Types of therapy

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Developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago, this ancient healing art uses the fingers to gradually press key parts on the body, which stimulate self-healing. Similar in theory to acupuncture; but without the needles.

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into specific body points to improve health and well-being. It originated in China more than 2000 years ago.

A form of ‘proper body mechanics’ that emphasizes economy of motion in an effort to conserve physical energy, as well as to maintain balance and stability throughout the transitioning from one position to another.

The practice of using scents, most often derived from essential oils and/or combinations of these oils, to achieve medicinal or wellness health benefits. Frequently used as an accompaniment to massage therapy.

The use of art, the creative process, and client response to the products created for the treatment of, and rehabilitation for, psychiatric and psychological conditions.

An ancient process further developed and brought to the US in the 1990’s, Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is a type of massage therapy delivered via bare feet while the practitioner holds onto overhead bars. Designed for therapists who specialize in deep tissue Swedish techniques.

A commonly available “treat” form of treatment, often found in gyms, spas, and malls, as well as chiropractors’ offices’. The client remains fully clothed, the session is usually very much shorter than the standard hour-long table massage. Best for the treatment of of acute issues with easily accessible upper-body parts or general relaxation.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a currently popular form of psychotherapy that stresses the role of thoughts and the thinking process in our emotions and actions. People who seek CBT can expect their therapist to be less concerned with childhood history and more concerned with present day events and emotions. CBT therapists seek to improve the clients ability to think analytically about their problems.

Cranio Sacral Therapy is a type of bodywork where the practitioner uses his/her hands primarily on the head, neck and spine and manipulates the energy field around each, attempting to optimize all of the body functions through the proper setting of connective tissues in these areas.

Cupping is an old and controversial alternative therapy using glass or plastic cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum. It is believed to trigger the lymphatic system, thus clearing the skin. Sometimes used as a component of acupuncture.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a form of alternative psychotherapy that uses tapping on specific acupuncture points while a client focuses on a targeted traumatic memory. This is believed by some to manipulate an energy field that practitioners associate with the human body.

Feldenkrais is a type of therapy based on the everyday movement of the body. This therapy focuses on the relationship between movement and thought; and the need for increased mental awareness.

Gestalt Therapy is an existential/experiential form of psychotherapy that emphasizes personal responsibility and encompasses all aspects focused on by other therapies; such as: present moment emotions, client-therapist relationship, social and environmental factors, and previous experiential history.

In hot stone massage therapy, heated, smooth, flat stones are placed on key parts of the body. Sometimes the therapist will actually use the stones in the massage, and other times they are primarily there for the warmth (which promotes greater circulation). This modality has become increasingly popular in the past decade. Due to certain dangers with increased heat directly on the skin, it is not recommended for everyone, but is enjoyed by many -- especially during the winter months.

Hypnotherapists use deep relaxation exercises relaxation that bring about and a slightly altered state of consciousness, also known as trance. A person in such a deeply focused state is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but still maintains free will.

Originating in Hawaii, where it’s traditional practice is still thriving, Lomi Lomi is a multi-faceted therapy that may include prayer, meditation, diet and other lifestyle changes. In the mainstream spa setting, however, Lomi Lomi is often practiced as a massage technique only. Lomi Lomi means “the joyful sharing of life energy in the present."

(MLD) is a very gentle type of massage used to drain excess fluid from the body and improve the overall function of the immune system. Most often used to treat Lymphedema; a blockage of lymph nodes in the arms and legs.

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. It strengthens the blood, stimulates the flow of qi, and maintains general health.

The use of music to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational problems.

Myofascial Release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat impaired or altered function of bodily structures and the accompanying pain and/or restriction of motion.

The therapeutic use of self-care, work, and play activities to increase function, enhance development, and encourage clients in performing useful daily activities. OT primarily helps clients with serious mental/emotional, physical, or developmental issues meet everyday challenges.

The health profession centered on the promotion of health, the prevention of disability, and the evaluation and rehabilitation of patients disabled by pain, disease, or injury with treatment by therapeutic physical means (such as exercises and/or hands-on manipulation), as opposed to medical or surgical measures.

Play therapy is a technique whereby the client’s (usually a child) natural means of expression, namely play, is used as a therapeutic method to assist him/her in coping with emotional stress or trauma.

Part of the larger field of Energy Therapy; Polarity is a natural health care system based on the universal principles of energy: attraction, repulsion, and neutrality.

Sometimes also called Freudian psychotherapy, psychoanalysis is based on the observation that individuals are often unaware of the factors that determine their emotions and behavior. Often a complicated and somewhat lengthy undertaking, the therapist will attempt to get the client to become “self-aware” through frequent talk sessions.

Psychodrama is a method of psychotherapy in which clients are encouraged to continue and complete their actions through dramatization, role-playing, and dramatic self-presentation. Both verbal and non-verbal communications are utilized.

Reflexology, or zone therapy is an alternative medicine involving the application of pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion.

Rolfing Structural Integration is a form of deep tissue bodywork that aims to reorganize the connective tissues. Rolfing works to release, re-align, and balance the whole body.

A Japanese form of therapy, Shiatsu is a type of finger pressure massage; akin to acupuncture/acupressure. The ultimate goal is to improve the the flow of qi (life energy).

Refers for the general state of the body. Somatic health practitioners use body movement awareness to achieve and maintain optimal health through integrated work with the mind, body, and spirit as one unit.

A treatment program designed to help patients regain and increase their ability to communicate through speech. Speech therapy includes training and repetitive exercises, as well as the use of assistive devices for some individuals, for easier to communication.

The Swedish style of massage is the most commonly offered and best-known massage form. Therapists apply a small amount oil or cream to your skin to make the various movements easier to perform and more comfortable for the clients. Movements includes “efflleurage” (smooth, gliding stroke) and kneading, friction, stretching and occasionally - tapping. During treatment the client removes all or most articles of clothing and lies beneath a sheet and warm blankets.

A combination of Yoga stretches, stimulation of the meridians using Acupressure points, muscle massage and Joint manipulation/stimulation.

Trager, helps release deep-seated physical and mental patterns and facilitates deep relaxation, increased physical mobility, and mental clarity by using gentle, non-intrusive, natural rocking movement. Client wears loose clothing for the treatment.

A deep tissue massage technique for the release of tiny contraction knots that develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked.

A hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist and martial arts principles to bring the body into balance.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning union or joining. In reality it's a very general term that encompasses many different disciplines, from the purely physical to the purely spiritual - and everything in between. Most common manifestation include group classes of stretching and meditation.