Resource guide

Acupressure

Acupressure is a form a Chinese massage that is often described as "acupuncture without the needles". Both practices involve working with the body's vital energy, or qi, in order to release blockages and stimulate the balanced energy flow necessary for good health. Acupressure involves applying firm finger pressure for several minutes to specifc spots, called acupoints, on the surface of the body. Acupressure is used to relieve stress, muscle tension and pain. It is thought to improve blood and energy flow, which promotes health and the elimination of wastes.

Regulation

Not currently regulated in BC

For Further Information

The British Columbia Acupressure Therapists Association (BCATA)
T (250) 704-2888
www.islandnet.com/~bcata

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that originated in China more than five thousand years ago. It is based on the idea that vital energy, or qi, must flow in the correct strength and quality throughout the body in order for health to be maintained. Illness and disease are related to blockages and stagnation of this energy.

An acupuncturist inserts special, very thin needles just under the skin at specific spots called acupoints. He or she manipulates these needles to stimulate this energy flow at specific acupoints in order to restore the proper balanced flow of energy. Often the patient does not even feel these needles and they do not draw blood.

Depending on the patient's symptoms and how they respond during the session, the needles may simply be left in place for a few minutes or more stimulation may be applied. This stimulation may include the application of gentle pressure, mild heat or a small amount of electricity to the needle.

Regulation

Acupuncture is regulated by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturist of British Columbia (CTCMA). CTCMA is a statutory corporation created by an act of the British Columbia government. It is operated at arms-length from the government and is an independent, non-profit organization accountable to the public through the Ministry Of Health.

For further information

College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA)
T (604) 738-7100
www.ctcma.bc.ca

Alexander Technique

A body technique developed by Frederick Alexander that focuses on proper posture, movement and breathing. It is an educational process in which students are taught to recognize and change habits that interfere with the body's functioning.

The teacher uses physical and verbal cues to help students consciously focus on their posture and relearn the natural alignments of the body's parts both when at rest and during movement. Students are taught to visualize and feel the correct postures and practice them in simple, efficient physical movements. Alexander technique is used to improve balance, posture and coordination and to relieve back pain, arthritis, rheumatism and gastrointestinal and breathing problems.

For further information

Canadian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (CANSTAT)
T 1-877-598-8879
http://www.canstat.ca

Apitherapy

Apitherapy is the medical use of bee products to promote health and healing. This can include the use of honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, beeswax and bee venom.

For further information
The American Apitherapy Society
T (937) 364-1108
http://www.apitherapy.org

Aromatherapy + Essential Oils

A therapy that involves the inhalation or topical application of aromatic plant oils to help heal and enhance well-being. It is thought that these scents influence the primitive part of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system associates odors with past experiences and feelings. Aromatherapy is used to affect moods and relieve stress, headache, digestive upsets and minor aches and pains. Some oils also have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and may be absorbed through the skin.

Most essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil (such as almond oil) before use - direct application of pure essential oils may cause serious adverse effects. Essential oils should not be taken internally unless advised by a trained health practitioner - many oils are very toxic when ingested.

For further information
The British Columbia Association of
Practicing Aromatherapists
T (250) 741-0007
http://www.bcapa.org

Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists
T 1-888-340-4445
http://www.cfacanada.com

Art Therapy

Art therapy uses art or creative self-expression for therapeutic purposes. It employs simple art materials, drawing and painting as a means to restore, maintain, or improve an individual's physical and mental health. Assessment and treatment is based upon established human developmental and psychological theories.

The practitioner looks at the images that the client creates, and at the client's responses to the created products. These results are then interpreted as reflections of the individual's development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns and conflicts. Art therapy is used to help resolve emotional conflicts, promote self-awareness, improve social skills, treat behavioral problems, solve problems, reduce stress and increase self-esteem.


For further information
BC Art Therapy Association
T (604) 878-6393
http://www.bcarttherapy.com

Ayurveda

A holistic healing system developed over the past 5,000 years in India, Ayurveda means "science of life." In Ayurvedic medicine, health is defined as harmony and balance between the body, mind, and spirit. Illness and disease are thought to occur when these factors are out of balance. The therapeutic modalities and specific treatments used in Ayurveda depend on the nature of the imbalance in the patient, and their "dosha," a classification based on a person's physical characteristics. Treatments may also vary according to the season. Ayurvedic therapies include herbal remedies, changes in the diet, massage, meditation, breathing exercises and/or yoga.

For further information
Ayurvedic Medical Association of North America
http://myayurveda.org

Birth Assistants/Doulas

Doula is a greek word referring to an experienced woman who helps other women. A Doula assists at labour and childbirth by acting as an advocate for the birthing woman when interacting with other health professionals on the birth team. She ensures that the mother and the family understand the benefits, risks, and alternatives for all tests and procedures. Their goal is to avoid unnecessary interventions, medication, or Caesarian birth.

For further information
Doula Services Association British Columbia
T (604) 515-5588
http://www.bcdoulas.org

Bodywork/body therapies

The term "body therapies" has traditionally been used to describe practices that involve physical treatments, or manipulations of the body, skeletal system, nerves or muscles. Body therapies are "hands-on" approaches - such as massage that are used to improve the
structure and functioning of the human body. Some people include indirect manipulations such as drugs and natural health products in a larger definition of body therapies. 

Chiropractic

The main focus of chiropractic is the relationship between the skeleton (particularly the spine) and the nervous system. Diagnosis is primarily based on physical examination and x-ray. Misalignments of the vertebrae caused by poor posture or trauma can lead to decreased function, pain and illness. The chiropractor uses his or her hands to manipulate the spine and bring it back into alignment. Chiropractic is commonly used to treat back pain, headaches, and injuries, and is also used as a preventive therapy.

Regulation
Upon successful graduating from a CCE accredited school, chiropractic students must write the Canadian Chiropractic Board Exam and a provincial licensing exam. Provincial licensing offices determine the standards of chiropractic health services and provide information to both the public and chiropractic doctors. They also monitor the licensing, conduct and competence of all licensed chiropractors practicing within the province. Chiropractors are regulated separately in all provinces and Yukon. Scope of practice also varies from province to province in terms of what conditions chiropractors may manage and what treatments they may use.

In British Columbia, the regulatory body is: BC College of Chiropractors

For further information:
BC College of Chiropractors and BC Chiropractic Association
T (604) 270-1332
www.bcchiro.com

Canadian Chiropractic Association
T (416) 781-5656, 1-800-668-2076
www.ccachiro.org

Colour Therapy

Color therapy, or color healing, is the use of various forms of color and light to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Highly specialized equipment is used to project different colors to rebalance the body and encourage healing. The color is beamed onto the parts of the body corresponding to the problem for a specific period of time.

For further information:
The Colour Therapy Professionals & Colour Information Resource
http://www.colourtherapyhealing.com/

Counselling

"Counselling" means assisting clients through the counselling relationship, using a combination of mental health and human development principles, methods and techniques to achieve mental, emotional, physical, social, moral, educational, spiritual and/or career development and adjustment through the lifespan.

For further information
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
T 1-877-765-5565
www.ccacc.ca

Craniosacral therapy

This is a body therapy for relieving pain and loss of function due to restrictions in the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system includes the brain, spinal cord, skull bones, sacrum (base of the spine) and the fluid and membranes around these structures. Practitioners use their hands to apply gentle pressure and make adjustments, primarily to the skull bones. The goal of the treatment is to restore the proper alignment and balance of the craniosacral system, and what is described as the rhythmic movement of the fluid that bathes the brain and spine (cerebrospinal fluid). Craniosacral therapy is used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, and many other conditions.

For further information

Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America
http://www.craniosacraltherapy.org

Energy Healing

Energy healing is a general term for modalities that are based on the idea that the human body consists of energy fields that can be stimulated through various techniques in order to promote wellness. The concept of energy fields as a vital life force can be traced back to the oldest medical systems and is known as Qi in China, ki in Japan, and prana in India. The underlying basis of all of these modalities is the idea of energy flow in the body. Practitioners of these modalities believe that keeping the body's energy in a balanced state is the key to maintaining health. In each of these modalities, the practitioner seeks to help the patient rebalance energy in the body, by stimulating, unblocking, or dispersing it. The result is a greater sense of energy and well being.

Feldenkreis Method

Feldenkrais is a bodywork therapy that was developed by physicist and engineer Moshe Feldenkrais. The Feldenkrais technique combines concepts from physics, judo and yoga to release tension and improve posture, flexibility and balance. Practitioners use verbal and hands-on techniques to direct clients through a series of movements. These movements are designed to treat physical problems and limitations, and help the client learn new patterns of movement. Feldenkrais is used for stroke, spinal disorders, arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems.

For further information
The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education
T 800-775-2118
http://www.feldenkrais.com

Feng Shui

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement. It involves balancing, healing and enhancing energies by integrating people, buildings, and landscape to achieve harmony with nature. The goal is to optimize the flow of Qi, or vital energy life force of the universe, to result in good health and relationships, prosperity, career growth, happiness, and more. Feng Shui practitioners use their intuition, diagnostic, and investigative communication skills to assist their clients in creating a healthy environment.

Guided imagery

Guided Imagery is a technique that uses the power of the mind to encourage relaxation and healing. The instructor guides the participants by asking them to imagine or visualize a vividly described scene or feeling. Guided imagery is used to reduce stress and pain, stimulate the immune system, and promote healing.

For further information
Academy for Guided Imagery
http://www.academyforguidedimagery.com

Healing Touch

Healing touch is an energy based therapeutic approach to health and healing. It uses touch to influence the energy system - specifically the energy field that surrounds the body and the energy centers which control the energy flow from the energy field to the physical body - thus affecting all physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and healing. The goal in healing touch is to restore harmony and balance in the energy system placing the client in a position to self heal.

For further information:
Healing Touch Canada
T (705) 652-0506
http://www.healingtouchcanada.net

Herbalism

Herbal medicine or the use of plants as therapeutic substances is believed to be the oldest form of medicine. Today, herbal medicine is still a very important part of many different health systems around the world. More than 75% of the world's population relies on herbal medicines as their primary form of health care. Every cultural group has its own beliefs and cultural traditions involving healing with herbs. For example, herbs are used as medicines in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Tibetan medicine and First Nations healing traditions. Each of these health systems is based on different theories or ideas about health and healing. The herbs that are used, and the way they are used may differ.

For further information:
Canadian Herbalist's Association of BC
www.chaof.bc.ca

Homeopathy

Homeopathy attempts to stimulate a person's natural healing processes with minute (or homeopathic) dilutions of specific remedies. Based on the patient's physical, mental and emotional state, a remedy is chosen to match the pattern of their symptoms or the "profile" of their illness. The remedies selected would cause the same symptoms if they were given in very large doses. Most homeopathic remedies are very diluted extracts of natural substances from plants, minerals, and animals.

Homeopathy is a healing system that was founded in the 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor and chemist. It is based on three principles: that like cures like (Law of Similars); the more diluted the remedy, the stronger, or more potent it is (Law of Infinitesimal Dose); and illness is individual and holistic.

For further information:
National United Professional Association of Trained Homeopaths (NUPATH)
T (519) 748-2224
http://www.nupath.org

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy, the use of water for healing purposes, has been used traditionally by cultures such as ancient Greece and Rome, China, and Japan. Hydrotherapy uses the buoyancy, warmth, and effects of the water's turbulence to tone up the body, stimulate digestion, the circulation and the immune system, and to bring relief from pain. Hydrotherapy is generally used in a clinical setting by naturopaths, physical therapists, massage therapists and others. This technique can include cold or hot baths and showers, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, hot and cold compresses, body wraps, wet sheet packs, salt or mud applications, colonic irrigation, leg, arm, back and neck douches, enemas and water-based exercise.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a means of providing additional oxygen to the tissues of the body. This increased oxygen delivery furthers the body's ability to kill germs and to increase healing. HBOT is a supplemental therapy to be used in addition to the current medical and surgical therapy being received.

HBOT typically is used to complement treatments of medical problems such as bone infections, complication of radiotherapy, certain chronic, non-healing wounds, as well as carbon monoxide poisoning. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy is administered in an air-filled chamber in which patients breathe 100 percent oxygen at greater than one atmosphere of pressure using a mask or hood. This increases the level of oxygen delivered to the tissues and augments wound healing and repair.

For further information:
American College of Hyperbaric Medicine
http://www.hyperbaricmedicine.org

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a mind-body therapy that taps into the mind's healing power on a subconscious level. The practitioner guides the patient through visualization, breathing and/or other relaxation exercises to  gradually put the patient into a light trance. While the patient is in this deeply relaxed state, the hypnotist provides the patient with suggestions or cues that will help them overcome habits, mental barriers and emotional traumas.

Hypnosis may also be used to help the patient become aware of gifts and abilities they may not have known about. Hypnosis is often used to help a person change their behaviour in areas such as quitting smoking, reducing drug and alcohol dependence and changing eating habits. Some people also find it helps treat stress, sleep disorders, anxiety, phobias, and depression. 

For further information:
Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BC Division)
T (604) 688-1714
http://www.hypnosis.bc.ca/

Iridology

In iridology, the practitioner makes a diagnosis based on the characteristics of the iris of the eye. More than 90 different areas of the iris have been "mapped" to corresponding parts and functions of the body. The iridologist analyzes the shape, color, and tissue quality of the iris, as well as the structural patterns and flecks of colour. Based on these features, the practitioner diagnoses physical problems such as nutritional deficiencies, stress-related disorders, hormonal imbalances and malfunctions of body systems or organs.

For further information:
The Iridologists' Association of Canada
T (416) 233-9837
http://www.professionaliridology.com/

Kinesiology

The scope of practice of a kinesiologist is broad and may included the following: assessment of human movement, performance and function; and prevention and management of disorders to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement, performance or function in the areas of sport recreation, work and exercise. They also provide consulting services, conduct research and develop policies related to rehabilitation, human motor performance, ergonomics and occupational health and safety.

Note:  applied kinesiology refers to a different modality (see next topic)

For further information:
BC Association of Kinesiologists
http://www.bcak.bc.ca

Kinesiology (applied or specialized)

Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system that evaluates structural, chemical and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing with other standard methods of diagnosis.

For further information:
International College of Applied Kinesiology
http://www.icak.com

Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatic drainage is a manual or physical therapy used to remove obstructions in lymph vessels, which play an important role in the immune system. 

For further information:
National Lymphedema Network
T 1-800-541-3259
http://www.lymphnet.org

Massage Therapy (Registered)

A general term for a number of techniques that involve manipulation of the muscles and connective tissues. Massage is used to relieve muscle tension and stress, improve flexibility and enhance the patient's sense of well-being. There are many different types of massage, with approaches that range from the very light touches used in lymphatic drainage massage to the deep tissue manipulation involved in Rolfing. Other massage techniques include Swedish massage, Ayurvedic massage, Thai massage and Shiatsu.
 
Official registration for massage therapists is required in only two provinces, B.C. and Ontario. In British Columbia, the practice of Massage Therapy is governed by the Health Professions Act as administered by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia. An applicant for registration as a Massage Therapist must show proof of graduation from a course in an approved school. In order to maintain status, practitioners must pay yearly dues, purchase professional liability insurance yearly and maintain continuing competency.

For further information:
Massage Therapists' Association of British Columbia
T (604) 873-4467 or 1-888-413-4467
www.massagetherapy.bc.ca

College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia
T (604) 736-3404
www.cmtbc.bc.ca

Medical Doctor

The Canadian Medical Association
www.cma.ca

The BC Medical Association
www.bcma.org

The Association of Complementary and Integrative Physicians of BC
www.acpbc.org

Medical Intuitives

A medical intuitive is a psychic or intuitive counsellor who specializes in perceiving information concerning the human body. A medical intuitive energetically reads the insides (organs, glands, blood, etc.) of the body. This work is done by intuitively scanning the body for areas or imbalance that may need alignment or treatment. Often times the medical intuitive will be able to explain the connection of the energy to an emotion or an event causing the illness.

Meditation

Meditation is a practice in which people try to still and empty their mind by focusing on breathing; visualizing a particular image; or chanting a word, phrase or prayer. This practice provides many people with a sense of inner calm, peacefulness and relaxation. There are many different types of meditation, as well as different reasons for using it. Some people use meditation simply as a relaxation technique to calm the mind and body, relieve stress and pain, and improve their sense of well-being. Meditation is also an important part of some personal development programs and some religious practices, where it is used to help achieve greater self-awareness, self-realization and spiritual communion.

Midwifery

A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to low-risk women throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth and provides care to both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth. Midwives work together in group practices. A woman receives care from a small number of midwives. During regularly scheduled visits to the midwifery practice, midwives provide clinical examinations, counselling and education. Women in midwifery care normally do not see a physician during their pregnancy, labour or the first six weeks after the birth unless complications arise. The College of Midwives of BC has detailed standards of practice and guidelines for physician consultation and transfer of care. Individuals who wish to practice midwifery in BC must be registered with the College.

Regulation:

College of Midwives of BC
www.cmbc.bc.ca

For further information:
The Midwives Association of BC
T (604) 736-5976
www.bcmidwives.com

Naturopathy

Naturopathic medicine is a comprehensive holistic health system that incorporates therapies from Traditional Chinese Medicine, ayurveda, homeo-pathy, western herbalism, as well as nutritional approaches, body therapies and other healing practices. Naturopathic medicine is based on five governing principles: the healing power of nature; treating the cause rather than the symptom; doing no harm; the physician as teacher; and prevention as the best cure. The practitioner considers the patient's physical symptoms, diet, lifestyle, work, and personal characteristics when determining a treatment regimen. The goal of naturopathic treatment is physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Education
Naturopathic doctors registered in licenced provinces and states must complete four years of professional training at a recognized college of naturopathic medicine. Pre-admission requirements include three years of pre-medical studies at a university. Training includes basic, medical, and clinical science; diagnostics; naturopathic principals and therapeutics; and extensive clinical experience under the supervision of licenced naturopathic doctors. Graduates receive the title "N.D." or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

Regulation
Naturopathic practice is regulated under provincial law in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. In provinces where naturopathic doctors are licensed, graduates must pass rigorous board examinations to be eligible to practice as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. In provinces without licensing, anyone can call themselves a naturopathic doctor.

In British Columbia, the regulatory body is the:
College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC
T (604) 688-8236
www.cnpbc.bc.ca

For further information
BC Naturopathic Association
T (604) 736-6646
www.bcna.ca  

Canadian Association of Naturopathic Physicians
T (416) 496-8633 / 1-800-551-4381
www.cand.ca

Ozone therapy

A form of treatment that uses oxygen in compound forms. It is believed to inhibit tumor growth, kill viruses, help the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells and interferons (a family of proteins that can both stimulate the immune system and exert antiviral action), and improve the efficiency of oxygen transer from the blood to body tissues.

Physiotherapy

The treatment of physical dysfunction or injury by the use of therapeutic exercise and the application of modalities (heat, ice, ultrasound, laser, electrical currents, traction, and exercise), intended to restore or facilitate normal function or development.Physiotherapy helps reach maximum strength and movement potential and provides preventive, diagnostic and rehabilitative services to help achieve optimal function after injury or disease.

Regulation
College of Physical Therapists of BC
www.cptbc.org

For further information
Physiotherapy Association of BC
T (604) 736-5130
www.bcphysio.org

Pilates

In the 1930’s, Joseph Pilates developed a series of exercises on the Mat and on various equipment which he invented to strengthen the center, lengthen the spine, increase body awareness, build muscle tone and gain flexibility. The Pilates technique develops strong abdominal & postural muscles to support the skeletal system and act as the "powerhouse" of the body.

For further information
www.pilatesassociationofcanada.ca

Psychology

The study of how we think, feel and behave from a scientific viewpoint and the application of this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour. Psychology enables a better understanding of such areas as learning, memory, social influence, dreams, and personality.

For further information
Canadian Psychological Association
www.cpa.ca

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapists work within a clearly contracted, principled relationship that enables individuals to obtain assistance in exploring and resolving issues of an interpersonal, intrapsychic or personal nature. Psychotherapy is concerned with the restructuring of the personality or self to address serious problems.

For further information
Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association
www.cgpa.ca

Qi Gong

Qi gong (pronounced “chi gong”) is the ancient practice of meditative exercise used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi gong combines slow, circular and symmetrical movements with meditation and breathing exercises. The practice of qi gong stimulates and balances the flow of qi, or vital energy. It is used to promote inner strength, calm the mind, reduce stress, and restore the body to its natural state of health.

For further information
Health Qigong Canada Association
www.healthqigongcanada.ca

Reflexology

Reflexology is a body therapy that involves the gentle application of pressure to key spots on the feet. Some therapists also work on the hands and ears. Practitioners use their fingers and thumbs to detect small deposits or lumps. They gently apply pressure to these points to release blockages and imbalances so that the flow of energy may be restored. Reflexology is based on the idea that there are reflex areas on the feet that correspond or map to every part of the body. Stimulating a specific area on the foot triggers a reflex reaction in the corresponding organ, gland or part of the body. Reflexology is used to release tension and stress, improve circulation, help cleanse toxins from the body, and to promote healing and general well-being. 

For further information
Reflexology Association of Canada 
www.reflexologycanada.ca

Reiki

The word Reiki means universal life energy. Reiki is an Oriental body-energy therapy in which practitioners act as conduits for this energy and use their hands to channel energy to the patient. Reiki is used to help the body heal, relieve emotional and mental distress, and improve spiritual focus and clarity. Stones such as crystals and quartz are sometimes placed on the body to help focus this energy.

For further information
Canadian Reiki Association
www.reiki.ca

Rolfing

Rolfing is a body therapy developed by Dr. Ida Rolf. It is based on the idea physical and emotional traumas are held or recorded by the body, causing misalignments that are made worse by gravity. Practitioners use their hands, knuckles and elbows to perform a deep tissue massage to loosen the connective tissues and muscles. On the physical level, the objective is to re-align the major segments of the body (head, shoulders, chest, pelvis and legs) in order to improve posture and freedom of movement. Correcting these body memories is also said to provide an emotional release of these stored traumas and restore the flow of vital energy.

For further information
The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
T 1-800-530-8875 / (303) 449-5903
www.rolf.org

Shamanism

Ancient ancestors from all over the world have discovered how to maximize human abilities of mind and spirit for healing and problem-solving. The system of methods they have developed is today known as "shamanism," a term that comes from a Siberian tribal word for its practitioners: "shaman" (pronounced SHAH-mahn). Shamans are a type of medicine man or woman especially distinguished by the use of journeys to hidden worlds otherwise mainly known through myth, dream, and near-death experiences. Most commonly they do this by entering an altered state of consciousness using monotonous percussion sound.

Often, one enters the shamanic path through crisis. Life-threatening illness, spontaneous visionary experiences and other traumas create a crack in the world that most call reality. This "crack" provides a passageway to the alternate realities that are the ground of shamanism. The life-crisis makes it essential for the individual to enter, and to find healing. The shamanic gifts that are developed become the source of healing for others.

Shiatsu

Also known as Japanese acupuressure or massage. A Japanese body-energy therapy involving pressure from the fingers, thumbs or palms at specific points on the body. (These are the same acupoints used in acupuncture and acupressure). Shiatsu is used to stimulate the proper flow of energy through the body in order to optimize health.

For further information

Shiatsu Therapy Association of British Columbia
T (604) 433-9495
www.shiatsutherapy.ca

Spiritual healing

Spiritual healing is a systematic, purposeful intervention by one or more persons aiming to help another living being (person, animal, plant or other living system) by means of focused intention, hand contact, or passes to improve their condition. Spiritual healing is brought about without the use of conventional energetic, mechanical, or chemical interventions.

Some healers attribute spiritual healing to God, Christ, other "higher powers," spirits, universal or cosmic forces or energies; biological healing energies or forces residing in the healer; psychokinesis (mind over matter); or self-healing powers or energies latent in the healee. Psychological interventions are inevitably part of healing, but spiritual healing adds many dimensions to interpersonal factors.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise system. It is commonly practiced in China to help people maintain their health and live longer. It is a gentle routine of meditative exercises that involve a set pattern of slow but purposeful circular movements. The movements are designed to contain and balance energy, rather than use it up. The practice of tai chi encourages the development of the mind and the body and their integration through movement. Tai chi is used to: reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve breathing, cardiovascular function and general health. It improves strength, balance and flexibility, and inspires a sense of inner peace and tranquility.


For further information
International Taoist Tai Chi Society
www.taoist.org

Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic touch is a body-energy therapy that was developed by Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N and Dora Kunz in the United States during the 1970's. It is now taught in many medical and nursing schools and is a fairly common practice in many hospitals. Therapeutic touch incorporates several techniques including visualization, aura reading and manipulation of the body's energy field.


In spite of its name, this therapy usually does not involve physical contact as the practitioner's hands are usually placed a few inches away from the body. The practitioner uses slow, rhythmic hand motions to first detect energy imbalances, then to release them and restore the flow of energy. Therapeutic touch is used to reduce pain and anxiety, and to promote healing.

For further information
BC Therapeutic Touch Network
www.bctherapeutictouch.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

The theories and diagnostic techniques of TCM are quite different from those of conventional medicine. The proper balance and flow of vital energy or qi is the main focus of this 5,000 year old healing system. Ideally, TCM is a preventive practice. The role of the practitioner is to help the patient maintain optimal health.

In TCM, diagnoses are based on the patient's pulse, an examination of the tongue, and other physical, mental and spiritual characteristics. The diagnoses are described in terms of disturbances, blockages, or imbalances in the energy flow and the organ systems that are affected. Several therapeutic modalities and healing practices are used to help restore and maintain the balanced flow of energy. In addition to the primary approaches of herbal medicine and acupuncture, practitioners may also use massage (tui na), changes in the diet, exercise, qi gong and meditation.

Regulation
College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA)
www.ctcma.bc.ca

For further information
British Columbia Qualified Acupuncturists and TCM Practitioners Association (QATCMA)
www.qatcma.org

Yoga

Yoga is an ancient system of meditative exercises developed over the past 2,000 years in India. Most people connect the word yoga with stretching postures and exercises. The practice of yoga also includes breathing techniques, visualization, diet and cleansing regimens. The practice of yoga increases flexibility, improves blood circulation and reduces stress.

There are many different types of yoga that vary slightly in their approach. Some people practice yoga simply as a form of physical exercise or as a relaxation technique. Others may practice it as a form of Indian medicine in which the flow of vital energy or prana is enhanced. Yoga is also practiced to increase self-awareness and achieve enlightenment.

For further information
Yoga BC
http://yogabc.org