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Earth Spirit Therapies
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Definitions of Therapeutic massage, bodywork, energy healing and alternative therapy modalities.


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Definitions of  Bodywork & Alternative Health Modality Terms

No statements in the definitions below should be considered to be medical advice or taken as advice against seeking medical treatment, but are provided purely for their educational value. In the case of  serious acute, chronic or degenerative conditions immediately seek competent medical advice from your primary health care provider
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Macrobiotic Nutritional Counseling - 'macrobiotic' literally means long life or large life.  Determining what food you eat, by what foods grow in the area, what season it is, what condition your body is in, your age, sex and level of physical activity.  Used to balance our internal energies, yin and yang, using organic whole  grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.  Our teeth show us that we are basically vegetarians, most of our teeth grind grains or pulverize vegetables.  This is confirmed by the length of our intestines and the pH  of our digestive juice.
Magnetic Therapy - Also known as magnetic field therapy, it involves the use of magnets and electromagnetic devices to generate controlled magnetic fields useful in medical diagnosis (Magetic Resonance Imaging - MRI) and treatment. There are two types of magnets used in therapy: polarized or static like the small ceramic "button" magenets sold in wrist bands and mattresses and the oscillating or pulsed magetic devices found in clinics. Most of the scientific research has been done using oscillating or pulsed magetic devices in clinical settings.   Based on the scientific principle that the cells of the body are electrically charged. The  activity of these cells may be increased or inhibited with magnetic therapy. Varying the pulse rate may either cause vasoconstriction or vasodilation of blood vessels, enhanced bone fracture healing, pain reduction through inhibition of nerve pain impulse transmission and stimulation of soft tissue healing. ( See also Electromagnetism )
Mandala - Mandala is the sanskrit word for sacred circle.  The circle is a symbol of wholeness and harmony, a connection to the source of all life  which  is held sacred in many cultures and faith traditions.  Mandalas offer a path to healing and transformative powers through art, light and sound.  Mandalas move beyond limitation into the world of  possibility, awakening the inner realm of peace, discovering  your creative potential, illuminating your soul intuition and sense of self  to experience the love of uncovering your inner radiance.
Mantrum ( also Mantra )- A devotional phrase that is repeated over and over to reach higher mental and spiritual states.  Every mantrum has a physical, audible sound, creating sound waves of a specific nature.  The higher vibrational, inaudible sounds in the mantrum create mental and spiritual energy waves.  When supplemented with a sincere belief and spiritual attitude, mantrums are effectively used for healing.  The word, with the breath and the consciousness, form a vital combination of energies that amplify the results.
Manual Lymph Massage or Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) - is a descendant of Swedish massage.  The strokes applied are intended to stimulate the movement of the lymphatic fluids in order to assist the body in cleansing.  The most widely taught and generally accepted form of this technique was created by Dr. Emil Vodder.  This is a very specific technique which requires advanced training and precise  movements.
Mariel Energywork. Laying on of hands.( See also  Psychic Healing)

Martial Arts - The martial arts (Chinese and Japannes) are perhaps best known as a means of self-defense, but they are also used to improve physical fitness and promote mental and spiritual development.  The highly disiplined movements and forms are thought to unite body and mind thereby bringing balance to the individual's life.  "External" methods (such as karate and judo) stress endurance and muscular strength, while "internal" methods (such as Tai Chi and Aikido) stress relaxation and control.
Massage, Geriatric (See Geriatric Massage)

Massage, Hot Stone (see Hot Stone Massage)
Massage, Infant Taught to new parents by trained instructors, infant massage practices are designed to enhance the bonding between parent and baby.  As preventive therapy, infant massage can help strengthen and regulate a baby's respiratory, circulatory, and gastrointestinal functions, often relieving gas and colic while relaxing both parents and child.







Massage, Newborn ( See Massage, Infant )




Massage, On-site is one name for a short (15-20 minute) massage of a client sitting in a special, portable massage chair. The client  remains fully clothed and no oils are used while  their shoulders, neck, upper back, head and arms are massaged. On-Site is popular at some offices as an employee benefit and for some conferences, workshops and  certain social events.
Massage, Out Call is one name for a massage performed at a client's home or a location other than the therapist's office or principle place of business.  The  therapist usually brings a table, chair, or mat plus  any sheets, towels, or oils required for the session. Chair massage done at a client's place of business, conference hall, or other public venue is usually  referred to as On-Site Massage .
Massage, Pregnancy.   Practitioners use a variety of bodywork techniques.  It is a  great way to relieve the stresses that result from the rapid and profound physical as well as mental changes that occur during pregnancy.  Pregnancy  massage is designed to relieve aches in the back, neck,  hips, legs and weight bearing joints. It will also provide support for Moms-to-be.  Postpartum massage helps restore the body to pre-pregnancy conditions and  helps nurture the new Mom.
Massage, Relaxation is any combination of light non-invasive strokes, kneading, or energywork which produce a profound state of physical and emotional relaxation in the client.
Massage, Sports. Sports massage is a form of massage which  utilizes specific strokes and stretches to help obtain maximum  performance and physical conditioning with less chance of injury or pain. It helps to obtain maximum conditioning by increasing power, endurance and  flexibility both before and after an event or work out. Performance INCREASES OF 20% ARE COMMON as a result of massage sessions. ( See also article by Don Gillmore,  "What is Sports Massage?" )
Massage, Swedish  While the healing power of touch is a very ancient concept, this common technique is named for Swedish massage pioneer Peter Ling (1776-1839).  The father of massage therapy in the United States was Cornelius E. De Puy, MD,  who published his first journal on the subject in 1817.  The term Swedish massage refers to a collection of techniques designed primarily to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. The lymph system and veins (which carry blood back to the heart) both rely on muscle action, rather than heart pump pressure, to operate. Many believe it is safe to apply light pressure in the opposite direction.  Swedish massage uses five main strokes to stimulate the circulation of blood through the body; petrissage (keading), effleurage (stroking),  friction, tapotement (tapping), and vibration.
Friction is reduced by oil, or lacking that baby powder. Some practitioners claim benefits  from vegetable oil (which actually penetrates and carries vitamins & minerals to the living skin cells below the keritinaous surface) rather than mineral oil while others disagree. Swedish massage can relax muscles,  increase circulation, remove  metabolic waste products, help the recipient obtain a feeling of connectedness, a better awareness of their body and the way they use and position it.
The strokes and manipulations  of Swedish Massage are each  conceived as having a specific therapeutic benefit. One of the primary goals of Swedish Massage is to speed venous return from the extremities. Swedish Massage shortens recovery time  from muscular strain by flushing the  tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes. It improves circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple.  Swedish Massage also stimulates the skin  and nervous system while at the same time relaxing the nerves themselves. As it can help reduce emotional and physical stress it is often recommended as part of a regular  program for stress management. It also has  specific clinical uses in a medical or remedial therapy.
Massage Therapy.  ( also referred to as Therapeutic Massage ) This is a  general term for a range of therapeutic approaches  with roots in both Eastern and Western cultures.  It involves the practice of kneading or otherwise manipulating a person's muscles and other soft tissue  with the intent of improving a person's well-being or  health.  Stroking and kneading of the body parts has been used for centuries to relieve pain and suffering of the human race.  Used more in Europe as  a medical therapy, the US medical community is beginning to accept massage. Most state licensing and/or regulating bodies require massage therapists to be proficient in Swedish massage as a basis for licensing.   The term 'Therapeutic massage' is often used to distinguish it from sexual services provided by some non-licensed individuals.  Massage therapists are licensed (LMT) or registered (RMT) in several states. Many massage therapists have also been "certified" (CMT) by specific school, bodywork organization, or national regulationg body ( such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork). (See State Licensing page)  Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) in New Mexico are regulated by a state board,  which will review complaints, stemming from misrepresentation, fraud, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct with a client.  Doctors, Nurses, and Physical Therapists do not need additional licensing to perform massage therapy in New Mexico.
Massotherapy is another term meaning therapeutic (muscle) massage.
Medical Intuitive ( See Intuitive, Medical)
Meditation - Techniques that focus the mind and promote a state of calmness so that one's mind (higher conciousness) and God (Cosmic Conciousness, Universal Life Force Energy, Creator, or Great Spirit) can be brought into greater harmony to facilitate health and healing.  A state of thoughtless awareness, where everyday activity of the mind ceases, yet one remains peaceful and  aware. All this happens in a quiet relaxed manner without any strain or effort. Specific techniques may include, but are not limited to; prayer, chanting, breathing, listening to musical sequences, colored and/or  flashing light, and energy circulation.
Mesmerism - See Hypnotherapy
MET - ( See Muscle Enery Technique )
Metaphysics - The study of the ultimate reality.  Includes phenomena such as astral travel, out-of-body experiences, spirit communication, astrolgy, UFOs,  telekinesis (ability to move objects), ESP ( clairaudience, clairvoyance, and clairsentience ), spiritual healing, and all forms of precognition.
Mud Baths - are similar to mineral baths or seaweed baths in terms of temperature and duration, but have their own unique action upon the body determined by the source of the mud and it's contents (usually both mineral and plant materials).  Mud baths are a full-body immersion as opposed to a body or face mask such as a Fango.
Muscle Enery Technique (MET) - sometimes known as PNF stretching, utilizes neurophysiological muscle reflexes to improve functional mobility of the joints.MET use active muscle contractions followed by relaxation and subsequent passive stretching to increase range of motion (ROM) of the related joints.
Muscule Testing ( also known as Applied Kinesiology ) The theory of muscle testing is that our bodies intuitively (sub-conciously) know what is good or beneficial for us. To access this intuitive knowledge and by-pass the rational mind a practitioner will have a client hold, touch, or taste a 'remedy' while actively resisting pressure applied to an outstretched arm for instance.  After the practiotioner has given the instruction that a positive response will be evidenced by strength in the muscle while a negative will be evidenced by a weakness in the muscle, the muscle is 'tested'. Although, dramatic changes in the client's strength seem to accompany such muscle testing experiments, many believe that concious and subconcious 'cues' from the practitioner may influence accurate results.
Myofascial Release is used to  evaluate and treat restrictions in the body's contractile connective tissues (muscles) and non-contractile supportive connective tissues (fascia)  by the application of gentle traction, pressures and positioning. Fascia  is a complex supportive web throughout the body affecting all components of the musculoskeletal, nervous and visceral (organ) systems. It  surrounds groups of muscle fibers, and entire muscle groups and organs. While it  is not contractile, it can be passively elastically deformed. That is how it retains tensions from physical and emotional traumas.  It is also involved when a person suffers chronic pain or physical dysfunction.  Chronically tense muscles restrict blood flow and fatigue the body. Both fascia and muscle tissues can become shortened if they are  improperly used. As well, layers of fascia can stick together.
Myofascial release  techniques are used to coax muscles in spasm to relax, and break adhesions in the fascia. Bodies respond to these therapies by  releasing tension that has been stored in the fascia, thus allowing more functional  flexibility and mobility of the muscles, fascia and associated structures.
Myotherapy (See Trigger Point Myotherapy)
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Naprapathy as a system of deep connective tissue massage may share it's origins with Czechoslovkian Napravit, German Bindegewebsmassage, osteopathic and chiropractic systems of treatment. It is ometimes refered to a manual medicine.  Naprapathy uses soft tissue manipulation to release tension and balance energy flows in the body.  The practitioner uses palpation to explore the tissue, looking for rigid, contracted areas of the body.  He then begins repetitive, rhythmic, thrusts to gently stretch the contracted connective tissues.  Practitioners focus on the ligaments near the spinal column.  Diet, exercise, and postural adjustments help improve circulatory and nervous system function.  Naprapths are licensed in Illinois and New Mexico and registered in Ohio.  (See also  Connective Tissue Massage) 

In New Mexico, Naprapathic physicians are authorized to perform diagnostic procedures, which includes the authority to perform and take: medical case history; physical examination of all body systems including, but not limited to:
(a) skin, hair, nails, head, eyes, ears, nose
(b) cardio-vascular and respiratory system, including auscultation
(c) musculo-skeletal system
(d) neurological system
Naprapathic physicians are authorized to order any diagnostic procedure reasonably necessary to clinically correlate a physical examination to a diagnostic impression; which shall include, but not be limited to laboratory procedures involving the collection of human fluids, such as saliva, blood, urine, vaginal and seminal fluids, hair, feces and special imaging, such as x-ray; CT scan, MRI, nuclear scans, ultrasonography, thermography, B.E.A.M., EEG, EKG, ECG and surface or needle EMG.

Natural Healing is a very broad term that could include almost every system of healing defined on this page except Allopathic or Western Medicine and Physical Therapy.
Natural Hygiene - see Fasting/Natural Hygiene
Naturopathic Medicine is a primary health-care system emphasizing the curative power of nature, treats both acute and chronic illnesses in all age groups.  Naturopathic physicians work to restore and support the body's own healing abilities using a variety of modalities including nutrition, herbal medicine , homeopathic medicine, and oriental medicine.  Naturopathic  Doctors (ND) are licensed in some states where they must have completed a four year post bachelor's degree training.  NDs are not  licensed in New Mexico, which allows anyone to add ND to their title. Medical Doctors (MD), Doctors of Osteopathy (DO.), Doctors of Chiropractic (DC), or Doctors of Oriental Medicine (DOM) require no additional licensing in New Mexico to practice naturopathy.  Other 'holistic' practitioners such as massage therapists may have years of experience with little or no formal training.  They may offer you advice, but they are not doctors and cannot legally practice medicine without a license.  Before you take anyone's advice, ask about their experience and credentials!
Nerve Entrapment - a focal nerve lesion produced by constriction or mechanical distortion of the nerve, within a fibrous or fibro-osseous (boney) tunnel. A serious condition which left un-treated can lead to loss of ennervation to an area as well as nerve death. The 'trapped' nerve may be further damaged by stretching or bending. For example, the Sciatic nerve may be entrapped between spinal vertabrae as it exits the spinal column resulting in Sciatica. Often treated through surgical methods of bone, cartilage or tendon removal.
Nerve Impingement - pressure against a nerve by the skin, fascia, muscles, ligaments, or joints.  For example, the impingement of the sciatic nerve in the hip as it enters the sciatic notch by the Piriformis muscle can result in low back, hip, leg or foot pain, numbness or tingling - known as false sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome. Other common areas of impingement are the Thoracic Outlet and Axillary Plexus.  These conditions often respond well to massage techniques.
Network Chiropractic ( See Chiropractic, Network )
Network Spinal Analysis ( See Chiropractic, Network  )
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a set of techniques whose goal is to alter limiting patterns of thaough, behavior, and language.  In conversation, practitioners observe the client's language eye movements, posture, breathing, and gestures in order to detect and then help change unconcious patterns linked to the client's emotional state.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation that balances the body's central nerveous system with the musculoskelatal system. Based on neurological laws  that explain how the central nerveous system initiates and maintains pain, the goal is to relieve the pain and dysfunction by alleviating the underlying cause.  NMT emphasizes the role of the brain, spine, and  nerves in muscular pain. It uses advanced concepts in pressure therapy to break the stress-tension-pain cycle. It aims  to relax muscle and release compressed nerves so that circulation can increase and the body  will return to normal neuromuscular integrity and balance. The St. John's Method is a type of NMT.
Newborn Massage ( See Massage, Infant)
NLP ( See Neuro-Linguistic Programming )
NMT (see Neuromuscular Therapy )
Nuad Bo Rarn ( See Thai Medical Massage )
Nuad Thai - A form of Traditional Thai Medical Massage which was translated and creatively adapted to the needs of the modern west by Anthony B. James, Ph.D.)
Numerology - The study of the connection of numbers and their manifestation throughout all aspects of nature and the universe. Numerologists, typically use your  birth name and date to analyse this relationship.  Some Egyptian mysteries held that numbers hold the key to the universe. The idea is that numbers carry specific quality as well as quantity of information.  Pythagorean, Platonic, and Hermetic schools used numeric symbolism and interrelationships as a basis for teaching.
Nutrition - The science of balancing the intake of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Nutrition concerns everything that the body does with food  to sustain life and growth. What you eat affects your health and enjoyment in life. Healthy eating and a positive attitude can improve the body's use of food.  Western nutrition often views only the chemical  components of food and associated caloric content, whereas most alternative therapists place value on the energetic and spiritual aspects of food as they effect our health.


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