people also may repeat a mantra to themselves – saying a word or phrase of peace over and over again.


Naturopathic Medicine, or Naturopathy, is a practice of preventing, assessing and treating conditions of the human mind and body. By integrating conventional health sciences with a range of natural therapies and traditional medicines, naturopathy treats the patient’s mental, emotional and physical states for a lasting effect. Naturopathic practitioners aim to restore and support the body’s own healing ability using a variety of modalities including nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, and oriental medicine.

Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)

Like medical doctors (M.D.’s), a doctor of osteopathic medicine or an osteopathic physician provides comprehensive medical care, including preventive medicine, diagnosis, surgery, prescription medications, and hospital referrals. In diagnosis and treatment, they pay particular attention to the joints, bones, muscles, and nerves and are specially trained in osteopathic manipulative treatment — using their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness.

Pain Management

Pain-management could entail everything from physical therapy, exercise and mental-health counseling — to surgery and medication. Patients seeking this type of treatment are typically looking to relieve a chronic pain and may seek practitioners such as physical therapist, chiropractors, podiatrists, psychologists, acupuncturists, and occupational therapists.


This touch technique is based on the idea that specific points on the feet and hands correspond with organs and tissues throughout the body. The practitioner (typically a massage therapist) applies pressure to these points of these areas using hands, fingers, and thumbs to treat a wide range of stress-related illnesses and ailments as well as provide relieve to related muscles.


Shiatsu has been used in Japan thousands of years and is the most common form of acupressure. This technique aims to relieve pain and illness and for general health maintenance. Using a series of techniques, practitioners apply rhythmic finger pressure at specific points on the body in order to stimulate chi, or vital energy.

Stress Management

Stress management encompasses a range of modalities designed to treat the physical and emotional toll of stress. The approaches used can include bodywork, meditation, counseling, energy work, and education.

Tai Chi/Martial Arts

Although many of the martial arts assist in self-defense, practicing these techniques can also improve your body, mind and spiritual self. Each movement is disciplined and aims to bring balance to the body and mind. "External" methods (such as Karate or Judo) focus on endurance and muscular development, while "internal" methods (such as Tai Chi and Aikido) focus on relaxation and control. These techniques have also been used to help relieve back problems, ulcers, and reduce stress.

Watsu (Water Shiatsu)

Watsu is a form of massage performed water. It involves a combination of slow, flowing movements with shiatsu massage techniques. The purpose is to release blockages in the body’s energy pathways (or meridians). Watsu is commonly used to release tension, reduce stress, relax muscles and aid in treatment for a variety of physical and emotional problems.

Yoga Therapy

Practiced for thousands of years in India and the Far East, yoga aims to relax the mind and body with the goal of enlightenment. There are several different types of Yoga including Karma Yoga (which emphasizes action and relationships with others); Bhakti Yoga (which focuses on love of God); Jnana Yoga (which focuses on the pursuit of intellectual); Raja Yoga (focusing on techniques for controlling mind and body) and Bikram Yoga or “hot yoga” (where the room temperature is heated to assist in cleansing the body and involves a variety of poses/positions and controlled breathing). Each of these types offer benefits to the body including flexibility, balance, discipline, relaxation and meditation.

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit