Alexander Technique is a form of re-education used principally to correct faulty habits such as bad posture, tension, bad breathing and speech defects. It is also a means of helping people to become more aware of themselves, less bound by sheer mechanical habit, and to develop more control of their reactions and behaviour. It is a re-educational process and Alexander teachers regard those they teach as pupils who must co-operate and should not see themselves as merely passive patients. Although it is not a treatment for specific conditions, many different kinds of disorders often disappear in the re-educational process.
Attachment therapy is a form of therapy aimed at children with alleged 'attachment disorders', usually fostered or adopted children. It is substantially based on outdated notions of suppressed rage due to early adverse experiences. Traditionally it uses a variety of confrontational and physically coercive techniques of which the most common form is holding therapy, accompanied by parenting methods which emphasize obedience. Following implication in a number of child death and maltreatment cases in the USA there has been a recent move away from coercion by some leading theorists and practitioners. It is largely unvalidated.
Ayurveda is a system of holistic healing that originated 5000 years in India.. It means "science of life" or "knowledge of living". Therapies include herbal and mineral remedies, massage, yoga and breathing exercises. It is widely practiced in India and is becoming more popular in the West.
Bates method is related to the visual acuity. It is based on the belief that errors in visual accommodation are due to mental strain, and that vision may be improved by appropriate relaxation techniques.
Biologically based therapies is an NCCAM classification for alternative treatments that use substances found in nature and/or some other natural therapy such as Chinese food therapy or Urine therapy.
Biofeedback is a technique that teaches you to become aware of a normally automatic bodily function, such as heart rate, and how to control it. This can can be helpful for a variety of conditions.
The Biomedical model of health is a conceptual model of illness that excludes psychological and social factors and includes only biological factors in an attempt to understand a person's illness. According to this model, health constitutes the freedom from disease, pain, or defect, thus making the normal human condition health. The model's focus on the physical processes, such as the pathology, the biochemistry and the physiology of a disease, does not take into account the role of social factors or individual subjectivity. The model also overlooks the fact that the diagnosis (that will affect treatment of the patient) is a result of negotiation between doctor and patient.
Bodywork is any therapeutic, healing, or personal development work that involves some form of touching, energetic work, or the physical manipulation of a practically oriented physical and somatic understanding of the body.
CAM is an acronym for complementary and alternative medicine, a large range of treatments and theories on the nature of health and illness, many of them unrelated, which have in common that they are not commonly employed by the conventional medical establishment.
Chelation therapy is the use of chelating agents such as EDTA to remove heavy metals from the body. While in conventional medicine, chelation therapy is used only to treat heavy metal poisoning, some alternative practitioners advocate the use of chelation therapy to treat coronary artery disease.
Chiropractic is a manual therapy involving the manipulation of the vertebral subluxation to restore proper, motion, biomechanics, and nerve flow from the brain to the body.
Christian Science a religious movement founded by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) which augments and modifies Christianity with her own ideas. Christian Scientists believe the material world is an illusion and so illness too is not real, but an "error" which can be corrected with special kinds of prayer, and not by medicine.
Colour therapy uses the different colours and their energy frequencies to correct psychological or physical imbalances. Also known as Chromotherapy.
Craniosacral therapy (or CST) is a pseudoscientific treatment devised by John Upledger in the 1970s. A CST practitioner will massage a patient's scalp in the belief that the precise positioning of their cranial bones can have a profound impact on their health. However, there is no evidence this therapy is effective for the treatment of any disease.
Eclectic medicine was a nineteenth-century system of medicine used in North America that treated diseases by the application of single herbal remedies to effect specific cures of certain signs and symptoms.
Energy medicine is the name of a NCCAM classification, for alternative treatments that involve the use of veritable (i.e., that which can be measured) and putative (i.e., that which have yet to be measured) energy fields.
Heroic medicine is any medicine or method of treatment that is aggressive or daring in a dangerously ill patient. It generally includes the pre-scientific treatments of 18th-century doctors, such as bloodletting.
Hydrotherapy is the external use of water in the medical treatment of disease, such as through the use of baths, the application of hot and cold compresses or sheet packs, and shower sprays. These applications typically use water as a medium for delivery of heat and cold to the body, capitalising on the thermoregulatory properties of the body for therapeutic effect.
Hypnosis is a technique that taps into a person's subconscious by inducing a light trance state. The practitioner will guide the person using visualisation, breathing and relaxation to help them overcome habits such as smoking or deal with fears, obsessions and emotional disorders.
Iridology (also known as iridodiagnosis) is an alternative medicine technique whose proponents believe that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient's systemic health. Practitioners match their observations to iris charts which divide the iris into zones corresponding to specific parts of the human body.
Life extension is a movement the goal of which is to live longer through intervention, and to increase maximum lifespan or average lifespan, especially in mammals. Researchers of life extension are a subclass of biogerontologists known as "biomedical gerontologists". See also theList of life extension related topics.
Lifestyle is the particular attitudes, habits, or behaviors associated with an individual.
Lifestyle diseases are diseases that appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer.
Macrobiotics is a diet based on whole grains and cereals, and unprocessed vegetables and fruits. Refined and processed foods and most animal products are avoided. It aims to bring a balance of yin and yang within the body.
Manipulative and body-based methods is the name of a NCCAM classification, for alternative treatments that are based on manipulation and/or movement of one or more parts of the body.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is believed by proponents to encourage the natural circulation of the lymph through the body.
The mind-body connection idea says that the causes, development, and outcomes of an illness are determined as much from the interaction of psychological and social factors as they are due to the biological factors of health. Many mind-body therapists take the definition of "mind-body connection" further and state that the root cause of illness is actually in the mind and spirit, and that for complete and permanent eradication of an illness, the cause must be addressed and cure focused there.
Mind-Body Intervention is the name of a NCCAM classification, that covers a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms.
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of moxa or mugwort, a small, spongy herb, near the body to promote healing. It has been practised throughout Asia for thousands of years.
Pilates is a system of gentle exercise that builds muscle strength and flexibility. The controlled movements engage both body and mind and are designed to improve posture and agility and help to prevent injury.
Prana is a Sanskrit word which means "life force", a universal energy which flows throughout the body. In Aryuvedic medicine it is the vital energy that animates life. In Chinese medicine it is known as Qi. The exercises and breathing techniques performed in yoga are designed to enhance and balance the flow of prana.
Qi or Chi in traditional Chinese Medicine is the universal life force that flows through and permeates all life. The correct balance and flow of Qi is essential to health and well being.
Qigong is an exercise aspect of Chinese medicine. Qigong is mostly taught for health maintenance purposes, but there are also some who teach it, especially in China, for therapeutic interventions. There are hundreds of different schools, and it is also an adjunct training of many East Asian martial arts.
Reiki is a form of treatment developed by Mikao Usui in Japan around 1922. Practitioners use their hands on or above the patient in order to control, increase or open up a postulated energy, "ki", in the body. Training is usually through short courses, after which one can become certified as a "Reiki master".
Therapeutic music – music played live at the bedside of persons who are faced with physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges, generally in the person’s home, a hospice or in a clinical setting.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a system of health care which is based on the Chinese notion of harmony and balance inside the human body as well as harmony between the body and its outside environment. TCM can include or address the following components:
Water cure (therapy) in the therapeutic sense is a course of medical treatment by hydrotherapy. In the nineteenth century, the term "Water Cure" was used synonymously with "hydropathy", which itself is the 19th century term for hydrotherapy. Conceptually, water cures include a broad range of practices – essentially any therapeutic uses of water. See Water cure (therapy) and Hydrotherapy for further discussion and links.
Wellness has been used in CAM contexts since Halbert L. Dunn began using the phrase "high level wellness" in the 1950s, based on a series of lectures at a Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington, VA. Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind-body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.
Yoga is a diverse and ancient East Indian practise. There are many different styles and schools of yoga. It is generally a combination of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation, that calms the nervous system and balances body, mind, and spirit. It is thought to prevent specific diseases and maladies by relaxing the body, deepening respiration and calming the mind. Yoga has been used to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve flexibility, concentration, sleep, and digestion. It has also been used as supplementary therapy for such diverse conditions as cancer, diabetes, asthma, and AIDS.
^"Aromatherapy". U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Retrieved 6 February 2014.
^Chaffin M, Hanson R, Saunders BE et al. (2006). "Report of the APSAC task force on attachment therapy, reactive attachment disorder, and attachment problems". Child Maltreat11 (1): 76–89. doi:10.1177/1077559505283699. PMID16382093.
^Angus Stevenson, ed. (2007). "Definition of Water Cure". Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. 2: N–Z (6th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 3586. ISBN978-0-19-920687-2. Note: Definition is under the general listing for water (noun), alphabetically in the sub-listing for phrases. This section begins on p.3585, but the definition for Water Cure is found in the top part of the first column on p.3586. The phrases are in alphabetical order, so it's just a matter of going down the list.
^Unsigned article (1910). "Hydropathy". In …. The Encyclopaedia BritannicaXIV. London: The Encyclopaedia Britannica Company. pp. 165–166. Retrieved 2010-04-21.