Glossary

Acquired: a condition or disease that arises after birth

Active reflex points: reflex points that are tender, indicating that its associated organ or structure is not functioning properly

Acu-points: in traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that there are points found all over the body and on channels called meridians (which connect corresponding body parts and organs). Stimulating these points is thought to have numerous health benefits to the whole body, as a treatment and as a preventative measure

Analgesic: pain-reducing effects

Assessment: a strategy of care (often involving an observation, physical, and questioning component) developed by a health care practitioner that takes into account the varying needs and goals of a patient and how those needs will be met

Autonomic nervous system: a component of the nervous system that regulates unconscious body functions, including digestion, heartbeat, respiratory rate, and pupil dilation

Ayurveda: a holistic system of medicine, dating back 5,000 years to Indian Vedic holistic medicine techniques

Bedouin culture: a culture from Arabian and Syrian deserts where the people have a nomadic lifestyle

Biomechanics: a division of physics that analyzes biological systems and structure through the study of mechanics

Buddhism: Buddhism dates back 2,500 years to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama — commonly referred to as "the Buddha". After living as an entitled Indian prince, at 29, Gautama decided to give away his worldly items and live a humble life. Gautama experienced a spiritual awakening at 35-years-old, underneath a Bodhi Tree. Gautama came up with Buddhist principles, which focus on achieving internal, sustained peace (Nirvana) through meditation and through following the "Middle Way" between abstaining from worldly desires and overindulgence in them

Chinese Medicine: a complex medical system that describes the physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment of the human body in intricate and mutually related, energetic terms

Chinese meridian theory: the belief that there are fundamental substances (Qi, blood, and other body fluids) that form a large web (containing pathways and trigger/meridian points) linking together several areas on our body

Chinese acupressure theory: in traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that there are points found all over the body and on channels called meridians (which connect corresponding body parts and organs). Stimulating these points is thought to have numerous health benefits to the whole body, as a treatment and as a preventative measure

Chiropractic: a holistic health care approach that prioritizes mechanical and muscular disorders, particularly those that involve the spine

Chronic: an incurable disease or condition

Circulatory: an organ system that involves the flow of blood and other important body substances such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, hormones, and electrolytes. The circulatory system helps the body combat disease and helps the body keep a standard body temperature and pH

Confucianism: a humanistic ideology developed by a Chinese philosopher, Confucius (551 to 479 BCE). Confucianism is centered on the fact that humans are naturally moral and can be instructed how to get rid of their imperfections through following certain tenants or rules. These tenants include morality and virtue, family, justice, propriety, and law

Congenital: a disease, condition, or abnormality that one is born with

Cranial osteopathy: practitioners use this method to "feel" fluid vibrations around the brain. It is connected with blood pressure within the brain and its changes

CranioSacral-based techniques: techniques that address the liquids and membranes that support the functionality of the brain and spinal cord

Discipline: a level of training that includes every competency component needed to safely and appropriately apply the treatment

Distal point: an acu-point that is located at a far distance from another acu-point on the body

Ebers Papyrus: a medical papyrus that recorded ancient herbal treatments and knowledge

Endocrine: a system of glands that controls and releases hormones that modulate tissue development, sleep, mood, reproduction, tissue and sexual function, rate of growth and development, and other such functions

Ergonomic modification: ergonomic modification is a scientific area that studies the connections between human beings and other body systems. It can assist with posture and mechanics and can help prevent stress to the body. Ergonomic modification techniques include anything from alternations to sitting and driving position, to posture, to the placement of one's desk, chair, or computer

Fascia/fascial: thickened states of tissues surrounding the muscles and organs

Fascial tissues: tissues surrounding the muscles and tissues of the skull, spinal column, and sacrum

Five Elements System: five elements, including fire, wood, earth, metal, and water, that are significant to the Chinese culture and Chinese medicine. The Chinese believe that is responsible for many natural relationships and events

Homeopathy: a type of holistic medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. Hahnemann believed that certain materials in a diluted form create symptoms of illness in healthy people. It can do the reverse for people in poor health

Human Potential Movement: a 1960s movement that rebelled against current cultural norms and supported the ideal that there is unlocked potential in all human beings

Humanistic psychology: this branch of psychology was created in contrast to the Freudian psychoanalytic theory and the Skinner theory of behaviourism,  which had known weaknesses. Humanistic psychology supports the theory that a person is able to bring their own creativity and talents to fruition.

Hydrotherapy: a water-based therapy where steam, ice, or hot or cold water is used to reduce stress, to increase comfort, and to improve overall health

Joint mobilization: a technique that uses non-resistant movement to stimulate certain skeletal joints, mainly focusing on the synovial joint to induce relaxation and pain relief

Kinesitherapy: movement work

Lymph: liquid surrounding the muscles and tissues of the skull, spinal column, and sacrum

Lymphedema: a treatable, but chronic, condition (either acquired or congenital) that arises as a result of a weakened lymphatic system where fluid abnormally collects in specific tissues and causes swelling

Lymphatic system: a part of the circulatory system, which is made up of vessels that carry a clear fluid towards the heart

Lymphatic fluid: liquid surrounding the muscles and tissues of the skull, spinal column, and sacrum

Meridian therapy: the belief that there are fundamental substances (Qi, blood, and other body fluids) that form a large web (containing pathways and trigger/meridian points) linking together several areas on our body

Muscle energy technique (MET): a type of manual technique where the practitioner focuses on the soft muscle motions (flexing, tightening etc.) of the client. Practitioners aim at restoring proper function and movement of the muscle while supporting client relaxation and comfort

Muscle testing: a type of diagnosis focused on the belief that muscles are linked to specific organs or glands. A weakness in some muscles could be significant of internal issues such as nutritional deficiencies, energy blockages, and organ function

Musculoskeletal: the muscle and skeletal system that is comprised of muscles, cartilage, joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and connective tissues

Myofascia/myofascial: the hard membranes that surround, support, and join the muscles

Myofascial hypertonus: usual levels of activity or tension in the fascial and musculoskeletal system

Myofascial Release: a treatment where practitioners release built-up tension within the myofascial tissues to help relieve muscle pain. This pain is unique from other pain symptoms because the pain stems from trigger points

Naturopathy: a holistic medicine that focuses on treating the body in a non-invasive manner and combines elements such as nutrition, homeopathy, and nutritional/lifestyle consultation

Neuro-motor reduction: the reduction of nerve impulses that corresponds with muscles

Neurovascular: the nerves and vascular system that includes arteries, veins, lymphatics, body nerves, and arteries

Neurovascular points: reflex points that help connect meridians and the nervous system

Neurolymphatic reflex points: reflex points associated with the musculoskeletal system

Osho Active Meditations: body awareness training meditations

Osteopathic cranial techniques: an alternative technique of softly manipulating muscle tissues surrounding the brain

Osteopathic techniques: soft manipulation techniques that focus on musculoskeletal health and function

Osteopath: a practitioner who studies how the body's muscular and skeletal system can be altered and manipulated to support better health

Osteopathy: the holistic study of how the body's muscular and skeletal system can be altered to support better health

Palpation: a strategy of touching used in a health/clinical environment where practitioners use their hands and fingers to assess, touch, and feel the body and different body parts and organs for size, location, tenderness, consistency, and texture

Plantar fasciitis: a condition involving the swelling of the plantar fascia, a tissue band that joins the heal bone to the toes and runs across the length of the foot

Postural Neuromuscular Integration: a type of massage treatment that can help improve muscle plasticity and function. It focuses on correcting posture and alignment issues to help address pain and help regulate constricted movement and breathing

Post-isometric relaxation: a technique that involves flexing the client's muscle out of its normal position, while the client's muscle contracts against the stretch. The practitioner then continues with more muscle stretching to encourage client relaxation

Poultices: typically made out of plant-based material, applied to different areas of the body to reduce swelling and pain, and kept in place with a cloth

Reichan Segmental Theory: a theory developed by Dr. Wilhelm Reich, Reichan Segmental Theory focuses on seven distinct parts of the body including the neck, eye, mouth, chest, diaphragm, abdomen, and pelvis area. In Reichan theory, a type of energy called Orgone energy circulates throughout the body. Orgone energy flow, according to Reichan theory, flows from the pelvic area towards the eye area. If there is a blockage in energy, it disrupts the flow to the other six body divisions and can cause visible body changes and problems

Raku kei: an ancient form of Tibetan Reiki, founded by the Lama culture, that fell into disuse. The Lama believed that Reku Kei was a type of energy that unites a person with the fifth dimension. It also ties back to the Five Element Theory, which originated in China

Rolf® Line: the Rolf® line is a part of the original Rolfing recipe. It is an invisible line that connects a person to their environment

Sacrum: a triangular bone that is located near the bottom of the spine

Somatic: body/systems

Specialization: an additional treatment that first requires the practitioners to be trained in an appropriate related discipline

Swedish massage: many Western massage specializations originate from the Swedish style. This style uses characteristic gliding motions, following the direction of blood flow towards the heart to induce relaxation

Taoism: an ancient Chinese philosophy based around the concept of the Tao (the path or the way). Some main principles of Taoism are wui-wei (non- action), being one with nature, and humanistic, fixed principles (such as size and death) are not true concepts, as everything is relative

TENS devices: a specific machine recognized by Health Canada that is used in clinics to augment massage therapy, physiotherapy, and chiropractic treatments through carefully modulated microcurrent stimulation of muscle and connective tissue

Three Brain Model: this model describes changes within the brain and how specific brain areas are related to specific tasks. This model doesn't focus on specific anatomical areas of the brain. Rather, it emphasizes the way in which the hemispheres of the brain interact and process information, how structural changes in the physical body change brain chemistry, and how the brain reacts to those alterations.

Transverse friction massage: a massage technique where the practitioner uses movements that go against the grain of the muscle

Trigger points: rigid, fixed spaces in the myofascia

Visceral system: the heart, liver, intestines, and other internal organs

Vedic philosophy: ancient Indian literature and beliefs based on the visions of healers and sages following long periods of meditation. They relate back to Hindu beliefs and Sanskrit culture

Discipline

A level of training that includes every competency component needed to safely and appropriately apply the treatment.

Specialization

An additional treatment that first requires the practitioners to be trained in an appropriate related discipline.