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The Glossary of Terms is a reference tool designed to help you better understand the resources available to you through this website and our listed practitioners . We welcome your input Please let us know if there is a term you would like included or if you have a different definition that you prefer. Please consult your library, bookstore and individual professionals for more complete information.

GlossaryOfTerms Credentials

Click a letter below for a quick link to the terms or scroll down.



ACUPRESSURE - an ancient healing art in which finger pressure is applied to specific sensitive points along energy pathways of the body called meridians.

ACUPUNCTURE - an ancient Chinese therapy based on the principle that healing can be best facilitated by maintaining an unobstructed flow of vital life energy, called Chi or Ki, in the body. For each organ there is a corresponding pathway or energy meridian which can be mapped out on the body. Small needles are inserted into the body at specific points to treat various conditions by manipulating the energy which flows through the body along these meridians.

A.D.D. - Attention Deficit Disorder

A.D.H.D. - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE - a therapy of massage and manipulation combined with verbal instruction. This physical re-education can be used to improve posture and movement to help alleviate muscular-skeletal tensions.

ALLERGY - an abnormal response of tbhe body to specific foreign substances.

ALLOPATHY - a system of medical practice that combats disease using treatments that produce effects different from those produced by the disease treated.

ALPHA WAVE -a rhythmical electrical impulse of the brain, occurring during wakefulness and relaxation.

ANALGESIC - pain-relieving medicine.

APPLIED KINESIOLOGY - involves using a series of muscle testing exercises to evaluate the body's physical state.

AROMATHERAPY - the use of essential oils in treatment or therapies that produce a wide range of therapeutic responses.

ART THERAPY - the use of art as a means of expression where the interpretation of the inner meaning is used for therapy.

ASTROLOGY - an ancient system of divination using the positions of the planets, moon, and stars. According to astrology the celestial bodies exert specific energies that influence people and events. These influences may be determined by mapping positions in the sky at various times.

AURA - an envelope of vital energy which radiates from everything in nature: minerals, plants, animals and humans. The aura is not visible to normal vision, but may be seen by using clairvoyance and specialized photographic equipment. The aura is often described as a multi coloured mist that has an assortment of boundaries and properties.

AUTOGENIC TRAINING - a six step system of self directed attention-focusing exercises designed to generate a state of mind and body relaxation; a type of self hypnosis.

AYURVEDA OR AYURVEDIC MEDICINE - an ancient traditional medicine from India incorporating medicinal, psychological, cultural, religious and philosophical concepts. A main purpose is to allow an individual to understand their constitutional makeup and choose the diet and living conditions best suited to their needs.

BACH FLOWER REMEDIES - 38 flower based formulas developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930's which treat specific emotional imbalances.

BIOENERGETICS - exercises designed to release chronic muscle tensions and the emotions associated with them.

BIOFEEDBACK - a technique of self-help that uses feedback from specially designed equipment to monitor bodily processes such as brain waves and blood pressure in order to facilitate their control.

BIRTH DOULA - A woman trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a woman during labour and the immediate postpartum period.

BODY PROCESS WORK - Psychotherapy that focuses on the body and body awareness to explore the self.

BREATHWORK -Uses directed and spontaneous breathing to explore the self psychologically and physically.

CHAKRA - Chakra is the Sanskrit word for 'wheel'. Chakras are energy centres or vortices which constantly rotate, receiving and sending energy from a variety of specific locations in the body. Various disciplines report between five to ten chakra centres in the body.

CHANNELLING - a modern term to describe philosophical or spiritual counsel through mediums, clairvoyants or clairaudients.

CHI - the body's vital life force according to traditional preparation created by immersing a flower into water and Oriental medicine (Electromagnetic energy).

CHIROPRACTIC - the physical manipulation of the skeletal- muscular system of the body. The adjustment of the spinal column rehabilitates normal nervous system functioning and promotes the body's natural healing capability.

CLAIRVOYANCE - the perception of objects, events or people that may not be discerned through the normal senses. Clairvoyance, or "clear seeing" is a common psychic experience. This seeing may manifest in internal or external visions, or a sensing of images.

COLONICS – the irrigation of the large intestine with water under gentle pressure to wash out or detoxify it of stagnant material. Also known as Colon Irrigation and Colon Lavage.

COLOUR THERAPY - the use of colours to stimulate or relax the nervous system to affect the body's temperature, perception of time, concentration, memory and sense of well-being.

COUNSELLING - for helping the client resolve conscious conflicts with the focus on setting goals and problem solving. A wide variety of techniques may be used including verbal communication. Counsellors assist the client to focus on constructive behaviours which will help the client reach specific goals. A counsellor's training background may be from a variety of fields, including education, health care, and psychology.

CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY - the light manipulation of the bones of the skull, the therapy-membranes below the skull and the cerebrospinal fluid that cushions and bathes the brain and spinal cord from cranium to sacrum.

CREATIVE EXPRESSIVE THERAPY - using one or more creative expressions such as art, music, movement, drama, writing, play, etc. in psychotherapy or counselling.

DREAM THERAPY - the use of dreams to facilitate self-exploration using analytic processes to integrate the images and messages from our own subconscious.

EAR CANDLING - a home remedy healing technique whereby an ear candle is inserted into the outer ear canal and lit to create a warm vacuum effect which draws out excess earwax and other debris. Removal of this unneeded accumulation can result in improved hearing capability, relief of sinus irritations, buzzing and other noises, relief of dizziness and itching; and regulation of pressure in cases of sinusitis, headaches, and migraines.

FLOWER ESSENCE – a general term for a liquid preparation created by immersing a flower into water and exposing the preparation to sunlight or heat.

GATE THEORY - a theory endorsed by both Western and Chinese medicine that proposes that there are different neuropathway gates to the brain along the spinal cord which prevent passage of pain signals.

GESTALT THERAPY - a humanistic approach to therapy in which clients attempt to pull together all aspects of personality into a unified whole.

HEALING CRISIS - the development of various symptoms as a response to treatment; it is an indication of the body's attempt to dispel the disease.

HOMEOPATHY - a natural healing system based on the principle of similars or 'like cures like'. The law of similars states that a remedy can cure a disease if it produces symptoms similar to those of the disease in a healthy person.

HOMEOSTASIS - the natural ability of the body to maintain health and internal balance.

HOSPICE - a service allowing terminally ill people the ability to die with peace and dignity.

HYDROTHERAPY - treatment of a disorder using water (ex. steam, hot baths or compresses).

HYPNOSIS - an altered state of consciousness induced by another person, in which one can access creativity, retrace certain inhibitions, reprogramme patterns and work with pain relief.

IRIDOLOGY - the art and science of analyzing the colour and structure of the iris of the eye to gain valuable health information regarding conditions of various organs and systems of the body.

KIRLIAN PHOTOGRAPHY - a technique of high-frequency photography that displays the patterns and colours of the body's energy or auric field.

MACROBIOTICS - a philosophy and way of eating based in the Eastern tradition of balancing the two forces of the Universe: yin and yang. It emphasizes simple, whole foods to promote a balanced condition in the body.

MASSAGE - the systematic, therapeutic use of touch to either invigorate or relax the muscles of the body to promote healing, relaxation and relieve stress.

MEDICAL HERBALISM - the practice of applying and administering specific herbs to treat medical problems.

MEDITATION – any of various disciplines of mind and body that enable one to achieve higher states of consciousness; it is a tool for self-improvement, creative renewal and spiritual growth.

MEDIUM - an individual with an ability in some special manner to form a link between the living and the spirit world.

MERIDIANS - according to Eastern medicine, the 14 pathways in the body through which energy flows. Each meridian passes through many paths of the body. Each organ/system has a meridian "assigned to it".

METAPHYSICS - a science dealing with mechanical or psychological phenomena due to unknown forces or powers in human intelligence.

MIDWIFE - a person specially trained in facilitating the childbirth process. This includes education, pre and post natal support.

MOXIBUSTION - involves the burning of a "moxa" herb on or near the acupressure points of the body to stimulate the flow of Chi.

MUSIC THERAPY - the process of listening to music in a relaxed state to allow deep feelings and images to arise.

NATUROPATHY - a health care system that acknowledges, identifies and treats the causes of a disease instead of the symptoms. The whole person is treated through a variety of tools such as nutrition, herbs, homeopathic medicines, acupuncture, body manipulation, and counselling.

N.L.P. - Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a therapeutic process which enables you to break old patterns and generate unlimited potential using posture, breathing, specific exercises, awareness and communication skills.

ONE BRAIN - a system of specialized kinesiology for the integration of body, mind, and spirit. Whole brain integration techniques and precision muscle testing are used to gently identify and release unresolved emotional stress and negative beliefs. Through bypassing Left Brain "control" and activating Right Brain "awareness", the client discovers choice where no choice seemed to exist before.

ORGANIC - with reference to nutrition, food that is free from chemicals, hormones, fertilizers or additives.

OSTEOPATH - a specialist that manually treats clients through facilitating cranial rhythms, improving lymphatic drainage and applying a variety of techniques to improve range of motion of the muscle, ligament, skeletal, and fascia systems.

PAST LIFE REGRESSION - a general term for the ability of the unconscious mind to retrieve historical memories from childhood or previous lives, usually through hypnotic regression or altered state consciousness. Past Life Therapy searches emotionally or physically traumatic life memories for therapeutic purposes.

POLARITY THERAPY - the balancing of the body's electromagnetic energy by placing hands on the body's energy centres and poles to redirect the flow.

PSYCHIATRIST - a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists and other physicians are the only professionals licensed to prescribe medical drugs for treatment of these disorders.

PSYCHO DRAMA - a method of therapy in which one acts out a scene in order to bring out its emotional significance.

PSYCHOLOGIST - a non-medical specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional problems. Their role involves testing, counselling and/or psychotherapy, without the use of drugs.

PSYCHOLOGY - The science of human behaviour, derived from the Greek word 'psyche' meaning breath, spirit, or soul.

PSYCHOTHERAPY - psychological treatment through verbal interaction between therapist and client. Psychotherapy is the nurturing of the spirit or soul.

QI GONG OR CHI GUNG - a form of martial art or physical meditation practice in which a state of intense physical concentration is part of the physical training.

REBIRTHING - a type of healing breathwork therapy which releases pains, anxiety and tension in the body which may be held in place as a result of certain difficult experiences from the past, including birth.

REFLEXOLOGY - ancient therapy of finger and thumb pressure applied to the feet, hands or ear surfaces which correspond to various organs and systems of the body. The pressure stimulates the flow of the universal life force.

REIKI - an energy healing system which channels universal life energy into the body by a gentle placing of the hands in specific positions on the body.

RELAXATION - a state of deep rest in which the metabolism of the body slows; less oxygen is needed, the heart and respiration rates drop, blood pressure drops, and brain waves slow to an alpha state.

ROLFING - a deep massage of connective tis sue which frees the mind and emotions as well as the body from their conditioning.

RUBENFELD SYNERGY METHOD - a holistic system which integrates body, mind, emotions and spirit. D eep feelings and memories may be unblocked from the body using this technique.

SHIATSU - a stylized Japanese method for manipulating energy points over the entire body by using fingers, hands, elbows, knees or feet.

SPECIALIZED KINESIOLOGY - the study of how muscles act and co-ordinate to move the body. In the area of natural health, this term describes the many systems which grew out of Applied Kinesiology. In these systems, muscles act as a form of biofeedback, becoming a very effective tool for locating and correcting imbalances in the body which may be related to stress, nutrition, learning problems, injuries, etc.

STRESS - emotional and physical reactions to stressful stimuli or events in the environment.

STRESS MANAGEMENT - the process of identifying stress factors and learning coping skills to deal with them.

TAI CHI - the most widely known form of Chinese exercise. A soft martial art or physical meditation art which uses posture, slow movement and breathing to harmonize and energize.

THERAPEUTIC TOUCH - a healing technique based on assessing and balancing the bioenergetic field around the body using the hands.

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE - ancient oriental medical system developed in China From this philosophy of nature evolved a complete system of examination and diagnosis of health an( disease. Treatment can include the use of acupuncture, herbs, food therapy, exercise and massage.

TRAGER - a non-invasive method of body-mind movements to break and release deep seated physical and mental problems that restrict the range of motion of muscles.

VEGETARIAN - a person who excludes meat and fist from their diet. Vegans also exclude all other animal products, such as milk and eggs.

YIN-YANG - a Chinese concept of opposing force within the total flow of life energy.

YOGA - a spiritual practice which includes posture breath control and meditation. The word is derived from the Sanskrit meaning to bind, join, yoke, direct, to use and apply. The practitioner experiences inner union.


A.M.F.T. - American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
B.A. - Bachelor of Arts 
B.A.Sc. - Bachelor of Applied Science 
B.Ed. - Bachelor of Education 
B.H.Sc. - Bachelor of Health Science 
B.OT. - Bachelor of Occupational Therapy 
B.P.E. - Bachelor of Physical Education 
B.Sc. - Bachelor of Science 
B.Sc.(Hon) - Bachelor of Science (Honours) 
B.Sc.(Kin) - Bachelor of Science - Kinesiology 
B.Sc.N. - Bachelor of Science in Nursing 
C.A.T.(c) - Canadian Athletic Therapist - Certified 
C.C.Ir. - Certified Clinical Iridologist 
C.D.(DONA) - Certified Doula (Doulas of North America)
C.E.U. - Continuing Education Unit
C.F.A. - Certified Fitness Appraiser 
C.I. - Certified Iridologist 
C.M.D. - Chinese Medical Doctor 
CPSIBF - Certified Psycho Spiritual Integrative Breathwork Facilitator 
C.R. - Certified Reflexologist 
C.Reiki - Certified Reiki Practitioner 
C.S.P.A. - Canadian Society of Professional Aromatherapists 
C.S.T. - Certified Shiatsu Therapist 
C.Y.T. - Certified Yoga Teacher 
D.C. - Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine 
D.Ch. - Doctor of Chiropodistic Medicine 
Dr.Ac. - Doctor of Acupuncture 
E.C.E. - Early Childhood Education Diploma 
G.A.C. - Guelph Astrology Club 
H.K. - Human Kinetics 
L.S.W. - Licensed Social Worker 
M.A. - Master of Arts 
M.A.Sc. - Master of Applied Science 
M.A. Soc.Sci. - Master of Arts - Social Science 
M.B.A. - Master of Business Administration
M.D. - Medical Doctor 
M.Div. - Master of Divinity 
M.ED. - Master of Education 
M.H. - Master Herbalist 
M.Ir.A.C. - Member of Iridology Assoc. of Canada
M.L.S. - Master of Library Science 
M.Sc. - Master of Science 
M.S.W. - Master of Social Work 
M.Th. - Master of Theology 
M.T.S.(A.B.D.) - Master in Theological Studies (all but Dissertation) 
N.D. - Doctor of Naturopathy 
P.Ag. - Professional Agrologist 
Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy 
O.A.M.F.T. - Ontario Association of Marriage and Family Therapy 
O.T. - Occupational Therapist
O.T. (c) - Occupational Therapist - Member of Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists 
R.A.C. - Reflexology Association of Canada
R.D. - Registered Dietitian 
R.M.T. - Registered Massage Therapist 
R.N. - Registered Nurse 
R.N.A. - Registered Nursing Assistant 
R.N.C. - Registered Nutritional Consultant 
R.P.N. - Registered Practical Nurse 
S.R.T. - Spiritual Response Therapy
S.T. - Shiatsu Therapist 
T.T.P. - Therapeutic Touch Practitioner


"Changing worlds ... with inner trust."