Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Glossary of Over 30 of the Most Popular Alternative Therapies Explained


Placing needles at specific points along the body to help release blockages along energy/meridian lines.

Thumb/finger pressure at specific points along the body to help release blockages along energy/meridian lines.

Alexander technique
Posture techniques.

Essential oils used for massage, inhalation, compresses, baths.

Relaxation therapy based on mental exercises / near-hypnosis state.

Bach flower therapy
Plant remedies taken as drops on tongue or with water.

Bates’ method
Relaxation, memory and eye exercises.

Biochemic tissue salts
Natural mineral (tissue) salts remedies.

Relaxation exercises with a biofeedback machine monitoring feedback so the patients themselves can observe mental and physical changes.

Biomagnetic therapy
Magnets placed at specific points along the body.


Applied manipulation to ease pain and realign the body.

Colonic irrigation
Purified water is used to cleanse and flush out the lower bowel.

Colour therapy
Colour is used in the form of light, drawings, oils, crystals, and visualisation, to revitalise different parts of the body and enhance mood.

Discussing problems with a trained and sympathetic listener/counsellor.

Crystal therapy
Crystals are placed on various body parts which are considered out of balance, or on acupoints, to help heal physical or emotional problems.


Channelling healing energy, most commonly through the “laying on of hands” or hands held over the body.

Herbal medicine
Using herbs, plant-based remedies, for their healing properties.

Using homeopathic remedies, prepared from diluted forms of plant, mineral and animal substances, to help cure disease. Works on the basis of “like cures like”, i.e. minute doses of substances that are known to cause symptoms of a disease in a healthy person are given to the sick patient to stimulate the body to heal itself.

State of deep relaxation whereby the patient’s subconscious mind is open to positive  suggestions through a hypnotherapist.


Gentle muscle testing through light touch is used to diagnose energy blockages and imbalances in the body.


Magnetic therapy
Applying magnets to the body is believed to increase the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells in order to help speed up the healing process.

Massage therapy
“Hands on” massage treatment to relieve muscle and stress related tension.

Relaxation technique using the power of concentration and sometimes breathing techniques to slow down the body and mind.


Offers a natural approach to help heal your body.  A naturopath will offer advice on diet, vitamins, and exercise, to help detoxify the body.  The idea behind it is that if you eliminate harmful toxins, then the body will heal itself.

Nutrition therapy
Advice on diet and nutritional supplements is offered to help enhance a person’s general health and well-being.


Uses manipulation to work on the body’s physical structure, specifically the spine.  The theory behind Osteopathy is to retrain the basic body structure into a better shape.  May also involve corrective exercises.


Helps patients to recover movement.  Besides directed movements and exercises, patients may be given hands-on manual therapy/massage to help relieve muscle pain and/or stiffness and to help encourage blood flow in affected areas.

Similar to counselling, but with a greater emphasis in examining more in-depth and underlying feelings and causes behind a person’s problems, in order to help people break out of negative or destructive thought patterns.


Works on the premise that reflex points/areas on the feet represent a map of the entire body and stimulating or massaging these points will encourage positive changes in their corresponding body parts.

An ancient form of balancing and harmonising the body through “Universal energy” by the “laying on of hands”.


Manipulative therapy using the thumb, fingers, palms, elbows, knees and feet, to apply pressure to specific pressure points as well as to wider areas of the body.

Stress Management
Different methods are looked at for each individual to help them manage stress-related problems.  Advice may include undertaking a relaxation therapy such as meditation or hypnotherapy.


A form of physical, mental and spiritual training.  Yoga teaches control of the body and mind through exercise, posture and breathing techniques.

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