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Medical Terms/Glossary


[A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z]

A
Acupuncture - Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique involving the use of needles to manipulate a person's chi for the purpose of reestablishing balance between the opposing force of Yin and Yang in them. Evidence of the use of acupuncture goes back at least 4,000 years in China, although the oldest surviving texts date only to round the 2nd century BCE.  Acupuncture is a method of producing analgesia or altering the function of a system of the body by inserting fine needles into the skin at specific sites on the body along a series of lines, or channels, called meridians.  The needles are sometimes twirled or energized electrically or warmed.

Applied Kinesiology - Kinesiology is the study of movement. It is an important tool of diagnosis for appraising the functional health status of a patient, for example, the body is able to freely indicate a forensic area of low or ill function and similarly excesses an abnormal organ behavior.

B
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Bodywork - includes various types of massage, therapeutic touch, reflexology, and exercise plans such as Tai-Chi and Qi Gong

C
Chi/QI - In Chinese philosophy, chi represents the principle of life. Living things have chi, non-living things do not have it - whatever it is that confers life on organic matter, that is chi. Thus, belief in chi is a form of vitalism, a traditional belief system which postulates some essential difference between the organic and inorganic.
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D
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Detoxification - the process of promoting various forms of elimination to rid the body of unwanted substances

E
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Elimination Diet - useful to identify food allergies, this diet involves removing all suspected foods from the diet for 2-4 weeks, then adding back one at a time and looking for symptoms of illness

F
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G
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Guided Imagery - a form of relaxation that relies on use of thoughts of all 5 senses to relax the brain and body

H
Homeopathy - A system of therapeutics based on the theory that �like cures like.�  The theory was advanced in the late eighteenth century by Dr. Samual Hahnemann, who believed that a large amount of a particular drug may cause symptoms of a disease and moderate dosage may reduce those symptoms; thus some disease symptoms could be treated by very small doses of medication.  In practice, Homeopathists dilute drugs with milk sugar in ratios of 1 to 10 to achieve the smallest dose of a drug that seems necessary to control the symptoms in the patient and prescribe only one medication at a time. 
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I
Integration - The act or process of unifying or bringing together; (in psychology) the organization of all elements of the personality into a coordinated, functional whole that is in harmony with the environment.  It involves the assimilation of insights and coordination of new and old data, experiences, and emotional reactions so that an effective change can occur in behavior, thinking or feeling.
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J
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Journaling - is the process of writing down those thoughts and memories that were stressful or traumatic. This allows us to deal with these items in a more constructive way

K
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L
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M
Massage - The word �massage� can be defined in its simplest terms as rubbing or kneading the body for stimulation or relaxation. But this hands-on ancient therapy has broadened to include more than 100 different methods. Most fall into five basic categories: traditional; European; contemporary Western; structural/functional/movement integration; and Oriental or energetic. Whatever its name, the primary goal of all massage is the same � encouraging relaxation, healing and well being through touch. Massage is not only a preventative bodywork, it is also useful in the treatment of anxiety, back pain, cancer, circulation problems, colic, depression, headaches, heart disorders, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, insomnia, sinusitis and tension.
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N
Nurse Practitioner (NP) - A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed a master�s degree in advanced practice nursing. Nurse practitioners work as independent practitioners emphasizing health promotion, disease prevention, management of chronic health conditions, and treatment of acute minor illnesses. NPs may work under a specialty such as cardiology or endocrinology. They are required to maintain a national certification as well as maintain their nursing license in their home state.
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O
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P
Physician Assistant (PA) - A person trained in certain aspects of the practice of medicine to provide assistance to a physician.  A PA is trained by physicians and practices under direction and supervision and within the legal license of a physician.  Training programs vary in length from a few months to 2 years.  Health care experience or academic preparation may be a prerequisite to admission to some programs.  Most PA�s are prepared for the practice of primary care, but some practice subspecialties.  National Certification is available to qualified graduates of approved training programs.
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Q
Qigong (�chee-goon�) An ancient Chinese discipline, emphasizes breathing, meditation, stationary and moving exercises to enhance the flow of energy or chi (sometimes spelled �qi�) through out the body.
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R
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Reflexology - a method of applying pressure or massage to specific points on the feet to influence the function of other areas in the body

S
Sound Therapy - Like music therapy, this ancient energy therapy works on the theory that constant vibrations or energy waves in the universe affect the internal organs and overall health. It is said to be useful in the treatment of anorexia and bulimia, anxiety, behavioral problems, depression, headaches, heart disorders, manic depression, schizophrenia and stress. Bells, tuning forks, symphonic gongs, drums, rattles and Tibetan singing bowls are traditional healing tools. A related therapy, the Tomatis method, uses the ear to effect change in both the body and mind through music, mostly Mozart and Gregorian chants.
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T
T�ai chi - One style of qigong, is a martial art involving meditation and slow, flowing, self guided movements that follow set forms.  It is intended to affect the flow of chi (energy) and bring about self awareness.
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U
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V
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W
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X
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Y
Yin Yang - The concepts of yin and yang have been a part of various forms of Chinese philosophy since at least 400 BCE, if not earlier. They play an important role in both Taoism and Neo-Confucianism, along with various popular folk belief systems. Yin and yang are seen as two opposing principles, which are basic to everything in reality and to reality itself. Yin is the feminine power, characterized by darkness, passivity and cold. Yang is the masculine power, characterized by light, activity and heat. Together, they make up chi and, when in equilibrium, govern a person's moral and physical health.

Yoga/Yoga Therapy - Yoga is an ancient holistic Indian system of exercises, postures, breathing, meditation and relaxation. Classic texts say yoga works to promote health by increasing the body�s store of prana or vital energy often blocked by inactivity, stress, emotional troubles, poor diet and other factors. Yoga is said to relieve various physical ailments, reduce anxiety and relieve stress.
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Z
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