A generic term encompassing any number of massage techniques that use manual pressure to stimulate energy points on the body. The massage or touch therapist applies light to medium pressure with fingers or to the same points used in acupuncture. Acupressure is a very useful technique with ailments such as arthritis, tension, stress, aches and pains or for general preventative health care.
(From Encyclopedia of Alternative Health by Kristin Gottschalk Olsen, 1989, Pocket Books.)
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pg. 124.
Alternative or Holistic Health is not just the absence of disease or the elimination of isolated symptoms, but a lifestyle and philosophy which fosters total wellness and sees each person as a WHOLE individual with his or her own menu of needs and requirements. The goal of holistic and natural healing techniques is to activate YOUR “doctor within.”
Alternative Health concentrates on the whole person, whereas present-day western medicine focuses more on specific illnesses and diseases. Getting to the root of a health problem is key to obtaining optimal health and this is why a whole-body approach is used. This approach encompasses the individual client’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 15-19.
This system uses muscle-testing procedures in conjunction with standard methods of diagnosis to gain information about a patient’s state of health. Practitioners analyze muscle function, posture, gait and other physical aspects of the patient and inquire about lifestyle factors that may be contributing to a health-related problem. Nutritional supplements, muscle and joint manipulation and lifestyle modification [including diet and exercise] may then be used as part of a treatment plan. Kinesiology is the study of muscles. Applied kinesiology uses muscle testing.
“Muscle testing is based on the recognized fact that there is some kind of biologic energy field involved in human health and disease. Many cultures for thousands of years have appreciated the existence of this ‘life force’ or energy that animates man.
Today’s terminology for this primary essence of life is often electromagnetism. It relates to China’s chi [pronounced chee], India’s prana, Egypt’s ka, modern Russia’s bioplasmic energy, and Star Wars’ ‘The Force’. Whatever label it is given, the reference is to the invisible-to-the-human-eye energy fields that surround the organic physical body.
A therapist can work with these energy fields for evaluation and regeneration purposes. When this energy is free flowing from point to point in the body, all bodily systems function as they were designed . . . to attract what is needed to be life supporting or to repel that which is not. If this energy is blocked or congested, the body experiences loss of power or becomes over-energized at one or more points, i.e., the body is thrown out of balance . . . and in come stress, pain and illness. This is your inner wisdom’s way of sounding an alarm that something is amiss.”
Quoted from Alternative Health Care by Helen Cox pp 29-30
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 34-38.
The use of essential oils [potent oils that have been distilled from plants and flowers] to treat disorders such as stress and anxiety as well as a wide range of other physical and emotional ailments. At Options, essential oils can be inhaled or rubbed on the skin during body-mind sessions. Options sells oils that can be either massaged into the skin once they have been diluted or added to bath water.
Dr. Edward Bach said “To bring oneself back into harmony, back into balance, requires the development of a positive loving nature.” Bach Flower remedies work to gently reestablish emotional and psychological equilibrium. Considered a major breakthrough, the Bach Flower remedies have been used for over half a century with great success by a broad spectrum of health care professionals worldwide. The remedies are made by immersing a flower into pure water and exposing the mixture to sunshine or heat. The flower is then strained out and the herbal water is preserved in a glass bottle with equal amounts of a preservative. Diluted quantities are given for the designated problem. The remedies have been remarkably effective in helping to overcome tension, loneliness, fear, insecurity, jealousy, shyness, poor self-image, and other emotional and psychological difficulties.
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 81-90.
The gland most active in the body [adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, or gonads] determines the metabolism, physical body shape, and emotional make-up.
This is helpful in determining which foods and exercises are best for the person.
Many alternative health practitioners add a color therapy in addition to other techniques to speed healing. With color therapy, the practitioner and the client discuss what the client is experiencing and explore how they can use color to help remedy their condition. For example, if a person is under a lot of stress and has a hard time relaxing at home, the practitioner would suggest removing bright, energizing colors from a particular room in the house where the client wants to relax.
Another example of adding color therapy to a healing regime is to connect a color to the particular body part or system that is affected. For instance, if a person has trouble breathing deeply and has a depressed thyroid gland, adding more orange to the house furnishings as well as to the wardrobe in addition to perhaps taking herbs or undergoing acupressure energy work sessions would be helpful.
Products for skin and hair as well as laundry products and household cleaners may contain substances that can cause health problems. It is best to use products that are friendly to a person and the environment.
Some people get permanent healing and others don’t. Steve Vasquez has studied this issue and listed the following 12 features of “exceptional” (those who get well) patients. They are:
- Family background taught responsibility
- Courage to face crisis instead of denying
- Ability to re-orient beliefs and attitudes
- Ability to respond to crisis in healthy way
- Take initiative in own recovery
- Have reason and motivation to live
- Transform expectations to physiological effects
- Surrender or have faith in higher being
- Sense of humor
- Ability to alter lifestyle
- Experience shift in interpersonal relationships
Exercise can control stress, improve moods and emotions, tone the body, and maintain bone health. Walking, weight lifting, and Yoga plus many others are all good forms of exercise.
Functional tests generally use saliva and stool samples to determine precisely how specific parts of the body are functioning. Frequently used tests are saliva samples to determine female, male, adrenal, and thyroid hormones and immune system. Digestive tests generally use saliva and stool samples to provide an in-depth examination of the functioning of the intestinal tract. Functional tests focus on identifying and treating the underlying cause of ill health and disease. Over time, metabolic changes occur, even in people without symptoms. Functional tests can show these changes up to 20 years before blood work diagnoses a disease. Nutrition, nutritional supplements, and healthy lifestyles [sleep patterns, exercise, and stress reduction] are needed to change the degenerative process to a regeneration process. Eventually, the person experiences relief from symptoms.
Hair analysis (Trace Mineral Analysis or TMA) is a test in which a small sample of hair is sent to a lab for evaluation of a person’s mineral content. This test can detect mineral imbalances and provide a person with information about the minerals that are lacking or excessive, including toxic minerals. Especially significant factors that hair analysis can determine are a person’s metabolism, needed vitamins and minerals for supplementation, and recommendations of what foods to eat and to avoid.
For relevant data that can be attained with hair analysis, check out: Trace Elements, Inc.
The hair is an excellent way to analyze mineral and element ratios because it is easily accessible and noninvasive, unlike blood or tissue samples. Hair discloses the body’s history of exposure to various environmental toxins, diet, and the body’s metabolism [slow/fast]. The hair provides a more reliable way to determine mineral levels because these levels are relatively stable, where as these levels in the blood can change too quickly for results to be a true representation of any mineral and/or nutritional imbalance. Usually, a hair mineral analysis will reveal imbalances before the blood or urine will. Therefore, a hair analysis can be used as an inexpensive screening tool to reveal mineral deficiencies or toxicities before illness or specific health problems arise.
Mineral imbalances are caused by a variety of factors, a few being; improper nutrition and diet; physical, mental, and/or emotional stress; pollution and environmental toxins; uninformed use of medications and/or nutritional supplements.
Mineral ratios are determined as opposed to other nutritional components because minerals act as enzyme activators which control normal cellular metabolic functions. Basic trace minerals are needed for the body to utilize the nutrition available from one’s diet. Minerals activate the enzymes that allow the body to use amino acids, vitamins, etc. which come from the food one eats. If these minerals are in a state of imbalance, then the body is unable to efficiently utilize the available nutrition.
This is an Energy Field Technique to accelerate wound healing, relieve pain, promote relaxation, prevent illness and ease the dying process. Helen uses light touch or works with her hands near the client’s body in an effort to restore balance to the client’s energy system.
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, page 103.
Many non-invasive, natural means can be used to assess your own health and those you love. Some of these include iridology, muscle testing, basic understanding of herbs, analyses of the tongue, pulse, and facial features. More information on these topics can be found in the Options library.
“Herbal medicine is central to healing in every traditional culture from India’s Ayurveda and China’s Traditional Chinese Medicine to Native American medicine and Anglo-American folk medicine. Herbs in all these cultural traditions are used to cleanse, heal, and nourish.
“Herbal medicines are said to work biochemically, triggering neurochemical responses in the body. Taken in moderate doses for long enough, these biochemical responses become automatic, even after one stops taking the herbs. Herbal formulas have three basic functions: elimination and detoxification; health management and maintenance; and health building.”
(The above quotes are from Encyclopedia of Alternative Health by Kristin Gottschalk Olsen, 1989, Pocket Books.)
Throughout all of history in all parts of the world, we find detailed descriptions of the usefulness of plants as medicines.
“Drugs do not repair tissue. Drugs treat and/or suppress symptoms. Doctors do not heal patients. Any health practitioner you can name does not heal the sufferer. The body heals itself. This is the mystery and wonder of all ages.
Herbs work naturally with the body’s own healing wisdom. They can be utilized to assist in the body’s various systems for reaping, regenerating and maintenance. There are over thirty references to herbs in the Bible. In every part of the world the good Lord has provided plant material that can be used for healing and regeneration assistance.
Herbs are used to cleanse the body, feed the glands, and to balance the body’s natural chemical components.”
According to the Encyclopedia of Alternative Health by Kristin Gottschalk Olsen, “[Originated] in Germany, homeopathy quickly became popular in nineteenth-century Europe and America and is used by the British royal family today. Homeopathic remedies are particularly effective for chronic problems (such as ulcers and high blood pressure), mild deficiencies (such as anemia), allergies (especially hay fever and food allergies), and prevention of problems such as miscarriages and bruising…”
(From Encyclopedia of Alternative Health by Kristin Gottschalk Olsen, 1989, Pocket Books.)
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 72-81.
Iridology – Constitutional
Reading the Body/Modality of Personal Health Evaluation
According to the Encyclopedia for Alternative Health Care by Kristin Gottschalk Olsen (1989), iridology is “traditionally believed to have originated in ancient Greece, [and is] the study of how the eye reveals health problems. Iridologists study the eyes for indications of nutritional deficiencies, nervous disorders, congested organs, and glandular problems…”
Iridology is based on the premise that every organ has a corresponding location within the iris of the eye that can serve as an indicator of the organ’s health or disease. One might say that the eye is a microcosm reflecting the macrocosm of an individual’s physical health. The iris is also likened to a road map — describing one’s past physical state, one’s current physical state, and the direction of health that one is heading healthwise.
“Our eyes are the link or bridge between our inner and outer worlds. You might say the eye is a microcosm [small part] reflecting the macrocosm [entire person.]. Quoted from Alternative Health Care page 39.
James T. Carter, O.D. defines this system of health analysis as follows:
“Iridolodgy…is the art and science practiced through the observation of the texture, pigmentation, and density of the iris whereby the physical conditions and activity of all special organs and/or systems of the body are directly and most profoundly observed. Structural defects, chemical imbalances, toxemia, inherent weaknesses and pre-disposition, tensions, endocrine disorders, et al., are observed through direct iris examination. The location, and often the etiology or cause, can likewise be determined.”
Whereas Iridology can tell you where you are health-wise, another interpretation of the iris is Rayid Iridology. Rayid Iridology is studying the iris from a psychological or emotional standpoint and informs you about your emotional health.
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 39-44.
Meditation teaches the body/mind to let go, to observe the self without interference from the busy, chattering conscious mind, to be receptive to inner wisdom and guidance.
Individualized Stress Reduction sessions can include movement re-education approaches such as Brain Gym® and Touch for Health that explore how the body systems (skeletal, muscular, nervous, etc.) contribute to movement and self-awareness. These approaches also emphasize movement patterns that develop during infancy and childhood. They can correct guided movement problems and facilitate the dialogue between the mind and the body.
Individualized Stress Reduction sessions can also include energy field work such as Healing Touch, Polarity, and Therapeutic Touch. The emphasis is looking for weaknesses in the energy field in and around the person’s body seeking to restore its proper circulation and balance. Energy channeled through the practitioner is directed to strengthen the body’s natural defenses and help the client’s physical, mental, and emotional states. Sessions may or may not involve the physical laying on of the hands. Sessions may combine particular colored lights, certain oils for aromatherapy, Bach flower remedies and music. These combine to bring about healing and relaxation. As the client’s mood improves, stress is released and the client leaves with a more positive attitude toward themselves and others.
“Positive emotions change your body’s biochemistry and can lead to physical healing as a byproduct,” says Bernie Siegel, MD. “Emotions can influence physical health. These techniques release stress, reprogram unconscious restrictive habits.”
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 93-146
Neuro-Linguistic Programming This is a set of techniques whose goal is to alter limiting patterns of thought, 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 unconscious patterns linked to the client’s emotional state.
Each person has unique nutritional needs. A hair analysis will help determine these nutritional needs and give you the proper ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that is best for your body. Eating correctly based on this information can increase energy and help you create optimum health.
“You are what you eat.” As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine, let thy medicine be thy food.”
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 46-58.
Assists the balance of the flow of energy in the body and is the underlying foundation of health. Practitioners use gentle touch and guidance in diet, exercise and self-awareness to help clients balance their energy flow, thus supporting a return to health.
Supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances. They may be purchased as a single ingredient or multiple ingredients. It is best to purchase standardized products to insure quality. It is also advisable to use a qualified practitioner as a guide to determine what supplements and quantity of supplements are the best for each person.
Co-developed by nursing professor Dolores Krieger and Droz Kunz, this therapy is practiced for pain relief and stress. An assessment is made where the person’s energy field is weak or congested and then hands are used to direct energy into the field to balance it.
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, pages 104-108.
Touch for Health is a body-work therapy developed by John F. Thie, a chiropractor. It can be used to promote physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual changes in how you feel and think. A Touch for Health balance involves acupressure points, muscle testing (a.k.a. – kinesiology), massaging the insertion and origination muscle points, and working with the meridians of the body. It is based on the belief that the body is a whole and each part affects all others. What you eat has an effect throughout the body. A sore back has an effect on your posture, how you digest your food, how you think, and what your mood will be. The muscles are used to determine where imbalance may be in the body. TFH locates the weak muscle and resets it so balance is restored.
Visualization and imagery feed a desired goal into the receptive state produced by meditation. A desired goal could be reduction of stress, physical healing such as cancer, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome and other disorders of the immune system, plus many more, change in attitudes or behavior. Visualization and imagery can be a self-help tool as a person learns to imagine positive images and desired outcomes to particular situations. Visualization and imagery with the help of someone else or a recorded tape or CD is called guided imagery.
For more information, refer to Alternative Health, page 158.
Tap water may contain many minerals and contaminants that can cause a wide array of health problems. Reverse Osmosis water is the best source of water.
Weight Loss can be achieved by knowing the person’s metabolism as shown on the hair analysis report, taking the supplements recommended — also on the hair analysis report — and following a nutritional program that utilizes body fat for fuel.