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


Definitions of  Alternative
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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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Ohashiatsu a variation of Shiatsu developed by an American born Japanese practiotioner named Ohashi. Ohashiatsu is a system of physical techniques, exercise, and meditation used to relieve tension and fatigue and induce a state of harmony and peace.  The practitioner first assesses a person's state by feeling the hara (the area below the navel).  Then, using continuous and flowing movements, the practitioner presses and stretches the body's energy channels, working in unison with the person's breathing.

On-site massage (See Massage, On-site)

Oriental Medicine ( See Chinese Medicine )

Ortho-Bionomy Developed by Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls, a British osteopath, Ortho-Bionomy involves the use of non-invasive, gentle touch and passive positioning along with dialogue and instruction in common movements such as walking, sitting, standing, and reaching.  Practitioners may also sometimes work with the energy field surrounding the person.  The goal of the work is the student's enhanced well-being and empowerment--rather than physical healing.

Osteopathic Medicine.  Like Medical Doctors (Md.'s), osteopathic physicians provide comprehensive medical care, including preventative medications, diagnosis, surgery, prescription medications, and hospital referrals.  In diagnosis and treatment, they pay particular attention to the joints, bones, muscles, and nerves and are especially trained in osteopathic manipulative treatments  -- using their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness.  Doctors of Osteopathy (DO.) are licensed in New Mexico as well as several other states.

Out Call massage (See Massage, Out Call)

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Palm Reading ( See Palmistry )

Palmistry - The art of reading palms to gain insight into personality and past or future circumstances by the lines and markings found in the hand.

Parafango - a mixture of volcanic ash (fang) and parafin, is heated and molded to portions of the body which are sore, tight, or in need of increased circulation.  Clients are then wrapped in a sheet and blanket to rest and relax.  Parafango has the ability to retain heat for approximately 20 minutes at a consistent temperature, which allows the body to experience deep heat and relaxation.  This treatment may or may not be followed by a back and shoulder pressure point massage which leaves the body totally at ease.

Paranormal - Phenomena that cannot be easily measured or explained based on current scientific assumptions. Usually involve action between mind and matter or between one or more conscious beings.

Past Life Regressions - A hypnotherapy technique to help the clients recall events and memories of past existences, human or otherwise. Futrue 'regressions' are possible too.

Petrissage: Rythmic kneading, rolling, lifting, squeezing, andwringing of soft tissue.  One of four basic strokes in Swedish Massage.

Pfrimmer deep muscle therapy was developed by Theresa Pfrimmer. Once partially   paralyzed, she overcame her disability through deep muscle manipulation and spent the next 30 years developing this technique. Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy works across the muscles manipulating deep tissues,  stimulating  circulation and regenerating lymphatic flow, thus promoting detoxification and oxygenation of stagnant tissues.

Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapies.  Physical  Therapy (PT) is  concerned with health promotion, disability prevention, and promoting recovery from disabling conditions such as bone fractures, head injuries, strokes, or surgery.  Therapists use massage,  exercise, electrical  stimulation, ultrasound, and various other methods to help the patient regain functional movement.  Occupational therapists (OT) help similarly afflicted clients regain the skills needed  to resume an independent, productive life.

Pilates Method is a full-body exercise system that emphasizes body alignment and correct breathing system using the abdomen, lower back and buttocks as a power center.  Enables the rest of the body to move freely.  You experience a new awareness as your mind is directed through your body'smovement.  Developed by Joseph Pilates with over 500 specifically designed  exercises.  With the help of an instructor, clients perform strength, flexibility, and range-of-motion exercises on specially designed  equipment.  The Pilates Method may be performed by people of any age group or fitness level in order to improve their flexibility and range of motion.  People in physical therapy may use the method to aid in  their recovery.

PNF Stretching - ( See Muscle Enery Technique )

Polarity therapy is a holistic approach to natural health care. It asserts that energy fields exist everywhere in nature, and that the flow and balance of this energy  in  the human body is the underlying foundation of health. Stress, tension, pain, inflexible thinking, and environmental stimuli are among many factors that can contribute to the restriction of this energy flow in  the human  body. According to Polarity therapists, such energy blocks can be released by the use of four therapeutic methods: bodywork, diet, exercise and self-awareness. The founder of Polarity Therapy, Dr.  Randolph Stone DO, DC,  ND, emphasized the interdependence of body, emotions, mind and spirit. Polarity therapy includes gentle body manipulation and holding pressure points (poles) as well as counseling on  developing positive thoughts and  attitudes, understanding the principles of food combining and easy exercises to increase energy flow. Polarity is often used by care givers in conjunction with many other therapies.

Postpartum Massage (See Massage, Pregnancy)

Power Yoga is essentially yoga with brawn. It's the American interpretation of ashtanga yoga , a discipline that combines stretching, strength training, and meditative breathing. But power yoga takes ashtanga one step further. Many of the poses (also called postures or their Sanskrit name, asanas) resemble basic calisthenics -- push-ups and handstands, toe touches and side bends -- but the key to power yoga's sweat-producing, muscle-building power is the pace. Instead of pausing between poses as you would in traditional yoga, each move flows into the next, making it an intense aerobic workout.  See also Yoga.

Pregnancy Massage (See Massage, Pregnancy)

Prenatal Massage (See Massage, Pregnancy)

Psychic Healing is a general term which may include several modalities such as the 'laying on of hands'.  It is based on the intuitive or psychic powers of the practitioner to dicover the location or source of physical, emotional or spiritual disfunction in the client.  Furthermore it relies entirely on the energy or 'power' of the practitioner to create a healing in the client.  This differs from spiritual healing , which relies on the client's concious or unconcious use of higher (spiritual) forces often retrieved or channeled by a practitioner,  to enable their own healing.

Psychics - People sensitive to vibrations that are able to "pick up" and interpret them. They generally possess one or all of the following; clairvoiance ( 'seeing' ), clairaudience ( 'hearing' ) or clairsentience ( 'feeling' ).  They may also use divination 'tools' such as tarot decks, crystal balls, or I-Ching.  Based on this information they can tell you the current path you are on and how this is leading to your future. You can then determine if you want to change your path or continue based on your free  choice in life.

Psychometry - The science of measurement through divination using devices such as a the pendulum.  An interdisciplinary science concerned with the interactions of mind, body, matter, environment, energy and consciousness.

Psychiatrists - Medical Doctors, MDs, that can dispense medications and whose primary training is western medical ( see Allopathic medicine ). (Psychologists and Psychotherpist can not prescribe medication.)  They are physicians and, therefore, vary greatly in their therapy training.  Some are great with therapy and some mostly prescribe medication.

Psychologists - Require a doctorate degree and are primarily trained in psychotherapy.  Many if not most, have specialties like mind-body-spirit, ADHD, or survivors.  Training  is supervised and licensed.  Both Psychiatrists and Psychologists are possibly covered by insurance.

Psychotherapist - Promotes self-awareness of mental and emotional disorders through counseling and analysis.  May or may not be covered by insurance.  Usually has a master's degree of training, such as a social worker or a licensed professional counselor.  Quality of work depends more on the individual's  experience and training.

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Qi-Gong, (Chi-Kung) is an ancient Chinese exercise system that aims to stimulate and balance  the flow of Qi (chi), or vital energy, along the  acupuncture meridians, or vital energy pathways. A form of energy exercise, consisting principally of breathing exercises and patterns. Derived from the ancient Chinese healing art, it combines slow movements with regulated and directed deep breathing to facilitate the movement of Qi (chi) throughout the body to increase vitality. Qi gong is used to reduce stress, improve blood circulation, and enhance immune function, and treat a  variety of health issues.

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Rebirthing - A tool used with breath to restore vital life energy.  It is conscious breathing or energy breathing which transforms the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual bodies into a new form of understanding of the self.

Reflexology first known in the United States as Zone Therapy, is based on the belief  that there are reflex points on the feet (and hands) that correspond to parts of the body, e.g. internal organs and joints. Developed in the United States in the 1900s' reflexology has been known in China as a healing  therapy for many thousands of years.  Manipulating those parts of the feet (or hands) can have direct effects on corresponding parts of the body. Some proponents claim the ability to diagnose and treat illnesses of  these organs by appropriate reflexology treatment. Many certified reflexologists maintain that reflexology is not massage, but massage therapists familiar with reflexology frequently incorporate it into a treatment  session. (See also Ingham Method, and Foot Zone Therapy )

Reiki (pronounced "ray-kee" - also known as Usui Method) is reputed to be an ancient Tibetan healing system which was brought to light through the extensive studies and inspired vision of a Japanese Christian educator (monk) Dr. Mikao Usui in the late eighteen hundreds.  It was introduced to the west through Hawayo Takata, a Hawaiian born Japanese American woman who became the student of Dr. Chujiro Hayashi in the late 1930s. Reiki is a gentle hands-on healing technique to reduce stress, relieve pain, and facilitate healing. Practitioners hold that the vital 'life force' energy of the universe is channeled through the practitioner to energize the various body systems on levels that promote healing and wholeness.  Reiki a spiritual healing technique which does not involve manipulation of the the client's muscles or other soft tissue.  It may be performed on a fully clothed client or even directed over a distance. The ability to channel Reiki energy can only be passed to a student through a direct initiation (opening of the energy channels) by a Reiki master.

Relaxation Massage ( See Massage, Relaxation)

R.I.C.E. - an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is the standard protocol for traumatic injury to any part of the body to be performed by first responders until the injured person can be treated by a primary care provider. The combined effects of these actions are to reduce bleeding, pain, swelling and further injury.

Rolfing.  This technique uses deep manipulation of the fascia (connective tissue) to restore the body's natural alignment, which may have become rigid through injury,  emotional  trauma, and inefficient movement habits.  The process, developed by biochemist Ida P. Rolf in the 1940's, usually involves eight to ten initial sessions, each focusing on a different part of the  body.

Rosen Method Bodywork - At its heart, the Rosen Method is simplicity itself.  Using gentle, non-intrusive touch, it works with muscles that are held and brings about physical and emotional awareness through relaxation.  This technique utilizes both manipulation of the soft tissue and communication with the client to promote relaxation.  Developed by Marion Rosen.

Rubenfeld Synergy Method - Founded by Ilana Rubenfeld, this method integrates elements of the great body/mind teachers F. M. Alexander and Moshe Feldenkrais together with Gestalt Theory and the practice of Fritz and Laura Perls, and hypnotherapy of Milton Erickson.

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