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The Illustrated Encyclopedia

Body-Mind Disciplines
The Illustrated Encyclopedia
Body-Mind Disciplines

Nancy Allison, CMA


The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

New York
Important notice to readers of this book: This book is not intended to substitute for diag-
nosis or treatment by or consultation with a qualified, licensed health care practitioner. A
physician should be consulted before deciding to participate in any body-mind discipline.
The Publisher is not recommending or advocating the use or practice of any body-mind dis-
cipline or program of treatment mentioned or described in this book. The Publisher shall not
be responsible for any consequences or ill effects resulting from the practice of any program
of treatment mentioned or described in this book.

Published in 1999 by The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

© 1999 by Nancy Allison

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any

form without permission in writing from the publisher, except by
a reviewer.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Allison, Nancy
The illustrated encyclopedia of body-mind disciplines/Nancy Allison, editor
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index
ISBN 0-8239-2546-3
1. Alternative medicine—Encyclopedias. 2. Mind and body therapies—Encyclopedias.
I. Allison, Nancy, 1954-
R733.I46 1998
615.5—dc21 98-24969

Manufactured in the United States of America

About the Editor

Nancy Allison, CMA, has always been interested in the role of movement in
human society, its inner impulses and outer forms. This interest led her to pursue a
career in dance. She performed during her childhood with the National Ballet of
Washington, DC, and with Moscow’s world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet during its 1963
American tour. She graduated with honors from Ohio University with a B.F.A. in
Dance. While at Ohio University she augmented her study of dance with courses in
philosophy and psychology. As a young professional dancer she joined the Theater
of the Open Eye in New York City, founded by choreographer Jean Erdman and the
late Joseph Campbell. Allison distinguished herself as the leading interpreter of
Erdman’s dance repertory from the 1940s and 1950s, producing the three-volume
video archive Dance and Myth: The World of Jean Erdman.
Inspired by both Erdman and Campbell, Allison expanded her exploration of
movement to include the body-mind relationship. She has studied hatha yoga, t’ai chi
ch’üan, the Pilates Method, bioenergetics, authentic movement, and Laban move-
ment analysis, in which she earned a degree as a certified movement analyst. A much
sought after teacher, Allison has taught master classes and workshops throughout the
United States. She currently resides in New York, where she teaches at the School of
Education of New York University.


So many people have helped create this volume that it is probably impossible to
name them all, but given this opportunity, I would like to try. I feel deeply indebted
to Joseph Campbell, whose personal encouragement guided my early explorations
into the world of body-mind and whose spirit and knowledge are a constant well-
spring of inspiration to me. I also want to thank my husband, who believed in my
ability to complete this project and nurtured both it and me with his constant love
and support.
I am eternally grateful to all of the distinguished teachers, healers, and writers
who contributed entries to this volume. Their dedication to their respective fields and
their generous gifts of time and knowledge to this project have earned my undying
respect and admiration. I believe they are, each in their own wonderfully unique way,
helping to make this world a better place.
Certain writers and consultants have been particularly influential in my own
development, and I want to acknowledge their gifts to me: T’ai chi master Sophia
Delza, who passed away during the course of our work, taught me to follow the flow
of the life force in its endless cycle from full to empty and back to full again; Ed Groff;
Janet Hamburg; Clio Pavlantos and Jackie Hand, who taught me to recognize the
endless permutations of that force through the language of Laban movement
analysis; Nina Robinson, who introduced me to the thrill of liberating that force
through bioenergetics; Lillo (Leela) Way, who taught me the true nature of a spir-
itual practice; Jane Magee and Jackie Hand, whose healing hands managed to
untangle the knots into which I seem to want to endlessly entangle my body; and Dr.

Domenick Masiello, whose healing artistry has restored me and so many of my loved
ones to a vibrant state of health. I am also indebted to Dr. Masiello for the many fine
contributing writers he recommended to this project. In that regard I am also deeply
indebted to Thomas Claire and Ken Frey.
There are also those who, while not contributing writers, were important to my abil-
ity to realize this project: Clifford Schulman, Jeff McMahon, Anne Johnson, Joanna
Kosartes Vergoth, and Cynthia Reynolds, all of whom recommended contributing writ-
ers to the project; Romana Kryzanowska, who gave me my first teaching job in the body-
mind arena at the Pilates Studio; Carol Walker and Steven Giordano, who encouraged me
to expand and explore that skill and knowledge at SUNY Purchase; Miriam Roskin
Berger, who has supported so many of my creative endeavors and gave me the opportu-
nity to develop my teaching at New York University, and all of my students over the
years who continually show me through their amazing transformations that my
approach to this material is valuable and life-enhancing.
Finally, I would like to thank the staff at the Rosen Publishing Group, all of whom
were extraordinarily helpful and supportive; especially Christine Slovey, who worked
long and diligently to uphold cohesive reference standards while allowing each individ-
ual voice to be heard; Michael Isaac and Margaret Haerens, who each offered their own
perspective and editing skills; Kim Sonsky, whose artistic talents created the cover
design; Vera Amadzadeh, whose tireless photo research efforts brought such vivid visu-
al expression to the ideas contained in the writing; and Olga Vega, whose layout and
design expertise give such visual clarity and accessibility to the volume.
With such a huge task, spanning so many years, I'm sure there are others I have
missed. Please forgive me and know that you have my deepest respect and gratitude.

—Nancy Allison, CMA, Editor


Acupressure, Process Acupressure technique. She has a modern dance

Aminah Raheem, Ph.D. and background, having choreographed
Diplomate of Process Work, is a transper- and performed in New York City since
sonal psychologist, bodyworker, writer, 1983. She is on the faculty at SUNY
and the originator of process acupres- Stony Brook in the music department
sure, who has worked for many years and maintains a private practice in New
with the integration of bodywork and York and Connecticut. She has written
consciousness. She was an adjunct facul- various journals on body-mind healing
ty member of the Institute for and has received a grant from the New
Transpersonal Psychology for ten years. York Cardiac Center to study and report
on complementary medicine.
Robert J. Abramson, D.D.S, M.D., Art Therapy
had a private dental practice for over a Cathy Malchiodi, M.A., ATR, LPAT,
decade before earning his M.D. from the LPCC, is the director of the Institute
State University of New York and com- for the Arts and Health in Salt Lake
pleting a bachelor’s course in acupunc- City, Utah. She is the editor of Art
ture at the College of Traditional Chinese Therapy: Journal of the American Art
Medicine in England. Dr. Abramson is Therapy Association and the author of
currently a privately practicing acupunc- several books and articles on the topic
turist in New York City. of art therapy with trauma, child phys-
ical abuse, and medical applications.
Aikido Ms. Malchiodi has lectured at many
Clio Pavlantos, M.A., CMA, holds a universities, agencies, and institutions
master’s degree in dance, a certificate in throughout the United States, Canada,
Laban movement studies, and a black Europe, and Asia.
belt in aikido. She has taught all three dis-
ciplines at colleges, universities, and pri- Aston-Patterning®
vate institutions. Dance and Laban Allison Funk has been working in
movement analysis helped her in learn- the fields of bodywork and movement
ing and teaching aikido, which she finds education for twelve years. A licensed
to have many of the rhythms and expres- physical therapist assistant, she
sive qualities of dance. received her Aston-Patterning® certifi-
Marvin Bookman has been involved cation in 1996 and is currently enrolled
in the martial arts for twenty years. He is in the faculty training program at the
certified as an aikido instructor by the Aston-Patterning Center in Lake Tahoe,
United States Aikido Federation. In 1989, Nevada. Funk owns a private Aston-
he founded Aikido of Greenwich Village. Patterning practice in Winter Park,
Currently, Bookman gives seminars and Colorado, where she uses her skills to
classes throughout the United States. assist a variety of clients.

Alexander Technique Authentic Movement

Diane Young, NASAT, is a certified Daphne Lowell is a professor at
teacher and trainer of the Alexander Hampshire College and the Five College

Dance Department. She is also codirec- coauthor of Out of Sight into Vision, a
tor of the Hampshire College Program consumer self-help book presenting new
in contemplative dance. models of seeing and vision therapy.

Ayurvedic Medicine Bioenergetics

Dr. Vasant Lad, BAMS (bachelor of Nina Robinson, ADTR, M.A., CMA,
ayurvedic medicine and surgery), has been a dance/movement therapist
MASc (master of ayurvedic science), is since 1973. She has taught in the New
the founder, director, chairman of the York University dance therapy program,
board, and principal instructor of the from which she received her master’s
Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, degree. She is a member of the Academy
New Mexico. He practiced and taught of Dance Therapists Registered. She has
ayurveda in Pune, India, before coming integrated bioenergetics into her dance
to the United States and teaching at the therapy work throughout her career. She
Santa Fe College of Natural Medicine began her many years of bioenergetic
in 1981. therapy with Alexander Lowen, M.D.,
from 1965 to 1967.
Bartenieff FundamentalsSM
Janet Hamburg, CMA, M.A., directs Biofeedback
the dance division at the University of Les Fehmi, Ph.D., organized and
Kansas, Lawrence. She was a faculty chaired the first national meeting of
member of the Laban/Bartenieff biofeedback researchers in 1968. He has
Institute of Movement Studies a Ph.D. in physiological psychology
Certificate Extension Program in New from UCLA and has been recognized by
Mexico. She has taught LMA classes the Association for Applied Physiopsy-
internationally, and throughout the chology and Biofeedback for his contri-
United States Hamburg’s work with butions to the development of applied
athletes has been featured on national physiopathology and biofeedback. He
television, including the program directs biofeedback centers in New York
Science World. City and Princeton, New Jersey.

Behavioral Vision Therapy Body-Mind Centering®

Dr. Joseph Shapiro is a behavioral Vera Orlock is an assistant profes-
optometrist with twenty-five years of sor of dance at Kansas State University
experience. He is the director of the and has taught at Indiana University,
Center for Unlimited Vision in New Bloomington, and the University of
York City. He received his doctor of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her chore-
optometry degree from the ography has been recognized by grants
Massachusetts College of Optometry from the Ohio Arts Council and the
and did his intern and residency pro- New York State Council on the Arts.
gram in vision therapy at the She is on the faculty of the School for
University Optometric Center, State Body-Mind Centering® and is also a
College of Optometry, State University certified practitioner of structural inte-
of New York. He has taught rehabilita- gration, the work of Ida P. Rolf. Orlock
tive optometry at six major hospitals in is frequently a guest artist/teacher in
the New York metropolitan area. He is Europe and the United States.

Bodynamics Analysis Chiropractic
Peter Bernhardt, MFCC, is director Dr. Trina Marx is a doctor of chiro-
of the Clement Street Counseling Center practic with a degree in clinical nutri-
Faculty at California Institute of Integral tion, also specializing in exercise
Studies in Somatics program, in San psychology and holistic treatments. In
Francisco, California, and a founding addition to her private practice, she is
member of the Bodynamics Institute, the chiropractor for the American Tap
USA. He has led trainings and work- Dance Orchestra. Her volunteer work
shops throughout the United States and includes providing chiropractic ser-
Europe, has twenty years’ experience as vices for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis
a body psychotherapist, and is in private and for children born with addictions
practice near Berkeley, California. and HIV. She has also written Body
Almanac and Tap Dance.
Bowen Technique
Oswald H. Rentsch is the principal Connective Tissue TherapySM
and founder of the Bowen Therapy Jackie Hand, M.A., is a certified
Academy of Australia, the official orga- Laban movement analyst (CMA) and a
nization of Bowtech®. From 1974 to 1976 registered movement therapist (RMT).
he studied under Thomas A. Bowen, She is a movement consultant and a
who commissioned Rentsch to docu- dance specialist, performing movement
ment and teach his original techniques. retraining and bodywork. On the facul-
He has earned a diploma of osteopathy ty at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of
from the South Pacific Council of Movement Studies, she integrates her
Natural Therapies, an honorary doctor- years of dance training with her move-
ate of massage therapy from the ment observation skills to educate
Australian Registrar of Massage clients in movement awareness and
Therapists, and a diploma of homeopa- observation. She studied anatomy with
thy ionization principles from the Irene Dowd and Connective Tissue
Australian Academy of Homeopathy. Therapy™ with Theresa Lamb. She has a
Oswald Rentsch has twenty-two years holistic approach to movement and
of experience with the Bowen technique bodywork and is nationally certified in
and, together with his wife Elaine, has therapeutic massage and bodywork
spent ten years as a Bowtech teacher. (NCTMB).

Brain Gym® Contact Improvisation

Lark Carroll has been teaching Brain Paul Langland is a dancer, singer,
Gym in the Bay Area since 1986. She choreographer, and teacher. A longtime
completed certification in educational practitioner of contact and other improvi-
kinesiology, neurolinguistic program- sational dance forms, he often presents his
ming, acupressure massage, and own work, as well as performing with
Bowen Therapy. Additionally, she others. His work has been seen at Dance
holds training in a variety of modali- Theater Workshop, PS 122, Franklin
ties, including CranioSacral therapy, Furnace, and Movement Research. Since
Living VisionTM, meditation, Chinese 1983, he has been a core faculty member of
five-element theory, and nutritional New York University’s Experimental
approaches to health and balance. Theater Wing.

Core Energetics myofascial therapy and CORE structur-
Pamela L. Chubbuck, Ph.D., LPC, is al integrative therapy. Kousaleos also
on the senior international teaching fac- served as the general manager of the
ulty of the Core Energetic Institute in British Olympic Sports Massage
New York City, where she is also director Therapy Team (1994–1996).
of faculty development. Dr. Chubbuck Gary N. Genna, LMT, is the founder
is the director of Core Energetics South and owner of the CORE Institute of
and has worked personally and exten- Tennessee. A graduate of SUNY Cortland
sively with John C. Pierrakos, M.D., for with a degree in biology and education,
more than twenty-five years. Dr. Genna has been an advanced instructor
Chubbuck is the author of Passages to for the CORE Institute since 1989. He has
Womanhood: Stories of Celebration for presented at various state and interna-
Young Women, and numerous articles tional conferences and spent more than
on the core energetics process. three years working as a neuromuscular
therapist at St. Anthony’s Hospital Sports
coreSomatics® Medicine and Orthopedic Rehabilitation
Kay Miller is certified in the Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has
Rubenfeld synergy method and the been both a massage therapist and a mas-
Feldenkrais Method® and received her sage educator for more than twenty-five
gestalt training in the three-year post- years, highlighted as the head coach for
graduate program at the Gestalt the British Olympic Sports Massage
Institute of Cleveland. She has served Team in 1995 and 1996.
as consultant, staff, and/or workshop
leader for the Pennsylvania Department CranioSacral Therapy
of Education, the University of Kenneth I. Frey, PT, is director of
Pittsburgh, Carlow College, the the Institute of Physical Therapy, a pri-
University of West Virginia, Long Island vate practice and clinical resource cen-
University, the Gestalt Institute of ter in New York City.
Cleveland, and the Western Psychiatric
Institute. Dance Therapy
Anne L. Wennerstrad is a
CORE Structural Integrative Therapy dance/movement therapist, clinical
George P. Kousaleos has been a social worker, and dance educator work-
licensed massage therapist specializing ing in mental health and education.
in structural integration and myofascial Currently she is coordinator of under-
therapy since 1978. A graduate of graduate dance education at New York
Harvard University and the SOMA University, where she teaches and advis-
Institute of Neuromuscular Integration, es students. She has presented and writ-
he has practiced and taught in Germany, ten on the arts in education and therapy.
Greece, and throughout America. In Her clinical work focuses on creative
1990, he founded the CORE Institute mind/body approaches to helping peo-
School of Massage Therapy of ple with eating problems, anxiety,
Tallahassee, Florida, a state-licensed and depression, and chronic mental illness. A
nationally accredited program. He former professional dancer, she is also on
trains massage therapists in continuing the staff of Career Transition for Dancers,
education certification courses in CORE a nonprofit counseling service.

Do-In Association (1984), the Organization
John Kozinski has taught do-in, tra- Transformation Network (1985), the
ditional exercises, and healing through Massachusetts Association of Body-
food and natural therapies throughout Oriented Psychotherapy and Counseling
the United States and in Asia and South Bodyworkers (1989), and the Somatics
America. He offers seminars on do-in, Community of the Association for
traditional exercises, and the macrobi- Humanistic Psychology. In 1990 she
otic approach to health and healing at founded the Institute for Emotional-
the Kushi Institute in Massachusetts, as Kinesthetic Psychotherapy. She has writ-
well as in Connecticut and New York. ten a column on psychology for Spirit of
He also has an active health counseling Change magazine for the past ten years.
practice in which he recommends spe- She is the author of Living with Vision:
cific traditional foods, remedies, and Reclaiming the Power of the Heart.
natural lifestyle practices to foster heal-
ing and general well-being. Enneagram
Janet Levine is an author, educator,
Drama Therapy and organizer. She is founder of Learning
Professor Patricia Sternberg and The Enneagram, an educational
RDT/BCT (registered drama enterprise dedicated to spreading knowl-
therapist/board certified trainer) is the edge of the enneagram system and its
chairperson of the Board of Examiners of applications in education and related
the National Association for Drama fields. She has taught at Milton Academy,
Therapy. She is a full professor of the Massachusetts, for ten years. She is direc-
Department of Theater at Hunter College tor of the National Educators Institute for
in New York and heads the developmen- Enneagram Studies at Milton Academy.
tal drama program there. She is a play- She has presented her work on education
wright with more than twenty-five plays and the enneagram at national confer-
produced and/or published and is the ences and many other venues.
author of seven books, including
Sociodrama: Who’s in Your Shoes? (with Eurythmy
Antonina Garcia). She is currently work- Beth Dunn-Fox was raised and edu-
ing on her eighth, Theater for Conflict cated in northern California, where she
Resolution. A well-known presenter and studied and performed ballet, charac-
workshop leader, having presented both ter, and modern dance. A graduate of
nationally and internationally, Sternberg Eurythmy Spring Valley, she has toured
is a practicing drama therapist and for throughout North America and Europe
the past ten years has worked with a vari- with their professional ensemble for
ety of populations in both psychiatric twelve years. In addition to perform-
and educational facilities. ing, she has also carried the finance and
development work of Eurythmy Spring
Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy Valley over a number of years.
Linda Marks has practiced body-cen-
tered psychotherapy with individuals, Eye Movement Desensitization and
couples, and groups for twelve years. She Reprocessing
has helped found and served on the Barbara A. Parrett, RN, M.S., is a
Board of the Interface Business nurse and psychotherapist who brings a

holistic approach to her work with er and coordinator, she has been prac-
individuals and organizations. She has ticing and teaching focusing for twenty
been thoroughly trained in EMDR and years.
teaches this discipline to other thera-
pists on an international scale, where Hakomi Integrative Somatics
she is in much demand as trainer and Pat Ogden, M.A., is a founding mem-
educator. ber of the Hakomi Institute, serves on its
trainers’ board, and is the originator and
Feldenkrais Method® director of hakomi integrative somatics.
Alan S. Questel is a founding mem- Trained in a wide variety of somatic
ber of Delman/Questel Associates, approaches, she is a structural integrator
Inc., and is a Feldenkrais practitioner. (Guild for Structural Integration) and
serves on the faculty of Ergos Institute
Feng Shui (founded by Peter Levine, specializing in
Marilyn Saltzman is a feng shui prac- healing the effects of trauma) and the
titioner. She studied feng shui with Naropa Institute.
Nancy SantoPietro, a certified teacher
trained by Master Lin Yun. In addi- Halprin Life Art Process
tion, she has studied Transcendental Daria Halprin-Khalighi, M.A., CET,
Meditation and reiki, and she is a cer- is the cofounder and director of the
tified rebirther and hypnotherapist. Tampala Institute. She maintains a pri-
Saltzman has given lectures and work- vate practice in Marin County and is a
shops on feng shui throughout Virginia certified expressive arts therapist. She
and Maryland. is the author of Coming Alive: The
Creative Expression Method.
Flower Remedies
Leslie J. Kaslof is an internationally Hanna Somatic Education®
recognized pioneer, researcher, writer, Eleanor Criswell Hanna, Ed.D., is
and educator in the field of holistic professor of psychology and former
health, preventative medicine, and nat- chair of the psychology department,
ural approaches to stress reduction. He Sonoma State University, California. In
has written numerous articles in profes- 1975, she cofounded, with Thomas
sional and popular publications and has Hanna, the Novato Institute for Somatic
written many other works, including Research and Training, Novato,
Herb and Ailment Cross-Reference Chart, California. She trained in somatic edu-
the pioneering book Wholistic Dimensions cation with Thomas Hanna in his 1981
in Healing, and The Traditional Flower Australian training program; she has
Remedies of Dr. Edward Bach: A Self-Help worked closely with him in the develop-
Guide. ment of the field of somatics over the
years. She is currently serving as presi-
Focusing dent of the Somatics Society and editor
Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D., is a clinical of Somatics. A licensed psychologist, she
psychologist practicing focusing-ori- maintains a private practice in psy-
ented psychotherapy in private prac- chotherapy, biofeedback, and somatic
tice in Boston, Massachusetts. A college education. She is the author of
professor and a certified focusing train- Biofeedback and Somatics.
Herbal Medicine author of The Breathwork Experience:
Mark Blumenthal is the founder Exploration and Healing in Nonordinary
and executive director of the States of Consciousness and The Ethics of
American Botanical Council (ABC), a Caring: Honoring the Web of Life in Our
leading nonprofit research and educa- Professional Healing Relationships. She
tion organization in Austin, Texas. He has served as editor of the Inner Door,
also edits the quarterly magazine the newsletter of the Association for
HerbalGram. Holotropic Breathwork International.

Holistic Health Hydrotherapy

Suzan Walter, MBA, is cofounder Douglas C. Lewis, ND, is a naturo-
and current president of the American pathic physician in Seattle, Washington.
Holistic Health Association and past
president of the American Holistic Hypnotherapy
Medical Foundation. She is the creator Oscar A. Gillespie, Ph.D., is the
and director of the Global Health Calendar president of NYSEPH, the New York
on the Internet at HealthWorld Online Milton H. Erickson Society for
( She also facilitates Psychology and Hypnosis, and is on
networking for speakers, practitioners, the faculty of its training program. He
and health care associations within this taught psychology at Fordham
Web site. University and currently is in private
practice in New York City.
Homeopathy, Osteopathy
Domenick John Masiello, D.O., Ideokenesis
DHt, CSPOMM, has been a solo, office- Andre Bernard teaches ideokenesis,
based practitioner of traditional drawing upon his background in sci-
osteopathy and classical homeopathy ence and the performing arts. He stud-
in New York City since 1986. He was ied chemical engineering at the
certified with special proficiency in University of South Carolina, where he
osteopathic manipulative medicine took his B.S. degree in chemistry and
and is also certified in homeotherapeu- mathematics. Pursuing a professional
tics. He has written the foreword to acting career, he appeared in more than
Osteopathy: An Integrated Whole Body a hundred theatrical productions. He
Therapy and has been published in the also studied dance and toured exten-
Journal of the American Institute of sively with the Charles Weidman Dance
Homeopathy. Theater. He studied Mabel Elsworth
Todd’s movement therapy techniques,
Holotropic Breathwork™ the foundation of ideokenesis, with
Kylea Taylor, M.S., is a certified Barbara Clark. He has been a member
Holotropic Breathwork™ practitioner of the faculty at New York University,
and has been working in the field of teaching Todd’s work, since 1966.
addiction recovery since 1970. She has
studied with Christine and Stanislav Infant Massage Therapy
Grof, M.D., Ph.D., since 1984 and is a Mindy Zlotnick has worked with
member of the teaching staff of Grof parents and their families as a teacher
Transpersonal Training. She is the since 1975. She holds an M.A. in special

education and worked for many years 1982. He was a founding member of the
with deaf children, communicating in Scientific Advisory Board of the
sign language. She was trained in mas- Institute for the Advancement of
sage in 1987 and began communicating Health. He has written numerous arti-
through touch in her practice with adults. cles and publications and was a winner
She became a certified infant massage of the American Health Book Award in
instructor in 1989, combining her love for 1987.
teaching and her love of massage. Her
practice includes teaching parents with Iyengar Yoga
healthy babies as well as parents with Janet MacLeod teaches yoga full-
babies who are medically fragile or have time, offering ongoing classes in San
developmental delays. Francisco and teaching workshops
around the country. She is on the faculty
Integral Yoga of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San
Reverend Kumari de Sachy, Ed.D., Francisco teacher training program. She
has been a student of Swami is a certified teacher at the intermediate
Satchidananda since 1980. In 1981, she level and continues to study in Pune with
became an integral yoga instructor and the Iyengar family on a regular basis.
proceeded to teach at integral yoga insti-
tutes, colleges, universities, and prisons. Jin Shin Do® Bodymind AcupressureTM
In 1994, she was ordained as an integral Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, M.A., is
yoga minister. For the past ten years, she the originator of Jin Shin Do® Bodymind
and her husband have been living and AcupressureTM. She founded the Jin Shin
serving as whole-time members at Do Foundation and began offering JSD
Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville with teacher training programs. She has writ-
the spiritual master Sri Swami ten several books and articles on the
Satchidananda. At Yogaville, she has practice of JSD.
taught English and French, in addition to
serving as director of the Yogaville Jin Shin Jyutsu® Physio-Philosophy
Summer Program for Children and Ian Kraut is a practitioner of Jin
Teens. She is also the editor of Integral Shin Jyutsu and a licensed massage
Yoga Publications, which publishes therapist. He is a member of the staff at
Swami Satchidananda’s books and the Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc., in Scarsdale,
quarterly magazine Integral Yoga. Arizona. He has a B.A. in music from
SUNY Binghamton and has studied
Interactive Guided Imagery Andean music in South America.
Martin Rossman, M.D., is a 1969
graduate of the University of Michigan Journal Therapy
Medical School and is board certified in Kathleen Adams, M.A., LPC, is a
acupuncture. He is the founder and licensed psychotherapist and the
director of the Collaborative Medicine founder/director of the Center for
Center in Mill Valley, California. As the Journal Therapy in Denver, Colorado,
codirector of the Academy for Guided an organization dedicated to teaching
Imagery in Mill Valley, he has taught the healing art of journal writing to
clinical guided imagery to more than individuals, groups, and mental health
9,000 health care professionals since professionals. She has specialized in

journal therapy since 1985 and is one the author of numerous articles on the
of the pioneers in the field. She is the KMP. She has given intensive courses on
author of three books on the use of this material in Germany and Italy. She is
journal writing as a therapeutic tool. the coeditor of a textbook on the KMP
published in 1997.
Ju Jutsu, Karate Janet Kestenberg Amighi is an
Stefan Nikander is a certified karate anthropologist who has done fieldwork
and ju jutsu instructor. Having taught in Iran and Bali. She is the author of
soccer to children since the age of fif- Zoroastrians in Iran: Assimilation,
teen, he became certified as a soccer Conversion and Persistence. She coteaches
trainer in 1983. He is also a certified a course on the KMP with Susan Loman
nursery school teacher and has worked and is coeditor of a textbook on the KMP.
professionally at schools and play cen-
ters since 1990. He is the vice chairman Kinetic Awareness
of the children’s committee of the Ellen Saltonstall, M.A., MCKA, is a
Swedish Budo Federation, a martial certified master teacher of kinetic
arts organization. His writing has awareness, a licensed massage thera-
appeared in various martial arts maga- pist, and a teacher and practitioner of
zines in several countries, and he has hatha yoga. She has taught at the New
written columns for Scandinavian School, Columbia University, and Bard
newspapers on the subject of martial College and is currently is on the staff
arts as a means to stop violence. He is of the Mind/Body Medical Institute of
currently training to become a personal St. Peters Hospital in New Brunswick,
trainer and massage therapist. New Jersey.
J. Robin Powell, Ph.D., CSW, MCKA,
Kendo is a certified master teacher of kinetic
Daniel T. Ebihara is the chairman of awareness and teaches at New York
Ken Zen Institute Ltd. and a member of University and other institutions, as well
the board of directors of All United as privately. She is a founding board
States Kendo Federation. He has written member of the Kinetic Awareness Center,
several articles about the martial arts for Inc., and teaches in the teacher training
various periodicals and is an advanced program.
student of karate, kendo, and judo. Michelle Berne, M.A., MCKA,
Bruce Robertson Smith is a first- introduced the first university course in
degree black belt in kendo, having stud- body/mind therapies while on the fac-
ied martial arts in Japan with the Budo ulty of New York University, where she
master Fushi Sensei. He has trained taught for twelve years. As a profes-
extensively in bodywork and structural sional dancer and choreographer in
integration and has done shamanic jour- New York, she presented original work
neywork. with her own company and performed
with others. She is a certified master
Kestenberg Movement Profile teacher of kinetic awareness and cur-
Susan Loman is the director of a mas- rently teaches kinetic awareness, neu-
ter’s program in dance/movement ther- romuscular reeducation, and alignment
apy at Antioch New England Graduate in Los Angeles, California. She is also a
School in Keene, New Hampshire, and celebration artist who choreographs

and produces large-scale community Magnet Therapy
art events for cities and nonprofit orga- Dr. John Zimmerman earned his
nizations across the country. Ph.D. in biological psychology and
neurosciences at the University of
Kung-Fu Wu Su Colorado at Boulder in 1981. He is a
Oswald Rivera is a senior instructor member of the American Sleep
at Alan Lee’s Chinese Kung-Fu Wu-Su Disorders Association and the North
Association. He has practiced Shaolin American Academy of Magnetic
style kung-fu for twenty-four years. He Therapy. Currently he serves as the
is also the author of the novel Fire and laboratory director of the Washoe
Rain and the cookbook Puerto Rican Sleep Disorders Center in Reno. Dr.
Cuisine in America. Zimmerman is also the founder and
president of the nonprofit organiza-
Laban Movement Analysis tion called the Bio-Electro-Magnetics
Ed Groff, M.F.A., CMA, is currently Institute (BEMI), which researches and
director of graduate studies in the provides resources on magnet therapy.
department of modern dance at the
University of Utah. He has served on Martial Arts
the faculties of Temple University, Michael Maliszewski received his
Hampshire College, Connecticut Ph.D. in psychology from the
College, Tufts University, and University of Chicago. He has held a
Evergreen State College. He has taught number of positions at the University
in the certification programs in Laban of Chicago and has conducted
Movement Analysis at schools and insti- research and published in a variety of
tutions in New York, Seattle, Salt Lake areas ranging from medicine to reli-
City, Columbus, Rotterdam, and Berlin. gious studies. He is currently a consul-
His choreography has been presented in tant in psychiatry at Massachusetts
the United States, Europe, and Asia. General Hospital and lecturer at
Harvard Medical School. He has been
Light Therapy involved in the study of martial arts
Dr. Brian J. Breiling is a licensed mar- and meditative traditions since 1970
riage, family, and child counselor and and has studied throughout the
school psychologist. He is the co-editor United States and Asia. Included
and publisher of Light Years Ahead: The among his publications in the martial
Illustrated Guide to Full Spectrum and arts are the book Spiritual Dimensions
Colored Light in Mindbody Healing. He is of the Martial Arts, as well as articles
also the author of three chapters in this that have appeared in the Journal of
book on the professional and self-care Asian Martial Arts, where he also
applications of light therapy. For the last serves as an associate editor.
ten years, he successfully used flashing
colored light stimulation through the Massage
eyes to aid his clients in uncovering and Katie Scoville is a New York State-
working through emotional traumas, licensed massage therapist who prac-
depression, and pain, as well as to tices Swedish massage, shiatsu, med-
enhance learning and intellectual perfor- ical massage, and pregnancy massage.
mance in adults and children. She has a private practice in

Manhattan, Studio of Massage Arts Meditation
(SOMA), and also works with physical Eugene Taylor, Ph.D., is a lecturer
therapists. She is a shiatsu and clinic on psychiatry, Harvard Medical School;
instructor at the Swedish Institute of executive faculty, Saybrook Institute;
Massage Therapy and Allied Health and director of the Cambridge Institute
Sciences in New York City and a mem- of Psychology and Religion.
ber of the American Massage Therapy Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., is a social
Association. Katie holds a B.F.A. in anthropologist and director of research
dance and brings to her practice more at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in
than fifteen years of dance training Sausalito, California.
and professional dance experience.
Meir Schneider Self-Healing Method
Medical Orgone Therapy Carol Gallup works at the Center
Dr. Peter Crist received his M.D. for Self-Healing in San Francisco,
from the UCLA School of Medicine in California.
1977. Dr. Crist is a fellow of the
American College of Orgonomy and Movement Pattern Analysis
has been its president since 1991. As a Warren Lamb developed movement
member of the ACO training faculty, pattern analysis with Rudolf Laban. In
he has been training medical orgono- 1950 Lamb joined Paton Lawrence & Co.,
mists since 1982. He has authored clin- management consultants, to apply the
ical and theoretical articles as well as newly developed assessment method.
book reviews and is an assistant editor He has been a professional dancer, a pro-
of the Journal of Orgonomy. Dr. Crist is ducer of plays, and a lecturer in the
also assistant clinical professor, United Kingdom and United States. In
Department of Psychiatry, UMDNJ- 1952 he founded his own consultancy
Robert Wood Johnson School of firm to use movement pattern analysis
Medicine, New Brunswick, New for top management teams worldwide.
Jersey. He has a private practice in His publications include Posture and
Belle Mead, New Jersey. Gesture, Management Behavior, Body Code,
Dr. Richard Schwartzman, D.O., and more than 100 journal articles.
graduated from the Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine in Multi-Modal Expressive Arts Therapy
1966. He is a member of the faculty of Susan Spaniol, Ed.D., ATR-BC,
Hahnemann University, an assistant LMHC, is assistant professor in the
clinical professor of psychiatry, and Expressive Therapies Division of
medical director of the Hahnemann Lesley College. She received her Ed.D.
University Correctional Mental Health at Boston University and is a board-cer-
Program. He is a fellow of the tified art therapist and a licensed men-
American College of Orgonomy, tal health counselor. She serves as
where he conducts the advanced train- associate editor of Art Therapy: Journal
ing seminar. He is an assistant editor of the American Art Therapy Association
and contributing author of the Journal and is an associate in psychiatry at
of Orgonomy. Dr. Schwartzman main- Harvard Medical School.
tains a private practice in medical Phillip Speiser, Ph.D., REAT, RDT, is
orgone therapy in Philadelphia. director of Arts Across Cultures, Boston.

Speiser is a psychodrama, drama, and work in music therapy has included
expressive arts educator/therapist who child psychology, group therapy, and
has been developing and implementing private practice. She studied musicolo-
integrated arts programs since 1980. He gy and anthropology at the Hebrew
is an adjunct professor at Lesley College University of Jerusalem, and classical
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has guitar in Israel and London. She holds
taught and lectured extensively at train- a master’s degree in musicology from
ing institutes and colleges throughout Bar Ilan University and teaches at the
Scandinavia, Europe, Israel, and the Institute for Art Therapy of David
United States. He is the former chairper- Yellin College in Jerusalem and at the
son of Very Special Arts, Sweden, and Department of Music Therapy of Bar
the International Expressive Arts Ilan University.
Therapy Association.
Mariagnese Cattaneo, Ph.D., ATR, Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy
LMHC, is a professor in the Expressive Elliot Shratter has been practicing
Therapies Division at Lesley College, trigger point myotherapy since 1987. He
Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is an is board certified by the National
expressive therapist and has trained Association of Trigger Point Myo-
expressive therapists for more than therapists Certification Board and the
twenty-five years. Presently she is the American Academy of Pain Manage-
coordinator of art therapy specializa- ment. He has served as president and
tion and director of field training. journal editor of the National Association
of Trigger Point Myotherapists and chair-
Muscular Therapy person of the Trigger Point Myo-
Ben E. Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in therapists National Certification Board.
sports medicine and education and is He is currently in practice in
the founder and president of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, at Synergy
Muscular Therapy Institute in Physical Therapy.
Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the
author of the widely used books in the Naturopathic Medicine
field: Are You Tense?—The Benjamin Lauri M. Aesoph, ND, a graduate of
System of Muscular Therapy, Sports Bastyr University, is a medical writer,
Without Pain, and Listen to Your Pain— editor, and educator. Over the past ten
Understanding, Identifying, and Treating years, Dr. Aesoph’s work has appeared
Pain. He has been a regular contributor in dozens of magazines and numerous
to the Muscular Therapy Journal since books. She makes her home in Sioux
1986. He has been in private practice Falls, South Dakota, with her husband
for more than thirty-five years and has and two sons.
been teaching massage therapists in
workshops internationally since 1973. Network Chiropractic
Mary Ann diRoberts, LICSW, CMT, Donald Epstein, DCA, is a chiro-
is on the faculty of the Muscular Therapy practor and developer of network
Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. spinal analysis. He is the president of
the Association for Network
Music Therapy Chiropractic. He is also the author of
Adva Frank-Schwebel has been a several articles on the practice of this
music therapist for fifteen years. Her discipline.
Organismic Psychotherapy the author of Movement in Psychotherapy
Elliot Greene, M.A., is a counselor (1969) and Experience in Action (1973)
who has specialized in body psy- and coeditor with John Crandell of
chotherapy for the past twenty-four Moving Psychotherapy: Theory and
years. His principal training has been in Applications of Pesso Boyden System/
organismic body psychotherapy with Psychomotor Psychology (1991).
Dr. Malcolm Brown and Katherine
Ennis-Brown. He is also trained in Pilates Method of Body Conditioning®
bioenergetics, gestalt, and other related Leah Chaback, director of the
body-oriented methods. In addition, he Movement Center, is a certified Pilates
is nationally certified as a massage ther- instructor and teacher-trainer. She
apist and served as president of the began studying the Pilates Method in
American Massage Therapy Association 1986 at SUNY Purchase, New York.
from 1990 to 1994. He has a private prac- Ms. Chaback has trained and worked
tice in Silver Springs, Maryland. extensively with Romana Kryzanowska,
disciple of Joseph Pilates and master
Orthomolecular Medicine teacher of his method for more than
California freelance writer Martin fifty years. After teaching the Pilates
Zucker has been writing for many Method in New York City studios, she
years about health, nutrition, and pre- opened the Movement Center in 1990.
ventive medicine. He is a former
Associated Press foreign correspon- Poetry Therapy
dent. He has written numerous pub- Nicholas Mazza, Ph.D., is a profes-
lished articles, coauthored five books, sor at the School of Social Work at
ghostwritten several others, and writ- Florida State University. He is also edi-
ten many safety and environmental tor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy. He
videos for the National Safety Council has lectured and published extensively
and other organizations. He has been a on the use of poetry and music in clini-
contributing editor to Let’s Live, a lead- cal practice.
ing health magazine, since 1978.

Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor Polarity Therapy

Albert Pesso cofounded Pesso John Beaulieu, ND, Ph.D., is the
Boyden system psychomotor (PBSP) author of the Polarity Therapy Workbook
psychotherapy with his life partner, (1994).
Diane Boyden Pesso, in 1961. He is
president of the Psychomotor Institute, Process Oriented Psychology
Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, a nonprof- Dr. Joseph Goodbread is a long-
it organization that promotes PBSP time student and colleague of Arnold
internationally. He has been supervisor Mindell. He is a cofounder of the
of psychomotor therapy at the McLean Research Society for Process Oriented
Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts; Psychology in Zurich, of the Process
consultant in psychiatric research at the Work Center of Portland, Oregon, and
Boston Veterans Administration Hospital; of the Global Process Institute in
and director of psychomotor therapy at Portland. He is the author of The
the Pain Unit of the New England Dreambody Toolkit: A Practical
Rehabilitation Hospital. Albert Pesso is Introduction to the Philosophy, Goals and
Practice of Process Oriented Psychology Colorado Rocky Mountains, is an
and Radical Intercourse: How Inevitable internationally renowned China schol-
Relationships Are Created by Dreaming, a ar, qigong master, and health educator.
book on the dynamics of therapeutic He has been teaching qigong for more
relationships. He practices and teaches than twenty-five years and is helping
process work in Portland and through- to build a bridge between qigong and
out the world. medical science. He was one of nine
“exceptional healers” studied in the
Psychodrama Menninger Clinic’s Copper Wall
Adam Blatner, M.D., is the author Project, where he demonstrated unusu-
of several books and articles on the al physiological control while practic-
practice of psychodrama. ing qigong. Cohen has written more
than 150 articles and is the author of
Psychoneuroimmunology The Way of Qigong.
Leonard A. Wisneski, M.D., is a
physician, board certified in internal Radix
medicine and in endocrinology and Erica Kelley has shared the growth
metabolism; he is also certified in of Radix since its inception in the late six-
acupuncture and homeopathy, which ties, including its teaching, training,
he has incorporated into his practice. facilities, and administration in the
Dr. Wisneski is a member of the board United States and Europe. She maintains
of directors of the Integral Health a part-time practice in Vancouver and
Foundation. administers Kelley/Radix and K/R
Leonard Sherp is a medical writer Publications.
and reiki practitioner. Mr. Sherp is pro-
gram director of the Integral Health Rebirthing
Foundation. Maureen Malone is the director of
the New York Rebirthing Center.
Psychosynthesis Tony Lo Mastro is the director of
Richard Schaub, Ph.D., cofounded the Philadelphia Rebirthing Center.
the New York Psychosynthesis Institute
with Bonney Gulino Schaub, M.S., RN, Reflexology
CS. They have worked in every phase of Laura Norman is a certified reflex-
mental health, alcohol and drug rehabili- ologist and New York State-licensed
tation, and health care in careers that massage practitioner. She is also
span thirty years. They teach internation- author of Feet First: A Guide to Foot
ally in the fields of psychotherapy, recov- Reflexology. With a B.S. from Boston
ery, higher self-education, clinical University and three master’s degrees
imagery, and contemplation. They have from Adelphi University, she original-
published numerous professional arti- ly embarked on a career in education.
cles, are associate editors of Alternative She discovered the potency of reflexol-
Health Practitioner, and are the authors of ogy when she used it in her early work
Healing Addictions. with hyperactive and emotionally
dysfunctional children at Maimonides
Qigong Institute in Brooklyn. She established
Kenneth S. Cohen, M.A., director the Laura Norman Method Reflexology
of the Taoist Mountain Retreat in the Training Center in New York, offering
a comprehensive training and certifi- Structural Therapy Institute, where he
cation program. teaches bodywork problem-solving
courses to health professionals. He is
Reiki also trained in the hakomi method of
Elaine J. Abrams is a reiki master body-centered psychotherapy and in
instructor. In private practice in New CranioSacral therapy.
York City since 1987, she brings her exten-
sive experience with more than 800 ROM Dance
clients and knowledge as a reiki instruc- Patricia Yu, M.A., co-creator of the
tor to her workshops. As founder of the ROM dance, is the director of the T’ai-
Reiki Group, she provides a continuing Chi Center in Madison, Wisconsin. She
support system for her practitioners. originally learned t’ai chi ch’üan and tao
kung meditation in 1970 with Master Liu
Relaxation Response Technique Pei Ch’ung in the Republic of China. She
Richard Friedman, Ph.D., was a continues to practice daily.
Professor of Psychiatry at the State
University of New York, Stonybrook. Rosen Method
Herbert Benson, M.D., is the Ivy Green is a professor of psychol-
Mind/Body Medical Institute ogy, a certified Rosen method practi-
Associate Professor of Medicine, tioner, a certified teacher of the
Harvard Medical School; Chief of the Alexander technique, and a licensed
Division of Behavioral Medicine at the massage therapist. Her book on the
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Rosen method, a psychospiritual body-
and the founding president of the Mind work, was published in 1998.
/Body Medical Institute. A graduate of
Wesleyan University and the Harvard Rubenfeld Synergy Method
Medical School, he is the author or co- Ilana Rubenfeld, a pioneer in inte-
author of more than 150 scientific pub- grating bodywork with psychotherapy,
lications and six books. has been an influential healer for the
Patricia Myers is a research associate past thirty-five years. She originated
at the Mind/Body Medical Institute at the Rubenfeld synergy method in the
the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, early 1960s and started its professional
Harvard Medical School. Her areas of training program in 1977. Formerly on
interest include the economics of behav- the faculties of the NYU Graduate
ioral medicine and the use of behavioral School of Social Work and New School
interventions in the treatment of pain. for Social Research, she currently teach-
es at the Omega and Esalen Institutes
Rolfing® and the Open Center.
Allan Davidson was trained by Ida
Rolf in Big Sur and San Francisco, Sandplay Therapy
California, in 1973-75. He has been Lois Carey, MSW, BCDSW, is a
Rolfing® and lecturing, teaching and practitioner of sandplay therapy.
writing about Rolfing ever since. In the
1980s, he cofounded the Chicago Sensory Awareness
School for Advanced Bodywork, a pio- Mary Alice Roche was cofounder
neering clinic and forum for new ideas with Charlotte Selver of the Sensory
and technologies. He now codirects the Awareness Foundation. She served as
managing secretary until she retired in B.A. from Bennington College and an
1988 but continued as bulletin editor M.A. from the University of Illinois.
and archivist. She has a private practice She is Professor Emeritus at the
and is a member of the Sensory University of Washington and a mem-
Awareness Leaders Guild. ber of the Martha Graham and Merce
Cunningham Dance Companies.
Hal Zina Bennett, Ph.D., is a long- Soma Neuromuscular Integration
time student of shamanism. He is also Marcia W. Nolte, LMP, has a back-
the author of twenty-five books, ground in movement studies ranging
including ones on health (The Well Body from performance dance, as a profession-
Book, with Mike Samuels, M.D.), psy- al ballet and modern dancer and teacher,
chology (The Holotropic Mind, with Stan to a variety of therapeutic modalities of
Grof, M.D.), and Native American spir- movement. She has been in private prac-
ituality (Zuni Fetishes). He is an adjunct tice of soma bodywork since 1979 and
faculty member at the Institute of continues to explore with her clients the
Transpersonal Psychology, a private use of movement as medicine.
graduate school in Palo Alto, Karen L. Bolesky, M.A., CMHC,
California. He is a frequent contributor LMP, has been a mental health coun-
to Shaman’s Drum magazine and Sacred selor since 1972 and a soma practition-
Hoop, published in England. er since 1985. Karen trained with
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D., and
SHEN® Gregg Furth, Ph.D., in interpretation of
Richard Pavek is director of the spontaneous drawings as an aid to the
SHEN Therapy Institute. It provides creative process.
information regarding SHEN research,
development, and certification proce- Somato-Respiratory Integration
dures. Donald Epstein is a chiropractor
and developer of network spinal
Shiatsu Massage, Therapeutic Touch analysis. He is the president of the
Thomas Claire is a licensed massage Association for Network Chiropractic.
therapist and author of the authoritative He is also the author of several articles
book Bodywork: What Type of Massage to on the practice of this discipline.
Get—and How to Make the Most of It. A
graduate of the Swedish and Ohashi Sounding
Institutes, he is a reiki master and a Don Campbell is an internationally
practitioner of Swedish massage, shiat- renowned expert in music, sound,
su, CranioSacral therapy, myofascial health, and learning. In 1988, he found-
release, and therapeutic touch. His ed the Institute for Music, Health, and
work has been featured in numerous Education in Boulder, Colorado, and
publications, and he is a frequent guest served as executive director until 1995.
on radio and television. He has written several books on the
relationship between music, health,
Skinner Release Technique and education and travels extensively
Joan Skinner is the originator of the teaching musicians, teachers, physi-
Skinner release technique. She earned a cians, therapists, and trainers. Presently,
Mr. Campbell directs year-long study dancer, lecturer, and writer. She is cred-
programs on the therapeutic and trans- ited as being the first Westerner to
formational uses of sound and music. bring the martial art to the United
States. She was the 1996 recipient of the
Chinese Martial Arts Association’s
Spatial DynamicsSM
Lifetime Achievement Award. She
Jaimen McMillan is the originator of
died on June 27, 1996.
Spatial Dynamics. He has trained hun-
dreds of students as movement special-
ists and has worked with a broad Tomatis Method
spectrum of clients ranging from Dr. Billie Thompson, founder and
Olympic athletes to severely handi- director of Sound Listening & Learning
capped children. He is the director of Centers in Phoenix, Arizona, and
the Spatial Studies Institute, Inc., as well Pasadena, California, received her Ph.D.
as the Spatial Dynamics Institute. from Arizona State University in 1979.
Dr. Thompson was one of the pioneers
who brought the Tomatis method to the
Swedish Massage United States. She edited the English
Janie McGee is a licensed massage thera- translations of Tomatis’s autobiography,
pist with a private practice in New York The Conscious Ear, and his first book, The
City for fifteen years. She is also a Ear and Language. She established the
licensed staff physical therapist in a geri- Phoenix Center in 1987 to provide both
atric facility. She studied physical therapy corrective and accelerated learning
at Long Island University and premed- opportunities for individuals, corpora-
ical studies at Hunter College. tions, and other organizations.

Tae-Kwon-Do Traditional Chinese Medicine

Mark V. Wiley, an internationally Cindy Banker is a certified instructor
renowned martial arts master and schol- and practitioner of Oriental bodywork
ar, has been involved in the martial arts therapy. She began her shiatsu training
for twenty years. He has written the best- with Shizuko Yamamoto in 1976 and
selling books Filipino Martial Arts: Cabales now uses both five-element shiatsu and
Serrada Escrima and Filipino Martial Chinese herbal medicine in her private
Culture and is the author of more than practice. She is currently the National
fifty articles on the martial arts which Director of Education for the American
have appeared in leading martial arts Oriental Bodywork Therapy
magazines and journals. He currently Association. She is an active member of
serves as martial arts editor for the the National Certification Commission
Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Company for Acupuncture and Oriental medi-
and associate editor for the Journal of cine‘s task force, which is developing
Asian Martial Arts. He is the cofounder of the first national certification exam for
talahib-marga, a contemporary, cross-cul- oriental bodywork therapy. She has
tural, martial-meditative discipline. been teaching shiatsu in complete train-
ing programs since 1983 and currently
T’ai Chi Ch’üan owns and teaches at the New England
Sophia Delza was the first western Center for Oriental Bodywork in
woman master of t’ai chi ch’üan, Brookline, Massachusetts.

Trager Psychophysical Integration anatomy coloring book published by
Deane Juhan has been on staff at the Swedish Institute. She maintains a
Esalen Institute since 1973 and a Trager private practice in Eastern bodywork,
practitioner there since 1978. He lec- specializing in shiatsu, tui na, and
tures on anatomy and physiology for nuad bo ran.
bodyworkers and has recently pub-
lished a major work on that subject, Unergi
Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Ute Arnold is an artist and thera-
Deane is also an instructor at the Trager pist in private practice and is the
Institute. director of the UNERGI Center. She is
a certified Rubenfeld synergy practi-
Transcendental Meditation tioner and trainer and holds degrees
Robert Roth is the author of the in art and design from Schaeffer
popular book Transcendental Meditation, School of Design, San Francisco, and
which has now been translated into ten Chelsea School of Art, London. She
languages. Roth has lectured and has been leading workshops and
taught TM for more than twenty-five trainings since 1978 for centers in
years to tens of thousands of people in Scandinavia, France, Canada, and the
the United States, Canada, and United States.
throughout Europe. He is a senior advi-
sor to the Maharishi Corporate Wellness
Development Program, the nonprofit Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D., is a fac-
organization that teaches the TM pro- ulty member of the University of
gram in business and industry, as well Colorado. He is recognized internation-
as a founder of the Institute for Fitness ally as a leading expert in the fields of
and Athletic Excellence, which offers stress management, mind-body-spirit
the technique to amateur and profes- healing, and human spirituality. Dr.
sional athletes. Seaward is the author of the critically
acclaimed collegiate textbook Managing
Tui Na Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health
Gina Martin is a licensed massage and Wellbeing and the popular best-
therapist and chair of the Eastern seller, Stand like Mountain, Flow like
Studies Department of the Swedish Water: Reflections on Stress and Human
Institute School of Massage Therapy. Spirituality.
She was chair of the New York State
Board of Massage Therapy from 1994 Yoga
to 1998 and is a current board member. Lillo (Leela) Way is certified by the
Ms. Martin is recognized by the Integral Yoga Institute to teach hatha
American Oriental Bodywork yoga asana (poses), prenatal yoga,
Therapy Association as a certified panayama (breathing practices), deep
instructor in fine element style shiatsu. relaxation, chanting, and meditation.
She has been featured in the magazine She is an actor and dancer and has been
First for Women and is a contributing the director of her own dance company.
author to the Reader’s Digest Family Way taught at New York University for
Guide to Natural Medicine. Her book seven years. She also taught at Hunter
The Shiatsu Workbook is an Eastern College and was a visiting professor at

Princeton University. In addition to her
private practice, she is currently on the
faculty of the Integral Yoga Institute and
the Soho Sanctuary in New York.

Zero Balancing®
Originator of Zero Balancing®, Dr.
Fritz Smith has taught body energy
work to hundreds of health care practi-
tioners since 1973. He is an Osteopathic
M.D., acupuncturist, and teacher. Dr.
Smith is a pioneer in the blending of
Eastern energy systems with Western
science and bodywork. He is the author
of Inner Bridges: A Guide to Energy
Movement and Body Structure.

Staff Credits
Editors: Margaret Haerens, Michael Isaac, Jane Kelly Kosek, Christine Slovey
Photo Researcher: Vera Ahmadzadeh
Book Designer: Olga M. Vega
Production Designer: Christine Innamorato

Table of Contents

Introduction xxvi

I. Alternative Health Models 1

Ayurvedic Medicine 5
Holistic Health 7
Homeopathy 10
Naturopathic Medicine 15
Shamanism 18
Traditional Chinese Medicine 23
Wellness 29

II. Skeletal Manipulation Methods 33

Chiropractic 37
CranioSacral Therapy 40
Network Chiropractic 43
Osteopathy 45
Zero Balancing® 50

III. Nutritional and Dietary Practices 53

Herbal Medicine 57
Orthomolecular Medicine 60

IV. Mind/Body Medicine 64

Biofeedback Training 68
Guided Imagery 71
Hypnotherapy 73
Interactive Guided Imagery 77
Psychoneuroimmunology 78

V. Sensory Therapies 82
Aromatherapy 86
Bates Method 88
Behavioral Vision Therapy 90
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing 94
Flower Remedies 96
Hydrotherapy 99
Light Therapy 103
Sounding 109
Tomatis Method 111

VI. Subtle Energy Practices 115
Do-In 118
Feng Shui 119
Magnet Therapy 124
Polarity Therapy 126
Qigong 129
Reiki 133
SHEN® 137
Therapeutic Touch 139

VII. Massage 142

Bowen Technique 148
Connective Tissue TherapySM 150
CORE Structural Integrative Therapy 152
Infant Massage 153
Muscular Therapy 157
Myofascial Release 158
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy 160
Reflexology 163
Rolfing® 165
Rosen Method 168
St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy 172
Swedish Massage 174

VIII. Acupuncture and Asian Bodywork 177

Acupressure 180
Acupuncture 183
Jin Shin Do® Bodymind AcupressureTM 187
Jin Shin Jyutsu® Physio-Philosophy 191
Process Acupressure 192
Shiatsu 194
Tui Na 197

IX. Movement Therapy Methods 200

Alexander Technique 204
Aston-Patterning® 207
Bartenieff FundamentalsSM 210
Body-Mind Centering® 212
Feldenkrais Method® 215
Hanna Somatic EducationTM 218
Hellerwork 222
Ideokinesis 224
Kinetic Awareness 226
Meir Schneider Self-Healing Method 228
Sensory Awareness 231

Soma Neuromuscular Integration 235
Somato Respiratory Integration 238
Trager Psychophysical Integration 239

X. Somatic Practices 244

Brain Gym ®
Contact Improvisation 249
Continuum 252
Eurythmy 254
Gurdjieff Movements 256
Pilates Method of Body ConditioningTM 260
ROM Dance 263
Skinner Releasing Technique 265
Spatial DynamicsSM 268
T'ai Chi Ch'üan 270

XI. Martial Arts 274

Aikido 278
Capoeira 280
Ju-Jutsu 283
Judo 286
Karate 289
Kendo 293
Kung Fu Wu Su 297
Taekwondo 301

XII. Yoga 305

Integral Yoga 313
Iyengar Yoga 314
Kripalu Yoga 315

XIII. Meditation 317

Relaxation Response 322
Transcendental Meditation 324

XIV. Psycho-Physical Evaluation Frameworks 327

Enneagram 329
Kestenberg Movement Profile 332
Laban Movement Analysis 335
Movement Pattern Analysis 338

XV. Expressive and Creative Arts Therapies 341

Art Therapy 347

Authentic Movement 350
Dance Therapy 352
Drama Therapy 356
Halprin Life/Art Process 359
Journal Therapy 361
Multi-Modal Expressive Arts Therapy 363
Music Therapy 366
Poetry Therapy 370
Sandplay Therapy 374

XVI. Body-Oriented Psychotherapies 378

Bioenergetics 382
Bodynamic Analysis 385
Core Energetics 387
coreSomatics® 391
Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy 392
Focusing 394
Gestalt Therapy 397
Hakomi Integrative Somatics 399
Holotropic BreathworkTM 402
Medical Orgone Therapy 405
Organismic Body Psychotherapy 409
Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor 411
Process Oriented Psychology 415
Psychodrama 416
Psychosynthesis 419
Radix 421
Rebirthing 422
Rubenfeld Synergy Method 425
Unergi 428

Body-mind is a term often seen in print and heard in conversation today. It is used
frequently both in private discussions about disease and healing and in public
forums on health care, where the value of alternative or complementary medicine is
gaining recognition. Today, many educators are developing new methods that use
the body-mind connection to help children learn how to live productive and creative
lives in today’s complex technological society. The phrase body-mind resonates
through the halls of gymnasiums, physical conditioning studios, and in self-defense
classes. It echoes in theaters, dance studios, and music practice rooms. What exactly
is this concept that is exciting so many people and changing the way we heal, learn,
work, and play?
Body-mind is a way of seeing and understanding the human organism. To see a
human being in terms of body-mind is to see him or her as a totality wherein his or
her physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects are all interrelated and reflective of
one another. In other words, the body is not simply the material receptacle of the
mind or spirit, it is the medium through which we experience, each in a unique and
individual way, the unfolding, transforming nature of spirit itself.
From this perspective, the functioning of the body influences the functioning of
the mind and the emotions. In a like manner, thoughts and feelings have a profound
and direct effect on the body. On a deeper level, many body-mind models believe
that the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of human experience are a reflection
of and inextricably linked to an all-pervasive spiritual essence. In different cultures
and in different times, this spiritual essence has had many names: Atman, the Tao,
God, energy, the force.
A body-mind discipline is an organized program of activity that seeks to awaken
and activate the links between body, mind, and spirit. The practice of a body-mind
discipline may involve a variety of activities, all of which aim to incorporate the
physical body with the sensing, feeling, thinking, and/or intuiting faculties of the
mind. Through the practice of a body-mind discipline, one develops awareness of
physical sensations and mental and emotional processes. This awareness can be the
basis of healing and improved health, greater efficiency and expressiveness in one’s
activities, more rewarding relationships and interactions, and a deeper, clearer sense
of purpose in one’s life.
The practice of body-mind disciplines is ancient. We have evidence that some, such
as yoga and various forms of touch therapy, were widespread even well before written
treatises were available. The ancient disciplines were based on one of the earliest and
most perseverant of human desires—to live a long, meaningful, and healthy life. For
most of human history this meant living in a state of balance and harmony, both
within oneself and within one’s environment. The body-mind disciplines that
evolved in all cultures addressed, each in their own particular way, the many ele-
ments that create and maintain this balance and harmony.
Western culture, with its roots in the civilizations of the Fertile Crescent and
Ancient Greece, once shared this same value for balance and harmony. For example,
the Greek physician Hippocrates understood the importance of balance and believed
his patients’ health could be affected by many factors. He believed it was more

important to know the kind of person he was treating than to know what kind of dis-
ease the person had. He was known to prescribe herbs, dietary changes, forms of
hydrotherapy, skeletal manipulation, movement therapy, and creative arts therapies
to help his patients regain a state of balance and harmony.
Over many centuries, however, there has been a gradual erosion of this holistic
viewpoint as Western culture developed a highly technical and specialized perspec-
tive. By comparison, today most of us no longer have a single physician who knows
us as a total human being and draws on any number of healing methods. Instead we
go to one specialist for a problem in our ears, nose, and throat, another for our gas-
trointestinal tract, and still another for troubling emotional situations. Although each
specialist may have a wealth of information regarding his or her area of expertise, no
one seems to be looking at the whole picture. Often, the pharmaceutical or surgical
solutions each specialist recommends address only one aspect of our problem and
sometimes create new problems.
This segmented, specialized perspective is evident not only in our approach to
health care, but our approach to education and the arts as well. Instead of encourag-
ing each person to feel alive, whole, and connected to the rest of the world, this per-
spective seems to foster a lack of confidence in one's experience and judgment, a
weakened sense of personal agency, and a feeling of spiritual isolation. For this rea-
son, more and more people today are seeking the holistic, centering experience of
body-mind disciplines.
In this volume we have tried to include all of the major disciplines with which a
reader may come into contact. With a subject of such scope it was necessary to create
certain limits in order to complete the task at all. We deliberately excluded any art or
skill that is used primarily for performance or competition, although we recognize that
any such art or skill may be practiced from a body-mind perspective. We also exclud-
ed any practice that is exclusively associated with a specific religious practice,
although here again we do not diminish the value of any religious practice and its
ability to incorporate body and mind. What we have included is a cross-cultural sam-
pling of techniques and methods developing the body-mind connection that have
evolved in the worlds of health care, education, physical conditioning, self-defense,
spirituality, psychology, and the arts.
We have arranged the entries in sixteen sections that generally reflect the world
in which the disciplines developed, highlight the multicultural approaches to a par-
ticular practice, or sometimes draw attention to historical connections. Each section
is introduced by an essay that provides an overview of the histories, theoretical foun-
dations, and methodologies of the disciplines that are included in the section. The
introductory essays also help relate each individual section to other sections of the
encyclopedia. It is possible to get a broad perspective of the entire world of body-
mind by simply reading the sixteen introductory essays.
Most of the entries are written by certified practitioners of these disciplines. The
entries describe in detail the history, philosophy, and techniques of the specific disci-
plines. The entries also describe what it feels like to practice or experience the disci-
pline. It is our hope that the reader will not only gain intellectual knowledge from
reading an entry, but will be stimulated on a sensory level as well.
Within each of the sections the reader will find disciplines that work along sever-

al different continuums. The broad spectrum of approaches reflects the belief of body-
mind disciplines that each individual is unique and has specific strengths, weakness-
es, and predilections. The first of these continuums may best be described as the
percentage of physical work as compared to the percentage of mental or emotional
work required of the practitioner. For example, somato respiratory integration
requires the practitioner to remain relatively still, focusing the mind on physical sen-
sations and emotional memories, whereas the Feldenkrais Method® develops aware-
ness of mental and emotional patterns by moving the body through prescribed spatial
forms. This continuum, found within individual sections of the encyclopedia, is also
apparent from section to section. For example, all of the practices in the Meditation
section approach the process of building the body-mind connection somewhat more
from the use of the mind, whereas all of the disciplines in the somatic practices sec-
tion come at the process somewhat more from the use of the body. A person may enter
the world of body-mind at any point along this continuum that suits his or her needs
or temperament.
Another continuum along which the various practices can be viewed concerns
the degree of spontaneous action as compared to structured action used by the dis-
cipline. For example, contact improvisation and Skinner release technique work
largely through improvisational forms created by the practitioner. The quality of
one’s conscious control of the movement patterns is loose and free flowing. By con-
trast, the Pilates Method and t'ai chi ch' üan use intricately structured movement
sequences that rarely vary. They require a different kind of control in order to achieve
a free-flowing connection of body and mind.
Another of the continuums along which one might view these disciplines con-
cerns the degree of involvement of the practitioner, or receiver, as a whole. In any of
the forms of massage therapy the receiver is relatively passive, in contrast to the very
active participation required by any of the forms of martial arts. All body-mind dis-
ciplines, however, ultimately encourage the active participation of the practitioner on
some level. As the practice awakens awareness of physical sensations and mental or
emotional processes, the participant naturally becomes more capable of taking an
active role in the practice, whether that means learning how to relax and experience
physical sensations more deeply or follow complex thought, breath, and movement
patterns more effortlessly and subtly. This active awareness and participation is a
basic value of all body-mind disciplines.
Some of the disciplines included in this volume have as their primary goal the
relief of physical pain. It may not seem immediately clear how such practices devel-
op the body-mind connection. In body-mind terms, the response to pain can be the
first step toward awakening a deeper awareness of the body. The theoretical under-
pinnings of every discipline included here view pain as a message from the body to
the mind that some vital link between the two is not functioning. Pain is the cry of
the body when it has been ignored, when the body-mind connection has not been
honored. When viewed this way, pain is transformed from a symptom to be eradi-
cated into a call to undertake a journey of self-discovery.
We hope this volume will offer the reader useful information for his or her unique
journey. We wish each of you a voyage filled with the excitement of discovery, the
creativity of transformation, and the joys of fulfillment.


Ayurvedic Medicine • Holistic Health • Homeopathy • Naturopathic Medi-

cine • Shamanism • Traditional Chinese Medicine • Wellness

Alternative health mod-

els consist of a variety of
ways of viewing health and
sickness and depicting the
relationship between body
and mind. Each model has
developed a system of
health care with associated
practices and disciplines.
These health models are
categorized as alternative
because they are different
from the allopathic para-
digm, the scientific frame-
work of contemporary
Western health care.

Photo by: Kevin Anderson / © Tony Stone Images

In the allopathic model
the body is viewed as a
self-contained machine or
collection of systems that
malfunction with age,
injury, or when invaded by
infectious microbes or
germs. Allopathic health
care practices developed a
battery of defensive tech-
Herbal remedies play a role in many health models, including tradi-
niques for dealing with tional Chinese medicine.
these causes of malfunc-
tion. In contrast, alterna-
tive health models see the body as one aspect of a whole person, along with mind and
spirit. They view illness as an imbalance between these three interdependent aspects of
a human being, or between a human being and his or her environment. Since the 1960s,
because of the high cost and sometimes ineffectiveness or damaging side effects of allo-
pathic health care practices, more and more people are exploring the possibilities of
other health models.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

A Historical Survey of Health Models

The oldest and most widespread alternative health model is used by shamanism
and contemporary shamanistic counseling. Shamanic healers believe that all things
have a spirit, including rocks, rivers, the sky, and the earth. According to the
shamanic model of health, spirits are responsible for the physical and psychological
health or sickness of all individuals and communities. Ancient shamans developed
methods of interacting with spirits to affect individual or communal health. Con-
temporary shamanic counselors continue to use these traditional healing tech-
niques today.
Over time, more abstract metaphors evolved to describe the spirit world and its
interactions with the material world. The concept of energy or energetic forces
replaced the discussion of individualized spirits in human philosophical and med-
ical thought. Health models such as ayurveda in India and traditional Chinese med-
icine in Asia developed intricate theories and practices to work with the complex
patterns of energies they perceived moving through the universe and all the people
in it.
The ancient Greeks also conceived of the world as a complex of energies, and
many of their healing practices reflected an integrated view of spirit and matter. The
philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BCE) articulated an important new tendency in West-
ern thought. He believed that the workings of the natural world could be known
through observation, experimentation, and classification. While Aristotle himself
believed that spiritual truth could be known through a study of the material world,
his scientific method created the possibility of a split in Western thought between
spirit and matter.
During the Renaissance, many important Greek texts were rediscovered. Many of
the great thinkers of the day embraced the Aristotelian scientific method of the pur-
suit of knowledge. This method of inquiry met with tremendous opposition from the
dominant religious and political institution of that time, the Church. The Church
regarded science as a threat to its most basic theological doctrines. This opposition
created in Western thought a deeper schism between the material and spiritual realms.
Certain Western philosophers and scientists, however, continued to investigate
health models that unify body, mind, and spirit. Health models such as Samuel Hah-
nemann’s (1755–1843) Homeopathy, which combines the science of chemistry and
biology with the belief in an invisible vital life energy, developed in Europe toward the
end of the Age of Reason. Later, healers like Father Sebastian Kneipp (1821–1897)
found other ways to integrate spiritual beliefs with scientific inquiry. His reexamina-
tion of ancient herbal cures and indigenous European health modalities eventually
made its way to the United States in the form of naturopathy.
Spiritual and material models of health coexisted in Europe and the United States
for many years. However, in the 1930s the materialistic allopathic model of health
became institutionalized in organizations such as the American Medical Association,
which proceeded to discredit holistic methods of healing. The successful control of
infectious disease with penicillin, along with other pharmaceuticals developed
throughout the 1930s to 1950s, appeared to substantiate the allopathic approach and
helped it become the dominant health model.

In the 1960s dissatisfaction with social conventions and institutions, including
allopathic health care, caused Westerners to investigate the ancient health models of
Eastern and indigenous cultures, as well as older European-based models. Many peo-
ple began to feel that allopathic strategies did not provide a complete approach to
health care. Disciplines combining Western psychological insights with ancient con-
cepts of harmony and balance, such as holistic health and wellness, became more
In the 1970s and 1980s soaring health care costs and the appearance of many
chronic health problems caused even greater interest in alternative health models.
Today, these disciplines are practiced individually and as a complement to allo-
pathic care. The philosophical viewpoint upon which these disciplines are based
continues to exert an ever-growing and far-reaching influence on the practice of
contemporary medicine.

Some Theoretical Considerations

All of the health models presented in this section believe that in addition to the
physical body, human beings are comprised of nonmaterial aspects. These include
thoughts, emotions, and intuitions of the mind, along with a person’s spiritual
essence. In these holistic models, all three aspects—body, mind, and spirit—are
interdependent and determine an individual’s state of health. In addition, many of
the disciplines adhering to this viewpoint believe that each person’s spiritual
essence interacts with the spiritual essence of the universe in much the same way
that his or her body interacts with the material environment. Health care modalities
that developed from this philosophical viewpoint seek to maintain the balance
between all aspects of human beings and their relationship with their environ-
One of the major differences between the practices based on these health models
and those of allopathic health care is the emphasis they place on the maintenance of
health, rather than the spectacular and dramatic treatment of illness. Maintaining
health requires monitoring the subtle physical, mental, and emotional ways that the
spirit manifests itself in the body.
Symptoms are viewed as physical evidence of a spiritual imbalance. They are rarely
suppressed. These health models generally believe that while the suppression of
symptoms may offer temporary relief from physical pain, it blocks the natural healing
process and will invariably result in more serious problems. Instead of suppression, a
physician follows the sequence of symptoms to find the proper way to help the body,
mind, and spirit regain their state of balance.
The alternative health models included in this section believe that each individual
has the potential for self-healing. While each model recognizes that there are many
similarities in self-healing processes, each individual’s process is respected as unique.
Specialists in these modalities use various techniques to enhance a person’s self-heal-
ing abilities. They help clients interpret and find patterns in their symptoms, develop
greater sensitivity to their physical bodies, and create a broader awareness of the
interrelationship between body, mind, and spirit. In this way, these methods encour-
age each person to participate in his or her own healing.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

What It Might Mean to Adopt One of These Models

The health models examined in this section aim to help each individual live a
happy, healthy, meaningful life. Adjusting to the methods and practices of a new
health model may cause a healing crisis. Once a person no longer suppresses symp-
toms, old physical or emotional problems may temporarily reappear, causing a per-
son to feel weaker or more vulnerable. Eventually these suppressed causes of illness
are released, physical and emotional trauma are diminished, and the foundation has
been laid for many years of continued good health and development.

—Nancy Allison, CMA

Further Reading:

Manning, Clark A., and Louis J. Vanreen. Bioener-

getic Medicines East and West: Acupuncture and
Homeopathy. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic
Books, 1988.

Ayurvedic Medicine

AYURVEDIC MEDICINE great elements—space (also known as

Ether), air, fire, water, and earth. These
five elements combine to form three

yurvedic medicine, the ancient distinct types of energy, called doshas,
Indian science of healthy living, that are present in all people and things.
places great emphasis on disease There are no words in English to
prevention. It encourages the mainte- describe these energies, so we use the
nance of health by paying close atten- original Sanskrit words vata, pitta, and
tion to the balance of one’s body, mind, kapha. In the physical body vata, com-
and spirit. Ayurvedic medicine teaches posed of air and ether, is the subtle ener-
patients to bring about and maintain gy associated with movement. It governs
this balance through proper lifestyle, breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue
diet, exercise, herbs, and meditation. movement, pulsation of the heart, and
Practitioners of ayurveda learn to iden- all movements in the cytoplasm and cell
tify the patient’s personal “constitu- membranes. Pitta, made up of fire and
tion,” understood as a unique mixture water, is considered the body’s
of three distinct life energies, or doshas. metabolic energy. It governs digestion,
A healthy person employs positive absorption, assimilation, nutrition,
thinking, diet, and lifestyle to maintain metabolism, and body temperature.
a perfect proportion of life energies. Kapha is formed from earth and water
and is the energy that forms the body’s
structure—bones, muscles, tendons—
The History of Ayurvedic Medicine and provides the “glue” that holds the
Ayurvedic medicine is considered by
cells together. Kapha also supplies the
many scholars to be the world’s oldest
water for all bodily parts and systems. It
healing science. It dates back five thou-
lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin,
sand years to the ancient Vedic culture
and maintains immunity.
of the Rishis, the philosophers and reli-
All people have vata, pitta, and
gious leaders of ancient India. Ayurve-
kapha; one is usually primary, one sec-
da, which means “the science of life” in
ondary, and the third least prominent.
the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit,
The cause of disease in ayurveda is
was passed on in the oral tradition from
viewed as the lack of proper cellular
master to disciple for thousands of
function because of an excess or
years. Some of this knowledge was pub-
deficiency of one of these three energies
lished a few thousand years ago,
and/or the presence of toxins.
notably in the ancient holy texts of Hin-
duism, one of the world’s oldest existing
literatures. It is believed that much of A Balanced Life
the tradition has actually been lost. Just as everyone has an individual face
Ayurveda has been practiced in daily or thumbprint, according to ayurveda,
life in India for more than four thousand each person has a particular pattern of
years. Western medicine has influenced energy—an individual combination of
(and been influenced by) ayurvedic med- physical, mental, and emotional charac-
icine, but the traditional ayurvedic teristics—that is his or her constitu-
lifestyle management is, for many Indi- tion. This constitution is determined at
ans, still the primary therapy for ailments. conception. Many factors, both internal
The principles of many natural healing and external, can disturb this balance,
methods now familiar in the West, such as which is reflected as a change in one’s con-
homeopathy, wellness, and polarity ther- stitution.
apy, have their roots in ayurveda. When all of the three doshas are prop-
erly proportioned, they nourish and build
Philosophy of Ayurveda mental and physical health in a person.
According to ayurvedic philosophy, the The proper amount of vata promotes cre-
entire cosmos is made up of the five ativity and flexibility; pitta engenders
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

understanding and intelligence; kapha observing the tongue and eyes, and lis-
is expressed as love, calmness, and for- tening to the tone of the patient’s voice.
giveness. The results of these tests, coupled with a
Disease is viewed as improper body patient’s physical attributes and family
functioning that is caused by an excess traits, are used to understand the cause
or deficiency of vata, pitta, or kapha as of disease, the dosha(s) involved, and
compared to the original balance of the stage of the disease process.
these doshas. This imbalance can be The assessment provides the doctor
caused by any number of factors. Genet- with a standard of the patient’s normal
ic or congenital traits may predispose a functioning. Armed with this knowledge,
person to develop unhealthy habits such the ayurvedic physician can suggest steps
as overeating or smoking. Accidents or to help return the client’s health to a bal-
other upsetting events can cause physi- anced state. Typically this involves the
cal, mental, or emotional trauma, further implementation of a different lifestyle
disrupting the individual’s balance. Fur- with a new diet, exercise, and meditation
thermore, all of us have certain personal plan. In cases where disease can be attrib-
sensitivities, such as weather conditions, uted to toxins or other external stresses,
spicy food, and flower pollen, that can the ayurvedic physician may prescribe
disrupt the body’s function. additional herbal remedies, breathing
In all of these cases, when mind exercises, and sun and massage therapies.
and/or body are upset, the doshas In some cases, participation in an inten-
become imbalanced. When this happens, sive cleansing program known as “pan-
the process of disease begins, as fear and chakarma” is suggested to help the body
anxiety can raise vata in a person. Too rid itself of accumulated toxins.
much or too little vata can produce fear
and anxiety. Similarly, pitta can stir anger,
hate, and jealousy, and kapha can lead to
Benefits and Risks
Ayurvedic medicine is and has been
greed, attachment, and envy.
practiced throughout the world for
thousands of years. Its patients claim
Typical Ayurveda increased longevity and better health.
In times of health, when there are no Proper ayurvedic practice demands
dominant outside traumas or toxins adherence to a strict, carefully planned
afflicting a person, practitioners of lifestyle. Furthermore, many in the
ayurveda pay strict attention to diet and ayurvedic field have integrated Western
lifestyle. Just as each person has a medicine into their practices, acknowl-
unique constitution, there exists for edging that different systems can com-
each person a specific “right” lifestyle, plement each other. For these reasons,
tailored to cultivate the exactly perfect anyone interested in pursuing ayurveda,
levels of the three doshas. This right particularly patients with preexisting
lifestyle engages body, mind, and spir- conditions, should consult an estab-
it—three distinct but interrelated lished clinic or ayurvedic physician.
aspects of each person—in a regimen of
diet, breathing exercises, meditation, —Dr. Vasant Lad
and physical activity.
In times of illness, an ayurvedic
physician must first determine which of Resources:
the three basic constitutional types the
patient is. Then the symptoms must be American Institute of Vedic Studies
understood as to whether they are of 1701 Sante Fe River Rd.
vata, pitta, or kapha type. Vata heart Sante Fe, NM 87501
pain is different from pitta or kapha Tel: (505) 983-9385
heart pain. Accordingly, a battery of tests Provides information on training programs and
are applied, including taking the pulse, practitioners.
Holistic Health

American School of Ayurvedic Sciences this ancient approach to health consid-

10025 NE 4th St. ers the whole person and how he or she
Bellevue, WA 98004 interacts with his or her environment. It
Tel: (206) 453-8022 emphasizes the connection of mind,
Offers a program in ayurvedic medicine. body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve
maximum well-being, where everything
Ayurvedic Foundation is functioning the very best that is pos-
P.O. Box 900413 sible. With holistic health, people
Sandy, UT 84090-0413 accept responsibility for their own level
Tel: (801) 943-1480 of well-being, and everyday choices are
e-mail: used to take charge of one’s own health.
Web site:
Conducts workshops and custom training. Also
How Holistic Health Developed
produces cassette tapes and provides ayurvedic
Ancient healing traditions, as far back
as 5,000 years ago in India and China,
stressed living a healthy way of life in
Ayurvedic Institute
harmony with nature. Socrates (fourth
11311 Menaul N.E., Suite A
century BCE) warned against treating
Albuquerque, NM 87112
only one part of the body “for the part
Tel: (505) 291-9698
can never be well unless the whole is
Provides a two-year program in ayurveda, as well
well.” Although the term holism was
as offering panchakarma workshops and
introduced by Jan Christiaan Smuts in
ayurvedic herbs, supplies, and products.
1926 as a way of viewing living things as
“entities greater than and different from
Further Reading: the sum of their parts,” it wasn’t until
the 1970s that holistic became a com-
Chopra, Deepak, M.D. Ageless Body, Timeless mon adjective in our modern vocabu-
Mind. New York: Harmony Books, 1993. lary.
Holistic concepts fell temporarily out
———. Perfect Health. New York: Harmony Books, of favor in Western societies during the
1991. twentieth century. Scientific medical
advances had created a dramatic shift in
———. Quantum Healing. New York: Bantam
the concept of health. Germs were iden-
Books, 1990.
tified as outside sources causing disease.
Frawley, David, OMD. Ayurvedic Healing. Salt Gaining health became a process of
Lake City: Morson Publishing, 1990. killing microscopic invaders with syn-
thesized drugs. People believed that they
Lad, Vasant, M.D. Ayurveda: The Science of Self- could get away with unhealthy lifestyle
Healing. Wilmot, CA: Lotus Light Press, 1984. choices, and modern medicine would
“fix” them as problems developed.
———. Secrets of the Pulse: The Ancient Art of However, for some conditions med-
Pulse Diagnosis. Albuquerque: The Ayurvedic ical cures have proven more harmful
Press, 1996 than the disease. In addition, many
chronic conditions do not respond to
scientific medical treatments. In look-
ing for other options, people are turn-
ing back to the holistic approach to
HOLISTIC HEALTH health and healing. The holistic health
lifestyle is regaining popularity each
year, as the holistic principles offer

olistic health is an approach to practical options to meet the growing
life. Rather than focusing on ill- desire for enjoying a high level of vitality
ness or specific parts of the body, and well-being.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

The Basic Principles of Holistic Health influencing an individual’s state of health

Holistic health is based on the law of have not changed significantly over the
nature that a whole is made up of inter- past twenty years. Quality of medical care
dependent parts. The earth is made up is only 10 percent. Heredity accounts for
of systems, such as air, land, water, 18 percent and environment is 19 per-
plants, and animals. If life is to be sus- cent. Everyday lifestyle choices are 53
tained, they cannot be separated, for percent. The decisions people make
what is happening to one system is also about their life and habits are, therefore,
felt by all of the others. In the same way, by far the largest factor in determining
an individual is a whole made up of their state of wellness.
interdependent parts, which are physi- The most obvious choices people
cal, mental, emotional, and spiritual. make each day are what they “consume”—
When one part is not working at its best, both physically and mentally. The cells in a
it impacts all of the other parts of that person’s body are constantly being
person. Furthermore, this whole per- replaced. New cells are built from what is
son, including all of the parts, is con- available. Harmful substances or lack of
stantly interacting with everything in needed building blocks in the body can
the surrounding environment. For result in imperfect cells, unable to do what
example, when an individual is anxious is required to keep that person healthy.
about a history exam or a job interview, Similarly, on the non-physical level, a per-
his or her nervousness may result in a son’s mental attitudes are “built” from
physical reaction—such as acne or a what he or she sees and hears.
stomachache. When people suppress The majority of illnesses and prema-
anger at a parent or a boss over a long ture deaths can be traced back to
period of time, they can develop a seri- lifestyle choices. There are the well-
ous illness—such as migraine head- known dangers connected with drugs,
aches, emphysema, or even arthritis. alcohol, nicotine, and unprotected sex-
The principles of holistic health state ual activity. Less recognized is the
that health is more than just not being impact of excesses in things like sugar,
sick. A common explanation is to view caffeine, and negative attitudes. Com-
wellness as a continuum along a line. The bined with deficiencies in exercise,
line represents all possible degrees of nutritious foods, and self-esteem, these
health. The far left end of the line repre- gradually accumulate harmful effects.
sents premature death. On the far right With time they diminish the quality of
end is the highest possible level of well- the “environment” within that human
ness or maximum well-being. The center being, and can set the stage for illness to
point of the line represents a lack of take hold. Quality of life, now and in the
apparent disease. This places all levels of future, is actually being determined by a
illness on the left half of the wellness con- multitude of seemingly unimportant
tinuum. The right half shows that even choices made every day.
when no illness seems to be present, there
is still a lot of room for improvement. How Holistic Health Is Practiced
Holistic health is an ongoing process. While preventing illness is important,
As a lifestyle, it includes a personal holistic health focuses on reaching
commitment to be moving toward the higher levels of wellness. The right half
right end of the wellness continuum. No of the wellness continuum invites peo-
matter what their current status of ple to constantly explore which every-
health, people can improve their level of day actions work for them and discover
well-being. Even when there are tempo- what is appropriate to move them
rary setbacks, movement is always head- toward maximum well-being. People
ed toward wellness. are motivated by how good it feels to
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have lots of energy and enthusiasm for
and Prevention report that the key factors life, knowing that what they are doing
Holistic Health

that day will allow them to continue to Resources:

feel this great for years to come.
When disease and chronic condi- American Holistic Health Association (AHHA)
tions do occur, the holistic health princi- Dept. R
ples also can be applied. The term is P.O. Box 17400
usually changed to holistic medicine, Anaheim, CA 92817-7400
and additional factors are added. The Tel: (714) 779-6152
health care professionals using the e-mail:
holistic approach work in partnership Web site:
with their patients. They recommend This nonprofit educational organization has com-
treatments that support the body’s nat- piled lists of self-help resources available in the
ural healing system and consider the United States. These free materials and a booklet,
whole person and the whole situation. Wellness From Within: The First Step, which
A holistic approach to healing goes introduces the holistic approach to creating well-
beyond just eliminating symptoms. For ness, are available on the Internet or by mail.
example, taking an aspirin for a headache
would be like disconnecting the oil light Graduate Certificate Program in Holistic Health
on the dash of a car when it flashes. The Care
irritation is eliminated, but the real prob- Director: Molly B. Vass, Ed.D.
lem still exists. In holistic medicine, a Western Michigan University
symptom is considered a message that College of Health and Human Services
something needs attention. So the symp- Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5174
tom is used as a guide to look below the Tel: (616) 387-3800
surface for the root cause. Then what real- Fax: (616) 387-3348
ly needs attention can be addressed. e-mail:
Unique opportunity to study holistic health care in
The Benefits of Holistic Health an accredited academic program. Consists of 18
Holistic health supports reaching high- semester hours of study in holistic health care and
er levels of wellness as well as prevent- related topics. Can be taken as an independent
ing illness. People enjoy the vitality and certificate or can be used to supplement graduate
well-being that results from their posi- training in related fields. Three main areas of
tive lifestyle changes, and are motivated holistic health care (promotion, prevention, and
to continue this process throughout treatment) are addressed through a combination
their lives. of education, research, promotion, training,
administration, program planning, and program
—Suzan Walter development efforts. Graduates are able to work

Training in Holistic Health

The conventional (or allopathic) medical model taught in most Western medical schools
does not include the holistic principles. Complementary (or alternative) medical tradi-
tions, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, massage therapy, and naturopa-
thy, include many of the principles of holistic medicine. Yet some medical doctors are
holistic in how they deal with their patients, and some practitioners using complemen-
tary therapies are not holistic. Patients are learning to check for both technical expertise
and whether a practitioner uses the holistic principles.

People interested in a career as a holistic practitioner must first become qualified in one or
more methods of delivering health care, such as chiropractic, massage therapy, medicine,
naturopathy, or psychology. Then they add on the holistic qualities and philosophy.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

within their chosen professional areas from a prevalent practices of bloodletting,

holistic perspective. purging, vomiting, and the administra-
tion of large doses of harsh drugs.
It was not until 1789, when translat-
Further Reading: ing A Treatise of Materia Medica by Dr.
William Cullen, that Hahnemann first
Collinge, William, Ph.D. The American Holistic
conceived of his homeopathic method.
Health Association Complete Guide to Alterna-
He decided to experiment on himself
tive Medicine. New York: Warner Books, 1996.
with cinchona (Peruvian bark), one of
the drugs mentioned in that work. He
Gordon, James S., M.D. Holistic Medicine. New
noticed that when a healthy person took
York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.
doses of cinchona, the substance from
which quinine is derived, it produced
Travis, John W., M.D., and Regina Sara Ryan.The
many of the symptoms that it was
Wellness Workbook. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press,
intended to alleviate.
The official birth date of homeopathy
is 1796, when Hahnemann published an
article in the Journal of Practical Medi-
cine, in which he delineates three meth-
ods of healing: preventative treatment,
HOMEOPATHY which is the removal of the causes of ill-
ness; palliative treatment by the princi-

ple of contraria contraris, which means
omeopathy is a holistic system the healing by opposites; and the treat-
that is used to treat chronic and ment of likes with likes, namely the pre-
acute illness and disease. Founded scribing of medicines that cause similar
by Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700s, symptoms in healthy individuals. Hah-
homeopathy is based on the concept of nemann coined the term Homeopathy,
“like cures like,” which means that reme- from the Greek words homois, similar,
dies are matched to symptom patterns and pathos, meaning disease. The word
in the patient. To “match” symptoms homeopathic first appeared in print in
means that the physician analyzes a an article he published in 1807.
patient’s symptoms to find a substance, Published in 1810, the Organon of
usually from plants, minerals, and ani- Rational Medicine is Hahnemann’s quin-
mals, that induces the same symptoms tessential work, a complete exposition of
in a healthy person. By ingesting small, his healing method. To this day it forms
diluted doses of these substances, the the foundation of homeopathy. The
body is stimulated to fight illness. In principle of similia similibus, first set
recent times, homeopathic practices forth in his essay of 1796, was now
have grown dramatically in popularity as expanded to similia similibus curentor—
people all over the world rediscover the let likes be treated by likes—the core
inexpensive, natural remedies used to principle of homeopathy. The reception
cure illnesses that do not respond to of this work was lukewarm.
conventional treatment. Despite the apathetic reception
Organon had received, he attempted to
History of Homeopathy teach homeopathy through his newly
The founder of homeopathy, Samuel formed Institute for the Postgraduate
Hahnemann, was born in Meissen, Ger- Study of Homeopathy. Not one person
many in 1755. He was thin, delicate, and responded to his advertisement. In 1812
highly intelligent, with an interest in the Napoleon was driven from Germany, and
natural sciences and languages. He the war flooded the area with refugees,
established his first medical practice in starvation, and no less than 80,000
1780. Hahnemann was appalled by the dead and another 80,000 wounded.

Photo: Corbis-Bettmann

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), founder of homeopathy

Hahnemann and other physicians were In 1819 a group of envious physicians

pressed into service trying to help the and angry pharmacists filed a court
many who suffered not only from the action against Hahnemann to prevent
battle but from an outbreak of typhus. him from dispensing his own medicines
Armed with twenty-six homeopathic in Leipzig, where he was living at the
remedies, Hahnemann achieved remark- time. Despite Hahnemann’s growing
able results in treating typhus. He would reputation and successful treatment of
later report that only two of the 180 royalty and famous people such as
typhus patients he treated had died. Johann Goethe, Hahnemann lost the
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

case. Although he subsequently won in less than twenty-two homeopathic med-

the Appeals Court of Dresden, Hahne- ical schools and countless homeopathic
mann closed his practice and left hospitals and clinics throughout the
Leipzig for the city of Kothen in 1821. United States. Estimates are that by the
Shortly after his arrival in Kothen, turn of the century there were about
Hahnemann, through his political and 15,000 homeopathic physicians in the
social connections, procured permission United States.
from the authorities to practice home- Around the same time, the sciences
opathy with total immunity. During of cellular and molecular biology, as well
these years he wrote his last great work, as physiology, began to replace the rudi-
Chronic Diseases: Their Peculiar Nature mentary medical knowledge of Hahne-
and Their Homeopathic Treatment. First mann’s time. Together these sciences
published in Dresden, in 1828, it ulti- produced medicines used by conven-
mately ran to five volumes by 1839 and tional physicians to quickly and effec-
totaled in excess of 1,600 pages. This tively remove or modulate their patients’
work set forth another deep insight, that symptoms at relatively low costs. By the
not only could patients be cured of acute 1960s homeopathy in the United States
conditions but that their patterns of was virtually dead and medical histori-
acute conditions over the years allow for ans predicted the complete death of this
a classification of chronic tendencies “medical heresy” by 1980.
toward types of disease. These chronic But instead, by the late 1970s Ameri-
tendencies Hahnemann called miasms, can homeopathy was well into a revival.
the patient’s inherited predisposition By 1996, the bicentennial anniversary of
toward certain types of illness. By know- Hahnemann’s discovery of homeopathy,
ing the miasmatic type, a homeopathic more books and articles were being
physician could now treat preventively, written about homeopathy than at any
and this tendency could be mitigated so time since the turn of the century. Sales
that the next generation’s health could be of homeopathic medicines have
improved. Hahnemann had intuited the increased by 30 percent per year in the
basis for treating genetic disorders. United States since 1990.
In 1831, a cholera epidemic swept
Europe. The Hahnemannian protocol Eight Fundamentals
for treating cholera, which also includ- The fundamentals of homeopathy, as
ed cleanliness, ventilation, and disin- laid down by Hahnemann, are as fol-
fection, resulted in a drastic reduction lows:
in mortality. Records at that time indi-
cate that under homeopathic treatment 1. There is a natural and universal sci-
mortality was between 2 and 20 percent entific law of cure, namely, that likes
while conventional treatment carried a can be cured by likes. This means
mortality of over 50 percent. that small amounts of any sub-
Homeopathy began to spread to Eng- stance that causes disease in a
land and the United States. By 1844 the healthy person can be used to treat
American Institute of Homeopathy was that same disease in a patient.
founded by homeopathic physicians 2. The knowledge of the action of reme-
from New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. dies is harvested from single- or dou-
The first national medical organization in ble-blind experiments in which small
the United States, it was established to doses are given to healthy subjects
promote standardization of the practice who later record their detailed reac-
and teaching of homeopathy. tions to the test substance. This is
This period in American homeopa- called a homeopathic proving. The
thy was its golden age. There were liter- knowledge base for a particular sub-
ally thousands of homeopathic books stance or remedy is also determined
and journals published. There were no from case histories of treatment with

the substance, which has not under- 8. There is a distinction between acute
gone a proving but which has yield- or epidemic diseases and chronic dis-
ed a cure in clinical practice. Added ease patterns of patients. Preventative
to this is the information of symp- homeopathic care requires an under-
toms produced by accidental poi- standing of these chronic patterns.
sonings with toxic substances. The
proving, clinical, and toxicological Despite more than 200 years of clinical
data form the materia medica of the efficacy, the way that these remedies
remedy. work is still a mystery. We do not yet
3. The ability of an organism to feel, possess the technology or the method-
sense, act, or achieve homeostasis ology necessary to unlock homeopa-
(or equilibrium) is maintained by a thy’s secrets.
non-material principle called the Philosophically, homeopathy is holis-
dynamis. This dynamis, or “spirit- tic (not merely alternative) because the
like” vital force is, according to Hah- essential task is to understand the
nemann, similar in nature to gravity patient as a whole person. As a method,
or magnetism. It is a force that to homeopathy is a synthesis of the natural
date has eluded explanation or clas- science approach and the phenomeno-
sification by the natural sciences. logical or descriptive approach. The
Diseases, therefore, are not actual physician must blend his or her natural
material things; rather they are science training in anatomy, physiology,
descriptions or classifications of pathology, biochemistry, physical diag-
symptom patterns. Symptoms are nosis, etc., with observation of the
not things to be removed or sup- patient and understanding of the
pressed by drugs; rather they are an patient’s self-description. The challenge
expression of the vital force’s of homeopathy, even in the treatment of
attempt to heal. The properly pre- apparently purely physical conditions, is
pared, selected, and administered to select a few probable remedies from
homeopathic remedy somehow the thousand or more possible remedies.
“resonates” with the vital force and Just like a novel with many chapters
stimulates the healing process. and plot twists, so a patient’s cure
4. A single remedy at a time is given. Sin- unfolds. The process is highly individ-
gle-remedy administration also allows ual. The homeopathic physician will be
a clear evaluation of its efficacy. guided by certain principles of cure:
5. A minimum dose must be used. healing occurs from above downward,
Small doses of a substance stimulate from the center to the periphery, from
healing, medium doses paralyze the more vital organs to less vital organs
patient, and large doses kill. and in reverse order of the appearance
6. Individualization of the treatment is of the original symptoms.
essential. No two people are exactly
alike in either sickness or health, Practicing Homeopathy
and although homeopaths use clas- A typical session with a homeopathic
sifications of disease types, finer, physician begins with the patient’s his-
individual distinctions must always tory. The patient is allowed to tell his or
be made since, although the action her story without interruption. Only
of two remedies may often be simi- after the patient is finished will the
lar, they are never exactly the same. physician ask specific questions to
7. The mere removal of symptoms by understand the symptoms, namely how
suppressive means is a grave danger they vary according to time of day or
because it defeats the vital force’s season, rest or activity, temperature,
attempt at homeostasis and puts the bathing, position, eating, thirst, sleep,
patient at risk for a more serious dis- social intercourse, perspiration, external
ease. stimuli, emotions, etc.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Most important, the physician to stimulate a healing response. Having

attempts to understand the patient’s given a dose of the indicated remedy, the
personality. Inquiries are made into patient and physician must now wait.
how the patient copes with stress, and Depending on the patient, the nature of
about the patient’s fears and worries. the problem and the potency of the rem-
The patient describes him- or herself. edy, a return visit is scheduled weeks or
This process is often the most reveal- months after the initial dose. While there
ing. have been miraculous homeopathic
The physician uses these descriptions cures after just one dose, most chronic
to generate an understanding of the cases take months or years to cure. The
patient. He or she also obtains a conven- process is highly individual.
tional medical and surgical history, and
finally performs a physical examination. Benefits of Homeopathy
The physician then attempts to rank Homeopathic treatment is appropriate
various symptoms, modalities, and and safe for all ages and is especially use-
generalities by degree of intensity. A list ful in childhood and during pregnancy,
of symptoms is generated and the labor, and the postpartum period. Home-
symptoms are then repertorized, that opathy has successfully treated patients
is, they are cross-indexed with the with conditions such as otitis, bronchitis,
remedies known to have caused or pneumonia, migraines, hepatitis, pan-
cured these same symptoms. This creatitis, appendicitis, and cholecystitis.
labor-intensive process was for cen- Historically, homeopathy has been used
turies performed by hand, but is now to treat potentially dangerous infections
done by computer. such as cholera, influenza, syphilis, gon-
Having narrowed the field to several orrhea, scarlet fever, polio, measles, and
probable remedies, the homeopathic tuberculosis. Chronic conditions such as
physician must then determine whether arthritis, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, and
the patient’s problem is an acute, chronic fatigue syndrome have all been
chronic, or inherited illness, or perhaps alleviated by homeopathic treatments. It
an illness due to the suppressive effects is reported that devastating diseases
of previous treatment. such as multiple sclerosis can be brought
The art of homeopathy is in the abil- to remission if treated early enough. His-
ity of the homeopathic physician to torical homeopathic literature contains
process all of this information into a many references to cures of various types
synthesis, a “remedy portrait” or gestalt, of cancer, though admittedly these are
which corresponds to the remedy likely some of the most difficult for any system

The Importance of Women in Homeopathic Medicine

Women figured prominently in the history of American homeopathy. By 1900 it is esti-

mated that 12 percent of homeopathic physicians were women. The Cleveland Homeo-
pathic College was one of the first coeducational medical institutions in the country.
Women auxiliaries raised large amounts of money to open many of the homeopathic
hospitals, and it was women, in their role of family caretaker, who were the lay pre-
scribers introducing homeopathy to many communities. Some members of the early
women’s suffrage movement were either homeopathic physicians or their patients. Dr.
Susan Edson, a graduate of the Cleveland Homeopathic College, was personal physician
to President Garfield.

Naturopathic Medicine

of medicine to cure and are best dealt Roberts, Herbert. The Principles and Art of Cure
with on a preventive basis. by Homeopathy. Santa Barbara, CA: Health
Science Press, 1942.
—Dr. Domenick Masiello
Weiner, Michael, and Kathleen Gross.The Complete
Book of Homeopathy. Garden City, NY: Avery
Resources: Publishing Group, 1989.

The American Institute of Homeopathy

Wright-Hubbard, Elizabeth. A Brief Study Course
1585 Glencoc Street, Suite 44
in Homeopathy. St. Louis, MO: Formur, 1977.
Denver, CO 80220-1338
Tel: (303) 321-4105
Facilitates conferences, publishes a journal, and
provides referrals.

The National Center for Homeopathy

801 North Fairfax, Suite 306

Alexandria, VA 22314 aturopathic medicine is a form of
Tel: (703) 548-7790 health care that utilizes and inte-
e-mail: grates different natural therapies
Nonprofit organization that promotes homeopa- such as clinical nutrition, homeopathy,
thy in the United States. Publishes monthly maga- hydrotherapy, botanical medicines,
zine entitled Homeopathy Today. minor surgery, Oriental medicine, physi-
cal medicine, lifestyle counseling, and
other treatments with a knowledge of tra-
Videotape: ditional diagnostic and medical therapies
in order to treat a range of afflictions. A
Winston, Julian. The Faces of Homeopathy: A Pic- licensed doctor of naturopathy (ND)
torial History. Alexandria, VA: The National must graduate from a four-year program
Center of Homeopathy, 1995. that specializes not only in naturopathic
studies, but also basic medical science.
Further Reading: Practitioners are then qualified to provide
primary care, perform diagnostic testing,
Cook, Trevor M. Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and and prescribe a course of treatment that
Times. Middlesex, Eng.: Homeopathic Studies draws from a long list of natural remedies
Ltd., 1981. and techniques.

Coulter, Harris. Homeopathic Medicine. St. Louis: The Origins of Naturopathic Medicine
Formur, 1972. The development of naturopathic medi-
cine began with Benedict Lust, a German
Hahnemann, Samuel. Organon of Medicine. who immigrated to the United States in
Translated by Jost Kunzli, Alain Nuadé, and 1892. A few years after arriving, Lust was
Peter Pendleton. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1982. struck down with tuberculosis. When
American doctors couldn’t help him,
———. The Chronic Diseases: Their Peculiar Lust returned to Europe and sought out
Nature and Their Homeopathic Cure. New Father Sebastian Kneipp, a priest living
Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, 1985. in Bavaria who was known for his
“nature cure” treatments.
———. Materia Medica Pura. New Delhi: B. Jain Kneipp did what Lust’s doctor could
Publishers, 1984. not—he successfully treated Lust. This
was a turning point in Lust’s life. In
Kent, James Tyler. Lectures on Homeopathic Philoso- 1896, Kneipp gave Lust permission to
phy. Richmond, VA: North Atlantic Books, 1979. bring his treatments to America. Once
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

back in the United States, Lust naturopathic healing. Illness is generally

researched other natural health the result of many factors. Part of “whole
philosophies and used them to reshape person,” or holistic, care is investigating
and mold Kneipp’s ideas to appeal to not only physical symptoms, but emo-
the American people. By broadening tional and mental ones too. How and
the scope of his work, Lust and other what you eat, lifestyle habits, genetic
Kneipp disciples developed what is now tendencies, as well as social interactions
known as naturopathic medicine. are all important in assessing and treat-
In 1902, Lust bought the word ing health problems.
“naturopathy” from a New York physi- The final principle of naturopathic
cian who had coined the term seven medicine is the emphasis on preventa-
years earlier. In 1909, California became tive medicine. Practitioners aim to
the first state to recognize the new disci- lessen and even eliminate the chance of
pline by enacting regulatory laws disease by encouraging patients to take
regarding the practice of naturopathic a proactive role in their health care by
medicine. Popularity of naturopathy implementing and maintaining a
rose significantly early in the century, healthy lifestyle.
but began to decline with the improve-
ment and accessibility of pharmaceuti- A Visit to a Naturopathic
cal drugs. Alternative methods of health Practitioner
care, including naturopathic medicine, Naturopathic physicians are often pri-
have enjoyed a resurgence of interest as mary caregivers. This means they can
people rediscover that natural remedies be your family or general practitioner,
are also valuable. except they use natural treatments.
When you call an ND’s office, a recep-
The Five Principles of Naturopathic tionist will greet you and ask when
Medicine you’d like to make an appointment,
Today’s brand of naturopathic medicine much as in a medical doctor’s office.
embodies five main principles. The first, On the day of your visit, you’ll find
Vis medicatrix naturae, means “the that a naturopathic medical office is
healing power of nature.” Naturopathic just that—a medical office. You might
physicians use therapies that help the fill out some forms and then be invited
body to heal itself. to see the doctor. Your naturopathic
Primum non nocere, the second physician will ask what’s wrong, and
principle, means “first do no harm.” will then spend about an hour to dis-
This translates into safe, naturopathic cover the cause of your ailment.
treatments that have no or minimal Your ND will take a lengthy medical
side effects. Naturopathic physicians history and perform a thorough physi-
refer patients to other health-care prac- cal examination. Laboratory tests will
titioners, such as medical doctors be ordered as needed. An ND relies on
(M.D.s), when it is appropriate for the both standard medical lab tests and
patient. specialized tests more fitting to a natur-
True health can be achieved only al medical practice.
when your doctor practices Tolle causam, Your ND then recommends treatment
or “finds the cause.” Diagnosing the true based on his or her investigation. Diet is
cause of disease and illness is fundamen- discussed, and perhaps vitamins or other
tal to naturopathic care. Sometimes it is nutrient supplements suggested. Herbs
as simple as poor diet or sleeping habits. are common medicines used by NDs as
These basic issues can significantly affect well as homeopathic remedies, which are
one’s health. Other times, more complex specially prepared substances used to
factors are responsible. boost healing. Various techniques like
A commitment to treating the whole hydrotherapy, exercise, or ultrasound,
person is an important principle of just as physical therapists use, might be
Naturopathic Medicine

employed. And where appropriate, NDs take their role as teacher very seri-
stress management or counseling is ously as they instruct their patients in
suggested. how to stay healthy.
NDs are trained to perform minor As primary caregivers, NDs cooper-
surgery such as repairing superficial ate with other medical and health pro-
wounds, but will refer you to surgeons fessionals. An ND, like any general
and other doctors for major operations. practitioner, is the gatekeeper for your
Some states allow qualified NDs to pre- health care. When you’re sick, you see
scribe some drugs like antibiotics. your ND first. He or she will consult with
It’s perfectly appropriate, and some- or refer you to other physicians and spe-
times desirable, to mix and match cialists when appropriate.
naturopathic therapies with allopathic
treatment. This should be done only
under professional guidance to prevent —Lauri M. Aesoph, ND
potential problems. While all naturo-
pathic doctors are trained in the basics Resources:
of Oriental medicine, there are some
who specialize in acupuncture, herbal American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
medicine, and related therapies. Some (AANP)
NDs offer natural childbirth, including 601 Valley Street, Ste. 105
pre- and postnatal care, for pregnant Seattle, WA 98109
women. Tel: (206) 298-0125
Web site:
Benefits of Naturopathic Medicine physician
Naturopathic medical care is suitable e-mail:
for all age groups and most acute and This professional organization provides referrals to
chronic conditions. Its whole-person, naturopathic physicians in the United States. A
natural-care approach allows you to myriad of information on naturopathic medicine
attain the best health possible in an is also available.
effective and safe manner. Because
naturopathic physicians are concerned Bastyr University
with solving, not masking, symptoms, 14500 Juanita Dr. NE
healing can take longer than with Bothell, WA 98011
conventional treatment. Naturopathic Tel: (206) 823-1300
medicine also requires that patients Web site:
take an active role in their health care. Four-year postgraduate university that offers

A Naturopathic Medical Career

Before applying for naturopathic medical school, one must complete a minimum of
three years of college, including specific prerequisite courses. It takes four years of grad-
uate-level study to earn the degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Anatomy, phar-
macology, gynecology, and radiology are just some of the medical sciences taught.
Training in natural therapeutics is also included, as is time spent working in a clinical set-
ting seeing patients.
While an ND degree specifically prepares you for naturopathic medical practice, there
are other career opportunities. NDs also teach, do research, work for the natural health
industry, write, lecture, and work as consultants. As natural medicine expands and grows,
so does the potential for naturopathic medicine.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

degrees in naturopathic medicine and related Ullman, Robert, and Judith Reichenberg-Ullman.
health care disciplines. The Patient’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine.
Kent, WA: Pacific Pipeline, 1995.
Canadian Naturopathic Association
4174 Dundas Street W, Suite 304
Etobicoke, ON M8X 1X3
Tel: (416) 233-1043 SHAMANISM
Fax: (416) 233-2924

This professional group offers referrals to naturo-
hamanism is an ancient healing
pathic doctors throughout Canada.
method that allows a person to
enter and interact with an unseen
National College of Naturopathic Medicine
world of spirits. Contemporary shaman-
049 SW Porter
ism encompasses a wide range of spiri-
Portland, OR 97201
tual practices originating in civilizations
Tel: (503) 499-4343
in North and South America, Siberia,
Web site:
Indonesia, Australia, Southeast Asia,
A postgraduate, four-year institution that provides
Japan, and Tibet. Throughout history,
classes in naturopathic medicine.
shamanic healers have been known by
many names, including medicine man
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine &
or medicine woman, witch, warlock, or
Health Sciences
in African-based vodoun religions—
2140 East Broadway
priest or priestess. The word shaman
Tempe, AZ 85282
was derived from the Asian word
Tel: (602) 858-9100
saman by nineteenth-century Euro-
Fax: (602) 858-0222
pean scholars intrigued by the cultures
Web site:
and practices of ancient shamanism.
Currently many Western medical
Four-year postgraduate college that offers degrees
researchers and psychologists are
in naturopathic medicine and related health care
exploring shamanism, not as a curiosi-
ty, but as a creative and constructive
way of viewing the world.
Further Reading:
The Early Shamans
Aesoph, Lauri. How to Eat Away Arthritis. Para- In ancient times, shamans served many
mus, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1996. roles in their societies. They performed
rituals to mark the migrations of the ani-
Brown, Donald. Herbal Prescriptions for Better mals that their societies hunted. Hunters
Health. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1996. consulted shamans to learn where ani-
mals could be found. The shamans also
Kirchfeld, Friedhelm, and Wade Boyle. Nature designed and performed rituals to mark
Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic Medicine. the changing of seasons, the migration of
East Palestine, OH: Buckeye Naturopathic their people to different locations, and
Press, 1994 (distributed by Medicina Biologi- individual rites of passage such as birth,
ca, Portland, OR). the transition from adolescence to adult-
hood, marriage, and death.
Murray, Michael, and Joseph Pizzorno. Encyclope- Early shamans were also teachers. In
dia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, CA: Prima many early societies, storytelling was an
Publishing, 1991. important part of the shaman’s skills.
Often, the stories he or she told taught
Murray, Michael. The Healing Powers of Foods, lessons about the society’s beliefs, fears,
New York: Ballantine Fawcett, 1993. and traditions.

Photo: Corbis-Bettmann
A Navajo shaman ministers to a mother and baby for better health.

Shamans were also healers. Since of gods, goddesses, and monsters in the
many societies believed that all illnesses narratives of their mythologies.
had a spiritual source, the shamans Shamanism is founded on a belief
were often chosen for their ability to that most diseases and grievances
communicate with the spirit world. between individuals or nations are
Healing rituals designed to remove caused by an imbalance in the natural
harmful spirits from individuals or order of the seen and unseen worlds. A
communities often took place in sacred shaman interacts with the invisible
spaces such as caves or mountains and world of forces and energies and restores
included wearing ceremonial clothing, the balance. His or her stories, rituals,
using herbs, playing drums, rattles, and and dances are used to subdue or stimu-
flutes, and dancing. late feelings that may bring new hope,
motivate a person to act, or simply
The Unseen World increase energy for healing and change.
Shamans believe that there are two reali-
ties: the “seen” world, which is the world Shamanism in Today’s World
we perceive through our five senses, and It is unlikely that you will find the ser-
the “unseen” or “invisible” world, which vices of a shaman advertised at your
our five senses cannot detect. The unseen family health clinic, but many clinics do
world can be compared to the world of refer patients to therapists who use
dreams, emotions, instincts, and intu- techniques borrowed from the shaman-
ition. Emotions, such as fear, joy, love, ic tradition. For example, psychologists
and grief, or human sexual drives, cannot and hypnotherapists use hypnosis and
be seen but are very real forces in human mental visualization (a traditional
life. Ancient shamanic cultures honored shamanic technique) to help people
the forces of the unseen world in the form stop smoking, control their appetite,
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: © Anako

Traditional shamanic practices in Comalapa, Guatemala.


reduce anxiety, manage chronic pain, and image clearly in the person’s mind, the
recover from an addiction. Mental visual- shaman or shamanic counselor begins a
ization is a process in which a person sets steady rhythm with a hand drum, a rattle,
a goal by imagining himself or herself or recorded music. He or she may use a
accomplishing it. For example, a person rhythm similar to the human heart
who wants to calm his or her anxiety beat—between fifty-five and seventy
before delivering a speech may imagine beats per minute. This rhythm puts the
getting up on the podium, confidently person into a light trance, allowing him or
delivering a successful talk, and receiving a her to relax and enter a dreamlike state.
standing ovation. For many people these Upon entering the trance state, the
images can replace the old memories that person might meet and work with an
caused the fear. While shamans helped inner guide or adviser. During the jour-
their communities by telling stories or per- ney, the person might ask his or her
forming rituals, today’s practitioners guide questions, listen for answers, and
sometimes use “guided imagery” to possibly carry on a dialogue for several
achieve a similar goal. minutes or more. Eventually, the
There is also an increasing number of shamanic counselor will change the
organizations teaching traditional rhythm of the drum to indicate that the
shamanic practices throughout the world. person should return to the “seen”
Courses are taught by anthropologists, world. After returning, there might be
psychologists, and shamans from Native further discussion with the shamanic
American, African, Hawaiian, South counselor to help the person interpret
American, Australian, or other traditions. the meaning of the journey.
Typical workshops might include lectures
about basic principles of shamanism,
drumming workshops, and experiences in Benefits of Shamanism
the basic shamanistic technique of “jour- Although many people still view the
neying” into the unseen world. practices of shamanism as more fiction
Shamanic counseling is available than fact, a growing number of people
today in many parts of the United States. value the emphasis these practices place
It is used to aid a person’s physical, emo- on the unseen world of emotions,
tional, or spiritual health. A typical session dreams, and spiritual forces to help heal
illnesses and guide them in living a
may begin with a “smudging” ceremony.
healthy and fulfilling life. While shaman-
This consists of burning a small amount
ism rarely offers a quick fix for acute ill-
of dried sage, often mixed with other
nesses, many people have reported
herbs such as sweet grass and cedar.
profound physical and emotional relief
Smoke from the smudge pot might be
through contemporary shamanic prac-
wafted with a feathered fan over the per-
tices. With a history as long and enduring
son’s body, sometimes from head to toe.
as humankind itself, it is hard to find a
Shamans believe that the person is
more time-tested method for bringing
“cleansed” as the smoke lifts away dark or
harmony and comfort to body and mind.
negative influences and energies.
The smudging ceremony may be fol-
lowed by a “journey” in which the —Hal Zina Bennett
shaman enters the unseen world in
order to consult guiding spiritual forces.
A person may also journey to the unseen
world for him- or herself. In this prac- Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alter-
tice, the shamanic counselor may begin native Modes of Healing
by discussing the person’s problem. The Ruth-Inge Heinze, Ph.D.
person may then be told to close his or 2321 Russell Street, Suite 3A
her eyes, relax, and imagine the journey Berkeley, CA 94705
that he or she is about to make. With the Promotes shamanism as a healing practice.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Other Shamanic Techniques

Vision Quests: In this practice, a person spends a day or more alone in the wilderness.
There he or she is able to fast and meditate without distractions. This can be used to
help people contemplate their own inner worlds, their fears, dreams, strengths, and
gifts. It can also be used to experience a oneness with nature.

Sun Dances: The sun dance was originally used to help warriors get in touch with their
inner strengths and to draw strength from the spirits of nature such as those found in
trees, rocks, clouds and sky. Usually over a period of several days, the young warrior
was prepared through fasting, meditation, and counsel with an elder. Then small
hooks or barbs were placed in the fleshy portions of his chest. Cords fastened these
hooks to a tree or post and the dancer leaned back against them, naturally causing
some pain. The dancers stood in this way from dawn to dusk, usually in the hot sun. It
was a test of one’s endurance and one’s ability to deal with his or her own fears and dis-
comforts. People who experienced the sun dance claimed to have gained dramatic
self-knowledge. Even today there are those who repeat the sun dance every year.

Drumming Circles: This practice uses drums for therapeutic purposes. Usually there is
a lead, or “mother,” drum with a deep voice that sets a simple rhythm based on the
heartbeat. People participate in these circles to help focus their energies, rather than
to perform or make music. During a drumming circle, there are many conversations
with the drums, which are used to teach participants how to listen and communicate
with one another. Some people look upon drumming circles as times of communion,
where people are brought together at a deep spiritual level.

Medicine Wheel: The medicine wheel is an important practice in most shamanic tra-
ditions; evidence of its use can be found in every part of the world. People form a
wheel by gathering in a circle to discuss a problem or to bring about a change that
affects them all. At the wheel, all people have equal status and an equal chance to
speak. The wheel is used to allow a joining of their “spirits,” that is, the inner worlds of
each participant. It is understood that no single person at the wheel ever has the ulti-
mate answer; rather, the solution is to be found as a community.

Sweat Lodge: A dome-shaped structure is constructed with willow branch poles, cov-
ered with hides or blankets. Prayers are offered and each participant is blessed upon
entering the lodge. Then rocks, which have been heated at a fire outside the lodge, are
brought inside and placed in the center. Water is poured over the rocks and the heat
inside the lodge rises. In this steamy, hot environment, the participants meditate and
contemplate their own lives or the lives of their community. The ceremonies and ritu-
als that are performed vary with each lodge. Some create a medicine wheel. Others
may sing. Still others may eat ritual herbs or peyote, a drug that produces hallucina-
tions. The purpose of the sweat lodge, as with most shamanic practices, is to get in
touch with the forces and energies of the invisible world in order to improve the qual-
ity of life.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

traces its mixture of herbal medicine,

The Foundation for Shamanic Studies acupuncture, and massage therapy back
P.O. Box 1939 to the origins of Taoism and Confucian-
Mill Valley, CA 94942 ism. With a heavy emphasis on under-
Tel: (415) 380-8282 standing the patient and his or her
Sponsors workshops on shamanic training. Call or needs, as opposed to focusing on the ill-
write for a catalog of their workshops. ness and its symptoms, TCM offers a
counterpoint and complement to the
Further Reading: bio-science of Western medicine.
TCM has been studied and practiced
Books: in many Asian countries such as Japan as
long ago as 600 CE. Some Asian countries
Andrews, Lynn. Medicine Woman. San Francisco:
such as Korea and Japan have developed
HarperCollins, 1981.
their own modifications to TCM. For this
Beck, P. V., Anna Lee Walters, and Nia Francisco, reason, the term Oriental medicine is
eds. The Sacred Ways of Knowledge, Sources of sometimes used instead of Chinese med-
Life. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing Co., icine. However, all forms of traditional
1990. Oriental medicine are considered to have
originated from the work done in China
Bennett, Hal Zina. Spirit Guides. Ukiah, CA: during the Han dynasty.
Tenacity Press, 1997. Because of the sociopolitical climate
———. Zuni Fetishes: Using Native American
in modern China, a wide gap exists
Objects for Meditation, Reflection, and Personal
between current TCM theory and tradi-
Insight. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1995
tional TCM. Unfortunately, English
translations of TCM have been avail-
Campbell, Joseph. Primitive Mythology. New York: able for only the past fifteen years, even
McGraw-Hill, 1978. then usually for a modern, officially
sanctioned version of TCM. Different
Castaneda, Carlos. The Teachings of Don Juan: A
translations often contain confusing
Yaqui Way of Knowledge. New York: Ballantine,
variations. For example, an important
word we will discuss later like qi may be
Harner, Michael J. The Way of the Shaman: A spelled chi (using an older translation
Guide to Power and Healing. San Francisco: system) or ki (Japanese). All three ver-
HarperCollins, 1980. sions have the same meaning. In this
essay, the modern Pinyin form of Chi-
Morgan, M. Mutant Message. New York: Harper- nese will be provided when possible.
Collins, 1994. Understanding these translation princi-
ples can help you to read and under-
stand other books and articles on the
Shaman’s Drum: A Journal of Contemporary subject of TCM.

The History of TCM

In China an extremely organized system

TRADITIONAL CHINESE of healing developed during the period

known as the Han dynasty (approxi-
MEDICINE mately 213 BCE–240 CE). At this time in
Chinese history the country was finally
reunited into one empire after hundreds

raditional Chinese medicine of years of fighting in the Warring States
(TCM) is an ancient approach to period (476–221 BCE). Both Confucian
health care. Still practiced today in and Taoist philosophies emerged from
one form or another by almost one the Warring States period, and both of
quarter of the world’s population, TCM these philosophies had an important
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: Bruce Hands / © Tony Stone Images

While discussing a patient’s state of health, TCM doctors observe other indicators, including skin color-
ing, body structure, tone of voice, and scent.

impact on TCM. At the time of the Han The lines or pathways are usually called
dynasty there were many different kinds meridians. Places where the qi comes
of healers and teachers in China. Confu- right up to the surface are called acu-
cianism was the main political power in points. The qi is believed to circulate
court. During this time Ssu-ma Chien through this system connecting the
became the Grand Historian of the Court, deepest internal organs to places on the
and great importance was placed on skin where the energy can be influenced
organizing and recording written records. and treated. The points can be treated
During this time three books were with needles (acupuncture), heat (moxi-
written that are still considered the cor- bustion), or manipulation (acupressure).
nerstones of TCM. The first was called The qi system was described in more
the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic detail in the second book, called the
(Huang di-nei Jing or simply Nei Jing). Classic of Difficult Issues (Nan Jing). The
The Nei Jing refers to both Taoist and Nan Jing is believed to have been written
Confucian concepts. The Taoist perspec- at least one hundred years after the Nei
tive of health emphasizes living in har- Jing. The Nan Jing refers to information
mony with nature and achieving in the Nei Jing and expands on those
longevity. The Confucian ideals describe ideas. The Nan Jing goes so far as to say
an integrated system within the human that a person’s health can be directly
body that reflected the orderly social analyzed just from carefully feeling the
structure finally made possible in one qi and blood as it moves through the
unified state. radial artery in the wrist. This is called
This organized structure was eventu- the radial pulse. Modern practices of
ally mapped into the specific lines and TCM still use this map of the qi system
pathways we see on acupuncture charts. to diagnose and treat their clients.
Traditional Chinese Medicine

The third book is believed to have The introduction of Western culture

been written around 220 CE. Written by a in China began a period of slow decline
very famous physician and scholar for TCM. The obvious realities revealed
named Zhang Zhong-Jing, it is called through anatomical study made many
the Treatise on Harm Caused by Cold Chinese physicians and scholars feel less
(Shang Han Lun). This book deals with confident in some of TCM’s less tangible
how outside influences such as colds, theories. The Chinese government also
flu viruses, and plagues can attack and applied political pressures that affected
make people sick, and describes how to the publication of certain literature.
treat these problems with Chinese Eventually there began a trend to weed
herbal medicine. out the more “esoteric” ideas from Chi-
Zhang Zhong-Jing described six nese medical literature. While ideas as
specific layers of the body’s defense sys- fundamental as the qi and blood
tem and matched these with already rec- remained intact, references to the spiri-
ognized meridian pathways. He tual components became more and
described the qualities of illness as they more simplified. Under the Communist
invaded each layer and gave specific regime, many ideas came to be viewed as
herbal formulas that could be used for superstitious and unscientific. These
treatment. Using a wide variety of herbs ideas were disregarded and systematical-
given in specific dosages, he created for- ly eliminated from revised texts.
mulas that could match detailed patterns To this day very little of original TCM
of diagnosis. Zhang’s use of herbal medi- literature has been translated into West-
cine introduced a whole new level of ern languages. Subsequently, TCM is
sophistication within the possibilities of often described in terms of the clinical
TCM. While he cannot be credited with approach presently being used in hospi-
inventing Chinese herbal formulas, his tals in mainland China. While this sys-
ability to understand and match patterns tem offers very effective clinical
of illness with the herbs that will cure applications for the treatment of dis-
them place him as one of the founding ease, much of the broader perspective
fathers of Chinese herbal medicine. and theories remain buried in literary
Over the next 1,500 years, China con- Chinese characters.
tinued to develop and perfect the ideas
that originated in the Han dynasty. Many Guiding Principles
physicians and scholars continued to Influenced by its Taoist origins, TCM
practice and write about their ideas and views the human body as an image of the
results. Ideas that were originally used natural world. This is reflected in the ter-
by particular authors and schools of minology of TCM. Energy is said to flow
thought were eventually homogenized through the body in “rivers,” often to a
into guiding principles for one predomi- bodily “reservoir” or “sea.” A diagnosis
nant system of medicine. might describe an ailment as “liver fire,”
By the end of the Ming dynasty (1643 or an entire organ system as part of the
CE) another idea, now described as the water element. These terms do not
eight principles, began to emerge. This reflect a lack of sophistication on the part
model included all of the dynamics that of TCM, but rather a conscious decision
impact health. These are internal and to accept that the human body is a par-
external factors, hot and cold, yin and ticipating, not an isolated, part of the
yang, and excess vs. deficiency. This surrounding world. The language of
model was used to integrate many of the TCM reflects how the ancients tried to
previous models in TCM. The Ming was reconcile their observations of the
the last dynasty in which traditional human body with what they observed in
Chinese medicine continued to evolve nature.
and flourish without being influenced Continuous, dynamic movement is
by Western thought and medicine. something the ancient Chinese observed
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

in both the human body and in all the body can be treated as entirely sep-
nature. They viewed this movement as arate from the whole.
an interaction between two opposite but TCM uses the term resonance to
complementary energies that they describe the relationship between the
called yin and yang. In Chinese philoso- five essential substances and their role
phy these forces are understood to com- in our health. Resonance describes the
plement and help nourish each other. idea that certain qualities may be iden-
Neither can exist without the other. tified as similar within different spheres
Examples of dynamic interaction of existence. For example, the morning
between pairs of opposites can be seen time of day has a quality of energy that
in the constant interplay of day and is similar to or resonates with the spring
night, male and female, or hot and cold. time of the year. This quality of rising
All the organs and actions of the body energy identifies them as a particular
may be categorized as either yin or yang. stage in a cycle of change.
TCM identifies five “essential sub- Such stages of change are referred to
stances” at work in the human body: as elements or transformations. The
spring and morning are categorized as
1. Spirit (shen), which determines how
belonging to the wood element stage of
people direct and conduct them-
what is known as the five-element cycle.
selves in life.
This cycle is used to explain how energy is
2. Energy or electromagnetic force
constantly changing. It can be applied to
(qi ), a Chinese concept that cannot
the day, the year, the human body, or any-
be translated into just one English
thing else we want to understand.
word. Qi is how the spirit moves and
In TCM the five-element cycle has
becomes materialized in the body.
proved to be an exceptionally versatile
It describes both activity and a
frame of reference for explaining the
material substance. The concept of
patterns of dynamic change in our phys-
qi bridges the line of distinction
ical bodies. Each of our ten primary
that the English language makes
organs is correlated with one of the five
between energy and matter.
elements of nature: fire, soil, metal,
3. Blood is the same blood we refer to
water, and wood. Doctors of Chinese
from a Western anatomical view, but
medicine then correlate the ways in
from the TCM perspective, it is
which these elements interact in nature
imbued with the nutritional and
at large with the way these organs and
energetic qualities TCM attributes
the dynamic qualities of yin and yang
to qi. This aspect of blood is called
work together in the physical body. For
the ying qi and it circulates with and
example, an inflamed liver might be
in the blood, as it moves through
seen as having too much fire. The solu-
the vessels and performs its various
tion to the problem is best deduced from
the way nature cools fire with water. In
4. Body fluids ( jin ye), which include
the case of “liver fire,” a yang excess con-
sweat, tears, cerebral spinal fluid,
dition, the patient will naturally be very
and other fluids of the body.
thirsty and want to drink large quantities
5. Essence ( jing), which in English may
of cold water. The practitioner treating
be understood as potential. This
such a condition knows that the excess
includes our genetic potential as
“fire” needs to be dispersed or drained
well as the potential of any person or
and more “water” quality added to the
thing to take an action.
meridian in order to keep the fire in
These essential substances are under- check. Using either needles, acupres-
stood to exist as a continuum of each sure, magnets, or other techniques, a
other. None can be considered as skilled practitioner will choose to use a
entirely separate, just as no one part of dispersing technique on the fire point of

Traditional Chinese Medicine

the liver meridian and will tonify the cian to create formulas that skillfully
water point. Understanding that the match the patient’s condition.
entire kidney organ system reflects the Chinese herbal medicine stores can
water element, a practitioner may also usually be found in any major city of the
choose to bring in more water or yin United States where there is a significant
quality using specific kidney meridian Asian population. Often these herb
points. shops are owned or run by practitioners
Just as the five essential substances or “doctors” of Chinese herbal medicine.
are all seen as part of one living whole, When this is the case “customers” have
the dynamic interplay of yin and yang the option of becoming “patients” when
energies and the five elements are they go into the store. Often a number of
understood as having a complex inter- practitioners in one area will refer all
active relationship with one another. their patients to one local herb store in
Extensive study of Chinese medicine is order to have their herbal prescriptions
needed to truly understand and effec- filled. In this way Chinese herbal medi-
tively direct these complex interactions. cine stores act as pharmacies.

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Four Examinations

Over the last two decades, the ancient TCM practitioners use a system called
arts of acupuncture, Chinese herbology, the “four examinations” to diagnose a
and Oriental bodywork therapy have patient and determine a proper course
emerged from the privacy of Asian- of treatment. The examinations include
American communities and into the the following steps:
greater American consciousness.
Unlike acupuncture and Oriental 1. Questioning : Starting with informa-
bodywork therapy, which use physical tion about a specific complaint or
pressure and manipulation to effect condition, the experienced practi-
changes in the way a patient’s body tioner asks about other symptoms
functions, Chinese herbal medicine and signs that can help point toward
counts on the properties of different a specific pattern. In the Ming
plants and foods to stimulate or calm dynasty Zhang Jie-Bin developed a
different parts of the body. In many set of ten specific questions, and
ways, this is similar to the drugs of modified versions of this are still
Western medicine, but because Chinese useful today.
herbal medicine employs “whole” natu- 2. Looking : The practitioner carefully
rally occurring food substances, the risk observes the patient’s appearance.
of causing harmful side effects is greatly This usually includes looking at the
reduced. person’s tongue, face, and body
Chinese herbal medicine must be structure.
studied as a distinct skill. Its practition- 3. Touching: The practitioner carefully
ers must learn the pharmacopiae, a feels the radial pulse in the patient’s
name for the knowledge of the names, wrist for a very specific assessment of
characteristics, and actions in the body the patient’s qi, blood, and other
of all the individual herbs. Dosage for- essences. Some practitioners can get
mulas must be memorized along with most of their information from this
various modifications for each. Knowl- one source. If the person’s complaint
edge of contraindications and hidden is a pain or injury, then the practi-
effects for specific herbs is an important tioner must examine the injured or
part of what must be studied. This painful area. A number of other sets
information can take years to assimi- of points and microsystems (the
late. Nevertheless, all this information hand, foot, ear) may also be used for
is necessary for the experienced clini- palpation.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

4. Listening and smelling : This aspect certification through the National Com-
of the four examinations involves mission for Certification of Acupuncture
listening to the patient’s voice, and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is
noticing any strange odors (which one clear way to be sure that a practi-
could, for example, indicate infec- tioner is at least competent. It is quite
tion), and otherwise gleaning infor- possible, however, to find master-level
mation that a patient does not practitioners who have not chosen to get
actually report to the practitioner. such a credential.
Once the assessment is clear, the doc- —Cindy Banker
tor of herbal medicine writes out a pre-
scription to be filled with exact dosages of Resources:
each herb. Some prescriptions call for
bags or batches of herbs, which are often American Association of Acupuncture and Orien-
packed in wrapped paper. For such pre- tal Medicine
scriptions, dosage is determined by the 4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 201
number of bags to be cooked and used Raleigh, NC 27607
within a specified time frame. Patients Tel: (919) 787-5181
who are unfamiliar with their formulas Offers information on TCM.
need to be instructed on how to cook their
prescription into a tea or soup. Some- National Commission for Certification of
times one or two herbs need to be added Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
separately to make their cooking time (NCCAOM)
longer or shorter than other ingredients. 1424 16th St. NW, Suite 501
For less serious problems, experienced Washington, DC 20026
customers are able to use the herbal store Provides certification for practitioners of acupunc-
as a pharmacy, buying familiar, simple ture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Oriental body-
remedies without a prescription. work therapy.

The New Center for Wholistic Health, Education

Benefits and Risks and Research
The three disciplines of traditional Chi- 6801 Jericho Turnpike
nese medicine have evolved over thou- Syosset, NY 11791
sands of years and are considered to be Promotes the study and practice of TCM.
safe for almost anyone who wishes to
try them. Many schools for TCM have
adjusted their programs to incorporate Further Reading:
more training in modern Western sci-
ence. More medical schools, such as Cheng, Xinnong, editor. Chinese Acupuncture and
Harvard Medical School, are including Moxibustion. Beijing: Foreign Language Press,
courses to help Western physicians to 1987.
refer to and work with alternative medi- Enqing, Dr. Zhang, editor. Practical English-Chi-
cine. For this reason, anyone thinking nese Library of traditional Chinese medicine.
about choosing a full program of TCM Shanghai: Publishing House of Shanghai Col-
should consult with both TCM and lege, 1990.
Western doctors to understand the
strengths and shortcomings of each. Kaptchuk, Ted J. The Web That Has No Weaver.
As with all health programs, choosing New York: Congdon & Weed, 1983.
a therapist is a crucial decision. To decide
Unschuld, Paul, editor. Introductory Readings in
whether your herbalist or therapist is
Classical Chinese Medicine. Dordrecht, Nether-
properly qualified, a prospective patient
lands: Kluwar Academic Publishers, 1988.
should carefully ask the doctor where and
how he or she learned this discipline. For Yubin, L. & L. Chengcai. Advanced Traditional Chi-
Chinese herbal medicine, national nese Medicine Series. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 1996.

WELLNESS entities. Descartes’ premise, known as

the Cartesian Principle, led to the mech-
anistic paradigm, which eventually led

ellness programs are based on to the belief that the human body acts
holism, sometimes called holis- like a machine and the way to treat dis-
tic wellness, a philosophy of ease and illness (the opposite of health)
health that believes well-being is not just was through medications and surgery.
a condition of physical health or the The wellness paradigm holds that
absence of disease and illness. Rather, there is no separation between mind,
health is a balance of elements that body, spirit, and emotions. All aspects of
include the mental, emotional, spiritual, the human condition are so tightly con-
and physical aspects of the human condi- nected that it is impossible to distin-
tion. In other words, wellness is the inte- guish one from the other. An ancient
gration, balance, and harmony of mind, theory that is supported by many
body, spirit, and emotions, where the experts in several disciplines suggests
whole is thought to be greater than the that each aspect of the human condi-
sum of the parts. Wellness professionals tion is comprised of energy, with the
believe that the lines separating the men- most dense energy being the most obvi-
tal, physical, emotional, and spiritual ous and tangible: the physical body.
aspects exist in theory, but not in actuali- Here then are definitions for each
ty. Research in the field of psychoneu- aspect of the wellness paradigm:
roimmunology (the relationship between • Emotional well-being is best defined
emotions and the body) reveals that there as the ability to feel and express the
is no division between these aspects, and entire range of human emotions
they should be regarded as one. from anger to love, and to control
them, not be controlled by them.
History of the Wellness Approach • Physical well-being is defined as the
Although the concept of wellness is optimal condition of each of the
thousands of years old, the word well- body’s physiological systems. These
ness was introduced into the American include pulmonary, cardiovascular,
vernacular in the 1960s. Thought by nervous, immune, reproductive, uri-
many to be an expansion of the fitness nary, endocrine, musculoskeletal
movement of the late 1970s and early and digestive.
1980s, wellness is considered to be a • Mental well-being is understood as
more comprehensive approach to opti- the ability to gather, process, recall,
mal health than standard health educa- and communicate information. Like
tion programs that treated specific a computer, the mind can gather and
symptoms or were used to prevent dis- store mass quantities of information.
ease. Addressing more than physical ail- • Spiritual well-being is defined as the
ments, wellness programs integrate, maturation of higher consciousness
balance, and harmonize the physical, as developed through the dynamic
mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects integration of three facets: relation-
of the wellness paradigm. Today pro- ships (internal, how you relate to
grams are offered in corporate, commu- yourself and a higher power, however
nity, hospital, and fitness club settings. you conceive this to be; and external,
how you relate and interact with all
people in your life), a personal value
The Basic Principles of Wellness system, and a meaningful purpose in
It may seem as if mind, body, spirit, and
emotions are separate aspects—a
premise proposed by the French philoso- An important figure in the wellness
pher René Descartes (1596–1650) stated area, Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, outlines
that the mind and body are separate a theory that suggests that although all
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Spiritual Emotional
Well-being Well-being

Mental Physical
Well-being Well-being

The wellness model of a complete human being.

four components are always present in years. As Kübler-Ross and others note,
the human condition, each component there are many people who never move
dominates in our lives as we journey into this phase of development because
through the life cycle. The first compo- of laziness, mistrust, or fear.
nent is the emotional, in which we
experience the array of human emo- How Wellness Works
tions. During this time, we may be con- With the help of a thorough personal
ditioned by parents, guardians, or even history and open discussions between
society to suppress our feelings, which the patient and practitioner, the practi-
could likely result in emotional dys- tioner will be able to recognize an
function later in life. The influence of imbalance or problem in one of the four
physical development begins to domi- areas. He or she will then be able to
nate at puberty and continues well guide the patient to a program or ser-
throughout the teen years. The mental vices that address the patient’s needs.
or intellectual aspect kicks in during the The wellness professional has a whole
college years and endures well into mid- range of programs to choose from and is
life, as we exercise our mental capabili- aware of how these services and pro-
ties through the thinking processes of grams interact and affect the patient.
the right and left brain and the con- Wellness professionals work in partner-
scious and unconscious minds. The last ship with their patients and recom-
section of the wellness paradigm, the mend treatments that support the
spiritual, emerges during the mid-life body’s natural healing system.


Wellness Programming

When evaluating the dynamics of wellness applications, there are many programs
and services that need to be considered. Below is a partial list of wellness program
services, by their respective holistic components. Keep in mind that a service listed in
one area has a crossover effect in all the other areas.

Physical Well-being: Spiritual Well-being:

Aerobic Fitness Values Clarification and Assessment
Cholesterol Screenings Journal Writing
Blood Pressure Screenings Dance Therapy
Blood Sugar Screenings Meditation
Weight Training Communing with Nature
Nutritional Assessments Inner Resource Development
Biofeedback Human Potential Development
Massage Therapy Community Service Projects
Hatha Yoga Social Support Group
T’ai Chi

Mental Well-being: Emotional Well-being:

Meditation Humor Therapy
Mental Imagery Music and Art Therapy
Stress Management Aromatherapy
Time Management Codependency Therapy
Creativity & Creative Problem Solving Grieving Therapy
Communication Skills Communication Skills
Dream Analysis Creative Anger Management
Stress Management

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

The Benefits of a Wellness Approach National Wellness Institute

1045 Clark St., Suite 210
to Health Stevens Point, WI 54481-0827
Wellness programs focus on reaching
Tel: (800) 243-8694
higher levels of wellness as well as pre-
Fax: (715) 342-2979
venting illness. Many patients are moti-
Founded in 1977, this is a full resource center for
vated by the energy and vitality that
wellness practitioners and those interested in well-
result from a holistic approach to life,
ness programs.
especially when they realize that the
benefits could continue and allow them
to feel good for many years. Further Reading:

—Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. Edlin, Gordon, Eric Golanty, and Kelli McCormack
Brown. Health and Wellness. Sudbury, MA:
Jones and Bartlett, 1996.
Travis, John, and Regina S. Ryan. The Wellness
National Wellness Association (NWA)
Workbook, Second Edition. Berkeley, CA: Ten
1045 Clark St., Suite 210
Speed Press, 1988.
Stevens Point, WI 54481-0827
Tel: (715) 342-2969
Fax: (715) 342-2979
Web site:
A nonprofit professional membership organization
that disseminates information and provides ser-
vices to professionals working in wellness areas.

Chiropractic • CranioSacral Therapy • Network Chiropractic • Osteopathy
• Zero Balancing®

Skeletal manipulation
methods are a group of
healing practices that focus
on the form of the skeleton
to improve the functioning
of the whole person. They
are part of a larger group of
practices that have come to
be known collectively as
bodywork. Bodywork is a
general term describing a
wide variety of methods
that use touch to improve
awareness of feelings and

Photo: Still National Osteopathic Museum, Kirksville, MO

sensations in the body and
improve physical function-
ing. Bodywork methods are
also used to relieve pain
and encourage relaxation.
There are many disciplines
in this book included in the
bodywork category. They
can be found in the sec-
tions entitled Acupuncture
and Asian Bodywork, Body-
Oriented Psychotherapies,
Massage, Movement Ther- Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy, championed the idea
that a thorough knowledge of the human skeleton could be the basis
apy Methods, Somatic for a complete health care method.
Practices, and Subtle Ener-
gy Practices.
The oldest methods in this section, chiropractic and osteopathy, developed in
response to the conventional medical practices prevalent in America in the mid- to
late nineteenth century. The other skeletal manipulation methods evolved from these
seminal practices. In addition to their historical roots, these methods also share a the-
oretical framework. They view the human being as an integrated whole of body, mind,
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

and spirit, possessing its own innate healing and balancing mechanisms that guide
communication between the interrelated systems of the body. The goal of all of these
drugless methods is to remove any structural alterations to the natural skeletal align-
ment that may impede the operation of these innate healing and balancing mecha-
nisms. The older methods, osteopathy and chiropractic, are used by millions as
primary health care modalities for treating a wide variety of health problems. The
younger methods derived from them are generally used to treat specific problems or
to enhance general physical health and emotional well-being.

The Development of Skeletal Manipulation for Health

The practice of manipulating the skeleton for optimal health is ancient and wide-
spread. Some medical historians report that the Egyptians used such techniques. The
earliest written record of skeletal manipulation comes to us from China, where meth-
ods of bodywork were developed several thousand years ago as part of a complete
health care system. The Asian bodywork methods practiced today that are derived
from these ancient practices are similar to the skeletal manipulation methods
described in this section in that both of them manipulate the physical body with the
goal of influencing a vital life force. There is no evidence that these Eastern practices
directly influenced the development of the earliest skeletal manipulation methods.
But it is very likely that the philosophy upon which these Eastern practices are based,
which was introduced into American cultural discourse in the late nineteenth centu-
ry, indirectly influenced the founders of chiropractic and osteopathy.
Hippocrates (c. 430–377 BCE), the father of modern Western medicine, is reputed to
have said that dislocations of the spine are the origin of many ailments, but it is
unclear how this belief affected his medical practice. The recorded history of manip-
ulating the skeleton as a means of treating disease and creating optimum health
begins in the West with the work of Andrew Taylor Still (1838–1917). A controversial
figure in American medical history, Still rebelled against the medical practices of his
day, which included heavy use of drugs, purging, and bloodletting. He formulated the
gentle, drugless, noninvasive principles and techniques of osteopathy and estab-
lished its first school in Kirksville, Missouri, in 1892.
Unlike Still, Daniel David Palmer (1845–1913), the founder of chiropractic, had no
formal medical training, but practiced various forms of energy healing popular at the
end of the nineteenth century. Chiropractic was formally introduced as a healing
modality in 1895. Some medical historians report that Palmer was treated by Still in
Kirksville in 1893. Whether or not this particular treatment occurred, given Palmer’s
lifelong interest in unconventional healing techniques, it is certainly probable that he
was familiar with Still’s groundbreaking work.
Both osteopathy and chiropractic have had long, arduous struggles for accep-
tance within the conventional medical establishment. Today doctors of osteopathy
(D.O.s) and doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are licensed to practice throughout the
United States and Canada. In recent years a number of D.O.s and DCs have added
their own insights to these century-old healing modalities to create more personal-
ized approaches to healing the whole person through manipulation of the skeleton.
These new methods include CranioSacral therapy, which focuses primarily on
manipulating the bones of the skull; network chiropractic, which blends Western
psychotherapeutic theory with gentle chiropractic techniques; and Zero Balancing®,
which integrates Eastern concepts of energy with skeletal manipulation.

Using the Body’s Inborn Healing Potential

All the methods described in this section believe that the body has an inborn heal-
ing potential. This potential is called by many names, such as “energy,” “spirit,” or
“innate intelligence,” by the practitioners of these methods. Andrew Taylor Still
believed this energy was transmitted primarily through the blood, whereas Daniel
David Palmer postulated that it moved primarily through the nervous system. In
either event, both methods, and all the methods derived from them, when practiced
in their most pure form, are drugless, concentrating on releasing structural misalign-
ments in the skeleton and thereby allowing the body’s own internal healing and bal-
ancing systems to work freely.
Practitioners of skeletal manipulation methods see the relationship between struc-
ture and function in the body to be interdependent. Just as the wooden or steel frame
of a building supports its heating, plumbing, and electrical systems, practitioners of
skeletal manipulation methods see our bones as the supporting framework of all other
systems of our body. If the framework is faulty or collapsing at any point, it is likely to
cause damage to the interior systems. Likewise, if there is a problem in an interior sys-
tem such as a leaky pipe, which on a body level might correspond to a diseased organ
such as kidney, liver, or heart, that malfunction will eventually cause a structural
defect in the building such as a bulge in a wall with peeling paint, or buckling wallpa-
per. On a body level these changes in structure will appear as misalignments in the
skeleton and as pain caused by muscles responding to the skeletal changes.
Furthermore, skeletal manipulation methods view the systems of the body as
interrelated. A common everyday activity such as reaching high for something tucked
away on a closet shelf or vigorously swinging a baseball bat could initiate a series of
systemic changes that begin as a small change in the alignment of the upper spine. If
left unchecked this dislocation could cause localized muscular pain in the shoulder or
upper back area, and then shortness of breath as muscles between the ribs in the
upper torso contract in response to the structural change. Restricted breath may in
turn lead to any number of complicated health problems, including bronchitis, asth-
ma, heart conditions, and even depression.
In a like manner, emotional problems such as a traumatic experience, phobias, and
even addictions, which can cause chemical toxicity, are seen as possible causes of
structural changes in the body. These structural changes then initiate a chain reaction
in the interdependent systems of the body, which stimulates further emotional or
physical cravings. Many practitioners of skeletal manipulation methods extend this
holistic view of the causes and effects of alterations to skeletal alignment to every
aspect of a person’s life including genetic inheritance, diet, exercise, daily activities,
and stress from work and personal relationships.

Experiencing Skeletal Manipulation

Practitioners of skeletal manipulation methods rely predominantly on the use of
the hands, physical contact, and knowledge of anatomy to diagnose patients. Touch-
ing and physically moving the patient in various ways allows the practitioner to feel
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

the alignment of the skeleton and the state of the muscular system. In this way they
are able to treat a spectrum of chronic and acute health problems.
Each of these disciplines has its standard techniques for manipulating the skele-
ton. Chiropractors focus on the manipulation of the spine itself. They see the flow of
information from the central nervous system housed inside the spine as the primary
self-regulating system of the body. CranioSacral therapists focus on the relationship
of the bones of the skull to each other to monitor the wavelike flow of cerebrospinal
fluid, which they believe to be a barometer of healthy functioning throughout all the
systems of the body. Zero Balancers focus on special joints, called foundation joints,
which they believe are the primary regulators of energy throughout the body.
Osteopaths may manipulate the spine, including the skull, or any other joint of the
skeleton where they feel skeletal misalignment is negatively affecting the whole per-
son. Although in their original and most pure forms osteopathy and chiropractic
used only manipulation techniques, today many D.O.s and DCs add other tech-
niques to treatment plans, including recommendations of specific exercises, dietary
or lifestyle changes, and in some cases herbal or pharmaceutical remedies.

Providing Relief for Millions of People Each Year

Skeletal manipulation methods are reported to help more than 15 million people
each year who are suffering from a variety of physical and emotional problems. They
have been found to help with problems that have not responded to conventional
Western medical practices. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive health
modality or relief from a specific pain or condition, these methods may offer unique,
drug-free, holistic approaches to healing and maintaining optimum health of body
and mind.

—Nancy Allison, CMA

Resources: Fax: (312) 280-3860

Web site:
American Chiropractic Association Offers educational and professional support to
1701 Clarendon Boulevard osteopathic physicians.
Arlington, VA 22209
Tel: (703) 276-8800
Further Reading:
Provides information about chiropractic, including
monthly publications, newsletters, and clinical
Montague, Ashley. Touching: The Human Signifi-
cance of Skin. New York: Columbia University
Press, 1986.
American Association of College of Osteopathic
Medicine (AACOM)
5550 Friendship Blvd. Suite 310
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231
Tel: (800) 621-1773, ext. 7401

CHIROPRACTIC “done by hand,” evokes ancient Hippo-

cratic teachings, virtually all its princi-
ples and techniques are late nineteenth

hiropractic is a mode of bodywork century in derivation. Manual “bone-
that promotes self-healing by setting” was accepted practice, and
manipulating the spine so as to irregularities in the nervous system
remove blocks in the transmission of were commonly viewed as the cause of
nerve impulses from the brain through illness. The third major component in
the spinal nerves and out to all parts of chiropractic, the use of the hands to
the body. It postulates that malfunction harmonize the circulation of nervous
in any aspect of the individual can be energy, came from Palmer’s experience
attributed to subluxations, misalign- as a magnetic healer, or Mesmerist. In
ments of the vertebrae that disturb the Mesmerism the hands are passed over
spinal nerves in their mediation of the person’s field of electromagnetic
mind and body. Further, chiropractic energy with the aim of correcting imbal-
subscribes to the basic principle that ances regarded as the cause of illness.
the immune system will function per- Palmer advanced beyond Mesmerist
fectly and maintain the person in concepts as his work progressed, but he
robust, good health as long as misalign- never relinquished its vision of a treat-
ments of the spine do not constrict the ment that bypasses drugs and surgery
nervous system. Other therapeutic in favor of direct contact between the
methods such as nutritional counseling hands of the healer and the life force of
may be included in chiropractic, but the person. By 1895 he had put together
treatment always focuses upon detec- the basic principles of chiropractic and
tion and adjustment of vertebral mis- was winning renown throughout the
alignments. Chiropractic is the second- Midwest for “miracle cures” of appar-
largest primary health care field in the ently irreversible problems.
world. Proponents credit it with a wide Palmer’s son, Bartlett Joshua Palmer
range of benefits, from relief of chronic (1881–1961), transformed chiropractic
back pain to successful treatment of into a profession with a following that
asthma and depression. was devoted but rocked by persistent
controversy. Doctors of medicine were
A Long History generally opposed to the growth of a
There is strong evidence that adjust- competing system of health care and
ment of the spine has been used as a led efforts to make chiropractic illegal.
form of medical treatment since civi- Attacks on its lack of scientific rigor
lization first began. A Chinese manu- intensified debate about the interpre-
script of 2700 BCE records details of soft tation of Palmer’s legacy within the chi-
tissue manipulation, and the Greeks are ropractic community. “Straights”
known to have developed similar prac- argued that chiropractic should consist
tices around 1500 BCE. In a treatise of the solely of hands-on vertebral adjustment
fifth century BCE, Hippocrates encour- and condemned as traitors those who
aged his patients to “get knowledge of “mixed” spinal adjustment with other
the spine, for many diseases have their forms of therapy or used mechanical
origin in dislocations of the vertebral devices in lieu of their hands.
column.” Present-day chiropractors continue to
David Daniel Palmer is responsible identify themselves as either “straights”
for developing the form of spinal or “mixers,” but the struggle to win public
adjustment used today. Born in 1845, respect and authority for chiropractic is
Palmer was an American who worked as largely over. During the 1930s John J.
a healer through most of his life but had Nugent started a movement that gradual-
no formal medical training. While its ly raised the standards at chiropractic
Greek name, chiropractic, meaning schools and set up chiropractic licensing
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: Martha Tabor / Impact Visuals

Chiropractic techniques manipulate the spine to aid the healing process in any part of the body.

laws in all the states. More recently chiro- study of symptoms generally overlooks
practic has benefited from a swing the true cause of the crisis. Ninety-five
toward natural medicine that stimulated percent of all disease, he contended, is
broad interest in its history and potential attributable to vertebral misalignment
as an alternative mode of health care. that interferes with the transmission of
Because of the experiments of “mixers,” information from the “innate intelli-
chiropractic is rapidly becoming more gence” to the spinal nerves.
diversified and offers nutritional coun- Contemporary chiropractors are
seling, massage, and an increasing use of more apt to speak of an inborn switch-
mechanical devices. board than of “innate intelligence,” but
they adhere to Palmer’s belief that ill-
Finding the True Cause nesses are often caused by subluxated
Palmer believed the human being is vertebrae and in numerous instances
born with an ever vigilant “innate intel- are misdiagnosed because the symp-
ligence” or “innate mind” that superin- toms do not point directly to back trou-
tends all the body’s functions and seeks ble. For example, chronic bladder
to achieve homeostasis, a state of bal- infection may be the result of a mis-
ance that extends “to every individual alignment of the lower vertebrae that
cell in the living organism.” Thus in chi- irritates the nerves leading to the blad-
ropractic, much as in therapeutic touch der. Palmer performed his most famous
or osteopathy, virtually unlimited pow- cure, restoring the hearing of a man
ers of self-healing are imputed to the deaf for seventeen years, by correcting a
person, and drugs are seen as detrimen- subluxation of the upper spine.
tal to the workings of the body’s own Diagnosis and treatment in chiroprac-
defense mechanisms. Palmer also tic are therefore organized, not around
taught that diagnosis of disease through disease, but around signs of systemic

malfunction likely to start in vertebral often described as relaxing, relieving, lib-

misalignment: aberration of muscu- erating, or energizing. Length and fre-
loskeletal development, or kine- quency of the sessions are established by
siopathology; abnormality in the the chiropractor and patient and depend
muscles proper, or myopathology; irri- on the nature of the problem.
tation of the nerves, or neuropathology;
inflammation indicative of abnormality The Benefits of Chiropractic
in the blood cells, or histiopathology; A wide variety of health problems
and deterioration of the sense of mental respond favorably to chiropractic treat-
and physical well-being, or pathophysi- ment. It is beneficial for musculoskele-
ology. The misalignments themselves tal disorders, particularly whiplash
are attributed to any of several causes, injuries, neck and back pain, scoliosis,
such as injury, mental or physical stress, sciatica, arthritis, and bursitis. It can be
and genetic defect or predisposition. effective in alleviating migraine
headaches and other organic condi-
Experiencing Chiropractic tions, sinusitis, gastrointestinal disor-
Chiropractic treatment begins with the der, bronchial asthma, high blood
taking of a thorough case history and a pressure, and heart trouble. Spinal
physical examination that includes adjustment is also regarded as a drug-
analysis and touching of the spine to free means of releasing nervous tension
determine imbalances and subluxations. that contributes to the formation of
X rays of the spine are sometimes made mental and physical disability. Exten-
to get additional information. Recom- sive research today is also testing the
mendations for rest, physical therapy, or efficiency of chiropractic in the treat-
diet may be made as part of a therapy ment of addictions.
plan that generally entails spinal adjust-
ments carried out over a series of ses- —Dr. Trina Marx
sions. The adjustments are done through
hands-on contact that varies from gentle
touch to firm pressure depending on the Resources:
needs of the patient and the orientation
of the chiropractor. Some advocate a American Chiropractic Association
maneuver in which the joint is stretched 1701 Clarendon Boulevard
to just beyond its normal range of Arlington, VA 22209
motion and makes an audible click. Oth- Tel: (703) 276-8800
ers rely upon a repertory of “non-force” Provides a myriad of information about chiroprac-
techniques to manipulate the vertebrae. tic, including monthly publications, newsletters,
The adjustments are not painful and are and clinical councils.

Chiropractic Training

Chiropractic education consists of a four-year, postgraduate program similar in overall

structure to medical school. Graduates receive the degree, Doctor of Chiropractic (DC),
and are required to take courses basic to Western health care during the first two years of
training. Study in the third and fourth years is devoted to the diagnostic and therapeutic
tools specific to chiropractic. Work with patients at clinics affiliated with the chiroprac-
tic school is a standard part of advanced training.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

International Chiropractors Association a twenty-year period by Dr. William

1110 North Glebe Road Sutherland, an osteopathic physician
Suite 1000 intrigued by the movement of different
Arlington, VA 22201 bones in the skull. He discovered that by
Tel: (703) 528-5000 exerting gentle pressure on selected
A professional organization dedicated to chiro- areas of the skull or the rest of the body,
practic. a craniosacral therapist can effectively
treat chronic pain, lowered vitality,
World Chiropractic Alliance recurring infections, and dysfunctions
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1 affecting the head, spine, and whole
Chandler, AZ 85224 body.
Tel: (800) 347-1011
Fax: (602) 732-9313
Web site:
Origins of CranioSacral Therapy
A professional support group that provides refer-
CranioSacral therapy developed from
rals for chiropractors nationwide.
cranial osteopathy, the origin of which
dates back to the 1890s, when Dr.
Andrew Still founded the osteopathic
Further Reading: profession. Distraught by the death of
his wife and two children from meningi-
Coplan-Griffiths, Michael. Dynamic Chiropractic tis and not knowing whether the disease
Today: The Complete and Major Guide to This or the mercury used to treat them was
Major Therapy. San Francisco: Harper-Collins, responsible, Dr. Still began an intensive
1991. study of anatomy and non-drug-based
healing ways. He realized everything in
Gevitz, Norman. Other Healers: Unorthodox Medi- nature was ordered: that the body func-
cine in America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins tions as a unified whole; structure and
University Press, 1988. function are interrelated; the body has
an inherent self-corrective mechanism;
Martin, Raquel. Today’s Health Alternative. and that drugs can be harmful. Based
Tehachapi, CA: American West Publishers, 1992. upon these principles, Dr. Still founded
the first osteopathic college.
Moore, J. Stuart. Chiropractic in America: The His- Dr. Still’s star student was William
tory of a Medical Alternative. Baltimore: The Sutherland. Dr. Sutherland was
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. intrigued by the idea that the bones of
the skull were structured to allow for
Palmer, Daniel D. The Chiropractor’s Adjuster. movement. For more than twenty years
Davenport, IA: Palmer College Press, 1992 (first he explored this concept, eventually
published 1910). developing a system of treatment
known as cranial osteopathy.
In 1970 osteopathic physician John
E. Upledger observed the rhythmic
movement of the craniosacral system
during surgery. Dr. Upledger and his
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY colleagues could not find an explana-
tion for this mysterious movement.
After studying the work of Dr. Suther-

ranioSacral therapy is a gentle land, Dr. Upledger worked to scientifically
form of bodywork based on releas- confirm the mobility of the cranial bones
ing restrictions in the craniosacral and the subsequent existence of the cran-
system to help people achieve their high- iosacral system. From 1975 to 1983, he
est levels of physical, mental, and emo- served as clinical researcher and a profes-
tional well-being. It was developed over sor of biomechanics at Michigan State

CranioSacral Therapy

University. There he supervised a high- One unique feature of CranioSacral

level team of anatomists, physiologists, therapy is its emphasis on very delicate
biophysicists, and bioengineers to test palpation. Therapists are taught to use,
and document the influence of therapy appreciate, and develop profound
on the craniosacral system. insights through applying a very light,
This team developed the theoretical gentle touch—generally the pressure is
PressureStat Model to describe how the equal to the weight of a nickel. It is
craniosacral system functions. Dr. believed that this light touch allows the
Upledger’s continued work in the field therapist to receive as much informa-
resulted in the further development of tion as possible from the patient’s body,
CranioSacral therapy, including a ten- and to interact in a respectful, highly
step protocol used to alleviate a range of therapeutic manner.
conditions. Another distinction of CranioSacral
therapy relates to its facilitation of the
body’s self-corrective ability. Cran-
Insights Through Touch ioSacral therapists believe engaging
The craniosacral system consists of the
body restrictions with a gentle touch can
central nervous system, brain, and
break down tissue, emotional, and ener-
spinal cord, as well as the membranes
getic blocks to self-release. CranioSacral
and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds
therapy is not a manipulative therapeu-
and protects the cord. The central ner-
tic modality in which therapists impose
vous system interconnects with the con-
what they think should happen on their
nective tissue that surrounds it, which in
patients. Rather, therapists are trained to
turn interconnects with all other bodily
follow their patients’ bodies to facilitate
structures. Functionally there is one
their own healing process.
uninterrupted tissue sheath from the
CranioSacral therapy aims to be very
top of your head to the tips of your toes.
direct yet highly respectful of the
Therefore, CranioSacral therapists are
patient. A gentle touch directed toward
highly trained in sensing through touch
a patient’s primary restrictions is
a restriction in your system and deter-
believed to provide profound access to
mining how it affects other areas in your
the very fabric of an individual’s being.
body. For instance, practitioners believe
This respect for the patient’s own heal-
a restriction in your leg might have a
ing abilities reflected through touch cre-
profound effect on your lower back,
ates a safe environment for people to
shoulder, neck, or even head. Cran-
frequently access deep, non-conscious
ioSacral therapists are highly trained in
parts of themselves they may have
sensing through touch to track, identify,
blocked or simply couldn’t access by
and release root restrictions affecting
the person.
The training of a therapist’s touch by
How does CranioSacral therapy
the CranioSacral therapy technique is
work? First, as cerebrospinal fluid filters
recognized as a profound foundation
into the craniosacral system, pressure
for advancement in manual therapies,
builds. As the amount of fluid increases,
massage, and therapeutic bodywork.
the increased pressure forces the fluid
to travel down the spinal cord. As the
fluid moves, the membranes surround- Practicing CranioSacral Therapy
ing the fluid and the interconnected fas- A typical session of CranioSacral thera-
cial tissue of the entire body pulse in a py lasts forty-five minutes to an hour.
rhythmic fashion, normally at a rate of The client is fully clothed and lies on a
six to twelve cycles per minute. It is this comfortable, padded table. In a very
rhythm that the therapist monitors gentle manner, the therapist evaluates
when evaluating and performing a the patient by testing for craniosacral
CranioSacral therapy session. motion in various parts of the patient’s

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

body. Experienced practitioners are able Resources:

to feel the craniosacral rhythm any-
where on a patient’s body. They can Kenneth I. Frey, PT, Diplomate CST
quickly gain valuable information by Director, Institute of Physical Therapy
palpating the craniosacral motion for 30 W. 60th St., Suite 1BC
rate, amplitude, symmetry, and quality. New York, NY 10023
Lack of craniosacral rhythm or an Tel: (212) 245-1700
asymmetrical craniosacral rhythm is World recognized for its clinical services and as a
used to locate problems throughout the educational resource center in New York City dedi-
body. The problem may be any type that cated to the application and development of
causes loss of natural physiological advanced holistic physical therapies. Treatment inte-
responses, pain, trauma, adhesions, neu- grates whole body evaluation and advanced manual
rological and orthopedic disorders, sys- therapies, clinical sciences, and therapeutic exercise.
temic disease processes, and others. The
therapist’s job is to restore the symmetri- The Upledger Institute, Inc.
cal craniosacral motion to problem areas. 11211 Prosperity Farms Rd., D-325
As the asymmetry is eliminated and nor- Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410-3487
mal physiological motion is restored, the Tel: (800) 233-5880 ext. 9283
problem is being or has been alleviated. An educational and clinical resource center that
integrates the best of conventional health care with
Benefits of CranioSacral Therapy advanced complementary techniques. Dedicated to
CranioSacral therapy has been used to the natural enhancement of health, it is recognized
improve the functioning of the brain and worldwide for its continuing education programs,
spinal cord, to alleviate pain and the clinical research, and therapeutic services.
effects of stress, and to enhance general
health as well as resistance to illness and
Further Reading:
disease. It has been especially effective
for conditions such as migraines, hyper-
Claire, Thomas. Bodywork. New York: William
activity, chronic neck and back pain,
Morrow, 1995.
TMJ pain and dysfunction, chronic
fatigue, eye difficulties, stress and ten-
Sutherland, William. Teachings in the Science of
sion-related problems, scoliosis, emo-
Osteopathy. Portland, OR: Rudra Press, 1990.
tional difficulties, motor-coordination
impairments, central nervous system
Upledger, John E., and Jon D. Vredevoogd. Cran-
disorders, learning disabilities, child-
ioSacral Therapy. Chicago: Eastland Press, 1983.
hood developmental disabilities, and
many others.
Upledger, John. Your Inner Physician and You.
—Kenneth I. Frey, PT, Diplomate CST Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1991.

The Growth of CranioSacral Therapy

Dr. Upledger is credited with introducing CranioSacral Therapy to a broad spectrum of

the world’s health care professionals representing diverse specialties. In 1985 he founded
The Upledger Institute to educate the public and health care practitioners about the ben-
efits of CranioSacral Therapy. To date, this health care resource center and clinic based in
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has trained more than 25,000 health care practitioners
worldwide in the use of CranioSacral Therapy. Alumni include osteopaths, medical doc-
tors, psychiatrists, psychologists, dentists, physical therapists, occupational therapists,
acupuncturists, doctors of chiropractic, nurse practitioners, massage therapists, and

Network Chiropractic

NETWORK CHIROPRACTIC using the hands to apply leverage and

thrust to a joint to restore function to
the joint or muscles, nerves, and tissue

etwork chiropractic is a branch of around the joint. This therapy relies on
chiropractic, a health care the body’s ability to recover without
method that views all health as a surgery or drugs.
result of the body’s inability to express, Network shares the historical philos-
relay, and distribute energy and infor- ophy of chiropractic, which is based on
mation through the nervous system. the concept that the information the
Chiropractors aim to enable the brain body needs to function is conveyed
and the body to better communicate through oscillation, or vibration. The
through the elimination of disruptions nervous system coordinates all vibration
in the central nervous system, which is through the body, relaying energy and
housed in the protective bones of the information to all body parts, and
spinal column. To do this, they use gen- influencing all body functions. Tension
tle manual pressure and adjustment to on the spinal cord or the nerves exiting
reduce muscular tension, skeletal tor- from the spinal cord causes an energy
sion or twisting, and compression of the disturbance. Network chiropractic seeks
spinal cord or the nerves branching to enhance communication between
from it which may result in a disruption the brain and the body through the cor-
of the body’s essential energy and infor- rection (adjustment) of vertebral sub-
mation highway. luxations.
Network chiropractic is a form of Network practitioners believe that
chiropractic that seeks to develop the subluxations are caused by physical,
body’s self-corrective mechanism. It is emotional, mental, or chemical stress-
believed that this improvement will es. In network care it is common for the
enhance a person’s health, wellness, body to express the energy unavailable
and quality of life. to the body as spontaneous muscular
movement, stretching, or the outward
Establishing a Network expression of emotion such as laughter
Donald Epstein, D.CA., a 1977 graduate of or crying. This liberates the spine from
New York Chiropractic College, devel- the interference caused by the inability
oped this method of chiropractic, which to effectively “move the energy” and cir-
has been researched through the Depart- culates the body’s information.
ment of Anatomy and Neurobiology and
Sociology at the College of Medicine at The Practice of Network Chiropractic
the University of California–Irvine, and at Before beginning sessions, the chiro-
the University of Southern California, practor will request that individuals
Department of Engineering. Epstein’s complete a questionnaire that discusses
method resulted from his efforts to incor- the individual’s physical, emotional,
porate many different approaches and mental, and chemical stresses and histo-
theories into a single “network” of estab- ry. The spine will be evaluated for pos-
lished chiropractic techniques. Also ture, muscle tension patterns, tension in
known as network spinal analysis, the the extremities that may be related to
system has been evolving since 1982 and spinal cord tension, range of motion, or
is currently practiced by chiropractors the involvement of spinal motion with
under the trade name network chiro- respiration. Some practitioners may uti-
practic. lize various noninvasive instrumenta-
tion to further assess the functioning of
Enhancing Communication the nervous system. Spinal X rays are not
Adjustment is a central technique of chi- routine, however, and are taken as indi-
ropractic doctors. Adjustment means cated on an individual basis.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: courtesy of Dr. Donald Epstein

Dr. Donald Epstein, founder of network chiropractic, demonstrates the light pressure tech-
niques he developed to release tension.

A chiropractor’s office usually con- emotional tension occurs. The practi-

tains a special device called an adjust- tioner will reassess the patient regularly,
ing table, which allows patients to sit or perhaps every two months, until the
lie in the optimal position for receiving desired improvement has been made.
care, whether that be faceup, facedown,
seated, or on the side. Time spent on the Benefits and Risks
adjusting table is often ten minutes or Network chiropractic is one of the most
so—not an extended period. nonaggressive types of adjustment
Rather than addressing the structur- available. Adjustments are not given in
al misalignment as a primary distortion, the areas of maximum tension, fixation,
the network practitioner views it as a swelling, or pain. Most adjustments are
protection for a spinal cord under ten- very gentle. The practitioner is not seek-
sion. The doctor begins with light pres- ing to inhibit the body or alter pain;
sure applied to the tissue around the instead, the objective is to enhance the
spine. Precise touch adjustments and body’s own self-corrective, self-healing
touches are used to release tension in mechanism. For these reasons, network
the spinal cord and to assist the body in
is considered a very safe application of
recognizing the distortion and generate chiropractic.
It is common that as tension is relieved
from the spine a spontaneous release of —Donald Epstein, D.CA.

Resources: Journals:
Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Vol. 1,
Association for Network Chiropractors No. 1 (1996).
444 North Maine Street
Longmont, CO 80501
Tel: (303) 678-8101
Professional organization of network chiroprac-

International Chiropractors Association steopathy is a holistic and drug-
1110 North Glebe Rd. less approach to health and dis-
Suite 1000 ease. It is based on the idea that a
Arlington, VA 22201 human being is not merely a collection
Tel: (703) 528-5000 of parts but a totality imbued with spir-
Provides information on practitioners. it. The human body functions as a unit
and possesses self-healing and self-reg-
World Chiropractic Alliance
ulating mechanisms. Osteopathy main-
2950 N. Dobson Rd., Suite 1
tains that there is a reciprocal
Chandler, AZ 85224
relationship between structure and
Tel: (800) 347-1011
function, that is, an alteration in struc-
Promotes the practice of network chiropractic.
ture (the musculoskeletal system)
through injury, will result in a change in
function (in internal organs), namely,
Further Reading: disease. Likewise, a diseased internal
organ will result in an alteration in the
Books: musculoskeletal system. The osteo-
Epstein, Donald, and Nathaniel Altman. The pathic physician, by his or her intimate
Twelve Stages of Healing: A Network Approach knowledge of human anatomy, can rec-
to Wholeness. San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Pub- ognize even subtle deviations from nor-
lishing, 1994. mal bodily functioning and by the
application of various techniques can
Maynard, Joseph E. Healing Hands: The Story of restore the proper structure and func-
the Palmer Family, Discoverers and Developers tion and assist the inherent self-healing
of Chiropractic. Fourth edition. Woodstock, GA: powers of the body.
Jonorm Publishers, 1992.
A Rejection of Conventional Medicine
Woodham and Peters. Encyclopedia of Healing The practice of osteopathy was devel-
Therapies. New York: DK Publishers, 1997. oped by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D.

Health and Well-Being

The largest study of health and wellness benefits of a chiropractic method was per-
formed at the University of California–Irvine. Patients evaluated their own improve-
ments through a wide range of health and wellness indicators. The study showed
evidence of significant improvement in the areas of physical symptoms, emotional and
mental state, stress evaluation, life enjoyment and overall quality of life.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: Still National Osteopathic Museum, Kirksville, MO

The first class of the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri, winter term (1892-1893).

(1828–1917), the son of an itinerant of a disease with such agents, a doctor

Methodist preacher who supported his should attempt to discover the cause of
family by farming and practicing medi- the disease itself. He originated the con-
cine. It was during the time spent with cept of wellness and developed princi-
his father tending to the medical needs ples of proper exercise and diet to
of Native Americans that Still decided to prevent disease. He also created a sys-
take up medicine himself, under the tem of manipulating various joints and
guidance of his father. He studied the tissues to realign the bones and muscles
standard medical texts of the time, and thereby increase blood circulation
including ones on anatomy, physiology, and nerve functioning.
pathology, surgery, and other topics. In the 1870s, in America, this holistic
Early on, Still became aware of the perspective was heresy. Still’s early life
limitations of the medical practice of his provided many unfortunate opportuni-
day, particularly the almost total preoc- ties to witness the shortcomings of con-
cupation of conventional, or “allopath- ventional medicine. He lost his first
ic,” medicine that focused on wife and six children to infectious dis-
identifying symptoms and suppressing eases of one kind or another. He saw
them. Still thought that this under- the impotency of medical care during
standing of disease was crude at best his service as an Army field surgeon and
and was based on vague notions of when he cared for Native Americans
“physiological tension” that needed to during epidemics. He had pneumonia
be relieved by such devices as purging, for three months and took three years
bloodletting, and the administering of to recover from typhoid. In many ways
large doses of morphine, opium, alco- osteopathy was Still’s unique synthesis
hol, and mercury. Still believed that of his personal experience and several
rather than treating only the symptoms major intellectual and philosophical

movements making their way across and Still was later reported to have said
America during his lifetime. that he thought women made better
Over the years Still continued to osteopaths than men.
practice conventional medicine— Still was assisted in his teaching by
including service as a surgeon in the William Smith, M.D., an 1889 graduate
Union army during the Civil War—and of the University of Edinburgh. After
to develop his unique healing methods. one year Still determined that for the
He devised a system of manipulation most part his attempt to teach osteopa-
and spinal reflexes with which he treat- thy was a failure. He issued certificates
ed all types of conditions. but beseeched the graduates to return
Despite his therapeutic successes he for another year of instruction. Some
was viewed as a medical heretic, a grave did not return.
robber, and a “crazy crank” because of However, in 1893, Still did receive
his unorthodox views, study of corpses, some confirmation that his method
long hours of solitary study, and casual could be successfully learned when two
dress. His methods obtained results of his sons saved many lives during a
that were seemingly inexplicable, so black diphtheria epidemic in Minneso-
some viewed his practice as the work of ta. Graduation for those members of the
the devil. In 1873, while living in first class who had returned was held on
Kirksville, Missouri, Still saved many March 4, 1894. Slowly, the curriculum
lives during an epidemic of infectious improved, more and better students
diarrhea, without the use of any drugs. graduated, and an infirmary was built in
Despite this success, his reputation as 1895. In that year Still and his students
an eccentric followed him and he was performed thirty thousand osteopathic
shunned by most until he cured a treatments. By the late 1890s his school,
prominent Presbyterian minister’s crip- infirmary, and new surgical hospital
pled daughter. were increasingly successful, both acad-
In 1874 Still severed his ties to con- emically and financially.
ventional medicine and announced the In its struggle for acceptance, orga-
founding of his new medical science, nized osteopathy had to battle the pow-
which he called osteopathy. This new erful American Medical Association,
school of medical thought was con- which sought to maintain its control of
ceived as a reformation or improvement the practice of medicine in America.
of conventional medicine, not an alter- Denied the right to serve as physicians
native system. During the 1880s he con- in the military and other government
tinued to refine his science and made jobs, the osteopathic profession lobbied
several attempts to train others. hard for inclusion.
Although he initially had trouble train- It wasn’t until the Vietnam War that
ing others in the practice of osteopathy, osteopaths were allowed to serve their
Still hoped to establish an osteopathic country as physicians. Today there are
school. During this time patients seventeen osteopathic colleges. Some are
flocked to Kirksville from all over Amer- state-supported schools where faculty
ica for his treatment. Hotels were built and facilities are shared with students of
in the town to house the many patients allopathic medicine. Osteopathic physi-
arriving daily, and several railroad com- cians can now practice in all medical and
panies advertised train service to surgical specialties and serve in all
Kirksville. branches of the military and government
On November 1, 1892, the American health service organizations.
School of Osteopathy was opened. The The curriculum at osteopathic schools
first class of eleven students consisted is identical to its allopathic counterpart
of former patients, family friends, and with the exception that D.O.s learn osteo-
five of Still’s children. Five women were pathic philosophy and manipulation.
among the members of this first class, However, with equality comes paradox.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

As the osteopathic curriculum improved osteopathic manipulation could relieve

over the years, it became more like con- the restrictions to the free flow of blood
ventional medicine. Today there are and nerve power by removing the bony
approximately 35,000 osteopathic physi- dislocations and easing muscle con-
cians in practice in the United States. tractions. Moreover, Still revealed to one
Only about 3 to 5 percent of osteopaths of his students toward the end of his life
practice the original healing art as envi- that he was able to see the human aura,
sioned by Still. Yet the original osteopath- the human energy field.
ic concept is powerful and has made a Modern doctors of osteopathy take a
lasting impression on medicine through- holistic approach to the human body and
out the world. Chiropractic, Rolfing, and mind and, accordingly, take a patient’s
CranioSacral therapy borrow heavily from emotional and mental states into consid-
much of Still’s pioneering work. eration, as well as his or her physical con-
The osteopathic concept has also dition. Osteopaths emphasize the
spread worldwide. There are colleges in interaction between the brain and ner-
England, Canada, and Europe. To date, vous system and the musculoskeletal sys-
thirty-two countries have granted tem, paying particular attention to the
osteopathic physicians unlimited prac- musculoskeletal system, which they
tice privileges, with an additional nine believe influences all other organs and
countries granting privileges limited to systems. They contend that physical and
manipulation. emotional disease is brought about by
interrupted nerve flow caused by muscle
Holistic Approach to the Body spasms, injury, or improper alignment of
In many ways osteopathy was Still’s the spine and other bones. By applying
unique synthesis of his personal experi- hands-on manipulation, palpation, and
ence and several major intellectual and other physical therapies to the spine,
philosophical movements that were bones, muscles, and connective tissues,
making their way across America dur- D.O.s (doctors of osteopathy) treat a vari-
ing his lifetime. He viewed disease as an ety of disorders.
effect of derangement from the
anatomical perfection intended by God, Experiencing Osteopathy
the divine architect. A typical office session with an
Still was most influenced by Herbert osteopath begins by taking a history of
Spencer, a nineteenth-century British the current problem, including all med-
philosopher who coined the term “evo- ications or other therapies being used.
lution” and influenced the thinking of This is augmented to include all past
Charles Darwin. In Still’s philosophy of medical and surgical treatments and,
osteopathy one can find many of especially, any physical or emotional
Spencer’s ideas—the concepts of cause traumas. Family and occupational his-
and effect, the relationship between tories are also obtained. In the case of
structure and function, the holistic an infant or child, the medical history
nature of humans, and the interrelated- includes the details of the pregnancy,
ness of parts. The fascinations with labor, delivery, and perinatal period for
phrenology, spiritualism, and Mes- that individual, and questions about
merism, prevalent in the nineteenth developmental milestones are asked.
century, also had an influence on Still. Next comes a physical exam based on
These systems theorized the exis- the patient’s history, and laboratory and
tence of the flow of certain healing and imaging studies (X rays, CT scans) may
self-regulating electromagnetic and be ordered if appropriate.
spiritlike fluids in the body, and Still In addition, the osteopathic physi-
incorporated these concepts into his cian performs either a regional (focus-
notion of the healing effects of an unim- ing just on the problem area) or a
peded flow of blood. According to Still, complete body examination, searching

for areas of somatic (body) dysfunction, Resources:

that is, impaired or altered functioning
of parts of the musculoskeletal system. American Association of College of Osteopathic
The dysfunction may lie in bone, joint, Medicine (AACOM)
fascia, and muscle, or in related vascu- 5550 Friendship Blvd. Suite 310
lar, lymphatic, cerebrospinal, and neur- Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231
al elements. Once a diagnosis is made, Web site:
treatment can begin. The entire body Promotes the study of osteopathic medicine. Pro-
may be treated with a wide variety of vides information on the seventeen osteopathic
natural techniques, using varying schools in the United States.
degrees of force according to the nature
of the problem and the patient. Any American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
point on or within the body that can be 142 E. Ontario St.
reached with the hands can be treated Chicago, IL 60611
osteopathically. Tel: (800) 621-1773, ext. 7401
The treatments are given on a Fax: (312) 280–3860
padded table to a patient wearing com- Web site:
fortable, loose-fitting clothing (although Offers educational and professional support to
the patient may have to undress partial- osteopathic physicians.
ly for the initial screening examination).
If it is performed properly, there is no
contraindication for osteopathic manip- Further Reading:
ulative treatment.
In osteopathic hospitals treatments Gevitz, Norman. The D.O.’s: Osteopathic Medicine in
are given to patients in intensive care America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1982.
units, emergency rooms, labor and
delivery rooms, and newborn nurseries, Hildreth, Arthur Grant. The Lengthening Shadow
as well as in general medical and surgi- of Dr. A.T. Still. 3rd ed. Kirksville, MO: Osteo-
cal units. After the first session the pathic Enterprise, 1988.
patient’s condition and treatment plan
are discussed. Return visits are sched- Magoun, Harold Ives, Sr. Osteopathy in the Cra-
uled based on the individual’s response nial Field. 3rd ed. Kirksville, MO: Journal Print-
to the first treatment and not on a fixed ing Company, 1976.
or routine schedule.
Still, A. T. Autobiography. Kirksville, MO: privately
—Dr. Domenick Masiello printed, 1897.

Popularity of Osteopathy

There are currently around 35,000 osteopathic physicians in the United States, yet only
about 500 osteopaths practice the original healing art, as many use manipulation tech-
niques merely as an adjunct to their conventional practices. Nevertheless, the original
osteopathic concept has made a lasting impression on medicine throughout the world.
Osteopathic and conventional forms of research have validated and confirmed many of
Still’s original ideas. Today even the conventional medical world has many manual med-
icine societies, and the specialties of psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine benefit
from Still’s pioneering work. The osteopathic concept has also spread worldwide. There
are colleges in England, Canada, and continental Europe. To date, thirty-two countries
have granted osteopathic physicians unlimited practice privileges, with an additional
nine countries granting privileges limited to manipulation techniques.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

———. Philosophy of Osteopathy. Kirksville, MO: years. The son of a prominent chiro-
privately printed, 1899. practor, Smith trained as an osteopath
and medical doctor in the 1950s, and
———. Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of later as a five element acupuncturist
Osteopathy. Kirksville, MO: privately printed, with Professor J. R. Worsley. He was also
1902. a student of shakti yoga as taught by
Swami Muktananda, a massage thera-
———. Osteopathy: Research and Practice. pist and certified Rolfer (while he was
Kirksville, MO: privately printed, 1910. studying with Ida Rolf he was her model
for seven of the ten-hour sessions). Out
Still, Charles F., Jr. Frontier Doctor, Medical Pio- of these various experiences he formu-
neer: The Life and Times of A.T. Still and His lated his own distinct set of ideas and
Family. Kirksville, MO: The Thomas Jefferson techniques that later became known as
University Press, 1991. Zero Balancing.

Sutherland, William Garner, and Ann L. Wales,

eds. Teachings in the Science of Osteopathy. Fort The Basic Principles of ZB
Worth, TX: Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foun- According to Dr. Smith, Zero Balancing
dation, Inc., 1990. draws from Eastern concepts of energy
and yet is fully consistent with contem-
Trowbridge, Carol. Andrew Taylor Still: 1828–1917. porary quantum physics and the view-
Kirksville, MO: The Thomas Jefferson Universi- point that matter is composed of both
ty Press, 1991. particle and wave. In ZB the practition-
er considers both of these components
Ward, Robert C., ed. Foundations for Osteopathic as they are found in the body—particle
Medicine. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1997. is represented by structure or matter,
and wave by energy or vibration. If we
compared the body to a sailboat, the
sail would represent the structure and
the wind the energy. ZB focuses on the
ZERO BALANCING ® interface and relationship of where the
wind meets the sail—where the energy
meets structure within the body and

ero Balancing® (ZB) is a hands-on mind—knowing on another level that
body-balancing and integrating all these aspects are forms of energy.
approach that aligns body energy Smith postulates that the strongest
fields with body structure. ZB is based fields of energy are in the bones of the
on the Western understanding of anato- skeletal system. This is the densest tis-
my and physiology but is distinct in that sue in the body and therefore entraps
it uses Eastern concepts of energy as the densest energy of the body. Whereas
working tools as well as guiding princi- ZB also addresses soft tissue, its main
ples for the integration of the whole focus is on the skeletal system. Within
person. Alignment through ZB balances the skeletal system its main focus is on
body energy and structure, creates the foundation and semi-foundation
clearer fields of vibration throughout joints of the body—those joints that
the body, releases tension patterns from have more to do with the transmission,
the body tissue, the mind, and the emo- absorption, and equalization of energy
tions, and allows the vibration of stress in the body than with locomotion or
to pass more freely through the person. movement. Examples of these joints are
the sacroiliac joints, the tarsal and
The History of Zero Balancing® carpal joints of the feet and hands, and
Fritz Frederick Smith, M.D., developed the inter- and costo-vertebral articula-
the system of Zero Balancing over several tions of the spine.

Zero Balancing ®

In addition to being intimately permission to use the registered trade-

involved with energy forces in the body, mark of ZB. It is not designed or intend-
these joints have several other charac- ed to give the student any specific legal
teristics that make them especially recognition or permission to work in
important in energy medicine. They the health care field. ZB is practiced
have small ranges of motion, and when under the umbrella of other health care
they become compromised in function studies.
the body tends to compensate around
the dysfunction rather than resolve it ZB in Practice
directly. The compensatory patterns The Zone Balancer assesses the body by
that result impact not only the physical testing and evaluating the currents
body but the mind, emotions, and spir- and/or stagnation of energy within
it as well. This means that these joints bone, within the foundation joints of
(and other tissues that hold vibration) the skeleton, and within certain soft tis-
can lock imbalances within the whole sues of the body. In places where the
person. Many of these imbalances are at energy and structure are not well bal-
first subtle and do not come to the level anced, the ZBer uses touch to create a
of a person’s awareness until symptoms fulcrum or balance point in the tissue.
(such as muscle pulls, increasing irri- When this balancing field of tension is
tability, stress burnout) have ensued held stationary for a few seconds it
and magnified the problem. The struc- allows the two variables—energy and
tural/energetic work of ZB can release structure—to reorganize in terms of
these patterns while they are still hid- each other. Improved function, move-
den from awareness and before they ment of energy, and feelings of well-
create symptoms. ZB can also improve being ensue. By repeated use of fulcra,
the fundamental imbalance after a per- placed properly and where necessary,
son develops symptoms and create a the skilled Zero Balancing practitioner
climate in which nature can improve or can balance a person in terms of the
heal the person’s complaint. person’s own energy and structure.
ZB is taught as a postgraduate stud- A typical ZB session requires about
ies program for the health care practi- thirty to forty minutes and is done with
tioner. It is not designed as a start-up a person fully clothed. It is done in two
program for the beginning student of positions, with a person first sitting and
health care. A program of training has then lying on his back, comfortably, on a
been established; the graduate of the massage table. Everything in ZB should
program receives in-house recognition either feel good to the client or “hurt
as a certified Zero Balancer and is given good.” If any of the Zero Balancing is

Another Way to Consider ZB

ZB has been conceived of as analogous to wind (energy) and the sail (structure) of a sail-
boat—knowing that somewhere the wind meets the sail. A well-functioning body is one
in which the body and its parts are well tacked into the movement of energy as it passes
through the system. The person is well tacked into his or her life. Clinical experience has
shown that if the relationship of energy and structure within the body is discordant, it
can be improved and aligned through touch, which results in enhanced performance
and feelings of well-being.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

ever uncomfortable or “hurts bad,” the where a medical opinion is mandatory.

client should notify the ZBer. ZBing is not meant to delay or replace
standard medical care, but rather is an
Why Practice ZB? adjunct to high-level function and feel-
Zone Balancing’s major strength arises ings of well-being.
from the ability to balance and integrate
a person in terms of his or her own body —Fritz Smith, M.D.
energy and body structure. This ability
comes from integrating Eastern con- Resources:
cepts of energy as working principles
and tools into the practice of body han- Zero Balancing® Association
dling. ZB is extremely effective in reliev- P.O. Box 1727
ing stress and assisting a person as he or Capitola, CA 95010
she is going through stressful periods in Tel/fax: (408) 476-0665
life. When a person is well balanced e-mail:
between energy and structure, the Web site:
vibration of stress passes through the Conducts training programs throughout North
body more easily and has less tendency America. Continuing education credit is granted
to become stuck, to cause tension pat- for most programs by the Board of Nurses (Califor-
terns, and to progress to physical or nia), Acupuncture Committee (California), and the
emotional dysfunction. ZB also has a
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Mas-
particularly important place in relieving
sage and Bodywork [NCBTMB].
pain and suffering if they are the result
of blocked energy.
Of course, like any system of balanc- Further Reading:
ing or healing, it is not always the
appropriate therapy for a given situa- Smith, Fritz Frederick, M.D. Inner Bridges: A Guide
tion. The ZBer is schooled as to where to Energy Movement and Body. Atlanta:
ZB is of particular value, as to specific Humanics New Age, 1990.
risks for the use of ZB, and to situations

Herbal Medicine • Orthomolecular Medicine

Nutritional and dietary

practices are body-mind
disciplines that adhere to
the popular adage, “You
are what you eat.” Advo-
cates of these practices
believe that everything you
ingest becomes a part of
you, affecting your physical
health, mental abilities, and
emotional outlook. Nutri-
tional and dietary practices
are some of the oldest body-
mind disciplines known to
humankind. Although there
are many specific practices

Photo: George Ancona / International Stock

popular today, this section
examines one ancient and
one modern practice cur-
rently used to maintain
wellness, prevent disease,
and treat specific condi-
tions, both chronic and

The Development of Herbs are the primary ingredient in many commercial pharmaceuticals.
Nutritional and Dietary
The roots of nutritional and dietary practices are firmly planted in the deepest bio-
logical and psychological instincts of the human race. When ill, humans and many
other animals instinctively fast, which cleanses and rests the digestive system. In
addition, animals have been observed in their natural environments searching out
and eating specific plants for medicinal purposes.
Indigenous peoples also use plants from their surrounding environment for medici-
nal purposes. Much of our knowledge of herbal medicine comes from anthropologists
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

who have lived with these peoples and learned their age-old wisdom. The diets of these
peoples invariably include a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and sometimes animal
products native to their area. These locally produced diets create a chemical balance
within each person’s body and between the people and their environment.
Nutritional practices and herbal medicine form an integral part of all classical healing
systems. Both ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine doctors diagnose patients, in
part, by knowledge of their dietary preferences and cravings. Both systems prescribe
dietary changes and herbal medicines to balance the body-mind disharmonies they per-
ceive through their diagnostic methods. Like those of indigenous peoples, both of these
highly developed healing systems are based on a belief that disharmony of body and
mind, or of the body-mind complex and the surrounding environment, is the root cause
of disease.
In classical Greece, where the modern Western healing system originated, the
physician Hippocrates (c. 460–c. 377 BCE) also believed in health as a balance between
the individual and his or her environment. Discussing the prescription of food as
medicine, Hippocrates is believed to have said, “Food or drink which is in itself slight-
ly inferior, but more pleasant should be preferred to that which is better in itself, but
less pleasant.” In this recommendation Hippocrates seems to affirm not only a belief
that food could be used as medicine, but that the human organism has the innate
ability to direct its own healing, in part at least, through the sense of taste.
Throughout European history people continued to rely on their sense of taste to
develop a varied, balanced, moderate diet that made use of local fruits, grains, and ani-
mal products. They also used various herbs and foods to heal specific conditions. For
example, garlic has been used by people in many European countries for centuries to
heal infections. Chamomile tea has long been recommended to calm the nerves.
The French chemist Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) was the first person to see bacteria
under a microscope. This momentous discovery led to many innovations in Western
health care including sterilization of surgical instruments, hygienic standards of
cleanliness in hospitals, and the process known as pasteurization of milk and other
liquids. It also led to the development of the germ theory of disease in which all dis-
ease was believed to be caused by outside organisms invading the human body.
In order to fight the outside invaders, biochemists developed an arsenal of antibi-
otics and other pharmaceutical germ-killers. These medicines appeared to work more
quickly and to be more effective than the traditional dietary and herbal cures. Doctors
began to pay less and less attention to the diet of their patients. Instead they began to
rely more and more on a growing stockpile of synthesized drugs to relieve painful and
uncomfortable symptoms.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there were many voices of
dissent against this shift away from natural whole-food diets and toward dependence
on pharmaceutical drugs for healing. Some of those voices, such as that of American
doctor Sylvester Graham (1794–1851), were dismissed as alarmists by allopathic, or
conventional Western, doctors. Other individuals such as Japanese doctor Michio
Kushi, a leading proponent of macrobiotics, were dismissed as exotic and extremist.
In the mid-twentieth century scientists such as two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus
Pauling (1901–1994) began using Western biochemical methods to study the effects of

the individual vitamins found in foods on various physical, mental, and emotional
conditions. The discoveries made by Pauling and other scientists form the basis of
orthomolecular medicine, a contemporary scientific nutritional practice that recom-
mends individualized whole food diets and high doses of vitamins instead of drugs to
heal disease and create optimum health.
In the 1960s a growing number of people became increasingly disillusioned with the
use of pharmaceutical drugs. Some people felt, as many feel today, that the drugs are cost-
ly, increasingly ineffective, and that they often produce as many side effects and compli-
cations as they appear to cure. For these reasons many individuals, and eventually the U.S.
government through the National Institutes of Health, began to reconsider nutritional and
dietary practices as a safe and effective means of disease prevention and health care.

Eating to Maintain the Body’s Natural Chemical Balance

The basic theoretical foundation of all dietary and nutritional practices is the belief
that whatever we take into our bodies will affect our bodies. If we eat a diet that main-
tains the natural chemical balance of our cells and provides for extra vitamins and min-
erals in times of stress or high demand, we will remain healthy. However, if we don’t eat
a balanced diet we may create an imbalance in our cellular chemistry. This may lead our
organs and systems to malfunction and eventually may lead to disease and illness.
Many scientific studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health and private
foundations such as the National Cancer Institute have pointed to a strong connec-
tion linking diets high in fats, especially saturated fats, and low in fiber to diseases and
conditions such as coronary artery disease, strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure,
and breast and colon cancer. Conversely, changes in diet or eating specific herbs and
nutrients seem to activate the body’s natural defenses, enabling it to heal itself. Today
scientists are looking at whole foods, specific vitamins, and herbs to discover, in sci-
entific terms, how diet can prevent and cure illnesses. Among the things they have dis-
covered are that orange and dark green vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes,
pumpkins, spinach, broccoli, and kale, which all contain high levels of beta carotene,
seem to help prevent certain kinds of cancer. High doses of vitamin B3 (niacin) have
been used with positive results to help people suffering from a variety of mental and
emotional symptoms often diagnosed as schizophrenia. And Hypericum perforatum,
more commonly known as St. John’s wort, seems to be a safe and effective remedy
against mild to moderate depressions.

Nutritional and Dietary Methods in Practice

Many different nutritional and dietary practices are in use today. Naturopaths, tra-
ditional Chinese medicine doctors, ayurvedic physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors,
and bodyworkers may prescribe or suggest nutritional or dietary practices during a
course of treatment. Herbalists and orthomolecular physicians are two types of prac-
titioners who focus specifically on dietary or herbal practices as a means of maintain-
ing health and curing disease.
A visit to one of these practitioners can be like a visit to a general practitioner. Both
will want to know about the nature of your problems and information about your diet.
The orthomolecular physician may make use of tests, whereas the herbalist may rely

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

more on his or her physical observations and questioning of you to arrive at a diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, both will probably recommend changes in your diet and pre-
scribe specific supplements. An herbalist may recommend that you buy a specific
herb or combination of herbs that can be prepared and eaten in various ways, where-
as the orthomolecular physician may recommend various doses of vitamins.
Whichever practice you follow, these practitioners work with you and your other
health care professionals to help you attain your maximum state of health.

Learning About Your Body

Like other body-mind disciplines, nutritional and dietary practices require that
you take responsibility for your own health and healing. After all, an herbalist or
orthomolecular physician can prescribe a course of treatment, but no one can make
you prepare the prescription or take it!
Some people enjoy the heightened awareness of the body-mind connection that
develops over time as they participate in a particular dietary or nutritional practice.
Others find the process cumbersome, time consuming, or too restrictive. In addition,
some people find the scents and tastes of various herbal cures unpleasant, whereas
others enjoy the experience of preparing their own remedies and tonics.
Nutritional and dietary practices are designed to balance your body chemistry in
order to develop its natural resilience and resistance to disease. After working with a
dietary or nutrition professional, balancing your body chemistry, and becoming more
knowledgeable about your nutritional needs, you may formulate a delicious and
enjoyable diet that will help you heal minor ailments, prevent disease, and create opti-
mum health of both body and mind.
—Nancy Allison, CMA

Resources: Web site:

Founded in 1994, this organization lists and recom-
American Botanical Council (ABC) mends orthomolecular practitioners in Canada. Also
P.O. Box 201660 publishes the periodical Journal of Orthomolecular
Austin, TX 78720-1660 Medicine.
Tel:(800) 373-7105
Fax:(512) 331-1924 Further Reading:
Web site: Books:
Nonprofit research and educational organization. Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women.
Offers a quarterly magazine called HerbalGram, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.
which publishes the latest herbal research, legal
and regulatory issues regarding herbal medicine, Kowalchik, Claire, and Hylton Williams, eds.
detailed profiles of herbs, conference reports, and Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs.
book reviews. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press,1987.

The International Society for Orthomolecular Santillo, Humbert B.S., MH. Natural Healing with
Medicine Herbs. Prescott Valley, AZ: Hohm Press, 1984.
16 Florence Avenue
Toronto, ON M2N 1E9 Journals:
Canada Willoughby, John, “Primal Prescription.” Eating
e-mail: Well ™ Inc. (May-June 1991).

Herbal Medicine

HERBAL MEDICINE sales in the United States in 1996, and

sales are increasing at the rate of about 25
percent per year. A poll conducted in early

erbal medicine has become one of 1997 indicated that one-third of adult
the most popular forms of alter- Americans are using herbal medicines,
native medicine in the United spending an average of $54 per person
States today. People use herbal reme- annually, thus creating a total estimated
dies for a variety of reasons: to aid retail market of $3.24 billion. Once found
digestion; to relax; to alleviate minor only in health food stores, mail-order cat-
aches, pains, and headaches; to stave alogs, and marketing organizations,
off disease; and to diminish the symp- herbal medicines are now sold in drug-
toms of the common cold or flu. Besides stores, supermarkets, and mass-market
addressing specific symptoms or needs, retailers, where herbal preparations con-
some herbalists believe that these stitute one of the fastest growing areas.
remedies bring the body and mind into Increased popular interest in herbs
balance and can therefore cure chronic has been fueled in part by the passage of
or long-term illnesses. the Dietary Supplement Health and
Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). In 1993
Herbal Medicine Throughout the Ages and 1994, when the act was being con-
Herbal remedies have been utilized in sidered, Congress received more mail
many cultures throughout time to alle- from American voters concerning this
viate pain and cure disease. The ways new law than they had concerning any
that herbs are used in diverse geograph- other single issue since the Vietnam
ical areas reflect the philosophy and val- War. This overwhelming response sug-
ues of each particular culture as well as gests that consumers are interested in
what herbs are available in each region. using herbs and other dietary supple-
For instance, in traditional Chinese ments for their health.
medicine, herbs are used to restore bal- In addition, the heightened interest in
ance in the body and are part of a long- herbal medicine reflects consumer con-
term treatment that seeks to maintain cern about the high cost of Western med-
the health of both mind and body. In icine in general and pharmaceutical
Western medicine, herbal medications drugs in particular. Further, there is a
have been developed to treat particular growing perception among consumers
physical symptoms immediately. This that many conventional medicines are
pharmacologically based system has toxic and produce adverse side effects,
been especially successful in the treat- despite the fact that they have been
ment of acute illness. approved by the Food and Drug Adminis-
Herbs form the basis of many mod- tration (FDA). These concerns have
ern pharmaceutical drugs. Today, about revived interest in many traditional herbs
25 percent of all prescription medicines and medicinal plants, as well as other
are derived from medicinal plants. forms of alternative medicine. Many
Pharmaceutical companies are doing Americans have also become interested
research on herbs from the Brazilian in this area because of the increased
rain forests. In fact, the word drug media coverage in alternative medicine
derives from the old Dutch word droge, and the creation of the Office of Alterna-
which means “to dry.” During the Mid- tive Medicine (OAM) at the National
dle Ages, Dutch pharmacists dried Institutes of Health (NIH) to study herbs
plants for use as medicines. and other alternative modalities.
In 1994 an estimated 17 percent of all
Americans used herbs for some medicinal A Description of Herbal Medicines
or health reason. The herbal industry is Herbs are popular all over the world.
estimated to have earned $2 billion in The World Health Organization (WHO)

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: Hilary Marcus / Impact Visuals

An herbalist teaches about the medicinal use of common trees and plants.

estimates that about 80 percent of peo- Herbal medicines can be as simple as a

ple in developing countries still rely on cup of chamomile tea (Matricaria recu-
some form of traditional medicine for tita) to help digestion after a big meal, to
primary health care. In every type of tra- ease an upset stomach, or to help as a
ditional medicine, that is, medicine relaxing beverage before bedtime. Other
based on historical uses and used by simple herbal medicines include an
indigenous cultures, herbs and medici- extract of the roots or leaves of echi-
nal plants constitute the major basis for nacea (Echinacea spp.) to help reduce the
the remedies used. severity or duration of a cold or flu, espe-
In a very real sense, herbs are not cially when taken at the onset of symp-
alternative medicine; they are integral to toms; the use of feverfew leaf (Tanacetum
the development of all medicinal sys- parthenium) to allay migraine headaches;
tems, both modern and traditional. and valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) to
Despite the fact that many modern help assure a good night’s sleep, espe-
drugs are derived from plants, there is a cially for persons with insomnia or other
major distinction between a plant- sleep disorders.
derived drug (e.g., quinine) and an Today many people are also using
herbal medicine. Plant-derived drugs herbs to help prevent long-term illness.
are single chemical compounds that are Cardiovascular disease is the the biggest
extracted and purified from plants. killer of all Americans. Millions of Amer-
Herbal medicines, on the other hand, icans are turning to such simple reme-
can be defined as a whole plant or plant dies as garlic (Allium sativum) to help
part that is used for its medicinal prop- reduce cardiovascular risk factors. In
erties. Thus, an herbal remedy contains fact, the German government approves
small amounts of many naturally occur- garlic for such use, including lowering
ring chemicals from the plant. of the LDL cholesterol, known as the
Most herbal medicines are used for “bad” cholesterol—a property of garlic
minor, self-limiting conditions or illnesses. that has been documented in more than
Herbal Medicine

two dozen clinical studies. Because the care to help treat senile dementia and
German government allows such claims short-term memory loss in elderly
on garlic tablets, garlic is the biggest- patients. Another useful phytomedi-
selling over-the-counter medicine sold cine is the standardized extract of milk
in German pharmacies. thistle fruits (Silybum marianum). This
Another increasingly popular use for preparation is a safe and effective tonic
herbs is as alternatives to modern syn- to the liver, especially for persons who
thetic prescription drugs. Millions of suffer from alcohol-induced cirrhosis
American men have begun to use the of the liver, who have been exposed to
extract of the fruits of the native Ameri- toxic industrial chemicals, or who suf-
can saw palmetto plant (Serenoa repens) fer from certain types of hepatitis.
as a safe and clinically documented rem-
edy for benign prostatic hyperplasia How Herbal Remedies Are Used
(BPH), nonmalignant enlargement of the Herbal medicines can be taken as teas
prostate that affects about half of men that have been either steeped or boiled
over fifty years of age. Gaining popularity in water, known as an infusion and
is the standardized extract of St. John’s decoction, respectively. They can be
wort (Hypericum perforatum), which is ingested as powdered herbs in capsules
considered a safe and effective remedy and tablets, or as liquid extracts made
for mild to moderate depression. The with water and alcohol or just alcohol.
efficacy of this herb, called a phytomedi- They can also be taken as standardized
cine in Europe, has been established in extracts, which have recently been devel-
numerous clinical studies. oped. In these extracts, the level of one
There are many more examples. naturally occurring chemical compound
Standardized extract of ginkgo leaf or group of compounds is chemically
(Ginkgo biloba) has been shown in guaranteed from one batch to another in
many clinical studies to be safe and order to ensure reliable content.
effective in stimulating peripheral cir- Herbs can also be used topically.
culation, especially in the brain. This Fresh aloe gel (Aloe vera) can be directly
herb is especially useful in geriatric applied to the skin to help reduce the

Types of Herbs and Their Uses

Adaptogenic: Helps to reduce and resist stress.

Alterative: Improves health and increases energy.
Anthelminitic: Kills or expels intestinal worms.
Anti-inflammatory: Soothes and lessens inflammation.
Antimicrobial: Strengthens resistance to dangerous microorganisms.
Antispasmodic: Reduces cramps and tension in skeletal muscles.
Astringent: Produces a barrier against infection.
Bitter: Functions as a general aid to disease prevention.
Carminative: Improves the operation of the digestive system.
Demulcent: Reduces inflammation.
Diuretic: Stimulates production of and increases the elimination of urine.
Emmenagogue: Aids in the functioning of the female reproductive system.
Expectorant: Helps to remove mucus from the lungs.
Hepatic: Strengthens the liver.
Hypotensive: Lowers blood pressure.
Laxative: Stimulates bowel movements.
Nervine: Promotes the healthy functioning of the nervous system.
Stimulating: Increases the metabolic activity of the body.
Tonic: Invigorates, supports, and calms the body.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

pain of a minor burn or sunburn. Aloe Austin, TX 78720-1660

is used as an ingredient in sunburn Tel: 1-800-373-7105
creams, skin lotions, and even shaving Fax: (512) 331-1924
creams—all of which attests to the pop- e-mail:
ularity and widespread acceptance of Web site:
the healing dermatological properties Leading nonprofit research and educational orga-
of this plant recognized since ancient nization. Offers a quarterly magazine called
times. In addition, in Germany many HerbalGram, which publishes the latest herbal
skin-care products rely on extracts of research, legal and regulatory issues regarding
chamomile for their scientifically herbal medicine, detailed profiles of herbs, confer-
proven skin-healing properties. Also in ence reports, and book reviews.
Germany, manufacturers sell echinacea
products intended for external use for American Herbalists Guild
slow-healing wounds. P.O. Box 1683
Sequel, CA 95073
Enduring Popularity of Herbal Medicine Provides a directory of schools and teachers of
A qualified herbalist or a well-respected herbal medicine.
herbal guide or specialist should be con-
sulted for the most effective herbal treat-
Further Reading:
ment. Herbs have certain qualities and
must be used with care. Like conventional
Castleman, Michael. The Healing Herbs. Emmaus,
drugs, they are not recommended in every
PA: Rodale Press, 1991.
instance. For example, the herb ephedra
(Ephedra sinia, commonly called by its
Foster, Steven. 50 Herbs for Your Health. Loveland,
Chinese name, ma huang), functions as a
CO: Interweave Press, 1996.
stimulant and is not recommended for
those with high blood pressure, diabetes,
Hoffmann, David. The New Holistic Herbal. Rock-
glaucoma, and related conditions where
port, MA: Element Books, 1992.
hypertensives are contraindicated.
The world of plants is rich and diver-
Tierra, Leslie. The Herbs of Life. Freedom, CA:
sified and produces numerous herbal
Crossing Press, 1992.
remedies that have been used for thou-
sands of years. Modern scientific research
continues to document and validate the
historical traditional uses of many herbs
as well as new uses of some traditional
medicines. The safe and responsible use of
herbal medicines offers an important way
to lower health care costs and increase the
wellness of the American public. It is most

likely that more scientific research will rthomolecular medicine strives to
continue to place herbs in a position to achieve optimum health of its
offer many benefits in the new medicine patients, as well as treat and pre-
of the twenty-first century. vent disease, by creating the uniquely
individual levels of nutrients needed in
each body through diet, vitamin supple-
—Mark Blumenthal
mentation, and lifestyle changes. Practi-
tioners employ what is more commonly
Resources: known as megavitamin therapy, which is
the use of large doses of certain vitamins
American Botanical Council (ABC) based on thorough biochemical analysis
P.O. Box 201660 to correct ineffective or destructive

Orthomolecular Medicine

chemical balances in the body. Ortho- interest in vitamins because people

molecular medicine also addresses a believed that they were a quick way to
variety of psychiatric disorders, such as good health. From 1925 to 1940, many
schizophrenia and severe depression. were isolated from food, then identified
and synthesized. Nutritional pioneers
History of Orthomolecular Medicine began exploring the clinical uses of
It was Linus Pauling, the two-time Nobel these newly available substances and
Prize winner (one for chemistry, the using amounts that were above the lev-
other for peace), who, in 1968, first els considered necessary to prevent
coined the term orthomolecular medi- deficiency-state diseases such as scurvy,
cine to describe more accurately what beri-beri, and pellagra.
had been popularly known as megavita- In North Carolina, a country doctor
min therapy. named Fred Klenner used large doses of
Pauling’s concept was to create an vitamin C effectively against viral illness.
optimum nutritional micro-environ- The infants delivered by mothers on his
ment for every cell in the body by giving supplement program were so robust and
it the “right amounts of the right mole- healthy that the local hospital staff nick-
cules”—vitamins, minerals, amino named them the “vitamin C babies.” In
acids, enzymes, and other substances Canada, two physician brothers, Evan and
used by the body. This would not just Wilfrid Shute, found that vitamin E offered
correct the deficiencies or imbalances a valuable treatment against heart disease.
that make us more susceptible to dis- In the early 1950s, two other Canadian
ease and degeneration. It would also physicians, Abram Hoffer and Humphrey
promote the highest level of health, Osmond, began to use high doses of
enabling us to reach our physical, men- niacin (vitamin B3) and other nutrients to
tal, and spiritual potential and enjoy a help schizophrenic patients. The nutri-
maximum life span. The path to this tional treatments they pioneered for a
goal, according to Pauling, is accom- variety of mental conditions were later for-
plished through dietary changes and malized into orthomolecular psychiatry.
supplementation. Over the years, the orthomolecular
For many years before his death in arsenal has expanded dynamically from
1994 at the age of ninety-three, Pauling just a few vitamins. Today, it includes a
was an outspoken champion of non- broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals,
toxic therapies and nutritional supple- amino acids, enzymes, hormones, and
mentation. He attracted considerable plant-derived supplements.
attention—and controversy—with his Many commentators believe that allo-
books on the beneficial effects of vita- pathic, or more conventional, medicine
min C supplementation against the has given little respect to nutritional ther-
common cold and cancer. apy in an age of pharmaceutical, surgical,
Pauling formulated a modern nutri- and high-tech techniques. In the past, vit-
tional paradigm—an approach empha- amins and minerals were considered nec-
sizing optimum intake of nutrients for essary only in tiny amounts in order to
achieving powerful prevention and prevent certain diseases; furthermore,
healing benefits. Orthomolecular conventional Western medical practition-
physicians have used this approach to ers maintained that if people ate right, it
successfully treat schizophrenia, would result in obtaining enough nutri-
depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, ents from food. As a result, conventional
and individuals with gastrointestinal medical schools have not thoroughly edu-
disorders, arthritis, cardiovascular dis- cated their students about the role of
ease, and even cancer. nutrition in causing and healing disease.
During the first half of the twentieth Times may finally be changing. There
century, there was much excitement and is a growing interest in alternative

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

treatments because of the cost and side sophisticated technology. Practitioners

effects of pharmaceuticals and the fail- of alternative medicine, among them
ings of modern conventional medicine orthomolecular physicians, regard food
to impact the crisis of chronic disease and nutrition as the bedrock of their
and runaway medical costs. A growing professions.
number of medical schools are offering Orthos is a Greek word meaning
programs in nontoxic treatments and “straight.” Just as orthopedic medicine
clinical nutrition. In addition, there has refers to the straightening of deformed
been quite a bit of research proving that or broken bones, and orthodontics to
vitamin supplementation, at doses high- the straightening of crooked teeth,
er than those usually present in the diet, orthomolecular medicine literally
has a significant preventive and thera- means to straighten or correct the
peutic effect and represents a potent, body’s molecules.
safe, and inexpensive medical option. Orthomolecular practitioners base
In 1992, the New York Academy of Sci- their recommendations to patients on
ence convened a landmark conference the concept of biochemical individuali-
called “Beyond Deficiency: New Views on ty, an idea put forward by Roger
the Function and Health Effects of Vita- Williams, Ph.D., the University of Texas
mins.” At this meeting, researchers pre- scientist who discovered vitamin B5.
sented new findings on the positive effects This concept holds that each of us is
of vitamins and minerals against cancer, uniquely different. We look different,
heart disease, and other illnesses. A joint react to stress and chemicals differently,
United Nations and World Health Organi- live and work in different environments,
zation conference in 1996 on healthy have different genetic makeup, drink
aging reflected a growing recognition of different water and eat different food,
nutrition in the fight against disease. and have different requirements for var-
ious nutrients. Although the number of
necessary nutrients is the same for each
The Basic Principles of
of us, the optimum amounts we need
Orthomolecular Medicine individually are very different.
“Let food be thy medicine and thy med- For this fundamental reason, ortho-
icine be thy food,” said Hippocrates to molecular physicians regard the govern-
his students. More than 2,500 years ment-promoted RDAs (recommended
later, this advice from the “father of daily allowances) and MDRs (minimum
medicine” has been overlooked, but not daily requirements) as irrelevant. “Even if
altogether ignored, by modern doctors 90 percent of any population required
using pharmaceutical drugs and only the minimal daily requirement of

Is Orthomolecular Therapy Dangerous?

Some people have argued that high doses of certain vitamins can be dangerous, even
toxic, to those who take them. Studies have shown that the dangers are minor compared
to the dangers of taking high doses of pharmaceutical medications.

If symptoms occur, or you feel that you are taking too much of a certain vitamin, ask your
orthomolecular practitioner. He or she will be aware of the dangers and can tell you all
you need to know about your treatment.

If you are taking too much of a certain nutrient, the practitioner will lower your dosage
immediately, and the level of that nutrient will adjust within a very short time. The most
important issue is to keep your doctor aware of any changes or symptoms you might
experience during orthomolecular therapy.

Orthomolecular Medicine

vitamins, it would leave huge numbers of Resources:

people needing 10, 100, or 1,000 times as
much,” contends orthomolecular physi- International Academy of Nutrition & Preventive
cian Abram Hoffer. “With sick people the Medicine
range of need is many times greater.” P.O. Box 18433
The perspective of pioneers like Hof- Asheville, NC 28814
fer and other orthomolecular specialists Tel: (704) 258-3243
is that their form of medicine is not a Offers a list of practitioners by state. Publishes the
cure-all or a replacement for convention- Journal of Applied Nutrition, a quarterly journal
al treatment. Rather, explains Hoffer, “a that covers nutritional issues.
proportion of patients will require ortho-
dox treatment, a proportion will do better The International Society for Orthomolecular
on orthomolecular treatment, and the Medicine
rest will need a skillful blend of both.” 16 Florence Avenue
Toronto, ON M2N 1E9

How Orthomolecular Physicians Can Canada

Help Web site:
Orthomolecular physicians practice Founded in 1994, this organization lists and rec-
throughout the world. They are primari- ommends orthomolecular practitioners in Cana-
ly medical doctors (M.D.s), but also da. Also publishes the periodical Journal of
osteopaths (D.O.s), naturopaths (NDs), Orthomolecular Medicine.
and chiropractors (DCs).
Orthomolecular practitioners zero in The Society for Orthomolecular Medicine of America
on the individuality of patients through 2698 Pacific Avenue
laboratory tests and comprehensive San Francisco, CA 94115
medical reviews that consider diet, stress, Tel: (415) 922-6462
exercise, levels of sensitivity to foods or Provides information on orthomolecular practi-
chemicals, and the use of alcohol, drugs, tioners in the United States.
or pharmaceuticals. These tests are per-
formed in a physician’s office.
Recommendations typically involve Further Reading:
not just nutritional supplements but
also the elimination or reduction of Hoffer, Abram, and Morton Walker. Putting It All
drugs, contaminants, and allergens, and Together: The New Orthomolecular Nutrition.
the replacement of junk food and nutri- New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1996.
ent-poor diets with complete, fresh, and
nourishing diets. Hoffer, Abram. Orthomolecular Medicine for
Physicians—A Survey/Introduction Textbook.

Benefits and Risks New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1989.

Orthomolecular medicine is beneficial

Janson, Michael. The Vitamin Revolution in
for a wide range of physical and mental
Health Care. Greenville, NH: Arcadia Press,
conditions, and its concepts are widely
practiced by health-conscious individu-
als concerned about preventative care.
Pauling, Linus. Vitamin C and the Common Cold.
To get comprehensive and effective
San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1970.
treatment, one should see an orthomo-
lecular specialist first rather than trying to
Pauling, Linus, with Ewan Cameron. Cancer and
attempt self-treatment.
Vitamin C. New York: Linus Pauling Institute of
—Martin Zucker Science and Medicine, 1979.


Biofeedback Training • Guided Imagery • Hypnotherapy • Interactive Guided

Imagery SM • Psychoneuroimmunology

Mind/body med-
icine is a contem-
porary term used to
describe a number
of disciplines that
study or approach
healing the physi-
cal body, or trans-
forming human
behavior, by engag-
ing the conscious or
unconscious powers
of the mind. While
“mind/body medi-
cine” is a term used
in this section of
the encyclopedia to
describe a growing
field of study and
practice in contem-
porary Western
Photo: Corbis-Bettmann

medicine, it is also
used by others to
describe ancient
Eastern disciplines
such as yoga, medi-
Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815), now called the “Father of Hypnosis,”
was one of the earliest Western scientists to investigate the connection
tation, traditional
between body and mind. Chinese medicine,
and subtle energy
therapies. The vari-
ety of disciplines that comprise mind/body medicine in this encyclopedia combine
a theory of the relationship between body and mind that has much in common with
these ancient Eastern disciplines with Western scientific models of biology and
chemistry. These disciplines are also characterized by an emphasis on individual

motivation in the healing process and a more personal relationship between caregiv-
er and receiver. These practices have been used to treat stress-related conditions,
such as chronic pain, allergies, chemical and emotional dependencies, and perfor-
mance anxiety.

Mind/Body Medicine—Ancient and Modern

While the disciplines discussed in this section emerged from a context of contem-
porary Western science, the theories and techniques they use have much in common
with approaches to healing developed by ancient cultures and still in use worldwide.
Both ancient and modern approaches to mind/body medicine believe that the cause
of disease is not restricted to the physical body. For ancient disciplines, the non-phys-
ical causes of disease may include spirits, emotions, or the mind, which bridges spir-
it and body. Contemporary Western methods of mind/body medicine attempt to
understand the cause of disease by investigating the effect of thoughts or emotions on
behavior and the physical workings of the body.
Shamanism, an ancient method of healing, is based on the belief that all illness is
a result of disharmony between the spirit world and the material world. Traditional
shamanic practices include trance states and mental focusing techniques similar to
those used by hypnotherapy and guided imagery today.
The highly disciplined Indian practice of hatha yoga is driven by the belief that all
matter is a materialized form of the one great spirit motivating the universe. It
includes numerous health-enhancing physical exercises, internal cleansing tech-
niques, and breathing practices to help people refine the physical body and experi-
ence its spiritual nature. Hatha yoga practitioners develop a control of the body
similar to that developed through biofeedback today.
In China, healers practiced within the framework of the ancient Chinese religion
of Taoism, which seeks a balanced, harmonious existence between humankind and
nature. Over thousands of years, Chinese herbal treatments evolved by correlating
observations of the interaction of elements in nature with the physical, emotional,
and mental characteristics associated with human illnesses. The relationships Chi-
nese healers noted between elemental balances, emotional states, and physical
health are similar to those recognized by psychoneuroimmunology today.

The Development of Mind/Body Medicine in the West

While ancient Greek medical practices were originally holistic, ways of viewing the
body began to change with the influence of the philosophical pragmatism of Aristotle
(c.384–c.332 BCE) and his desire to know and categorize all aspects of the material world.
Ancient Greeks began to separate the observation and treatment of matter, or body, from
the observation and treatment of spirit, or mind. This trend in Western thinking and
healing was later reinforced by the medieval Christian church, which glorified the devot-
ed mind of humankind as the true channel to the spirit of God while denigrating the
physical body as an instrument of the devil. In the seventeenth century, the French
philosopher René Descartes helped establish the philosophical foundation of the
Enlightenment by proclaiming the mind a non-material, transcendent aspect of human
beings, to be separate and infinitely more valuable than the physical body.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Split off from philosophical or spiritual inquiry, Western medical science devel-
oped by studying the physical body and treating it as a purely mechanical instrument
that could be broken down into smaller and more knowable components. While this
approach yielded many amazing, lifesaving achievements over the last 300 years, it
investigated only the physical treatment of ailments. The relationship of the mind and
body was not fully investigated by Western medicine until the beginning of this cen-
tury, gaining ever more momentum in the last thirty-five years. The neurologist Sig-
mund Freud’s (1856–1939) theory of the unconscious mind opened new ways of
considering the mind’s effect on behavior and physical health. The research that
inspired Freud’s theories employed many of the techniques that are a part of hyp-
notherapy and guided imagery practices.
Throughout the twentieth century, data pointing to a relationship between our
thoughts, emotions, and health began to appear from many branches of science,
including sociology, anthropology, and psychology. For example, in 1956 Hans Selye,
a Canadian physiologist, revealed the devastating effects of traumatic experiences,
which he termed stress, on an organism’s health. Then in the 1960s a more specific
clue to the connections between mind and body appeared. Drs. Elmer and Alyce
Green, pioneering researchers in biofeedback, documented the profound abilities of
advanced yoga practitioners to control consciously their heart rate, temperature, and
brain wave patterns. As the century continued, scientists in the newly developing field
of psychoneuroimmunology presented evidence linking particular chemical sub-
stances, such as endorphins, to specific human emotions, such as pleasure. They
showed how certain levels of endorphins in the body may act as a chemical shield
against invading viruses or germs.
Today mind/body medicine practices are a respected part of treatment in many
major hospitals and clinics throughout the United States. They may be used for relief
of pain before or during surgery and to aid in the postoperative process. In addition,
individuals seeking help for a variety of chronic physical conditions, including cancer
and AIDS, as well as those seeking to change painful and destructive behavior pat-
terns, such as chemical addictions or eating disorders, are enhancing traditional West-
ern methods of treatment with mind/body medicine practices.

Some Basic Mind/Body Medicine Beliefs

The disciplines discussed in this section represent an expansion of traditional
Western approaches to medicine. While research in each discipline has yielded differ-
ent theories and techniques, together these fields share certain basic principles. First,
approaches to mind/body medicine are unified by their belief that real and useful
connections exist between our bodies and our minds. Whether the discipline uses the
powers of the conscious mind to interact with and affect the systems of the body, as in
biofeedback, or employs the powers of the unconscious mind to effect changes in
behavior, as in hypnotherapy, the pathways between body and mind are at the heart
of these healing modalities.
The disciplines discussed in this section share the belief that a person’s emotions
and attitudes will influence his or her body’s innate ability to heal. In clinical studies
in the 1940s and 1950s patients were given a placebo, or neutral substance such as

sugared water, and told that it would relieve their chronic pain. The patients’ emo-
tional attitudes about their pain, as well as their physical progress, were closely mon-
itored. The results showed that patients who believe they will recover are much more
likely to do so than those who think they won’t, or those who think they will get worse.
Mind/body medicine practitioners believe that these results strongly suggest that
emotions and mental attitudes play an important role in the body’s ability to heal.
Finally, all mind/body medicine practices believe in the importance of personal
motivation in the healing process. This belief is supported by clinical research, which
shows that cancer patients who become actively involved in their treatment are more
likely to recover than those who passively accept their diagnosis and fail to examine
their treatment options. Taking charge of one’s life fends off feelings of hopelessness
and lack of control, both of which have been shown through psychoneuroimmunolo-
gy studies to reduce the number of disease-fighting cells in the body. By emphasizing
personal responsibility, mind/body medicine practitioners aim to empower patients
to make a successful healing journey.
Because mind/body medicine practitioners emphasize the individual’s participa-
tion in the healing process, special attention is given to the relationship between care-
giver and receiver. For instance, in guided imagery the caregiver is often referred to as
a guide or knowledgeable aide. The guide’s role is viewed as helping the receiver
access his or her own inner sources of physical, mental, and emotional health and
offering positive reinforcement as he or she learns to navigate the channels between
body and mind.

The Future of Mind/Body Medicine

Mind/body medicine practices have helped millions of people find relief from a
multitude of physical and emotional problems. People suffering from migraine
headaches, insomnia, hypertension, asthma and other respiratory conditions, ulcers
and other gastrointestinal disorders, incontinence, cardiac and vascular irregularities,
muscular problems caused by strokes or accidents, arthritis, anxiety, attention and
learning disorders, depression, chemical and emotional addictions, and phobias and
other stress-related disorders have all been helped by mind/body medicine practices.
Although the field is still young, with continued research, creative and caring practi-
tioners, and courageous health care consumers willing to view illness as a message
from the body to begin an active healing journey, mind/body medicine may provide
new solutions for health care in the twenty-first century.
—Nancy Allison, CMA

Further Reading:

Borysenko, Joan. Minding the Body, Mending the

Mind. New York: Bantam Books, 1988.

Chopra, Deepak. Quantum Healing. New York:

Bantam Books, 1989.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

BIOFEEDBACK TRAINING connection. Alyce and Elmer Green

used the EEG to study the techniques
that enable masters of yoga meditation

to alter the rhythms and responses of
iofeedback training is a means of
the body so extensively that they can
enhancing mental awareness of
become impervious to extremes of tem-
body changes. It is a process that
perature and pain. Under the direction
offers techniques for regulating the
of Joe Kamiya, volunteers in another
body’s vital functions and fostering
study learned to use feedback from the
overall health. Electronic biofeedback
EEG to recognize and achieve the alpha
instruments supply information about
state, an alert sense of effortless well-
the body not usually available to the
being normally associated with
consciousness. Heart rate, muscle ten-
advanced stages of meditation.
sion, blood circulation, brain wave
During the late 1960s the excitement
activity, and other body functions are
generated by the initial findings of
made perceptible as visual and auditory
biofeedback research led to overly opti-
signals that enable an individual to
mistic claims about “miracle cures” of
monitor his or her physiological reac-
the future. Nonetheless, it was clear that
tion to various stimuli or situations.
a fundamental concept in the human
With the help of the biofeedback instru-
sciences, the distinction between vol-
ment it is possible to develop new,
untary and involuntary nervous activity,
healthier patterns of response through-
had been discredited. Vital functions
out the body’s systems, even those pre-
like blood pressure were now seen as
viously regarded as involuntary and
subject to the control of the individual.
outside the reach of the conscious
Behavioral modification accordingly
mind. Biofeedback training has a vast
became an ever more accepted mode of
range of diagnostic, therapeutic, and
health care. The first professional meet-
preventive applications, particularly in
ing of feedback researchers was held in
cases where stress and related psycho-
1968, chaired by Les Fehmi. In 1969
logical factors play a role.
biofeedback researchers founded a pro-
fessional support group, the Biofeedback
The History of Biofeedback Training Research Society, later renamed the
The use of biofeedback devices to mod- Association for Applied Psychophysiol-
ify behavior started in 1938, when ogy and Biofeedback (AAPB). The volu-
Hobart G. Mowrer introduced an alarm minous scholarly literature on various
triggered by urine to stop children from aspects of biofeedback attests to the
wetting their beds. Beginning in the interest it has attracted in the scientific
1940s muscle-tension biofeedback was community.
successfully used in the field of neuro-
muscular rehabilitation. Biofeedback The Theory of Biofeedback Training
developed rapidly in America during Biofeedback training approaches the
the 1950s and 1960s because of a coinci- brain as a control center that sends
dence of two factors. There was growing impulses through the nervous system to
awareness that stress was a principal program the body’s vital functions:
cause of disease and an accompanying heart rate, blood pressure, circulation,
interest in expanding the mind’s ability digestion, breath, perspiration, and so
to respond to stress more positively and forth. By automatically signaling the
nurture all parts of one’s self. At the different systems when to turn on or off,
same time the invention of the elec- people live safely and comfortably in
troencephalograph machine (EEG) and their surroundings without deliberating
similar electronic equipment gave sci- over the body’s basic activities. But
entists new tools for monitoring the stress, illness, or an accident can dis-
internal workings of the body-mind rupt the natural process and cause it to
Biofeedback Training

Photo: © Joel Gordon

A biofeedback machine translates some aspects of a client’s physical functioning, such as heart
rate or blood pressure, into a sound or visual signal.

send signals that produce common muscles and a fall in body temperature,
health problems like insomnia, muscu- that the person may never have noticed.
lar or vascular pain, and irritable bowel Furthermore, the machines serve as a pre-
syndrome, to name just a few. While cise, objective gauge of the physiological
these stress-aggravated processes make effects accomplished by using a relaxation
the body seem unpredictable and technique such as visualizing a pleasant
beyond control, biofeedback training scene or soothing color. The true source of
can help reverse overreactions. the self-healing promoted and reflected by
The use of electronic instruments to biofeedback training are techniques that
measure and reflect the status of body normalize physiological functioning.
functions is only one element of biofeed- These techniques enable the person to
back training. It also uses relaxation tech- stabilize erratic or unhealthy physical
niques derived from ancient meditation responses and to take responsibility for his
practice and requires participants to be or her own well-being.
open to the idea of attentional flexibility.
Contrary to popular belief, the machines Biofeedback Training in Practice
do not intervene in the information travel- In its most frequent application,
ing between the body and mind. Instead, biofeedback training is used to teach
the instruments act as a mirror of one’s people techniques for coping with
internal reactions, allowing an individual health problems that have already been
to observe this behavior and to be aware of diagnosed by a medical doctor or psy-
harmful reactions. This information helps chologist. The role of the certified prac-
uncover hidden patterns of physiological titioners who administer biofeedback
reactions to stress, for example, tensing of training is to show the client how to
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

interpret control and the electronic flow biofeedback. However, there is a

biofeedback. The client sits during growing movement toward providing
training and remains fully clothed, other types, especially neurofeedback,
though sensors are placed on the skin for a variety of disorders. The most com-
over the region to be monitored. The mon applications are for headaches,
sensors do not cause pain or discom- pain management or pain dissolution,
fort. Body information from the and general stress reduction. Stress
biofeedback instrument is presented in reduction is therapeutic for a variety of
any of several forms: flashing lights, symptoms such as irritable bowel syn-
beeping sounds, patterns on a comput- drome, migraine headaches, hyperten-
er screen, or tactile sensations. Current- sion, breathing difficulties, cardiac and
ly available instruments have the vascular irregularities, anxiety, depres-
capacity to monitor skin temperature, sion, insomnia, as well as symptoms
electrical conductivity in the skin, mus- related to addiction, attention disor-
cle tension, heart rate, brain wave activ- ders, and for the reduction of other
ity, and other body processes. learning disabilities. The AAPB can pro-
The nature of the work in a training vide a list of clinical symptoms that
session varies according to the needs of have responded favorably to biofeed-
the client. In the case of compulsive teeth back treatment as well as a referral to a
grinding and temporomandibular joint certified biofeedback provider in your
(TMJ) disorder, for example, training area.
focuses on regulation of muscular ten-
sion in the jaw. Attention deficit disorder —Les Fehmi, Ph.D.
can be addressed by means of a comput-
er game controlled by brain wave activity.
The client watches the game but cannot Resources:
play unless he or she produces brain
Association for Applied Psychophysiology and
waves of an appropriate pattern. In this
way the client becomes minutely attuned
10200 West 44th Avenue, Suite 304
to different levels of concentration and
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
learns how to heighten, expand, and
focus his or her attention.
Provides a nationwide referral service. To receive a
As a biofeedback training session un-
free copy of their brochure “What Is Biofeedback?”
folds, the practitioner recommends tech-
send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the
niques for attaining the desired result and
address above.
provides positive reinforcement. Learn-
ing and achieving the body-mind benefits
Biofeedback Certification Institute of America
of a training program generally requires
several sessions with a practitioner, who
10200 West 44th Avenue, Suite 304
may advise additional work with home
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
biofeedback instruments or audio tapes.
Success in biofeedback training generally
A professional organization that determines mini-
depends on the effort expended by the
mum standards for certification in biofeedback
client. Over time, and with consistent
training. BCIA also certifies organizations that
practice, one progresses to the point
provide training for biofeedback practitioners.
where one can monitor and adjust body
processes without the aid of electronic
instruments. Further Reading:

Benefits of Biofeedback Training Crow, Mark, and David Danskin. Biofeedback: An

Most practitioners still limit their prac- Introduction. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield Publish-
tice of biofeedback to EMG and blood ing Co., 1981.

Guided Imagery

GUIDED IMAGERY After the Renaissance, interest in

therapeutic imagery declined because
of radical changes in the interpretation

uided imagery is a therapeutic of the links between mind and body.
technique in which a person with- Following the precepts of René
draws into his or her mind to Descartes, the body was considered a
focus on scenes and symbols pertaining mechanical structure, and the imagina-
to an illness, accident, or personal issue. tion’s role in either the body or the oper-
Within one’s imagination, problems are ations of the intellect was severely
replaced with a “make-believe” story of restricted. Sigmund Freud’s study of
recovered health and happiness. Guid- hysteria, a psychosomatic disorder,
ed imagery is based on the principle marks the beginning of a revolution in
that the imagination has the capacity to medicine that can be viewed as a revival
relieve pain and promote healing when of ancient and Renaissance teachings
it is optimistic and confident and, about the power of the imagination. By
inversely, can help trigger a breakdown explaining hysteria as a physical mani-
when it is consumed by worry. The tech- festation of emotional trauma, Freud
niques of guided imagery are designed challenged Descartes’ notion that ill-
to teach individuals how to use their nesses may have only a physical cause.
own powers of imagination to steer He believed that an effective treatment
away from negative thoughts toward must also address the patient’s inner
models of well-being. Guided imagery experiences.
generally serves as an adjunct to med- The current American approach to
ical treatment and has been incorporat- guided imagery is based on Carl Simon-
ed in sports training programs and ton’s work with cancer patients during
methods of self-care. the 1970s. He instructed cancer patients
to imagine white cells as warriors
defeating the cancer cells and discov-
The Development of Guided Imagery ered that these patients lived twice as
for Healing long as those relying on medical treat-
What is now called guided imagery can ment alone. After Bernie Siegel con-
be traced back to practices found in ducted an equally successful pilot
early civilizations around the world. program at Yale University, there was a
Symbols and spirits were summoned to rapid expansion in medical research
promote healing, and envisioning one’s into the benefits and workings of sys-
health was a key element in rituals per- tems of internal visualization from day-
formed by shamans. When medicine dreaming to self-hypnosis to doodling
was first separated from religion in clas- and drawing. By 1990, guided imagery
sical Greek culture, imagery continued had emerged as an established mode of
to be regarded as a valuable tool in the treatment, acclaimed by advocates of
maintenance of physical and mental both traditional and alternative medi-
well-being. According to the Greek cine.
philosopher Hippocrates, inner pictures
produce a “spirit” that arouses the heart The Theory of Guided Imagery
and other parts of the body. They need Recent research has suggested that
to be controlled if the person is to be mental imagery can modify the func-
healthy. Renaissance doctors took a tioning of the body. The brain responds
similar view of the role of the imagina- to an image much as if it were the real
tion. Paracelsus, for example, wrote that thing, recalling past experiences and
“the power of the imagination is a great triggering a set of responses that lead
factor in medicine. It may produce dis- from the cerebral cortex to the hypo-
eases . . . and it may cure them.” thalamus. The hypothalamus, in turn,

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

transmits messages to the autonomic in meditation: the person withdraws to

nerves controlling the body’s involun- a quiet place, assumes a comfortable
tary functions—heart rate, blood pres- position, and turns his or her thoughts
sure, breathing, digestion, temperature, inward. But, unlike meditation, in guid-
sexual arousal, and immunity. As a ed imagery a person fashions an alterna-
result, a seemingly passive activity, like tive version of his or her circumstances.
guided imagery, can bring about Frequently, participants are instructed to
changes beneficial to physical health. imagine themselves mounting stairs
While guided imagery resembles that lead to a place where they feel
other relaxation techniques that inter- secure and content, then to picture
vene in the autonomic nervous system, themselves gradually getting well. To
such as biofeedback training, it is dis- exit from the imagery exercise they
tinctive in one regard. By releasing the reverse the process: they imagine them-
imagination, it allows the person to get selves leaving the pleasant place,
in touch with repressed emotions that descending the stairs, and returning to
may be at the root of his or her health normal activity.
problems. By finding a concrete image When guided imagery was first
for a persistent problem, participants introduced in American medicine, it
often bring troublesome needs and employed aggressive images of combat
conflicts out into the open, where they between the forces of health and dis-
can be resolved. ease. Over the past decades, researchers
have discovered the importance of
Guided Imagery in Practice adjusting imagery to suit the individ-
It is possible to learn guided imagery ual’s personality and have broadened
from a self-help manual or tape, but the range of things considered
most people begin by working with a “imagery.” For instance, among partici-
therapist at a doctor’s office or health pants without a strong visual sense, lis-
care center. The exact nature of the tening to music may take the place of
training depends on the individual’s imagining pictures. There has also been
goals and the professional background increased stress on “sensory recruit-
of his or her therapist. Some therapists ment” in the imaging process. Rather
rely on a prepared script of healing than rely simply on one sense, individu-
images, whereas others encourage indi- als are urged to incorporate all the sens-
viduals to let their imaginations roam. es—sight, hearing, touch, smell, and
Another major difference in approach taste—into their imagery exercises. In
concerns the use of imagery. In some this way, they intensify the impact of the
techniques, it is directed toward relax- healing messages that the autonomic
ation and healing. In a variant of guided nervous system sends to the immune
imagery, known as Interactive Guided system and other vital functions of the
ImageryTM, the emphasis is shifted away body.
from creating ideal images to picturing
symbolic scenes that may reveal hidden The Benefits of Guided Imagery
emotions. Given the many variants that Daily practice with a routine of guided
are now available, it is advisable to ask a imagery has been used to relieve
prospective therapist to explain the headaches and chronic pain. It has also
course of therapy before starting a helped people tolerate medical proce-
training program. dures, stimulate healing, and explore
Guided imagery training generally the emotions that may have caused an
involves learning a procedure to follow illness. Guided imagery can also give
at home or work, two or even three people a heightened sense of their own
times a day for five to twenty-five min- potential and encourage them to find
utes. In many instances, the first steps creative solutions to personal and pro-
of the procedure parallel those followed fessional problems.

Resources: to address a diversity of problems,

including anxiety, phobias, and emo-
Academy for Guided Imagery tional problems and to help break
P.O. Box 2070 habits like smoking. Doctors and den-
Mill Valley, CA 94942 tists are increasingly using hypnosis
Tel: (800)726-2070 with patients to help relieve pain and
Offers a training program in guided imagery for assist healing. It is also used to improve
health professionals; also provides information performance in sports activities, exami-
about guided imagery, including a list of practi- nations or public speaking and social
tioners, books, and videotapes. activities. By inducing altered states of
consciousness, hypnotherapists help
Exceptional Cancer Patients
clients use the resources of the uncon-
1302 Chapel Street
scious mind to bring about psychologi-
New Haven, CT 06511
cal and physical benefits. Hypnotherapy
Tel: (203)865-8392
asserts that the unconscious mind is a
Organization that maintains a referral list of
vast reservoir of learnings and skills.
imagery practitioners who work with cancer
patients and offers books and tapes about guided
imagery. Founders of Hypnotherapy
Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815), now
Health Associates, Inc. called the “Father of Hypnosis,” is
P.O. Box 220 responsible for beginning the scientific
Big Sur, CA 93920 investigation of trances. Mesmer used
Fax: (408)667-0248 auspicious passes of the hands, dramatic
Provides workshops on various uses of guided gestures, and magnetic apparatuses to
imagery. induce sleeplike states in willing subjects.
He termed the phenomenon “animal
Further Reading: magnetism,” believing that a magnetic
fluid had passed from his hands to the
Achterberg, Jeanne. Imagery in Healing: Shaman- subject. In 1784, a commission for the
ism and Modern Medicine. Boston: New Sci- Academy of Science in France (including
ence Library/Shambala, 1985. Benjamin Franklin) was appointed to
investigate Dr. Mesmer’s practices and
Borysenko, Joan. Minding the Body, Mending the
Mind. Reading, MA: Bantam, 1988.
concluded, “Imagination is everything,
magnetism nothing.” However, future
Rossman, Martin. Healing Yourself: A Step-by-Step researchers would confirm the power of
Program for Better Health Through Imagery. suggestion.
New York: Pocket Books, 1989. James Braid (1795–1860), a Scottish
surgeon, used Mesmer’s hand gestures
Siegel, Bernie. Peace, Love, and Healing. New York:
Harper & Row, 1989.
to produce anesthesia in patients in his
hospital in India, reducing his infection
Simonton, Carl, Stephanie Simonton, and rate from 50 percent to 5 percent in the
Creighton Simonton. Getting Well Again. Los process. He first coined the term “hyp-
Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1978. nosis,” shortened from neuro-hypnosis,
meaning nervous sleep. Braid noted
that a trance consisted of fixed and
focused concentration that rendered a
subject open to suggestion.
HYPNOTHERAPY Auguste Ambroise Liebault
(1823–1904) began the first scientific
investigation of hypnotic phenomena,

ypnotherapy is the use of hypno- founding the School of Nancy in France
sis, trance states, and suggestion and developing the doctrine of sugges-
for therapeutic results. It is used tive therapeutics. Working under him,
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

as a professor of internal medicine, situation or needs. Erickson believed

Hyppolyte Bernheim (1837–1919) gave that hypnosis is a specialized form of
us the foundation of our current under- communication in which both con-
standing of hypnotic suggestion. He scious and unconscious channels can
asserted that hypnosis is not a disorder learn. A patient’s natural capacities and
of the nervous system, as many medical unique ways of learning and respond-
authorities of the day believed. It is ing are utilized as part of the therapy.
instead a product of suggestion. He also So, rather than being controlled by sug-
believed that suggestion was a common gestions, a patient is actively finding
occurrence in all interactions and not solutions. In this model, indirect sug-
specific to a hypnotist’s gestures. gestions in the form of metaphors or
One of the most famous suggestions stories are used in addition to direct
in hypnotherapy comes from Émile and authoritative suggestions. This is
Coué (1857–1926), another pupil of intended to facilitate unconscious
Liebault. He thought that all suggestion learning and bypass conscious imita-
is really self-suggestion. His exercise tion and resistance.
involved repeating the phrase, “Every
day in every way I am getting better and What Is a Hypnotic Trance
better.” He found that slowly repeated
suggestions, such as this, can become and Hypnosis?
absorbed into the unconscious and While the word trance may conjure up
affect one’s life. This is the basis for all the idea of a zombielike state from a
the audio tapes on the market promis- horror movie, in reality we all experi-
ing reprogramming of the unconscious. ence different trance states every day.
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), When we become absorbed in reading
although initially interested in the psy- or watching television we often shift
chological use of hypnosis, abandoned it into a trance state where time is sus-
in treatment because he was not able to pended, cares and worries are forgot-
obtain successful trances in his neurol- ten, or surrounding stimuli are tuned
ogy patients. He became more interest- out. More intense trances can occur
ed in the causes of neurosis and instead during meditation or prayer, or under
used free association for his “analytic states of extreme emotion, such as
inquiry.” falling in love. More tranquil trances
Freud’s influence on the medical often are induced during procedures
establishment’s view of mental illness like relaxation training, guided imagery,
and its treatment set back the accep- or massage. Most therapeutic trances
tance of hypnosis until Clark Hull, an are very relaxing, but they can also be
American professor of psychology at the arousing and invigorating.
University of Wisconsin, published the A hypnotherapist induces trances to
book Hypnosis and Suggestibility in suspend the limitations of the conscious,
1933. It describes some of the first analytical mind. This allows all the possi-
experimental research on hypnosis. A bilities of a person’s imagination and
student of Hull’s, Milton H. Erickson unconscious to solve, reinterpret, or reor-
(1910–1980), who founded the Ameri- ganize an experience, issue, or problem.
can Society for Clinical Hypnosis, is
credited with bringing the techniques of Using Hypnosis for Therapy
hypnotherapy into mainstream medical Trances in and of themselves have little
and psychological practice and devel- therapeutic value. But they greatly facil-
oping its most comprehensive form. itate therapeutic goals. Unlike tradition-
He stressed that hypnotherapy is al psychotherapy, in which unconscious
most effective when it is part of a thoughts and impulses are brought to
unique program of therapy, developed consciousness for analysis and under-
for each patient according to his or her standing, in hypnotherapy the patient

Photo: Corbis-Bettmann
A group of French doctors in the 1890s watch a colleague put a patient into a trance.

is trained in using trance to learn and increasingly withdrawn from the out-
practice new skills for alleviating symp- side environment, while suggestions
toms or changing behavior. Suggestions engage more and more of his or her
may be incorporated unconsciously inner awareness, the trance will become
and can be brought to normal con- deeper. The goal of the trance is to allow
sciousness when that part of the mind is one to experience an expanded aware-
ready. ness, unhindered by ordinary limita-
At the start of a typical hypnotherapy tions. In this state intuitive, instinctive,
session, the therapist first will ask ques- and imaginative thoughts and feelings
tions about the client’s problem and are used to address the issue at hand.
what he or she hopes to gain from the Most work is done in light or medium
treatment. After discussing the prob- trances, but catalepsy, a condition
lem, the procedure to be used, and the where the limbs stay where they are
goals to be realized, the therapist then placed, often occurs. Unconscious hand
will explain what is to be done and levitation is a common technique for
answer any questions or concerns. A verifying and deepening the trance
series of instructions will be provided experience. The session is usually
that help guide the person into a ended with suggestions to feel
relaxed trance state. Since hypnosis is a refreshed, alert, and completely ready
learned skill, the induction process is for the rest of the day.
practiced slowly until the person feels The induction procedure is often
comfortable and is able to relax and taught to the client so that it can be
focus. Suggestions then are offered to practiced at home, or used when need-
help with the problem or issue at hand. ed, for example, at times of stress.
As a person’s conscious thinking is Appropriate suggestions are prepared
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

ahead of time. For example, a person Precautions

may rehearse by visualizing himself or Anyone interested in pursuing hyp-
herself accomplishing a goal and feeling notherapy should take certain precau-
prepared. Another method of self-hyp- tions. While inducing trance is easy and
nosis is to repeat simple affirmations can be learned by anyone, only trained
until they become absorbed into behav- practitioners with the appropriate
ior. For example, a person may repeat, “I licensing, experience, and knowledge in
will become naturally more confident psychology and physiology should be
as I practice these skills.” consulted. Learn about the hypnothera-
pist’s background, credentials, and edu-
cation and experience. The American
Benefits of Hypnotherapy
Society for Clinical Hypnosis and the
The uses of hypnosis in psychological
Milton H. Erickson Institutes in the Unit-
therapy are well known. People may
ed States set the guidelines for proper
enter hypnotherapy to gain greater
training and certification for hypnother-
confidence in their own resources for
apists. The International Medical and
dealing with problems and difficulties.
Dental Hypnotherapy Association, the
Hypnosis is also used to produce relax-
Society for Clinical and Experimental
ation and relieve anxiety. Learning the
Hypnosis, and the American Association
ability to control emotions, impulses,
of Professional Hypnotherapists are also
and urges is used to bring greater self-
long-standing associations with much
confidence, self-control, and mastery.
experience in all aspects of hypnothera-
These general results occur from most
py. Finally, be aware of the limitations of
hypnotherapy interventions, even
hypnosis. It is not a cure-all, and its
when the focus or problem is quite spe-
effects depend completely on the abili-
ties and limitations of the client. Skilled
Common issues include smoking,
hypnotherapists utilize a client’s internal
overeating, insomnia, and fears such as
resources but do not replace a person’s
flying, public speaking, or performing in
own skills and capacities. It is highly
sports or examinations. The range of
individual. Avoid practitioners who
problems addressed by hypnosis is
make exaggerated claims and promise
expanding as scientific knowledge about
all-purpose cures. While hypnotherapy is
unconscious communication and moti-
a powerful tool, it is not able to solve
vational processes increases.
every problem.
Its use in medical situations is
increasing as more and more hospitals
employ hypnotherapists to help create —Oscar A. Gillespie, Ph.D.
optimal conditions for patient recovery
and health. For decades, it has been Resources:
used successfully to manage pain and
stress, often in preparation for child- American Association of Professional Hypnother-
birth and surgery. Migraines, respiratory apists
conditions, ulcers, and arthritis are P.O. Box 29
some of the medical conditions com- Boones Mill, VA 24065
monly treated. Tel: (540) 334-3035

So far as I know hypnosis as a human activity has been used since the beginning of the
human race.
—Milton H. Erickson.

All suggestion is self-suggestion.

—Émil Coué.

Interactive Guided ImagerySM

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Hammond, D. Corydon, ed. Hypnotic Suggestions
2250 E. Devon Avenue., Suite 336 and Metaphors. New York: W. W. Norton, 1990.
Des Plaines, IL. 60018
Tel: (847) 297-3317 Hunter, Marlene Elva. Creative Scripts for Hyp-
Has sections in major cities in the United States. notherapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1994.
Publishes the newsletter American Journal of Clini-
cal Hypnosis and has regional workshops for pro- Lynn, Steven Jay, and Judith W. Rhue, eds. Theo-
fessionals throughout the year. ASCH provides the ries of Hypnosis: Current Models and Perspec-
most rigorous credentialing process for profession- tives. New York: Guilford Press, 1991.
Phillips, Maggie, and Claire Frederick. Healing the
Divided Self: Clinical and Ericksonian Hyp-
International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy
notherapy for Post-traumatic and Dissociative
Conditions. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1995.
4110 Edgeland, Suite 800
Royal Oak, MI 49073
Rowley, David T. Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy.
Tel: (248) 549-5594
Philadelphia: Charles Press, 1986.
Toll-free: (800) 257-5467

Rosen, Sydney. My Voice Will Go with You : The

The Milton H. Erickson Foundation, Inc. Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson. New York:
3606 N. 24th Street W. W. Norton, 1982.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 956-6196 Yapko, Michael D. Trancework: An Introduction to
Presents the National and International Erickson the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis. New York:
Congresses and publishes a newsletter that Brunner/Mazel, 1989.
includes information on training programs. Sepa-
rate Erickson Institutes and Societies can be found
in major cities in the United States and in several
other countries.

The New York Milton H. Erickson Society for

Psychotherapy and Hypnosis (NYSEPH) IMAGERYSM
440 West End Avenue, #1C

New York, NY 10024
Tel: (212) 873-6459 nteractive Guided ImagerySM is a
Provides a 100-hour comprehensive training pro- method of using the mind to support
gram (chartered by the Board of Regents of New healing and growth. An expert will use
York State) in Ericksonian approaches in psy- certain techniques to help a person
chotherapy and hypnotherapy and a referral ser- enhance his or her awareness of uncon-
vice for the New York tristate area. scious images and help him or her to learn
to effectively interact with them. With the
The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypno- aid of a guide, people use Interactive Guid-
sis, Inc. ed Imagery sessions to learn to relax,
111 North 49th Street relieve stress, enhance body-mind com-
Philadelphia, PA 19139 munication, sharpen intuition, and
Publishes The International Journal of Clinical become more effective at reaching goals. It
and Experimental Hypnosis. is used to mobilize the latent, innate heal-
ing abilities of the client to support reha-
bilitation, recovery, and health.
Further Reading: Interactive Guided Imagery was cre-
ated by Martin L. Rossman, a medical
Cheek, David B., and L.M. LeCaron. Clinical Hyp- doctor, and David E. Bresler, a health psy-
notherapy. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1968. chologist. Both had been independently

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

researching clinical applications of body- certified guide can assist a person with
mind effects in health since the late these approaches.
1960s. In 1982 Dr. Rossman co-created Interactive Guided Imagery seeks to
the Power of Imagination Conference, help a person learn to relax, mentally and
where leading clinicians and researchers physically, relieve pain or other physical
introduced to more than 1,400 health symptoms, stimulate healing responses
professionals nationwide the practical in the body, solve difficult problems,
applications of imagery work. Frequent resolve emotional issues, and envision
requests for clinical training led to the and plan for the future. It may be used for
creation of “clinical guided imagery” self-care or by physicians, psychothera-
courses taught by Drs. Rossman and pists, nurses, and other professionals.
Bresler around the United States from Interactive Guided Imagery can pose
1982 to 1989. In 1989, Dr. Rossman and certain risks when used by poorly
Dr. Bresler founded the Academy for trained personnel. There is a possibility
Guided Imagery. In 1995, the mission of of uncovering traumatic insight or over-
the academy was expanded to include whelming effects. A certified Interactive
teaching the public and organizations to Guided Imagery guide is trained and
work with the imagery methods the prepared to help prevent this whenever
academy had refined over the years. possible, and to help a person work
A session in Interactive Guided through it, should it occur.
Imagery begins with a simple relaxation
technique used to help a client focus his —Martin Rossman, M.D.
or her attention inward. The guide will
then teach skills to help with problem Resources:
solving, conflict resolution, goal setting,
stimulating healing responses in the Academy for Guided Imagery
body, or using personal strengths and P.O. Box 2070
resources most effectively. Participants Mill Valley, CA 94942
are fully aware of their guide’s sugges- Tel: (800) 726-2070
tions and questions, and are engaged in Fax: (415) 389-9342
an active dialogue at all times. In one Sponsors professional training conferences, semi-
typical technique, a client is asked to nars, and retreats, and produces educational books
close his or her eyes to allow the mind to and tapes to teach imagery skills to professionals,
present a picture representing the expe- businesses, and the general public.
rience of his or her problem. The client
may then be guided in an imaginary dia-
Further Reading:
logue with this image to explore and
reveal its meaning and relevance to the
Bresler, David. Free Yourself from Pain. New York:
problem or issue. These images can pro-
Simon & Schuster, 1979.
vide information not only about the
problem, but also about clients’ beliefs, Rossman, Martin. Healing Yourself: A Step-by-Step
hopes, expectations, fears, resources, Program for Better Health Through Imagery.
and solutions. The imagery process is New York: Pocket Books, 1989.
used to reveal the clients’ intuitions
about a problem and its solution.
The guide works to make a person
become more aware of his or her own
thoughts, feelings, and body responses,
allowing him or her to have more con-
trol of how he or she feels. Many Inter-

active Guided Imagery self-care sychoneuroimmunology, also com-
techniques can be learned from books, monly referred to as PNI, is the study
home study programs, and tapes. A of how thoughts and emotions may

affect the body’s immune system. The became ill and some died. Researchers
immune system is the body’s elaborate believed that the rats had learned to
and varied defense mechanism that associate the sweet water with the
fights against disease and illness. Advo- effect of the drug, thus proving that a
cates of this discipline have observed thought or mental association could
that the quality of a person’s mental alter an animal’s immune system. This
state, when improved through humor, experiment inspired similar studies
positive thinking, and relaxation, can that concluded that mental attributes,
improve his or her body’s ability to fight such as attitudes, sensations, memo-
disease. Accordingly, stress, grief, and ries, and emotions could change the
pain are seen to cause the body’s immune system’s ability to resist infec-
defenses to weaken. Many supporters of tions.
this theory promote the use of relax- These early experiments developed
ation techniques as a preventive mea- into the field of study known today as
sure for ensuring physical well-being. PNI. Much of current PNI research
Some also see these techniques as a part investigates the physical effects of stress.
of treatment for patients with chronic Some researchers believe that stress,
illnesses. especially over long periods of time, can
weaken the body’s ability to recover
PNI Research from illnesses. To find out the physical
For most of this century, science has effects of stress, researchers have tested
taught that the nervous system, includ- the concentrations of lymphocytes in
ing the brain, and the immune system people’s bodies while they were experi-
function independently. The body’s encing stressful situations. In one of
ability to fight disease was thought to be these experiments, widowers were test-
beyond our conscious control. In the ed during the months following the
1960s, several researchers suggested death of their wives. The widowers’
that there is actually a complex network immune systems were found to be func-
linking these two systems. Nerve cells, tioning more weakly than those of men
for instance, penetrate into the princi- who had not suffered the loss of their
pal organs of the immune system, partner. In another experiment, medical
including the thyroid, spleen, and students’ immune systems appeared to
lymph glands, where lymphocytes, or weaken before they took exams. As a
disease-fighting cells, reside until they result of these studies, some researchers
are called into action. Researchers also claim that reducing stress can help a
discovered that the chemicals nerve person’s immune system.
cells use to communicate with one
another lock onto the membranes of The Benefits of Positive Thinking
lymphocytes; thus the information that The case of noted journalist and com-
the brain is sending and receiving is also mentator Norman Cousins changed the
shared with the immune system. way many people thought about the
The idea of the connection between relationship between body and mind. In
the nervous and immune systems 1976, Cousins was diagnosed with a
gained attention after an experiment in severe, crippling disease of the spine
1975 appeared to confirm that the mind (ankylosing spondylitis), and there was
could affect physical health. Researchers no known therapy that offered any real
fed rats saccharin-flavored water along promise for recovery. Cousins decided to
with a drug that suppressed their confront his gloomy future with humor—
immune functions. Later, when the rats with an intense diet of movies by Laurel
were given the saccharin-flavored and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and other
water without the drug, the researchers famous comedians—and by prescribing
found that the rats’ immune systems for himself large doses of vitamin C. After
did not recover. As a result, the rats months of laughter and good feelings,
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: UPI / Corbis-Bettmann

Author Norman Cousins brought public attention to the role of emotions

in the healing process by his account of how he used laughter to recover
from a debilitating spinal disease.

his debilitating spinal condition Applications of PNI Research

disappeared. Cousins went on to Some health care workers have
live fourteen more years and begun to consider findings from
wrote a book, Anatomy of an Ill- PNI research when designing new
ness as Perceived by the Patient: therapies. Biofeedback is used to
Reflections on Healing and Re- relieve stress in an attempt to
generation, detailing his personal reduce its burdens on the
path to recovery. His story led immune system. Guided imagery
many people to believe that posi- techniques are being used to
tive thinking may help the body’s direct the immune system
ability to heal. responses to certain areas of the

body. People with chronic illnesses are Resources:

often encouraged to join support
groups where they can share their expe- Integral Health Foundation
riences, unburden themselves of fear, 4300 Crossway Court
and draw strength and positive encour- Rockville, MD 20835
agement from others. All of these con- Tel: (301) 871-8384
tribute to easing emotional strains, and Promotes a greater understanding of the integral
possibly to bettering chances for recov- nature of the spirit, mind, and body in the healing
ery. The lessons learned from PNI process through interdisciplinary cooperation in
research may also help explain other research, education, and practice.
models of healing, such as Chinese
acupuncture and Native American
shamanism. Further Reading:
PNI is a recent and widely debated
field of study. Not all PNI researchers Benson, Herbert. Timeless Healing: The Power and
are convinced that the physical effects Biology of Belief. New York: Simon & Schuster,
of stress or trauma are significant 1994.
beyond extreme or chronic cases. It is
far too simple to say that thinking posi- Cousins, Norman. Anatomy of an Illness as Per-
tive thoughts will make us healthy and ceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and
negative thoughts will make us sick. Regeneration. New York: W.W. Norton, 1979.
Sudden and rapid recoveries like
Cousins’ are very uncommon. PNI is Locke, S., and D. Colligan. The Healer Within.
intended to enhance, not replace, the New York: Dutton, 1996.
physical treatment of illnesses.
Ornstein, R., and D. Sobel. The Amazing Brain.
—Leonard Wisneski, M.D. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987.

Many researchers in psychoneuroimmunology have observed some startling findings

that may reveal the ways that emotions and stress can change a person’s immune sys-

• Early in the U.S. space program, NASA found that astronauts had reduced white blood
cell counts after returning from space. Many scientists believed that it was a result of
the stress of reentry.

• Subjects who viewed a film of Mother Teresa ministering to the poor were found to
have increased levels of immune chemicals in their saliva.

• Researchers observed that women with breast cancer who attended support groups
tended to survive longer than women who faced their illness alone.

• People who experienced the stress of being responsible for the care of another person
were found to have fewer infection-fighting cells, suffer more upper-respiratory infec-
tions, and take longer to heal wounds.


Aromatherapy • Bates Method • Behavioral Vision Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing • Flower Remedies
Hydrotherapy • Light Therapy • Sounding • Tomatis Method

Sensory therapies use

one of the five senses as
the means to adjust chem-
ical or other imbalances
within the body that may
be the cause of physical or
psychological problems.
While the name sensory
therapies generally refers
to those methods that
work with the senses of
sight, sound, or smell, this
section also includes some
disciplines that work with
the sense of taste or touch.
There are also many body-
Photo: Caroline Wood / © Tony Stone Images

mind disciplines that work

with the kinesthetic sense,
or sense of body move-
ment. These disciplines
can be found throughout
the encyclopedia in the
sections entitled Subtle
Energy Therapies, Mind/
Body Medicine, Yoga, Mar-
Through the five senses, sensory therapies awaken one’s innate
tial Arts, Massage, Acupunc-
healing potential. ture and Asian Bodywork,
Movement Therapy Meth-
ods, Somatic Practices,
Expressive and Creative Arts Therapies, and Body-Oriented Psychotherapies.
While the idea of treating physical and psychological problems by manipulating
the senses is ancient, most of the methods described in this section were developed
in the twentieth century by creative Western physicians, often working outside or on
the fringes of accepted allopathic medical practice. Through their pioneering work
many sense-organ exercises and treatments, often involving special equipment, or
combined with more traditional psychotherapeutic practices, were developed.
Many of these methods are prescribed as part of naturopathic cures. They have
been effective in treating a wide variety of specific physical or emotional ailments
such as post-traumatic stress disorder, nearsightedness, hearing loss, chemical
addictions, depression, anorexia, and bulimia while offering interesting and effec-
tive practices to strengthen the immune system and reduce the many harmful
effects of stress on the body and mind.

Sensory Therapy: Practices Ancient and Modern

Many diverse cultures, including Native American, Indian, Chinese, and Egypt-
ian, used sensory therapies such as aromatherapy and hydrotherapy for healing the
body and mind. Living in concert with the world around them, these cultures rec-
ognized the healing potential of plant essences, which they used to create pungent
or sweet-smelling cosmetics, medicines, and incense. Water, one of the most basic
ingredients necessary for life, was used for therapeutic baths, as an elixir, and in
purifying rituals.
The ancient Greeks and Romans also made use of these natural methods of life
enhancement, health maintenance, and healing. Hippocrates (c. 460–377 BCE), often
called the father of modern medicine, was known to have prescribed both hydrother-
apy and sunlight (the most basic form of all light therapy) for many conditions. The
Romans had bathhouses where people went for relaxation, hygiene, and recreation,
much the way health clubs are used today.
Hydrotherapy has been used fairly constantly throughout Western history. Spas
were built throughout Europe in the eighteenth century in places such as Spa, Bel-
gium; Baden-Baden, Germany; and Vichy, France, where people went to “take the

Sensory Therapies in Western Medical Practice

At the beginning of the nineteenth century sensory therapies grew more popular,
and more uses for them developed. At that time Vincent Priessnitz (1799–1852), an
Austrian peasant, intuitively used hydrotherapy to heal his broken ribs. Father Sebas-
tian Kneipp (1821–1897), a German priest, used hydrotherapy for a variety of ail-
ments. In France in the mid-1800s Dr. Emile Javal, an ophthalmologist, was designing
eye exercises as an alternative to the destructive eye surgery practices of the day.
These exercises became the basis of present-day behavioral vision therapy,
By the early part of the twentieth century sensory therapies had become an
accepted part of Western medical practice. Father Sebastian Kneipp’s methods,
which came to be known as naturopathy, spread throughout Europe and America
through the work of Benedict Lust, a German-American cured of tuberculosis by
Kneipp in 1892. The sun cure, the therapeutic use of sunbathing, was used in many
hospitals and sanatoriums, including the prestigious Charing Cross Hospital in Lon-
Meanwhile more doctors began to experiment with these drug-free, nonsurgical
methods, developing deeper insights into the connections between the senses and the
mind. For example, in the 1930s Dr. Edward Bach, a British physician, began experiment-
ing with methods of imbibing plant essences to alleviate the psychological problems he
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

observed as the precursors and hindrances to healing of the physical ailments pre-
sented by his patients. The thirty-eight remedies and methods he discovered are the
basis of present-day flower remedies.

Pharmaceuticals Overshadow Sensory Therapies

After 1928, with the discovery of penicillin and other powerful antibiotics, the
Western medical establishment began to lose interest in sensory therapies. These
newly discovered drugs worked quickly and were thought to be more effective than
the slower-working sensory therapies. As pharmaceutical research exploded, scien-
tists manufactured a multitude of synthetic drugs that were applied to numerous
physical and psychological illnesses.
Throughout the mid-twentieth century interest in sensory therapies was kept alive
by curious and dedicated individuals such as the American physician Harry Spitler.
Spitler expanded the range of light therapy by exploring the effects of various colored
lights on the emotions. In the 1950s Dr. Alfred Tomatis (1920–), a French physician, dis-
covered that the ability to speak is directly related to the ability to hear and that both
abilities affect creativity, motivation, and the ability to learn. His series of exercises,
known as the Tomatis method, helps people regain the abilities to listen and concen-

A Revival for Sensory Therapies

In the 1960s a confluence of forces in science and culture created a resurgence of
interest in sensory therapies, as well as other holistic health and living practices. Many
people were becoming disillusioned with conventional medicine, which relied more
and more on pharmaceutical solutions, which often create dangerous side effects and
debilitating conditions. The social revolution of the decade brought a greater aware-
ness of the value of the senses in living life fully. Many people, young and old, began
turning to more natural sources of healing.
With the approach of the twenty-first century, scientists and healers in many areas
continue to explore the ways in which we can use the senses to affect our physical and
emotional functioning and enhance our experience of life. Today a wide variety of
sensory therapies are used individually or combined with other natural healing
modalities such as bodywork and massage, psychotherapy, diet, and movement prac-
tices to heal specific injuries and conditions, to alleviate the detrimental effects of
stress, and to improve the quality of life.
The methods in this section share many philosophical beliefs with the other body-
mind disciplines presented in this book. They all see human beings as complex organ-
isms of interconnected aspects, complete with their own self-healing/self-regulating
mechanisms. Illness, whether viewed as a chemical imbalance or as a breakdown in
an interconnected process involving body and mind, is believed to be continually per-
petuated by a malfunction or block in the self-regulating mechanism. The goal of each
of the methods described in this section is to remove blocks in the self-regulating
mechanism so that it can bring the body and mind back into balance.
Because sensory therapies view human beings as an integral part of nature, they
believe the means to remove these blocks, or stimulate the self-healing mechanism,
can be found in natural elements and processes. What distinguishes these methods
from any other holistic healing modalities is their use of the sense organ —eyes, ears,
nose, taste buds, and skin—as the primary entry point to the interconnected systems
of body, mind, and spirit.

Western Science’s Theories on Sensory Therapies

Although human beings have reaped the benefits of sensory therapies for cen-
turies, advances in scientific research in the latter part of the twentieth century have
given the Western medical community new information about the connections
between the senses and other systems of the body.
Today scientists have identified that the limbic system, which controls heart rate,
blood pressure, breath rate, and hormone levels, is highly sensitive to odors and also
stores emotional memories. It is believed to be the system activated through aro-
matherapy and the use of flower remedies. The nervous system, with its thousands of
receptors on the surface of the skin and access to every organ of the body, is thought
to be the primary system activated through the many external forms of hydrotherapy.
Light therapy seems to achieve its effects through the endocrine system. This system
is stimulated when light- and color-sensitive photo receptors in the eyes convert sun-
light into electrical impulses, which are sent along the optic nerve to the brain.
While this scientific information may be reassuring to some, it is admittedly
sketchy to others, and few advocates of sensory therapies would aim to convince a
prospective practitioner of a method’s efficacy based solely on current Western scien-
tific knowledge. But with ever greater interest in drug-free, nonsurgical methods of
health maintenance and healing and ever greater development of scientific research
methods, the time may not be distant when the many healing effects of these meth-
ods will be fully understood.
—Nancy Allison, CMA

Further Reading: Kelville, Kathi, and Mindy Green. Aromatherapy: A

Complete Guide to the Healing Art. Freedom, CA:
Bates, William H., M.D. The Bates Method for Better The Crossing Press, 1997.
Eyesight Without Glasses. New York: Henry Holt,
1940. Kennedy, Teresa. Sensual Healing: An Elemental
Guide to Feeling Good. New York: M. Evans and
Buchman, Dian Dincin. The Complete Book of Company, Inc., 1996.
Water Therapy. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publish-
ing, Inc., 1994. Scheffer, Mechthild. Bach Flower Therapy: Theory
and Practice. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press,
Devi, Lila. The Essential Flower Essence Handbook. 1988.
Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 1996.

Dewhurst-Maddock, Olivea. The Book of Sound

Therapy: Heal Yourself with Music and Voice.
New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1993.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

AROMATHERAPY medicine, as luxurious items of personal

care, and as offerings in religious rituals.
Renaissance paintings that depict the

romatherapy is a branch of herbal Three Wise Men presenting gifts of frank-
medicine in which aromatic plant incense and myrrh to the infant Christ are
extracts are inhaled or applied to an example of the ancient ritual use of
the skin as a means of treating illness and aromatic balms.
promoting beneficial changes in mood Modern aromatherapy is based on
and outlook. Though aromatherapy and the research of a French chemist, René-
herbal medicine use many of the same Maurice Gattefosse, who recognized the
plants, in aromatherapy the plants are healing powers of the substances rou-
distilled into oils of exceptional potency. tinely made into perfumes. In 1928, he
As much as three thousand pounds of a published a paper that gave the medici-
plant may be consumed in the produc- nal use of plant oils a name, “aro-
tion of one pound of “essential oil” suit- matherapy,” as well as introducing a set
able for aromatherapy. of principles.
The therapeutic power of such oils is These principles were developed by
generally attributed to their ability to a handful of French and English scien-
influence the workings of the limbic sys- tists, most notably Marguerite Maury
tem, the “switchboard” in the brain that and Jean Valnet, who compiled data and
coordinates mind and body activity. When published a number of books, including
a small amount of oil is rubbed into the Valnet’s classic, The Practice of Aro-
skin or inhaled, it sets off a chain reaction matherapy. But awareness of the
that leads to rapid, profound alteration in benefits of aromatherapy was confined
memory, heart rate, and other bodily to European circles until the advent of
processes. Most recipients choose oils that holistic medicine swept it into promi-
promote relaxation, but certain oils can nence in the United States.
boost energy, and others are thought to By 1990, aromatherapy had sparked a
have pharmaceutical properties. nationwide boom in the sale of incense,
The 1990s saw an explosion of scien- scented candles, and bath oils and
tific interest in all aspects of aromather- became a popular adjunct of massage
apy. It is, however, an ancient mode of and stress-management programs.
medicine that can be traced back to the Today, Egyptian, ayurvedic, Chinese, and
dawn of civilization. Native American practices are all being
studied with a view toward scientific
adaptation. Drug-free treatments for
A Long History shingles and herpes have already been
In ancient Egypt, extracts of plants were
developed, and there are indications
mixed with animal oil to form aromatic
essential oils can also be helpful in treat-
balms thought to be of inestimable
ing colds and similar airborne infectious
worth in proper care of the person’s
diseases, arthritis, and muscle disorders.
whole being, mind, body, and soul. The
balms were rubbed into the skin and
hair for medicinal as well as cosmetic The Power of Fragrance
purposes and burned in religious rituals Aromatherapy is based on the belief that
at temples and tombs. The practice of plants, particularly flowers and herbs,
mummification was itself a type of aro- have healing properties that can be con-
matherapy, since the body was pre- centrated when the plants are distilled
served and purified through the into fragrant oils. The aroma of the oils is
systematic application of balms. by no means simply an attractive extra,
While the ancient Greeks and Romans like the candy coating on a bitter pill.
did not practice mummification, they The limbic system of the brain is highly
employed aromatic balms much as the sensitive to odors and routinely encodes
Egyptians had. Balms were regarded as them into patterns of associations and

Photo by: Olga M. Vega

Aromatherapy, a branch of herbal medicine, uses aromatic plant extracts in oils and fragrant can-
dles to awaken memories that alter basic physical functions, such as heart and breath rate.

memories that are ever present within that aromatherapy is often described as
the unconscious. Because the limbic an art and a science. The rules governing
system is also a “switchboard” control- the mixing and application of the plant
ling heart rate, blood pressure, breath- extracts have to be interpreted in a way
ing, and hormone levels, aroma that is sensitive to the person’s inner and
provides a subtle yet effective way to outer condition.
induce beneficial changes in the vital
functions of the organism. Using Aromatherapy
When essential oils are rubbed into Aromatherapy can be performed by
the skin, the power of their fragrance is either a practitioner who is likely to spe-
thought to be increased by their ability cialize in both aromatherapy and tradi-
to penetrate bodily tissue and make tional herbal medicine or a massage
swift entry into the bloodstream. In the therapist who includes aromatherapy in
case of eucalyptus, for example, the his or her regimen. It is also possible to
action is said to be anti-inflammatory approach aromatherapy as home care,
in nature. Other oils are believed to using products bought at a holistic health
have antiviral, antibacterial, or detoxi- center or ordered from an aromatherapy
fying powers. institute. Generally speaking, beginners
Approximately three dozen essential are advised to consult an expert before
oils are now in common use among embarking on aromatherapy.
Aromatherapists. Though the oils can be Once the appropriate essential oils
administered separately, a typical treat- have been acquired, they are either
ment entails a blend of oils made to suit inhaled or applied to the skin through one
the physiological and psychological of several methods. The oil can be put on
needs of the individual. It is for this reason a piece of cotton that is held close to the
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

nose and sniffed. Diffusers that disperse Further Reading:

the oil into the air are equally effective.
The manner in which the oils are Lavabre, Marcel. Aromatherapy Workbook.
applied to the skin depends in part on Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1990.
the nature of the problem being treated.
Herpes lesions respond to direct appli- Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applica-
cation of oil, whereas relief from stress tions and Inhalations. Berkeley, CA: North
customarily requires soaking in bath Atlantic Books, 1992.
water containing some essential oil.
When the oils are incorporated into Tisserand, Robert. Aromatherapy to Heal and
massage, they are always mixed with a Tend the Body. Santa Fe, NM: Lotus Light Press,
carrier lotion such as jojoba. 1988.

An Effective Treatment Valnet, Jean. The Practice of Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy can bring relief from Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1990 (first pub-
stress and promote a sense of well-being lished 1977).
that activates the organism’s capacity for
self-healing. It has also been used effec-
tively in the treatment of burns, insect
bites, bruises, disorders of the skin rang-
ing from acne to herpes, indigestion,
colds, flu, and immune deficiencies.
As a caution, no aromatherapy treat-

ment should ever involve more than a few he Bates method is a system of
drops of essential oil. Overdosage may holistic eye care that uses mental
cause a severe toxic reaction. A physician’s and physical exercises, rather than
guidance is required if the oil is to be corrective lenses, to improve chronic
placed on the tongue or swallowed. problems of vision. It is named after its
founder, the American ophthalmologist
William Bates (1860–1931), who chal-
lenged the medical establishment by
ascribing poor sight to habitual misuse
Aromatherapy Seminars
of eye muscles caused ultimately by
3379 S. Robertson Boulevard
emotional stress. Bates believed the
Los Angeles, CA 90034
damaging habits could be unlearned
Tel: (800) 677-2368
through application of a daily routine of
Offers a variety of educational services in aro-
exercises designed to relieve tension in
matherapy, including introductory and advanced
the eye muscles and teach the eyes to
training programs, correspondence courses, and
function in a relaxed, natural way. Con-
temporary vision training makes exten-
sive use of these exercises.
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
P.O. Box 17622
Boulder, CO 80398-0622 A Controversial Treatment
Tel: (303) 258-3791 Bates was a prominent ophthalmologist
Provides courses in aromatherapy and a nation- in New York City when he began to doubt
wide referral service for aromatherapists. the fundamental principles of his profes-
sion. Problems of vision were generally
The Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy considered hereditary or part of the aging
P.O. Box 6842 process and treated with prescription
San Rafael, CA 94903 glasses, which did little to halt, let alone
Tel: (415) 479-9121 reverse, the weakening of vision.
A research and teaching institute that offers indi- After several years of research, Bates
vidual and group courses in aromatherapy. published a controversial book, Better
Bates Method

Eyesight Without Glasses (1920), in which His primary concern was the func-
he argued that the standard treatment tioning of the six muscles controlling the
was not only based on false premises but shape of the eye. In his opinion, they
actually damaged patients’ ability to determine the eye’s ability to focus and,
recover. Glasses, Bates reasoned, rein- therefore, constitute the all-important
forced bad use of eye muscles, caused link between mind and vision. Accumu-
initially by psychological tension, and lated tension in any of these small mus-
destined their wearers to a lifetime of cles could gradually weaken vision,
impaired vision. The remedial exercises producing nearsightedness, farsighted-
recommended by Bates proved to be as ness, astigmatism, or a condition such
controversial as his attack upon pre- as “lazy eye.” Conversely, Bates argued,
scription glasses and found little support releasing the tension and encouraging
in professional circles. the muscles to regain their innate flexi-
Nonetheless, the Bates method did bility and strength could repair poor
attract followers and had some notable vision.
successes. One of these success stories Bates’s understanding of vision is
was the British writer Aldous Huxley. In based on the behavioral model of
an essay about his experiences with the health, also crucial to the Alexander
treatment, Huxley contended that ques- technique, which credits the organism
tions concerning the “orthodoxy” of the with the ability to heal itself once
Bates method were misinformed. It is, he “blocks” in its natural operation are
explained, “a method of education, fun- removed. To this end, he formulated a
damentally similar to the method of set of eye exercises, commonly referred
education devised and successfully used to as the Bates method, which he
by all the teachers of psycho-physical believed could “reeducate” the muscles
skills for the last several thousand years.” of the eye.
Practitioners believe that the Bates No doubt, the most surprising of
method is a pioneering form of biofeed- Bates’s training exercises is one that turns
back and stress-reduction training. In the vision test chart into a memory device.
addition, Bates is notable as one of the By memorizing the letters and numbers
first doctors to recognize the relation- on the chart, trainees simultaneously
ship between vision and emotional dis- sharpen their acuity of vision and assume
turbance, an insight of vast significance mastery of a source of anxiety. Most of the
to fields ranging from special education exercises were designed to stop the habit-
to sports to the study of art. ual staring Bates identified as a prime
symptom of “blocked” vision. In “shifting,”
Reeducating the Eye the trainee learns to look “through”
According to Bates, “we see very largely objects, while in “swinging,” they move
with the mind and only partly with the their eyes in accordance with a rhythmic
eyes.” This hypothesis led Bates to side-to-side swaying of the body.
regard vision as inherently individual
and variable: mood, memory, health, A Flexible and Demanding Treatment
and circumstances play a role in what Treatment with the Bates method is
and how a person sees. available from optometrists who have

Though contemporary vision training incorporates many new techniques, it is based on

Bates’s approach and makes extensive use of the exercises he devised. These have also
been an important resource for airline pilots and athletes seeking to strengthen their
eye-brain coordination.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

specialized in vision training. Programs

of therapy are adjusted to meet the
individual’s need and are likely to

include recently developed techniques ehavioral vision therapy is an opto-
or updated versions of the Bates exer- metric specialty that uses a visual
cises. In most cases, therapy entails training regimen to improve vision
several months of weekly training ses- by strengthening the vital link between
sions and faithful performance of a the mind and the eye complex. In con-
routine of daily exercises at home, trast, surgery for eye-muscle problems
school, or work. targets the physical structure of the eye
while neglecting the mental aspects of
Benefits and Risks seeing and therefore may produce less-
The Bates method is credited with dra- than-desirable results. Behavioral
matic improvement in the vision of optometrists consider environmental
many people required to wear corrective factors that affect vision as well as psy-
lenses because of a common vision chological and physiological factors
problem. By relieving a key pocket of that may contribute to—and result
stress, it is also thought to enhance the from—vision difficulties. With vision
individual’s sense of well-being and training, significant improvements in
sometimes can speed recovery from social, academic, and athletic skills can
other disorders. be achieved.
But the Bates method, with or with-
out a comprehensive vision training The History of Behavioral Vision
program, should not be considered an Therapy
appropriate treatment for cataracts, In the mid-1800s, the French ophthal-
glaucoma, or other diseases of the eye. mologist Emile Javal developed a scien-
Anyone with these or related problems tific and nonsurgical method of visual
is advised to consult a licensed ophthal- rehabilitation known as orthoptics after
mologist. witnessing the horrible outcomes of eye
surgery for both his father and sister.
Orthoptics was designed to treat
Resources: improper eye alignment, specifically
crossed eyes (inward turn), wall eyes
College of Optometrists in Vision Development (outward turn), and lazy eyes (visual
P.O. Box 285 impairment not correctable by glasses).
Chula Vista, CA 91912 Modern vision therapy, an advanced
Tel: (619)425-6191 form of the orthoptic eye exercises
Fax: (619)425-0733 developed by Dr. Javal, deals with a
A professional organization for optometrists spe- much wider variety of visual and per-
cializing in the Bates method and other techniques ceptual problems while also consider-
of vision training. ing their effects on behavior and
performance. By the twentieth century
the practice of orthoptics had pro-
Further Reading: gressed significantly in England and
Bates, W. The Bates Method for Better Eyesight The dawn of orthoptics in the United
Without Glasses. New York: Henry Holt & Co., States occurred in 1912. This was the
1987 (first published 1920). result of the publication of a compre-
hensive text on stereoscopic, or three-
Cheney, E. The Eyes Have It: A Self-Help Manual dimensional (3-D), eye exercises by Dr.
for Better Vision. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weis- David Wells, an ophthalmologist at
er, Inc., 1987. Boston University Medical School. A

Behavioral Vision Therapy

large part of this classic text is devoted conditions, diet, and by our own style
to the treatment of eye-muscle prob- of visual perception. An expanded,
lems that are harder to diagnose humanistic approach to vision further
because they are not as easily recog- maintains that total visual perfor-
nized as crossed or wall eyes, which mance cannot be adequately reduced
have a definite observable cosmetic to a single measurement such as 20/20.
component. Wells believed that subtle More traditional methods measure
eye problems were more common than visual performance by reading charts at
the visibly obvious eye turns. Wells pro- a distance of twenty feet, assessing the
posed the idea that having a single ability to focus on stationary images
unified vision of the world through two directly ahead. The rating 20/20 is
eyes is an important and complex psy- equated as “perfect vision.” It has never
chic ability, and that “its inefficiency been scientifically or clinically validat-
could result in an inability to fix one’s ed that 20/20 endows us with the abili-
mind on study and reading.” Wells also ty to see with comfort, efficiency,
strongly felt that the clinical meaning, or while in motion. As the
significance of common eye problems educational consultant Sally Brockett
was largely ignored by practicing oph- has written, “When we speak of vision,
thalmologists. Many modern practi- we are referring to the ability of the
tioners of vision therapy feel that this is brain to organize and interpret infor-
still a problem among ophthalmolo- mation seen so it becomes understand-
gists. able or meaningful. Even individuals
The Optometric Extension Program with good eyesight (20/20 acuity) can
(OEP), postgraduate study dedicated to have undiagnosed vision problems that
education and research in vision, was make it difficult to correctly compre-
established in 1928. OEP represented hend the visual message.” Although
the earliest organized approach to testing for 20/20 is clinically valid, this
orthoptics within the optometric pro- measurement is only a partial assess-
fession, and it is still a vital force in the ment of an extremely complex process.
field of behavioral vision care today. A According to behavioral optometrists,
leading figure in OEP, Dr. A. M. traditional eye-care methods—those
Skeffington, broadened the orthoptic represented by the simple chart test—
approach, giving it a much more holis- need to be supplemented by more
tic base. He introduced the idea that dynamic approaches to testing and
eye-muscle and focusing deficiencies, enhancing visual performance.
rather than developing spontaneously,
may evolve as a person grows and The “Eye Gym”: Experiencing
adapts to the environment. Skeffington
Behavioral Vision Therapy
and other behavioral optometrists also Participants in a behavioral vision thera-
introduced the revolutionary concepts py program have all aspects of their visu-
of reducing and controlling nearsight- al performance tested and trained in an
edness and improving focusing ability “eye gym,” which has an almost carnival-
through vision training. like appearance. It consists of walking
rails, balance boards, trampolines, eye-
A Humanistic Approach to Vision exercise equipment, metronomes,
Modern vision therapy is based on the focusing charts, special training lenses
concept that vision is a dynamic process and prisms, strobe lights, and other
made up of numerous skills that can be light-therapy devices. This equipment is
learned through training. In addition, used to improve visual comfort, efficien-
vision is a process influenced by emo- cy, and performance. Exercises vary in
tions, intellect, posture, breathing, phys- difficulty and frequently involve several
iology, visual working habits, lighting different kinds of sensory information

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo by: Jonathan Gutlib

Optometrist Dr. Joseph Shapiro uses physical behavioral vision therapy exercises to help a
young girl improve her vision.

presented simultaneously to the patient. strengthens the eye and brain connec-
For example, an individual may stand on a tion and can improve performance in
balance board and attempt eye-hand most cases. An example of an optical
coordination tasks while trying to perform device used for a biofeedback session
in time with a metronome. The exercises might be a pair of glasses with one red
are repeated and, over time, they increase lens and one green lens. An individual
in difficulty until the individual gradually wearing these glasses and looking at a
enhances neurological response related to beam of light should perceive only a sin-
vision and establishes good habits. gle light that is a red-green mixture that
Visual biofeedback is commonly results from the brain’s combination of
incorporated into treatment, giving the sensory input received through the red
individual a physiological readout of lens and the green lens. In contrast, an
current performance levels. Often peo- individual who perceives two separate
ple are unaware of the extent, nature, or lights, one red and one green, has dou-
even presence of eye problems. Feed- ble vision. Alternatively, the person who
back indicators show blurring, dou- perceives only one colored light, either
bling, or vanishing of an image. Training red or green, is relying primarily on one
techniques are designed to isolate and eye to see. Now the individual has con-
highlight symptoms of eye dysfunction, crete, understandable feedback that
enabling the individual to better recog- something is wrong, and can start work-
nize, understand, and respond to the ing on consciously changing the incor-
specific features of his or her vision rect response. Through practice, the
problems. The individual is taught to proper response may become naturally
send a conscious message to the eyes to and unconsciously incorporated into
restore the clarity, singleness of vision, the individual’s daily performance.
or presence of the image. This practice Depending on the individual’s level of
Behavioral Vision Therapy

performance during a treatment session, College of Optometrists in Vision Development

home exercises are usually prescribed. (COVD)
P.O. Box 285

Conditions Helped by Behavioral Chula Vista, CA 91912

Tel: (619) 425-6191
Vision Therapy Fax: (619) 425-0733
Conditions that might bring you to a Organization for optometrists involved in orthop-
behavioral optometrist include persistent tics and optometric vision therapy. It publishes the
eye strain, blurring or double vision, Journal of Optometric Vision Development quar-
headaches, short attention span, learning terly.
problems or reading discomfort, lazy eye
at any age, eye-muscle problems, depth- Optometric Extension Program Foundation
perception difficulties, or worsening eye- 1921 E. Carnegie, Suite 3L
sight. Behavioral optometrists can offer Santa Ana, CA 92705
alternative therapies if you are having eye Tel: (714) 250-8070
or vision problems and the only solution Fax: (714) 250-8157
offered by other doctors is another pair of Arranges conferences and seminars as well as pub-
glasses, or you are told that you have 20/20 lishes the Journal of Behavioral Optometry
vision and thus there is nothing wrong bimonthly.
with your eyes. Behavioral optometrists
cite examples in which proper assessment
and treatment of vision problems have Further Reading:
helped children with behavior problems
participate productively in the classroom; Beverstock, Caroline. Your Child’s Vision Is Impor-
improved the performance of top athletes; tant. Newark, DE: The International Reading
and given children the confidence to take Association, 1990.
part in social activities that previously Brockett, Sally. “Vision Therapy: A Beneficial Inter-
might have drawn attention to their vision vention for Developmental Disabilities.”
difficulties. Web site:

—Dr. Joseph Shapiro, Optometrist Cohen, Neville S., and Joseph L. Shapiro. Out of
Sight and into Vision. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1977.
Dawkins, Hazel Richmond, et al. The Suddenly
American Optometric Association Successful Student: A Guide to Overcoming
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd. Learning and Behavioral Problems. Second
St. Louis, MO 63141 revised edition. Santa Ana, CA: Optometric
Tel: (314) 991-4100 Extension Program, 1990.
Fax: (314) 991-4101
Professional society of optometrists. The associa- Flax, Nathan, ed. Vision Therapy and Insurance: A
tion will provide referrals to behavioral Position Statement. New York: State University
optometrists upon request. of New York/State College of Optometry, 1986.

The study of developmental vision, that is, of the development of the faculty of sight,
emerged in the 1950s. The Gesell Institute of Child Development in New Haven, Con-
necticut, sponsored controlled studies of children and served as a training ground for
optometrists in applied research. Working on the premise that newborn children do not
have the visual abilities of adults, researchers at the Gesell Institute tested the eyesight of
infants over a period of time in order to identify the components involved in the devel-
opment of vision.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Keogh, Barbara, and Michelle Pelland. “Vision disturbing thoughts that she was having
Training Revisited.” Journal of Learning Dis- sometimes disappeared suddenly. When
abilities, Vol. 18, No. 4, April, 1985. she consciously brought these thoughts
back, they held none of the previous “hot”
Marcus, Steven E., and Arthur S. Seiderman. 20/20 or negative weight. She later realized that
Is Not Enough: The New World of Vision. New at the time of her original thoughts, her
York: Knopf, 1989. eyes had spontaneously begun a rapid
back-and-forth motion. Dr. Shapiro theo-
Toufexis, Anastasia. “Workouts for the Eyes.” rized that the removal of the upset from
Time, February 13, 1989. the memory might be linked to that move-
ment, and tested her theory as treatment
Wells, David Washburn. Stereoscopic Treatment of for post-traumatic stress disorder. Initial
Heterophoria and Heterotropia. New York: E. B. success in small, controlled studies
Meyrowitz, 1912. encouraged her to pursue research further
and to found the EMDR Institute. Since
1990, more than 22,000 therapists world-
wide have been trained in this method.


EMDR helps to reprocess memories that
ZATION AND REPROCESSING were not properly handled by the brain
when they initially occurred. EMDR theo-

ry asserts that the brain handles “mem-
ye movement desensitization and ory” as a package of five distinct
reprocessing (EMDR) speeds recov- information components: the picture or
ery from a traumatic event by sepa- image, the thought or auditory bundle, an
rating upsetting memories into basic emotional feeling, a physical sensation,
parts. The therapy typically involves sim- and the belief about oneself that results
ple exercises such as using the eyes to from the event. This information is per-
track a rapidly moving object. While dis- ceived via the senses as what we see, hear,
cussing the upsetting events, these move- smell, touch, and taste. Under normal cir-
ments in the body create a reaction in the cumstances, the brain metabolizes, or
mind, desensitizing the brain to the dis- processes, these five types of information
turbing sensory and emotional aspects of by talking, thinking, and dreaming about
a memory and allowing the sufferer to them. Through these activities, the brain
begin reprocessing that trauma in the sorts the information, storing the valuable
present. Traditional psychotherapy is aspects for easy retrieval and discarding
then used to help the client digest the smaller, insignificant bits of data.
trauma and store it. While the mechanics In traumatic situations, however, this
of EMDR are not fully understood, it has natural process does not always function
gained particular respect for its applica- properly. A malfunction may leave the
tion in cases of post-traumatic stress dis- information in a distressing, “undigest-
order (PTSD), a common condition ed” state. In such cases, the mind locks all
among Vietnam veterans and rape vic- five types of information together, sur-
tims. It can also be used to help process rounding the resulting lump with nega-
less acute traumas such as negative child- tive emotional energy. The event thus
hood experiences, which can lead to poor becomes a blockage in the mental stor-
self-esteem and unhappiness. age system. Any attempt to access infor-
mation from the event stirs the negative
A History of EMDR energy surrounding it. In severe cases,
EMDR emerged from the experiences of this negative energy overwhelms and
Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. While taking a debilitates the sufferer. In these situa-
walk in 1987, Dr. Shapiro noticed that tions, the normal processes of thinking,
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

talking, and dreaming are inadequate the disturbing event. The practitioner
ways of handling these blockages. Just as then asks the patient to follow the thera-
a cut will not properly heal as long as a pist’s fingers or a light bar with his or her
splinter is still in it, the body’s normal eyes. The patient continues thinking of
processes can, at best, only work around the memory as the practitioner moves
a damaged memory bundle. the fingers or pointer rapidly from side to
EMDR may act as a more intense side. The participants then stop and dis-
version of rapid eye movement (REM) cuss any information or revelations that
sleep, harnessing the body to effect a occurred while the patient’s eyes were
change in the mind. The mechanics of moving. For most people, the traumatic
the EMDR and REM sleep are similar. event feels unexplainably less traumatic
During REM sleep, a dreamer’s eyes and more clear or more distant. The suf-
move rapidly from side to side. Dr. ferer can finally talk with some detach-
Shapiro believes that this eye move- ment about the event, which enables the
ment stimulates links between the two beginning of the healing process.
sides of the brain. Because each side of
the brain serves a different role—the left Risks and Benefits
side is the positive, analytical side, In many case studies, EMDR has helped
while the right side is the less linear, victims of PTSD and other anxiety-rid-
more sensory-oriented side—this link den conditions cope with their condi-
through REM seems to help informa- tions. The therapy is still largely
tion pass between the two sides and be unproved, however, and does not work
processed. Hence, REM is one catalyst with all patients. Ideally it should be per-
for natural memory “digestion.” formed in comfortable, stress-free situa-
Yet normal REM sleep cannot pene- tions and does not affect all people in the
trate some particularly severe hurts. As same way. Additionally, EMDR should
the patient’s unconscious seeks to be performed only by a trained and
access the memory through REM sleep, licensed/certified psychotherapist.
the sleeper’s mind re-creates the painful While the therapy may reduce the emo-
negative sensations that occurred at the tional attachment surrounding an event,
time of the hurt. Once awake, the right the patient is still left with factual mem-
and left sides of the brain are no longer ories of the unpleasant event, which are
able to continue their information pro- best processed through the therapeutic
cessing. The hurt remains locked in the skills of a trained professional.
body and mind.
Just as a car engine must be properly —Barbara Parrett, RN, M.S.
warmed up to tackle steep hills, an
activity of the body—eye movement—
warms the brain to the task of unravel- Resources:
ing even the most dense ball of hurt. It
EMDR Institute, Inc.
is believed that the conscious rapid eye
P.O. Box 51010
movement powerfully ignites one side
Pacific Grove, CA 93950-6010
of the brain, then the other in rapid suc-
Tel: (408)372-3900
cession, until finally both sides churn
Web site:
together. Once warmed like this, the
Provides information on EMDR.
subconscious is empowered to process
the hurt without undue discomfort to
the patient. The splinter being thus Further Reading:
removed, normal healing begins.
Parnell, Laurel. EMDR : The Revolutionary New
Following the Baton Therapy for Freeing the Mind, Clearing the
A typical EMDR session lasts ninety min- Body, and Opening the Heart. New York : W. W.
utes. The patient is asked to think about Norton & Co., 1997.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Shapiro, Francine, M.D. EMDR: Breakthrough in nature, not in the laboratory. Bach left
Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and his practice and decided to research his
Trauma. New York: Basic Books, 1997. theories. Leaving his practice to
research his theories, he began experi-
———. Eye Movement Desensitization and Repro- menting with various species of plants.
cessing: Basic Principles, Protocols, and Proce-
dures. Guilford, NC: Guilford Press, 1995.
Thirty-Eight Remedies
Believing the greatest healing value
resides in the flowering heads of plants
and trees, the doctor began developing
ways to prepare and administer them.
FLOWER REMEDIES Flowers were picked at various times in
their blooming cycle and floated in a

bowl of freshly obtained spring water, in
lower remedies are liquid prepara- direct sunlight. Other flowers were
tions made from the flowering gathered and prepared by boiling them
heads of plants and trees that are in water. These preparations were then
used to deal with emotional and psy- administered in minute doses accord-
chological difficulties. These difficulties ing to the emotional and psychological
include fear, lack of self-confidence, profile of the patient. After years of
jealousy, anger, and resentment, and are research, thirty-eight flowering plants,
believed by alternative health-care pro- trees, and special waters were discov-
fessionals to be one of the root causes of ered, preparations that were found to
physical disorder. have a profound positive effect in a
Flower remedies are not chosen wide range of emotional and psycho-
according to physical ailments but logical difficulties.
instead are selected based on emotional In the last few decades several com-
and psychological difficulties, which panies and researchers have produced
include information on personality and these same thirty-eight flower remedy
behavioral traits. Once administered, it is preparations under different brand
believed that flower remedies trigger a names, and have also produced other
mechanism within the brain that stimu- flower remedy preparations from newly
lates the body’s internal healing process- discovered flowering plants found in
es, eventually resulting in a healthier other parts of the world.
emotional, psychological, and physical Deeply visionary, Dr. Bach wrote:
state. Flower remedies have been used “All emotional, psychological, and
successfully not only on humans but also physical disorder grows out of a conflict
to deal with negative emotional and between our personality and our Soul,”
behavioral traits in animals. and he believed we should regard ill-
ness as a signal that we are out of har-
Nature’s Remedies mony within ourselves.
In the early 1930s Dr. Edward Bach, a Over the past number of years scien-
young British physician, discovered tists have begun to look at just how neg-
that many of his patients displayed var- ative thoughts and emotions affect our
ious emotional and psychological health. Their studies show that if an
difficulties prior to the onset of physi- emotional difficulty is not resolved
cal disease. He also found these same within a reasonable period of time, gen-
difficulties would complicate disease erally from six months to a year, serious
once it manifested, thereby making it internal problems and eventually phys-
more difficult to treat. The doctor’s prior ical disease can develop.
experience with pharmaceutical drugs In early stages we may see the devel-
and their side effects convinced him the opment of functional difficulties, which
answer to this dilemma could be found include predisposition to colds and
Flower Remedies

Photo by: Winston Fraser

Flower remedies are made from the extract of the flowering heads of plants,
picked in various points in their blooming cycles, with different types of spring
water and a small percentage of alcohol.

other infections, sexual dysfunction, Bach wrote: “The main reason for the
headaches, fatigue, allergies, and diges- failure of modern medicine is that it is
tive problems. These problems, among dealing with results, not causes. . . . Dis-
others, are the first physical warning ease will never be cured or eradicated by
signs that we are out of harmony within. present materialistic methods for the
And if underlying psycho-emotional and simple reason that disease in its origin is
spiritual conflicts are not resolved, phys- not material, [but the] ultimate result
ical disease might result. It is here the produced in the body, the end product of
physician is generally consulted. To this deep and long-acting forces. . .”
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Using Flower Remedies there is a lifting of the negative emotion-

Flower remedies are easy to choose and al state, or a stabilizing of overreactive
use. Ellon, Inc., a major international personality traits. In general, most peo-
supplier of these flower remedies, pro- ple can resolve difficulties within one to
vides a free self-help questionnaire on twelve weeks, although some may take
choosing and applying the remedies. longer. Once these difficulties are
Once chosen, remedies may be taken resolved, the remedies may be discon-
any number of ways—directly from the tinued. Often, however, one can experi-
concentrate bottles under the tongue, ence a “peeling” effect, where one or
by mixing several drops of each remedy more emotional difficulties are resolved
in a drink and sipping at intervals, or by and other underlying emotions emerge.
mixing several drops of each remedy in a In these and other instances, new reme-
one-ounce dropper bottle with water dies may be chosen, as needed, by con-
and consuming it over a period of time. sulting the self-help questionnaire.
For people with alcohol sensitivities
(most flower remedy preparations con- The Benefits of Flower Remedies
tain some alcohol as a preservative), Since the mid-1930s, the thirty-eight
these remedies can also be applied flower preparations have been used
directly from the concentrate bottle to successfully by countless physicians
the temples, wrists, behind the ears, or and others to deal with a wide range of
under the arms. This can also be an difficulties that include, but are not
effective way of administering flower limited to, fear, anxiety, uncertainty,
remedies to infants and small children. indecisiveness, envy, jealousy, and lack
Flower remedies are known to have a of self-confidence. They’ve also been
unique and personal effect on each per- used to deal with the stress associated
son taking them. Remedies are taken with everyday problems, such as finan-
until difficulties are resolved, when cial difficulties, relationship problems,

Why People Use Flower Remedies

• You are very depressed when someone close to you dies.

• The personality is part of you which seeks autonomy and individuality, and person-
alizes the situation by asking, “Why did life take this person from me?”
• Though there is no scientific explanation for what we call the soul, for our purpose,
we may say that the soul is a part of a person that is transcendental and connected
to a higher order of reality. Being visionary, the soul understands that there is no
death, that the basis of all living things is energy, which you cannot destroy.
• From this internal conflict, a schism develops, and this is where Dr. Edward Bach
had his most profound insights. He found that the first sign of this schism is the
onset of a specific emotional or psychological difficulty. In the example of the loss
of a loved one, you might feel resentment developing. Resentment toward life for
having been unfair, for having taken someone away whom you dearly loved.
• Bach proposed that the manifestation of this resentment directly reflects the con-
flict between the personality and the soul, and is the first sign that you have fallen
out of harmony within yourself. If left untreated, this disassociation results in phys-
ical symptoms and ailments. You might not realize that your illness is a direct result
of this disassociation.
• A flower remedy would relate to the emotional state of mind that you are in and
bring about a sense of well-being. It is believed that it will also trigger a mechanism
that stimulates your internal healing system, thereby alleviating the physical symp-
toms that resulted from the conflict between personality and the soul.


day-to-day worries, periods of transi- forms—steam, liquid, or ice. It may be

tion, and job-related tensions. Addition- used as hot or cold applications alone,
ally, preparations of these flowers have or it may be applied one after the other
proven effective in dealing with stress- in contrasting applications. Hydro-
related hyperactivity in children, dieting therapy exerts its effects both locally
and eating problems, learning difficul- and at sites away from its application.
ties, sleeping problems, and to help ease Its distant effects are mediated through
the trauma of divorce and other loss. a reflex arc that is a normal function of
the nervous system. An example of this
—Leslie J. Kaslof reflex action would be the effect of
hydrotherapy on the liver. An applica-
Resources: tion of heat over the liver will not heat
the liver itself, but through the reflex
Ellon, Inc. arc, there will be vasodilation of the
193 Middle St. Ste. 201 liver as if it were heated directly.
Portland, ME 04101 Hydrotherapy may be used to aid in
Tel: (800) 423-2256 the treatment of addiction through
Produces and distributes worldwide the thirty- detoxification treatments or to aid in
eight flower preparations. Carries a full line of the general mental and physical health
flower remedy product information. Also provides of a person by encouraging relaxation,
an extremely useful self-help questionnaire for increasing energy level or vitality, and
choosing the thirty-eight flower remedies. strengthening the immune and other
total body systems.
Flower Essence Society
P.O. Box 459 The Ancient and Modern History of
Nevada City, CA 95959
Tel: (916) 263-9162
Hydrotherapy has been employed
Disseminates various information about flower
throughout the world, from earliest
remedies. Sells its own line of flower essences and
recorded history to the present. The Egyp-
imports and distributes other lines of flower reme-
tians, Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese,
Native Americans, and numerous other
cultures have used water for therapeutic
Further Reading: purposes. Baths, saunas, mineral soaks,
flushes, irrigations, steams, and com-
Bach, Edward, and F.J. Wheeler. Bach Flower presses are just some of the ways water
Remedies. New Canaan, CT: Keats, 1979. has been used for healing purposes. The
Greek physician Hippocrates employed
Kaslof, Leslie J. The Traditional Flower Remedies hydrotherapy in the treatment of fevers,
of Dr. Edward Bach: A Self-Help Guide. New ulcers, hemorrhages, and other medical
Canaan, CT: Keats, 1993. and surgical conditions. The Roman baths
are a prime example of the social, hygien-
Vlamis, Gregory. Flowers to the Rescue. New York: ic, and medical uses of hydrotherapy.
Thorsons, 1986. Modern hydrotherapy owes much to
several practitioners of the art. Some
were trained physicians, while others
were lay practitioners who learned
more by experience than training. A
HYDROTHERAPY nineteenth-century Austrian peasant,
Vincent Priessnitz (1799–1852), is said
to have treated his own broken ribs with

ydrotherapy is the treatment of cold water applications, and soon
injury or disease with the applica- began treating others with great suc-
tion of water in one of its three cess. German priest Father Sebastian
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: Corbis-Bettmann

Even a pleasurable shower is an example of the soothing powers of water.

Kneipp (1821–1897) was cured of tuber- exerts its greatest influence on the ner-
culosis after he had begun immersing vous system. John Harvey Kellogg
himself in cold water a few times a (1852–1943) established the Battle Creek
week. His book My Water Cure (1890) is Sanitorium in Michigan, where hundreds
a classic in the field of hydrotherapy. of patients were treated with hydrothera-
William Winternitz (1834–1912) was a py, diet, and exercise. Dr. Kellogg wrote
prominent physician who was the first Rational Hydrotherapy (1900), which
to demonstrate that hydrotherapy remains the most comprehensive text

Photo: Corbis-Bettmann
In Bath, England, the same hot springs discovered by Romans in the first century C.E. are still enjoyed for
their therapeutic value.

ever written on the subject of External hydrotherapy—the applica-

hydrotherapy. It includes more than tion of water to the outside of the
1,100 pages of text and illustrations. body—is divided into three types: hot
Today hydrotherapy is used as either water, cold water, or contrast. Hot water
a primary or supplemental therapy by a stimulates the immune system to
number of physicians, physical thera- release white blood cells that remove
pists, and psychologists to treat a wide toxins from the blood. It also relaxes
range of conditions, including stress, muscles and soothes nerves. The nerves
AIDS, addictions, and allergies. are responsible for sending all messages
from the brain to other areas of the
The Theory Behind Hydrotherapy body and, therefore, play an important
Hydrotherapy recognizes the inter- role in our emotional and mental as
relatedness of the mind and body. well as physical condition. Cold water
Although most hydrotherapy treat- counteracts swelling and inflammation
ments aim to relieve a physical condi- by constricting the blood vessels. Con-
tion, the theory supporting the trasting applications of hot and cold
treatment is always based on the water stimulate the endocrine and
knowledge that the state of the body adrenal glands, reduce congestion, and
affects the state of the mind. The chem- improve organ functioning.
icals, nutrients, or toxins that affect Water with a high content of certain
both the mind and body are messen- minerals can provide additional
gers that communicate vital informa- benefits. Water high in sulfur, for exam-
tion connecting the major organs and ple, can help ease the effects of arthritis,
systems of the whole person. rheumatism, and skin diseases. Bicar-
Hydrotherapy directly stimulates these bonated spring water has been used in
messengers. the treatment of allergies.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Internal applications of hydrothera- with a sprained ankle, or to add heat to

py may also be made. These may be as relieve muscle spasms. In addition,
simple as drinking water to relieve water has been found to alleviate the
dehydration or as complex as the appli- stresses and strains of everyday life, as
cation of internal irrigations. Internal well as treating emotional and mental
irrigations of hydrotherapy are fre- disturbances by soothing the nervous
quently used to dislodge unwanted system.
material from the area being irrigated. The mechanical properties of water,
Ear lavage is used to clean earwax from in the form of sprays and showers, can
the external ear canal, whereas enema be stimulating to various parts of the
or colonic irrigation is used to eliminate body. The mechanical action of immer-
dry, hard fecal material from the colon. sion in water can exert pressure to help
It is, therefore, possible, using internal relieve swelling, provide buoyancy to
application, to take advantage of the counteract the effects of gravity—eas-
thermal, chemical, and/or mechanical ing pain and improving movement, and
properties of water. provide resistance for exercise. For peo-
ple whose general body condition is so
Making Use of the Different poor that “on-land” exercise programs
prove impossible, hydrotherapy can
Properties of Water create the physical environment where
There are countless forms of
progress can be made, thus stimulating
hydrotherapy, including baths and
the patient’s motivation—an important
soaks, steams and saunas, irrigations
emotional component of the healing
and flushes, and wraps and compress-
es. The chemical properties of water
allow it to be used to dissolve and
remove unwanted materials from the The Benefits and Contraindications
body. This might be done by immersion of Hydrotherapy
in a tank of hot water, allowing water- Hydrotherapy treatments strengthen
soluble substances to dissolve from the the body’s own functions and defense
skin. It may also be used in irrigations mechanisms. They work with the body
applied to the body. The chemical and the mind, enabling them to restore
properties of water are also helpful in balance and let healing occur.
dissolving and applying desirable com- When applying hydrotherapy treat-
pounds, such as Epsom salts, to the ments, care must be taken with the
body. Both internal and external appli- elderly and the very young. People of
cations may be made using herbal teas these ages often have a diminished abil-
and other infusions, such as echinacea ity to maintain their body temperature
or goldenseal. and, therefore, can be heated or chilled
The thermal properties of water too much. Persons with diminished
make it useful for adding heat to or sensation or poor circulation should
removing heat from the body. It can be also be treated with great care since it is
used to raise a low body temperature or possible to burn or freeze tissue without
reduce a fever. Hydrotherapy can also their being aware.
aid in relieving the heat from inflamma-
tions, such as those that might occur —Douglas C. Lewis, ND

Hydrotherapy is a holistic approach to healing. It holds that the body-mind has its own
self-regulating and healing processes and mechanisms. By its gentle, noninvasive tech-
niques, it aims to stimulate these innate healing capacities.

Light Therapy

Resources: specific wavelengths of light to treat

physical and emotional problems.
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians While light therapy draws upon ancient
2366 Eastlake Avenue., Ste. 322 ideas about the healing powers of sun-
Seattle, WA 98102 light, it is in many ways a new field still
Tel: (206) 323-7610 in the process of conducting clinical
Provides referrals nationwide to health care research and determining therapeutic
professionals who practice hydrotherapy. applications. There are many variations
of light therapy. A therapist may direct
Bastyr University Natural Health Clinic solid or strobing flashes of light into a
1307 North 45th St., Ste. 200 client’s eyes or onto parts of the body.
Seattle, WA 98103 Different types of light, including full-
Tel: (206) 632-0354 spectrum, ultraviolet, infrared, colored,
A teaching and treatment clinic for the use of and laser, are being tested for their abil-
hydrotherapy. ity to treat a wide range of conditions,
including depression, insomnia,
National College of Naturopathic Medicine fatigue, premenstrual syndrome, psori-
11231 Southeast Market St. asis, jaundice, learning difficulties, and
Portland, OR 97216 addictions.
Tel: (503) 255-4860
Offers referrals to naturopathic doctors as well as
training in naturopathic medicine.
The History of Light Therapy
From ancient to modern times, sunlight
has played a central role in the cure of
Further Reading: disease. The use of light in modern med-
icine began in the early eighteenth and
Boyle, Wade, and Andre Saine. Lectures in Naturo- nineteenth centuries as scientists dis-
pathic Hydrotherapy. East Palestine, OH: Buck- covered the component frequencies of
eye Naturopathic Press, 1988. sunlight and observed its effects on ani-
mals and humans. In 1703 English physi-
Croutier, Alev Lytle. Taking the Waters. New York: cist Sir Isaac Newton chronicled his
Abbeville Press, 1992. pioneering experiments with sunlight in
his book Optiks. He was the first to show
Moor, Fred B., et al. Manual of Hydrotherapy and that sunshine’s white light, when passed
Massage. Boise: Pacific Press Publishing Associ- through a prism, divides into seven
ation, 1964. wavelengths of the visible color spec-
trum—red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
Ruoti, Richard, David Morris, and Andrew Cole. indigo, and violet. In the early 1800s two
Aquatic Rehabilitation. Philadelphia: Lippin- German physicists, John Herschel and
cott, 1997. Johann Ritter, discovered that sunlight
also contained components of the elec-
Thrash, Agatha, and Calvin Thrash. Home Reme- tromagnetic spectrum not visible to the
dies. Seale, AL: Thrash Publications, 1981. unaided eye—the longer, slower infrared
rays and shorter, faster ultraviolet rays.
In 1870, scientists proved that sunlight
kills bacteria and other microorganisms.
The first surgical theaters used ultravio-
LIGHT THERAPY let lights to effectively and inexpensively
reduce airborne microorganisms by 50
percent. In 1905 Danish physician Dr.

ight therapy is a general term for Niels R. Finsen received the Nobel Prize
therapies that use the entire in medicine for establishing that visible
electromagnetic spectrum or wavelengths of blue-violet and invisible

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: courtesy of Light Years Ahead

The Cameron-Spitler syntonizer, circa 1935, was one of the early syntonic optometry pho-
totherapy devices.

ultraviolet, when isolated and focused have “heliotherapy wards” that used
on the body, could cure tuberculosis of artificial light for the treatment of car-
the skin and other infectious conditions, diovascular and degenerative disorders.
such as measles and scarlet fever. Finsen After the development of the first
also effectively treated smallpox by using antibiotics in 1938, interest in light ther-
red light (filtered sunlight or artificial apy and other natural healing methods
light that excludes the heating rays of waned. However, in the 1940s Harry
infrared and the burning rays of blue- Spitler, a medical doctor and an
violet and ultraviolet). Psychiatric appli- optometrist, contributed to the develop-
cations of light therapy began in the ment of light therapy with his investiga-
1880s, when mental hospitals in Europe tion of syntonic optometry. The term
and South America routinely calmed agi- syntonic comes from a Greek word
tated patients with artificial blue light meaning “to bring into balance.”
and energized depressed and unrespon- Spitler’s treatment used rhythmic flash-
sive patients with red light applied ing of colored light into the eyes to
through the eyes and on the body. improve visual acuity and coordination
Throughout the opening decades of as well as energize and relax the auto-
the twentieth century, therapeutic sun- nomic nervous system. The patient’s
bathing, a method known as the “sun response varies with different flash rates
cure,” was a widely prescribed medical and colors. He found that warm colors—
treatment for tuberculosis, cholera, red, orange, and yellow—were invigorat-
viral pneumonia, bronchial asthma, ing, while cool colors—green, blue, and
gout, jaundice, and severe wounds. At violet—were relaxing. Spitler’s pioneer-
the same time, advances in the design ing work demonstrated that light enter-
of electric lighting made it possible for ing the eyes profoundly impacts the
hospitals in America and Europe to autonomic nervous system and the

Light Therapy

endocrine system, balancing important There is also evidence suggesting

hormones and brain chemistry. that proper quantities of visually per-
Current investigations into thera- ceived light are needed for healthy
peutic potentials of light were touched functioning of the cerebral cortex, the
off in 1983 by psychiatrist Norman part of the brain that controls motiva-
Rosenthal’s study of winter depression, tion, learning, and creativity; the limbic
or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). He system, the part of the brain that stores
and his coworkers at the National Insti- emotional impressions of the world;
tute of Mental Health and more than and the motor cortex and the brain
200 medical colleges around the world stem, the parts of the brain that coordi-
showed that regular exposure to full- nate body movement and the mainte-
spectrum (artificial lighting that has all nance of life.
the colors of sunlight) fluorescent light
alleviates the symptoms of SAD in 80
percent of people. People with SAD Types of Light Therapy
There are many different ways that light
begin to experience symptoms at the
may be used in therapy. Goals and tech-
onset of winter, usually in September, as
niques will differ with each procedure.
the days become shorter and darker.
A therapist may direct the light into a
Rosenthal’s technique is called bright
person’s eyes or on other body parts,
light therapy, as it uses therapeutic
and the light shown may be in strobing
doses of light more than twenty times
flashes or as solid light. The benefits
brighter than typical indoor lighting.
may be both physical and psychologi-
Bright light therapy has been used by
cal. There are several common forms of
NASA to adjust the daily rhythms of
light therapy using full-spectrum or
space shuttle astronauts and by mental
specific frequencies of colored light.
health professionals to help people
Neurosensory Development. For the
cope with shift work, jet lag, addictions,
last twenty-five years, optometrist Dr.
and various psychiatric conditions.
John Downing has researched, applied,
and extended Spitler’s theories and for-
The Effects of Light on the Body mulated a form of light therapy called
Major physiological processes in the brain neurosensory development. Like
and body are switched on and off by the Spitler, Downing promoted the thera-
presence or absence of natural or artificial peutic use of strobing colored light. A
light. Biochemical processes triggered by typical session begins with a discussion
light include the production of vitamin D, of the participant’s medical and opto-
the inhibition of melatonin (a hormone metric history to determine the pro-
that affects mood), and the stimulation of gram and therapy. Light is administered
serotonin and norepinephrine (brain with a device that Downing invented,
chemicals that influence mental alertness the photron ocular light stimulator. It
and well-being). Light-sensitive cells in uses a combination of twelve colored-
the eyes called photoreceptors convert glass filters, from red to violet, placed in
sunlight into electrochemical impulses, front of a special full-spectrum xenon
which are transmitted through the optic light with an adjustable strobe capable
nerve to brain centers that affect vision of flashing from one to sixty cycles per
and activate the endocrine system. Many second.
functions necessary to growth and well- To determine a program of therapy,
being—breathing, sleeping, blood pres- the patient is classified as either a slow or
sure, body temperature, appetite, moods, fast neurological type, and then the col-
mental acuity, and the immune ors and flash rates on the photron are
system—are governed by the endocrine adjusted to counteract and balance the
system and hence are affected by natural person’s neurological tendencies. For
light. example, blue, indigo, and violet, which

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

tend to slow down and relax, are flashed states of consciousness. Clients look into
slowly (six to twelve times a minute) into the light and can easily and rapidly see
the eyes of a fast neurological individual. their unconscious material projected
Conversely, a slow neurological individ- before them. By selecting specific colors
ual is treated with rapid flashes (thirteen and specific strobe rates, desired results
to sixty times per minute) of red, orange, can be targeted. BSP seeks to release
and yellow. The typical course of treat- repressed traumas or other memories and
ment entails twenty or more half-hour emotions that may be the root cause of ill-
sessions of light therapy. ness. It may be part of treatment for vari-
These techniques lead to an increase ous psychological problems, including
in the patient’s visual field and to a reduc- depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obses-
tion of his or her blind spot, indicating sive compulsive disorder, addiction, eat-
that more light energy is reaching the ing disorders, closed brain injuries, and
visual cortex and other key brain struc- dissociative identity disorder.
tures. Besides visual enhancement, the Bright Light Therapy. This common
types of individuals who appear to be form of light therapy was developed in
helped by neurosensory development the 1980s to treat the condition known
are those with chronic fatigue, menstrual as winter depression, or seasonal affec-
difficulties, thyroid problems, insomnia, tive disorder (SAD). More recently this
depression, and mental inefficiency. therapy has been successfully applied
Brief Strobic Phototherapy. Like neu- to a wide variety of psychiatric condi-
rosensory development, this method also tions, including sleep difficulties, food
uses the photron. However, the treat- and substance addictions, jet lag,
ment goal is different. It is used to help Alzheimer’s disease, and attention
the client access his or her thoughts and deficit disorder in children.
feelings and work on the emotional com- The treatment itself is used either
ponents of physical illness. Brief strobic under professional guidance or for self-
phototherapy (BSP) was pioneered by Dr. care applications for less serious stress
Jacob Liberman, an optometrist, and Dr. symptoms. The light is usually viewed at
Steven Vazquez, a medical psychothera- home using a portable light box designed
pist. In this system the psychotherapist to fit on a desk or table. The participant
uses strobing colored light to facilitate sits with his or her head and upper body
awareness and resolution of the client’s facing about three feet from the light box
thoughts, feelings, and memories. and focuses his or her eyes upon a surface
Generally the therapist chooses a color illuminated by the light, not the light itself.
and flash rate that is emotionally evoca- The full-spectrum fluorescent light
tive and uncomfortable to the client. Vari- may be as much as twenty times stronger
ous colors tend to access different than normal room light and is usually the
psychological content and are selected most effective when it replicates the qual-
according to the client’s objectives. This ity of natural light just before dawn or sun-
stimulation is used to facilitate a partici- set. The intensity of the light and the
pant’s awareness of unresolved, uncon- scheduling and length of exposure are
scious thoughts, feelings, and sensations. determined on a case-by-case basis. Daily
At the start of a typical session, the thera- exposure in the early morning for thirty
pist uses flashes of colored light to put a minutes to several hours is often recom-
person into a trancelike state. Then the mended, and an additional late-afternoon
client engages in a variety of psychological session may be prescribed. Bright light
techniques to help facilitate emotional therapy is usually confined to the fall and
processing, such as talking, deep breath- winter months, when SAD patients expe-
ing, eye movement, awareness of physical rience severe depression, lethargy, fatigue,
sensations, and recollection of dreams. decreased energy and activity level, anxi-
The rhythmic colored lights stimulate ety, irritability, lowered sex drive, avoid-
brain wave patterns that evoke different ance of social activities, sadness,
Light Therapy

Photo: courtesy of Light Years Ahead

Illumination from a full-spectrum light box helps alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

concentration and sleep difficulties, inter- before and after treatments by taking his
personal difficulties, carbohydrate and or her pulse or by examining a kirlian
sweet cravings, and weight gain. Bright photograph, a black-and-white image in
light therapy is usually discontinued in the which the body’s radiating energy
spring as the days get longer and brighter. appears. Colorpuncture is often used in
Once a satisfactory regimen is established, place of acupuncture, especially among
it must be maintained to receive maxi- children or adults who are frightened by
mum benefits. Bright light therapy relieves needles. It has the same applications as
the symptoms of SAD; it does not cure the acupuncture, including the treatment of
disorder. respiratory and gastrointestinal infec-
Colorpuncture. This discipline uses a tions, neurological and muscular difficul-
light pen to apply different frequencies of ties, visual and learning problems, and
visible light on the acupoints and meridi- pain. It may be used for stimulation of the
ans, where needles are placed in a tradi- immune system and as adjunctive thera-
tional acupuncture treatment. This py for those with mental disorders and
procedure was developed by German addictions.
naturopath Peter Mandel in the early There are many other medical appli-
1970s. A colorpuncture therapist balances cations of light, including ultraviolet
one’s vital energy by either stimulating or (UV) sterilization of human blood (pho-
sedating it with light. Different colors have toluminesence) and the UV treatment
different effects. Warm colors, such as red of psoriasis and infant jaundice. The
and yellow, are used to add energy while photodynamic treatment of cancer uses
cool colors, such as green and blue, are light to activate cancer medications and
used to subtract energy. A therapist may guide them to diseased tissue. Some
monitor the status of a client’s energy flow types of light therapy, such as bright
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

light therapy, are becoming more popu- Health Institute of North Texas
lar in the medical community and may P.O. Box 820963
be used either alone or in combination North Richland Hills, TX 76182
with psychiatric medication. Others, Tel: (817) 268-7050
such as syntonic optometry, neurosen- Fax: (817) 285-7729
sory development, and brief strobic e-mail:
photostimulation, are gaining accep- Holistic treatment center, founded by psychologist
tance as research accumulates. Dr. Steven Vazquez, offering treatment and educa-
tion on brief strobic phototherapy (BSP).

In over two decades of experimental trials, Society for Light Treatment and Biological
Bright light therapy, neurosensory devel- Rhythms
opment, brief strobic phototherapy, and 10200 West 44th Avenue, # 302
colorpuncture have been consistently Wheatridge, CO 80033-2840
found to be safe and effective when used Tel: (303) 424-3697
under the supervision of a competent and Fax: (303) 422-8894
licensed health professional. However, an e-mail:
overexposure to bright full-spectrum light Web site:
can produce negative side effects, includ- Publishes newsletter on medical research on the
ing eye irritation, headaches, insomnia, use of full-spectrum and colored light.
and agitation. These can be decreased by
reducing exposure time and by sitting far- Universal Light Technologies
ther from the light source. Strobic colored P.O. Box 520
light stimulation can temporarily stimu- Carbondale, CO 81623
late a “healing crisis,” a temporary exacer- Toll-free: (800) 81 LIGHT
bation of old emotional conflicts or Fax: (303) 927-0101
physical difficulties in the process of Web site:
releasing old traumas. Organization founded by optometrist Dr. Jacob
Each individual’s reaction to light Liberman that offers treatment and education
through the eyes and on the body is with strobic colored light and other modes of light
unique. One in three thousand people therapy.
can experience photosensitive seizures,
brought on by flashing lights such as Winter Depression Program
those found in video games, televisions, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
and nightclubs. Individuals with a his- 722 W. 168th Street
tory of severe emotional difficulties or New York, NY 10032
visual pathology should not begin pho- Tel: (212) 960-5714
totherapy without consulting their Web site:
licensed health care professional. Clinical program for treatment of SAD headed by
Dr. Michael Terman, pioneer bright light
—Dr. Brian J. Breiling researcher; also provides information and referrals
for light therapy.

Further Reading:
College of Syntonic Optometry
Betsy Hancock, DO Breiling, Brian, ed. Light Years Ahead: The Illus-
21 East 5th St. trated Guide to Full Spectrum and Colored Light
Bloomsburg, PA 17815 in Mindbody Healing. Berkeley, CA: Celestial
Tel: (717) 784-2131 Arts Press, 1996.
Organization of optometrists who incorporate syn-
tonic light therapy into their work; offers a referral Liberman, Jacob. Light: Medicine of the Future.
service. Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Co, 1991.

Mandel, Peter. Practical Compendium of Color- What is Sounding?

puncture. Bruchal, Germany: Energetik Verlag, According to Campbell, the voice is the
1986. first real tool we ever have to bring
attention to ourselves, tell the world we
Rosenthal, Norman. Winter Blues: Seasonal Affec- need something, or even show how
tive Disorder: What It Is and How to Overcome happy we are. The first sounds we make
It. New York, NY: Guilford, 1993. as infants are “coos” and “woos.” There
are hums and giggles, slides and wild
curves that our voice projects to let our
parents know that we are experiencing
pain, pleasure, or even self-discovery. A
SOUNDING lot of sounds that little children make
are actually pleasurable sounds,
although that squeak and wreak may

ounding, originally known as ton- drive others in the room crazy. Once we
ing, is a discipline that developed get to school, we are told to sit down, be
from the belief that being heard is quiet, and earn our education. To sit
one of the greatest needs of all people. down and not be able to express our
No matter what our age, it is important thoughts freely with the safety of being
that we are heard. Often we do not have understood and heard is inhibiting to
the right words that allow others to our minds, bodies, and emotions.
understand exactly what we mean. Campbell believes that one of the
Sounding strives to improve how peo- great purposes of education is that we
ple use their own voice and listening learn to express our thoughts. Some-
abilities in order to help them release times our thoughts come out in creative
many things that are not spoken and art forms like music, dance, and paint-
keep us from feeling as if we are in real ing. Other times our expression comes
communication with the world. in writing, and not speech. But it is our
speech that allows the world communi-
ty and our social peers to immediately
Discovering the Power of the Voice know what we are thinking.
Sounding was developed by Don Yet, says Campbell, we are taught
Campbell as a result of nearly fifteen that we do not want the world to know
years of studying voice. Focused on everything we are thinking. And so we
how sound and music affect learning put on a mask, a persona, or a personal-
and health, he created a series of exer- ity that keeps our inner thoughts from
cises meant to improve how people going to the outside world. Yet often
communicate with themselves and the when we do not learn to express our-
world around them. In 1988, he found- selves and sound our minds and bodies,
ed the Institute for Music, Health, and by the time we are finished with college,
Education in Boulder, Colorado, and we spend a life in tension, repression,
served as the Executive Director until and actually harm our body by the
1995. Campbell has written several stress of not releasing our sounds and
books and produced cassette tapes that our inner thoughts.
describe his theories and outline a pro- Learning to speak our mind, to
gram of sounding exercises. He has become aware of our body, and to let our
traveled to forty countries teaching emotions tell the truth is a lifelong educa-
musicians, teachers, physicians, thera- tion. Learning to speak involves learning
pists, and business trainers the basic to listen. Listening is not just hearing. It is
principles and exercises of sounding. the ability to focus on outer information
Sounding is now being used in hospi- and attend and reach out into the world.
tals, schools, and educational centers By improving our own listening to the
throughout the world to release stress. point that we genuinely realize that other
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

people may not have the right words or Sounding is used as a complemen-
the right timing to best communicate tary therapy to a variety of different
with us, we develop a little more patience. physical and emotional therapies.
Because the exercises can be fitted to
the participant’s schedule of treatment,
Sounding: A Complementary Therapy
sounding is often used as a warm-up
Sounding is a way in which you can bring
exercise in schools, clinics, and hospi-
about changes in your vocal production,
tals for other activities or therapies.
self-expression, and listening abilities by
spending just five to eight minutes releas-
ing sounds from your body. It is important Everyone Can Benefit from Sounding
to remember that just a gentle hum while Sounding practitioners believe that one of
driving the car, or even while reading and the strengths of this therapy is that every-
studying, is used to provide an enormous one can use it with just a relaxed jaw.
release of energy. Toning, which actually Whether you are a nurse, doctor, therapist,
means elongating vowel sounds with a or teacher, going back to our primal, nat-
relaxed chin and jaw, relaxes the whole ural sound can tap elegant, natural path-
body and mind. In six weeks of humming ways to enlighten our mind and body.
or toning, Campbell believes that a per- —From an interview with Don Campbell
son can awaken to a new world of inner
massage and vibration.
As a clinician, Campbell has worked Resources:
with thousands of people to release
their voice by toning. As Campbell Mozart Effect Center
states: “The left brain may think this is P.O. Box 4179
overly simple and perhaps trivial. But Boulder, CO 80306
the rest of the brain and the body enjoys Tel: (303) 440-8046
the vibration and expression.” Web site:

One of Don Campbell’s Sound Therapy Exercises

Let’s begin with a simple exercise. Put your hand to your cheek and begin to hum. HMM-
MMMMMMMMMMMM. Now, that does not seem to be a great earth-shaking event.
But, if you close your eyes and put both hands on your cheeks and repeat the same hum
for a long breath, you will realize that both your cheeks are vibrating. If you bring one
hand to the center of your chest and another hand to the top of your head, you are going
to feel different vibrations.

Each vowel has altogether different places where it massages the body. Toning, or
sounding, is literally the only way you can massage your body from the inside out.

Begin to experiment with different vowel sounds. The AH is very relaxing and may make
you groggy or sleepy. The EH is charging and brings your attention to center. The EE is
very sharp and works almost like sonic caffeine upon the body. The HMM is a sound that
allows you to feel your body very effectively. And the OUU is a soothing, cool sound. Pro-
longing these sounds for five to ten minutes with your eyes closed and sitting down
brings your body into alignment. This is not so metaphysical. It is actually quite physio-
logical. Your brain waves balance left and right, your skin temperature increases, your
muscles relax, your breath increases, and your heartbeat stabilizes. It is a very healthy
oasis in the middle of a busy day.

Tomatis Method

Provides information on Sounding, including the The Development of the Tomatis

cassette sets Heal Yourself with Your Own Voice
(Sounds True, 1991) and The Power of Music (5
Alfred Tomatis was born in 1920 in Nice,
tapes, Nightingale Conant, 1995).
France. He studied to be a doctor of med-
icine specializing in troubles of the ear
Further Reading: and language. During his early twenties,
he worked for the French Ministries of
Campbell, Don G. Introduction to the Musical
Labour and War and the French Air Force.
Brain. St. Louis, MO: MMB Music, Inc., 1983.
As one of his duties, he investigated hear-
ing loss among factory workers con-
structing aircraft. At the same time, he
———. The Roar of Silence. Wheaton, IL: Quest
treated a European opera singer who had
Books, 1989.
lost the ability to sing in tune. When
Tomatis compared the test results for
———. 100 Ways to Improve Teaching Using Your
both the laborers and the singer, he
Voice and Music. Tucson: Zephyr Press, 1992.
found the same kind of hearing loss.
From those results, he realized that the
———. The Mozart EffectTM. New York: Avon ear and voice are connected. “The voice
Books, 1997. can produce only what the ear can hear,”
Tomatis said.
Campbell, Don G., and Chris Brewer. Rhythms of From his experiments, Tomatis
Learning. Tucson: Zephyr Press, 1991. developed a device called the electronic
ear, which improves listening, learning,
and language by reeducating the ear.
The electronic ear exercises the muscles
of the middle ear. Special headphones
TOMATIS METHOD make it possible to sense vibrations
through bones and increase the ear’s
frequency ranges to sound.

he Tomatis method is a form of Tomatis then developed a new disci-
sound therapy discovered by Dr. pline he called audio-psycho-phonology,
Alfred Tomatis in the early 1950s. or APP. It is a science that acknowledges
The Tomatis method is not a therapy for the connection between ear, voice, and
individuals who are severely hearing- psychology. It deals with the functional,
impaired; instead, it is meant for indi- social, and psychological factors that
viduals who have lost the ability to impact listening, communication, lan-
listen clearly to the world around them. guage, motor control, learning, and
The therapy works to overcome various health.
health problems that can affect an indi- Tomatis has published fourteen
vidual’s ability to listen and communi- books and more than fifty articles that
cate with others, such as childhood ear document his research and the neuro-
infections, stress, accidents or traumas, physiology and psychology of listening.
or major lifestyle disruptions. Consid- Three of his books have been translated
ered listening training, Tomatis therapy into English: The Conscious Ear, The Ear
is accomplished with the aid of an elec- and Language, and Education and
tronic ear, which is a specialized device Dyslexia.
that trains the ear to block out disorder
and static. The Tomatis method is also The Philosophy of the Tomatis
used to improve vocal ability, heighten Method
creativity and concentration, improve The Tomatis method makes a crucial
reading levels, and lessen stress in both distinction between listening and hear-
children and adults. ing. Listening is defined as the active

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: © Joel Gordon

Paul Madaule, director of the Listening Centre in Toronto, uses the Tomatis method
to help a client adjust his posture to improve listening and speaking abilities.

ability, intention, and desire to focus on difficulty listening to the world around
sounds we want to analyze and to reject him or her, this dysfunction could result
the ones we do not want. Hearing, on from a health problem like childhood
the other hand, is simply the passive ear infections, accident, trauma, a
reception of sound. Listening is a skill major lifestyle disruption, or stress.
that can be both lost and recovered. Our With the help of the electronic ear, the
ability and desire to listen can be poorly ability (or disability) to listen is some-
developed, diminished, or even halted thing that can be identified, improved,
at any stage of our lives. If a person has and/or corrected.
Tomatis Method

By training the ear and the mind to based on the listener’s progress. Parents
listen, the Tomatis method is expected report on the changes they observe in
to improve one’s motivation to commu- their children. Adults provide reports on
nicate and learn. changes they observe in their own voices,
listening, stress levels, creativity, atten-
Experiencing the Tomatis Method tion, organization, spatial awareness,
The program begins with an initial posture, ability to tune out distractions,
assessment. That is followed by a con- desire to express themselves, musical
sultation to review the results and the ability, and reading ability. Other struc-
recommendation of a specific program. tured and unstructured behavioral
Once the listening training begins, the observations during the program pro-
individual listens for two hours each vide feedback, as do the reports of any
day. A typical program includes inten- other professionals working with the
sive sessions (one session per day for individual, such as speech pathologists,
fifteen days, eight days, and eight days psychologists, teachers, physicians, and
with breaks of three to six weeks sepa- occupational therapists.
rating the intensives). Longer programs
are recommended when severe or long- The Benefits of the Tomatis Method
standing problems exist. The Tomatis method can be helpful for
The Tomatis method is provided people of all ages and with many types
over an intense but relatively short time of problems, including those involving
span. Sounds are presented through learning, language, social interaction,
special headsets with bone and air con- attention deficit, voice, speech, motor
duction. First, the listener does passive control, dyslexia, balance, posture,
sessions of hearing sounds modified by rhythm, and low motivation. Tomatis
the electronic ear. The types of sounds found that these types of disorders are
used in this phase may include Mozart, almost always affected by sound stimu-
Gregorian chant, and the filtered voice lation.
of the patient’s mother. As soon as the
foundation and desire for language and —Dr. Billie Thompson
learning appear, active sessions of
repeating sounds (humming, words,
phrases, and sentences) and reading Resources:
aloud begin. A microphone connected
to the electronic ear allows the patient Sound Listening and Learning Center (Tomatis
to listen to his or her own voice. While Center)
listening, children and adults are 2701 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 205
encouraged to draw or paint, work puz- Phoenix, AZ 85016
zles, play games, and relax. Tel: (602) 381-0086
Each listener receives a reassessment Fax: (602) 957-6741
and consultation at the start and end of e-mail:
each intensive. These monitor changes Provides information on Tomatis training and
and allow for the program to be adjusted practitioners.

Tomatis in Practice

One of Tomatis’s experiments dealt with children who had learning disabilities. During
these tests, he recreated for these children the sound of a mother’s voice to her unborn
child. One autistic child who hadn’t spoken since he was four began to babble like a ten-
month-old infant. Tomatis realized how important his method was.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Sound Listening and Learning Center

200 E. Del Mar, Suite 208
Pasadena, CA 91105
Tel: (626) 405-2386
Fax: (626) 405-2387
Refers practitioners and disseminates information
regarding the Tomatis method.

Further Reading:

Tomatis, A. A. The Conscious Ear. Rhinebeck: Sta-

tion Hill Press, 1991.

———. The Ear and Language. Norval, Ontario:

Moulin Publishing, 1996.

Do-In • Feng Shui • Magnet Therapy • Polarity Therapy • Qigong • Reiki •
SHEN® • Therapeutic Touch

Subtle energy therapies

are bodywork methods that
share a belief that our phys-
ical bodies are surrounded
by and imbued with an
energetic essence that is
invisible to the naked eye.
Nevertheless, the state of
this essence is thought to be
the primary cause of health
and disease. Practitioners of
subtle energy therapies use
a variety of techniques to
perceive blocks in the flow
of this energy and work to
alleviate them.
Subtle energy therapies
are part of a larger group of
practices that have come to
be known collectively as
Photo: © Joel Gordon

bodywork, a term describ-

ing a wide variety of meth-
ods that use touch to
improve awareness of feel-
ings and sensations in the
body, improve physical Many subtle energy practices use the palms of hands to move
functioning, relieve pain, subtle energy through the body.

and encourage relaxation.

There are many disciplines
in this book that may be included in the category Bodywork. They can be found in the
sections entitled Massage, Skeletal Manipulation Methods, Acupuncture and Asian
Bodywork, Movement Therapy Methods, and Body-Oriented Psychotherapies.
In addition to the energetic bodywork practices traditionally associated with the
title “subtle energy therapy,” this section also includes non-bodywork practices such
as feng shui and magnet therapy. Feng shui is based on observation of subtle energy
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

in one’s environment. Magnet therapy focuses on electromagnetic energy surround-

ing and infusing the body and works with this energy in much the same way as subtle
energy practices work with subtle energy.

Subtle Energy Is Known by Many Names

The concept of an energetic life force has a long and honored tradition throughout
the world. It is the basis of ayurvedic, Asian, Western esoteric, and many modern ther-
apeutic health care practices.
The energetic life force has been known by many different names around the world
and throughout time. The Sanskrit word prana means “breath,” and refers to both the
material air taken into the lungs and the metaphorical breath or energy of life. In this
way prana is similar to the Judeo-Christian concept of “breath” as the essence of life
described in the Hebrew Bible. God breathes life into Adam, thereby changing him
from inert clay into the first living man.
Chi or qi is the Chinese word used to describe the subtle energy permeating the
body. In the Chinese model chi moves through the body in a series of invisible chan-
nels known as meridians. The meridians touch every organ of the body, regulating the
flow of chi. Ki is the Japanese name for chi.
The energetic life force has also been known by many names in Western scientific
health models. The Greek physician Hippocrates (c. 460–377 BCE), known as the father of
orthodox or allopathic medicine, recognized an invisible life force, which he described as
the body’s own internal healing and balancing mechanism. He believed that the proper
role of the physician is to do only what is necessary to aid this invisible healing energy.
From the first through the fourth century CE Gnostic Christian sects in Greece and
the Roman Empire practiced religious healing rituals based on the belief that the
divine spirit of Christ existed literally in each person. Variations of these practices,
relying on touch methods of healing, survive to this day and have been incorporated
into contemporary subtle energy therapies such as reiki and therapeutic touch.
Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), a German physician working in the latter part of
the eighteenth century, developed the health care modality called homeopathy based
on his belief in a dynamis, or vital force. Like Hippocrates, Hahnemann believed that
this invisible energy was the primary healing and life-giving agent of the body.
Another German physician, Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), working in the early
nineteenth century in Europe and the United States, combined elements of Sig-
mund Freud’s groundbreaking psychological theory with his own research into the
nature of neuroses and other diseases to create medical orgonomy. Reich believed
that the entire universe was pulsating with an invisible life energy, which he called
orgone, that was to some extent the cause of all health or disease. Contemporary sub-
tle energy therapies such as SHEN® and polarity combine various cultural and histor-
ical beliefs about the energetic life force with Western psychological and physical
modalities to improve and maintain the physical, psychological, and spiritual dimen-
sions of life.

How Practitioners Locate and Alleviate Blockages

The techniques developed to encourage the balance and flow of subtle energy
throughout the body are as numerous and creative as the human imagination. They
include physical exercises and breathing practices such as those found in yoga and
t’ai chi, meditation methods, herbal remedies such as those used in ayurvedic and
traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy, and massage techniques such as
those used in acupressure and shiatsu. Most of the specific subtle energy therapies
included in this section use techniques similar to forms of massage or bodywork
except that they generally rely less on physical manipulation and more on very light
touch, which is used to perceive and reorganize the body’s internal and external ener-
gy fields. Some methods such as qigong or do-in use many methods of manipulating
subtle energy, including self-massage, massage by others, dietary and herbal prac-
tices, and movement exercises. Magnet therapy, a Western approach to manipulating
electromagnetic energy, considered by some to be the physical explanation of subtle
energy, doesn’t use touch at all, but relies on the force of the positive and negative
pulls of strategically placed magnets. Feng shui, the ancient Chinese method of envi-
ronmental and spatial design, harmonizes the flow of subtle energy within a person
with the flow of that energy in the environment by carefully attending to the various
shapes and materials in a landscape, house, or room.

Subtle Energy and Western Science

Advanced scientific research on the effects of subtle energy is taking place at the Men-
ninger Foundation. Researchers there have observed and witnessed seemingly miracu-
lous feats attributed to subtle energy but have yet to prove the existence of subtle energy
within the known physical field as Western science understands it. The Institute of
Noetic Sciences also studies subtle energy and is working toward explaining it in
Western scientific terms. Advanced research by many physicists suggests similari-
ties between Western scientific wave/particle and energy theories of the nature of
matter and the ancient subtle energy theories. Therefore, subtle energy therapies
may require a leap of faith for some, but for others they may represent the cutting
edge of body-mind-spirit healing today.

—Nancy Allison, CMA

Resources: Training and research center for mental health

professionals. The foundation studies conventional
Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) and unconventional methods of treating mental ill-
P.O. Box 909 nesses.
Sausalito, CA 94966
Tel: (415) 331-5650 Further Reading:
Organization that studies the mind, consciousness,
and human potential. IONS also organizes lectures Manning, Clark A., and Louis J. Vanrenen, eds.
and conferences, publishes books and journals, Bioenergetic Medicines East and West: Acupunc-
and offers research grants. ture and Homeopathy. Berkeley, CA: North
Atlantic Books, 1988.
Menninger Foundation
PO Box 829 Claire, Thomas. Bodywork: What Type of Massage
Topeka, KS 66601-0829 to Get and How to Make the Most of It. New
Tel: (913) 273-7500 York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1995.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

DO-IN teachings and exercise routines to help

regain, develop, and maintain good
physical health and sharp, quick

o-in is the Japanese name for an minds. These regimens, known as do-
ancient exercise system that in in Japan and tao-yin in China, were
brings the mind and body into then written or told to others. New
concert with the inherent, natural forms developed in response to the
rhythms of human life. This self-help changing needs of the people. Chi
program, which includes self-acupres- kung and t’ai chi ch’üan, which share
sure, massage, breathing techniques, many similarities to the original do-in
and physical exercise, enhances the routines, can be viewed as later forms
flow of vital life energy in the body. Do- of do-in. Many other Asian disciplines,
in, however, is more than just relearn- including yoga, karate, judo, aikido,
ing ancient lessons. It is the art of and kung fu, also make use of basic
unlearning the artificial habits that we theories of do-in.
are taught in modern life and a return Michio Kushi, a leading pioneer of
to an earlier, more instinctual life. the American natural foods move-
ments, first introduced do-in to the
United States. As part of “Macrobi-
The Return to Ancient Habits otics,” Dr. Kushi’s system for practicing
The first mention of do-in appears in
a more natural and balanced lifestyle,
the most famous medical treatise of
do-in exercises are used to comple-
ancient China, The Yellow Emperor’s
ment a natural diet of grains, beans,
Classic, or Nei Ching. This third-centu-
vegetables, and other natural foods.
ry BCE book alludes to a legend in
which men and women lived as gods,
enjoying a healthy, long life with The Theory of Do-In
incredible physical, mental, and spiri- Several years ago, researchers filmed
tual powers. According to the medical the movements of sleepers at night.
sage Chi Po, the people of this time Afterward, when the tapes were sped
lived in a balance typified by the two up, the tossings and turnings of sleep-
complementary energies of life, yin ers in fact resembled a carefully chore-
and yang. Through mental discipline ographed dance. Practitioners of do-in
and careful attention to diet and other describe this “dance” as an instinctual
bodily needs, these people were able to version of do-in, carried out by the
live in harmony with nature and thus subconscious mind during sleep.
attain health and longevity. The movement of humankind
As men and women moved into civ- toward civilization was a movement
ilized communities, these natural ways away from a more natural life. As peo-
of eating and living were forgotten. The ple were forced to live according to a
special powers that do-in exercises “civilized” schedule and ignore their
(which resemble yoga postures, breath- body’s urges to eat, sleep, and exercise
ing, and meditative practices) were at will, the visceral, instinctual nature
believed to have brought—extra-long of people was suppressed and weak-
life and the ability to raise the dead, ened. Natural movements were sup-
walk on water, foresee the future, com- pressed and forgotten. Still,
municate telepathically, and control practitioners of do-in believe that they
the weather, among others—were lost remain in all of us. Thus, do-in move-
as well. ments do not need to be taught so
According to do-in lore, Taoist sages much as released.
in the mountains of India, China, Korea,
and Japan preserved the ancient forgot- Experiencing Do-In
ten movements and practices. These Do-in comprises a regimen of many
sages, or sen-nin, developed systematic different exercises. Do-in practices
Feng Shui

include self-massage and self-acupres- Resources:

sure techniques; stretching and twist-
ing movements; breathing exercises; John Kozinski Seminars
meditation and visualization tech- P.O. Box 526
niques; dancelike movements and rou- Becket, MA 01223
tines to ease specific ailments; the use Tel: (413) 623-5925
of special sounds; and healing with the e-mail:
palms. Provides information about “Energy Healing,” a
These practices can be done at any seminar that features do-in.
time of the day. Certain exercises are
Kushi Institute
suggested for morning or evening prac-
P.O. Box 7
tice. Loose, cotton clothing is preferred.
Becket, Massachusetts 01223
It is best to practice in a well-ventilated
Tel: (413) 623-5925
and well-lit room. When possible, prac-
Do-in forms are an integral part of seminars at
tice outdoors is recommended.
this macrobiotics center. The Kushi Institute can
also help locate do-in courses at other macrobi-
Benefits of Do-In otics centers throughout the United States and
In do-in and other Eastern healing arts, Canada.
the body is viewed as having antenna. It
picks up energy and vibration from its Further Reading:
surroundings. Do-in helps “tune” these
antenna. By practicing the various Hua Ching, Ni. Attune Your Body with Dao-In.
techniques of do-in, the body is able to Santa Monica: SevenStar Communications,
pick up, circulate, and accumulate 1994.
more energy from the environment.
Once collected, this subtle energy flows Kushi, Michio. The Book of Do-In. Tokyo: Japan
throughout the body, rejuvenating and Publications, 1986.
enlivening the organs, tissues, cells,
and systems. Thus, do-in is doubly ——. Forgotten Worlds. Becket, MA: One Peaceful
beneficial. Even as the body becomes World Press, 1992.
more healthy through this newly col-
lected energy, a healthier body is better
equipped to perform do-in.
Do-in movements mimic the body’s
own rhythms such that all people will FENG SHUI
recognize them. Still, instruction is

encouraged to achieve proper tech-
nique and emphasis. eng shui is an ancient Chinese
philosophy and spiritual practice
of arranging environments, based
—John Kozinski on the idea that all living things in the

The Japanese Sen-Nin

For the sen-nin, do-in involved eight to ten hours daily of rigorous exercise under the
guidance of an experienced teacher. In order to follow this extreme lifestyle, the sen-nin
lived in the mountain regions, and followed a special diet consisting of wild plants, such
as grains, seeds, fruits and bark. Later, aspects of the practice were incorporated into
Chinese t’ai chi ch’üan, as well as acupuncture and acupressure.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

universe are affected by the forces of people in China have been hesitant to
nature in their environments. Feng shui accept its principles and practices. The
practitioners believe that by properly suppression of feng shui in China pre-
designing certain environments, they vented it from being integrated with
can direct the energy in all living things, contemporary beliefs and needs, mak-
known as chi, in a way that promotes ing it appear archaic and superstitious.
harmony, prosperity, and good health. However, as a growing number of
designers and architects in Asia and in
The History of Feng Shui the United States discover these tradi-
The practice of feng shui began in tional practices, the popularity of feng
China more than 3,000 years ago. It was shui is being renewed and spread
first used to locate grave sites that worldwide.
would bring good luck for the spirit of
the deceased and descendants who Principles of Feng Shui
believed that their ancestors’ spirits According to traditional Chinese philos-
continued to affect them. Then farmers ophy, the earth emanates an energy
used it to find the best locations to called chi, which if weakened or inter-
plant crops and build homes. They fered with could be devastating to a per-
studied the land to observe how the son or community. According to this
forces of nature, particularly those of philosophy, chi moves through every
wind and water, interacted. By observ- object, creature, and space like the flow
ing the natural properties of the land of blood through the body or a river
and how it was shaped by the forces of through a landscape. Feng shui is used
nature, they tried to discern how the chi to ensure that buildings are placed and
was flowing in that area and how they interior environments are designed in a
could interact with it to achieve favor- way that does not aggravate or disrupt
able results for their crops. Later, vil- this flow of energy.
lages, towns, and cities were built using This view of the relationship
these principles. Europeans first learned between human beings, vital life energy,
about feng shui practices in the nine- and their environments is based pri-
teenth century through British mis- marily on two Chinese concepts: the
sionaries’ accounts of Chinese society Tao and yin and yang. The Tao, which
and beliefs. may be translated as “the path” or “the
In early Chinese societies, feng shui way,” refers to the ever constant pat-
was practiced by experts in astrology, terns of change in the basic elements of
numerology, and supernatural forces. nature, of which human beings are an
These respected individuals came to be intrinsic part. This concept is the core of
known as “geomancers.” When a person Taoism, a religion characterized by its
wanted to build a home, farm, road, reverence for nature. According to Tao-
temple, or find a grave site, a geo- ism, human beings should seek to
mancer was consulted for his under- observe patterns of nature, such as the
standing of feng shui. He would make changing seasons or transitions
important decisions about the proper between night and day, and put their
location and design to ensure the most lives in a harmonious relationship with
beneficial flow of chi. these patterns. Resisting the natural
The social importance of feng shui course of the Tao will only cause
persisted in China until the late 1960s, difficulties and misfortune.
when China began its Cultural Revolu- The movement of the Tao is imaged
tion, which abolished many elements of as a constant dance between yin and
traditional culture, including feng shui. yang, the two basic complementary
Although it has remained popular in energies in nature. Yin energy is charac-
Hong Kong, its practice in China is only terized by its dark, cool, caring, and
recently being restored. However, many receptive properties. Taoists observe
Feng Shui

The Ba-Gua in Feng Shui

Helpful People Knowledge
Travel Culture
Father Spirituality
Head KAN Hand
Gray Blue

Future Health
Creativity Family
W Children
DWEI JEN Friends
Mouth Foot
White Green


Pink Fame

The ba-gua in feng shui.

yin energy in water; soft, flowing fabrics balance of yin and yang energy and
such as silk; and cool colors such as unobstructed pathways for the chi to
blues and purples. Yang energy is char- flow between them. The building will be
acterized by its light, warm, straight, situated in the landscape with respect
and active qualities. Wind, wood, to the flow of wind and water. Interiors
straight objects such as knives or will be created by the careful selection
swords, and vibrant saturated colors and placement of walls, doorways, and
such as reds and yellows exhibit higher windows in order to respect the flow of
degrees of yang energy. chi and the balance of yin and yang in
According to the principles of feng the building materials. Finally, the col-
shui, a healthy environment will ors and materials of the objects in a
acknowledge the Tao by a harmonious room will also be selected with respect
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

for the balance, harmony, and flow of by wind chimes, bells, or recorded
the forces of nature. music. Wind chimes are often used
by feng shui to draw good chi from
The Ba-Gua and Feng Shui Cures outside into a home.
To design a home or office properly • Living items—These include plants,
according to the principles of feng shui, trees or flowers (real or realistic),
the design, materials, and function of aquariums, or fishbowls. Plants are
every area should be adjusted to match used to generate chi. Fish symbolize
the occupants’ needs with the ba-gua. money and fishbowls are often used
The ba-gua is an eight-sided “compass” in homes and businesses settings to
that matches a specific color and bring wealth.
human need or desire with each of the • Moving objects—Moving objects are
eight directions according to principles used to stimulate chi. Motion may be
derived from ancient Chinese astrolo- produced by mobiles, fountains,
gy, geometry, and mathematics. The windmills, whirligigs, or windsocks.
ba-gua is used to identify areas where Objects that are naturally powered,
the flow of chi or the balance of yin and such as these, are preferred.
yang creates favorable or unfavorable • Heavy objects—Heavy objects have
conditions. Yang is most concentrated the opposite effect from moving
in the south, and yin is most concen- objects. They are used to introduce
trated in the north. The eight directions stillness in areas where chi moves too
of the ba-gua and the associated colors quickly. These may be large stones,
and human needs are: heavy furniture, or statues.
• Electrically powered objects—The
South (Li ): fame, red
electricity that powers televisions,
Southeast (Hsun): wealth, purple
computers, stereos, or air condition-
East ( Jen): family, green
ers affects the flow of chi. Since the
Northeast (Gen): knowledge, blue
energies may conflict, a space
North (Kan): career, black
designed according to feng shui will
Northwest (Chyan): helpful people/trav-
proportion the use of electricity to
el, gray
balance the two energies. When
West (Dwei): children/future/creativity,
properly distributed, electricity may
also stimulate chi.
Southwest (Kuen): marriage/relation-
• Straight lines—These are usually
ship, pink
bamboo flutes but may also include
However, for spaces that do not easily swords, scrolls, and fans. The straight
align with the ba-gua, feng shui details a lines in these objects are used to
set of “cures” to remedy disturbances to direct chi to a desired location. Flutes
the flow of chi. There are eight basic cures: are popular cures because they may
be arranged to resemble the octago-
• Light—In addition to electric lights,
nal shape of the ba-gua.
this category consists of objects
• Colors—Colors are used for their
capable of light reflection and refrac- symbolic value within the ba-gua.
tion, including mirrors, leaded glass, When designing a room, a person
and crystals. Mirrors are frequently may emphasize the colors that corre-
used in rooms designed according to spond to a desired direction.
feng shui. They may be aimed to
deflect the flow of chi away from an
area or used to enhance chi by Practicing Feng Shui
reflecting a pleasing image. Feng shui may be used to develop the
• Sound— Sound is thought to set static proper placement of a building in a
chi in motion. A room is filled with landscape or to design the interior and
sound to radiate the chi throughout exterior walls, doors, and windows of a
the space. Sound may be produced building. It is also often used to design
Feng Shui

individual rooms in a way that will go through each of the client’s rooms
benefit the people who use them. The and discuss positioning of important
ba-gua is used to identify the direction objects in the room such as the bed,
that represents a principle, such as desk, couch, artworks, plants, and col-
knowledge or fame, that a person wants ors to create the best possible environ-
to change. Then, feng shui cures are ment to enhance or change the desired
used to stimulate the flow of chi in that aspect.
area. For example, a person who wants
to design a room to benefit his or her Benefits
family will see that “family” is located in Although feng shui can be used simply
the east on the ba-gua. He or she will to bring beauty and serenity to an envi-
see if any barriers are cutting off the ronment, it is also used to bring benefits
flow of chi to the east in the room. The to many aspects of a person’s life. A per-
ba-gua associates the color green with son who wants to improve his or her
the family, so the room will be designed fortune in business, relationships, or
with green objects. A plant may be family may use feng shui to be sure that
placed next to the east wall to further chi is flowing properly in the corre-
stimulate the chi. sponding directions of his or her home
A person may be able to use feng or business environment.
shui without hiring a consultant. There Today, feng shui is used in both per-
are a number of how-to books on feng sonal and professional settings. Several
shui that offer some basic lessons. How- companies in the United States and Asia
ever, a person who wants to employ use feng shui to design office spaces,
more complex aspects of feng shui may hoping to increase their fortune in busi-
consult an expert. When people consult ness. Service industries, like restaurants
feng shui experts to design their homes, and hotels, have used feng shui to make
they may be asked about their lives and clients feel more comfortable and will-
what they would like to enhance or ing to spend more money. As its popu-
change. The practitioner and client will larity grows, feng shui is changing the

According to feng shui, it is very important that furniture and objects are properly
placed in each room. There are specific guidelines for essential parts of a home, includ-
ing the entrance, the bed, and the kitchen.

• Entrance—Designing a house with feng shui requires careful consideration of the

entrance, since it is where chi enters the building. Traditionally, homes designed
with feng shui will have southern entrances, since that is the direction in which the
most favorable energy is thought to flow. One should be careful that the chi is not
hindered by an obstacle blocking the front door, such as a tree or another building.

• Bed—One of the most significant placements in a home designed with feng shui is
the location of a bed. The location of one’s bed is thought to affect one’s health and
marriage. A properly positioned bed will give a person “command” of the bedroom
door. A person is never to have his or her back to the entrance. When a person is in
bed, he or she should face the doorway, but should not be in direct line of it. The ba-
gua is often used to help determine the proper location of a bed.

• Kitchen—Homes designed with feng shui often have kitchens in the southern or
eastern side of the house, since these directions represent fire and wood on the ba-
gua. Small spaces and sharp corners should be avoided since they inhibit the flow of
chi. A proper kitchen will be designed to allow the chef to see the kitchen’s entrance
and be prepared when a person arrives.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

way that many people view the relation- insomnia, and environmental stress. Plac-
ship between a person and his or her ing the magnets directly over the area of
surroundings. pain can help diminish the pain from
these afflictions.
—Marilyn Saltzman
The Development of Magnetic Therapy
Several books have been published over
the last few decades, in which the
authors make reference to magnet ther-
Yun Lin Temple
apy being used in times prior even to the
2959 Russell Street
development of acupuncture. If true,
Berkeley, CA 94705
this would make the use of magnets for
Tel: (510) 841-2347
healing purposes one of the very oldest
This organization offers courses in feng shui
of all therapies. Some advocates of mag-
throughout the United States.
net therapy believe that magnets have
been used to treat pain as far back as the
Further Reading: ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Arabs,
Indians, and Chinese. There are even
Rossbach, Sarah. Feng Shui, the Chinese Art of reports of a natural magnetic material
Placement. London: Century Hutchenson, 1987. called lodestone being ground up and
used as a potion as far back as 100,000
——. Living Color—Master Lin Yun’s Guide to Feng years ago. Whether these modern-day
Shui. New York: Kodansha International, 1994. historical accounts of ancient magnet
therapy are true or not, it does not
Skinner, Stephen. The Living Earth Manual of diminish the fact that, at the present
Feng Shui. London: Arkana, 1989. time, the use of magnets for therapeutic
purposes is enjoying a renewed interest
Spear, William. Feng Shui Made Easy. San Francis- and an increase in popularity.
co: Harper San Francisco, 1995.
The Philosophy of Magnet Therapy
There are many theories about the
mechanism of magnet therapy, but no
one knows for certain how it works.
MAGNET THERAPY Some theorists speculate that the local
application of magnetic fields increases
blood flow through the capillaries,

agnet therapy, which is also called which brings more oxygen and nutri-
magnetotherapy, refers to the ents to the tissues. Others have suggest-
practice of applying a magnetic ed that the magnetic fields alter nerve
field to the body for the treatment of phys- function, muting the transmission of
ical and emotional disorders. It can relieve pain impulses from an area of the body
discomfort, pain, or swelling, and it has that hurts. Some practitioners insist
been used to treat both acute injuries, that the biomagnetic north pole, or neg-
such as cuts and burns, and many chronic ative pole of the magnet, somehow
conditions, most notably arthritis. Some changes the acid-base balance of cer-
experts say that magnet therapy is useful tain fluids in the tissues, making the
in treating depression and such mental area under the north pole magnets
disorders as hallucinations and delusions. more alkaline. One expert theorizes that
Experts are not clear about why magnet the “vector potential” and “curl” of the
therapy works, but most agree that it has magnetic field may have important
been used effectively to treat diseases and effects on enzyme function.
ailments such as arthritis, sprains, torn lig- Magnets have both a negative, or
aments, headaches, certain types of north, and a positive, or south, pole.
Magnet Therapy

There are two different ways of naming magnetic field of the Earth that causes a
the poles of the magnet. For purposes of compass arrow to point north is about
what some people call biomagnetic ther- half a gauss. In contrast, the magnets
apy, the poles should be named as fol- used in most permanent magnet devices
lows: the north pole of a magnet is the are usually about 700 gauss or more.
one that will attract the arrowhead; the Depending on the condition of the
south pole repels the arrowhead or point- individual, the magnets may be applied
er of a compass. Many magnetothera- several times a day or for days or weeks
pists believe that the negative pole has a at a time. Some people may prefer to
calming effect on the body, whereas the sleep on a magnetic bed or mattress
positive pole causes stress. Being exposed pad. For others, magnet therapy may
to the positive pole for too long can have involve hours of treatment at a magnet-
a deleterious effect upon an individual. ic therapist’s office usually using
Proponents of so-called unipolar mag- pulsed-magnetic fields.
netic therapy believe that it is primarily
the biomagnetic north pole, or negative
pole, that should be oriented to face the Benefits of Magnetic Field Therapy
body, so that the south pole always faces Most people who have tried magnet
away from the body. Other magnet thera- therapy have experienced positive
pists think that bipolar therapy, which results from it, though they agree that
exposes the body to both north and south more research is needed to understand
magnetic poles, arranged in some sort of how magnet therapy works. There have
spatial pattern, helps to heal the body been tens of thousands of anecdotal
better than unipolar magnet therapy. reports that either bipolar or unipolar
magnet therapy has relieved the pain or
discomfort of such conditions as arthri-
Magnet Therapy in Practice tis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, gout,
The magnetic field can be produced by back pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel
permanent magnets, or electromagnets syndrome, bed sores, ulcers, diabetic
utilizing pulsed or alternating electrical neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, and
currents going through a coil of wire. The toothaches. In addition, there are thou-
permanent magnet-type devices come in sands of reports of magnetic field thera-
a large variety of shapes and sizes. They py being used for acute injuries such as
can be as simple as a single, large, flat sprains, strains, torn ligaments, and soft
magnet, or as complex as a custom-fitted, tissue injuries, such as a smashed
contoured, cloth-covered pouch contain- thumb, pinched finger, insect bite,
ing many small, flat, circular, or rectangu- burn, scrape, cut, or bruise.
lar magnets. A common method of One of the benefits of magnet thera-
magnetotherapy is simply placing mag- py is that foreign substances are not
nets over, near, under, or on an area of the introduced into the body. In the long
body that hurts. In most types of magnet- run, this form of therapy might prove
ic products, many small, flat, circular or safer than over-the-counter medica-
rectangular magnets are placed so that all tions and other treatments.
the magnets are oriented with the north
pole facing toward the body and the south —Dr. John Zimmerman
pole facing away from the body. (The
north pole is the one that will attract the
arrowhead of the compass.) Resources:
These devices produce a magnetic
field of several dozen to several hundred Bio-Electro-Magnetics Institute (BEMI)
gauss at the surface of the body where Dr. John Zimmerman, President
they are applied. A gauss is a unit of 2490 West Moana Lane
magnetic flux density or magnetic field Reno, NV 89509-7801
strength. For comparison purposes, the Tel: (702) 827-9099 (best time to call is 8:00-10:00
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

AM Pacific time) of polarity therapy were formulated in

Offers resources and information on magnet the twentieth century, they incorporate
therapy. the teachings of several ancient tradi-
tions of medicine, particularly the
North American Academy of Magnetic Therapy ayurvedic tradition of India. Propo-
Cindy Kornspan, National Secretary nents of polarity therapy view it as a
28240 Agoura Rd, Suite 202 means of alleviating chronic physical
Agoura, California 91301 problems, forming healthy habits in
Tel: (818) 991-5277 or (800) 457-1853 everyday life, and enhancing other
Professional organization for practitioners of mag- modes of medical treatment.
net therapy.

The History of Polarity Therapy

Further Reading: Polarity therapy was developed by Ran-
dolph Stone (1890–1981), an American
Becker, Robert O., and Andrew A. Marino. Electro- who was initially trained as a chiro-
magnetism and Life. Albany: State University of practor and later as an osteopathic
New York Press, 1982. physician and naturopath. During the
1920s Stone realized that modern West-
Becker, Robert O., and Gary Seldon. The Body ern medicine could not explain the
Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation health benefits resulting from chiro-
of Life. New York: William Morrow & Company, practic techniques of applying direct
1985. manual pressure to parts of the body.
With chiropractic techniques as a basis,
Burke, Abott George. Magnetic Therapy. Okla- he embarked on a global study of med-
homa City, OK: Saint George Press, 1980. icine that entailed voluminous reading
and campaigns of travel to observe
Hanneman, Holger. Magnet Therapy. New York: healers at work preparing medications
Sterling Publishing Company, 1983. and treating patients. Attempts to gath-
er knowledge into universal systems
Philpott, William H. Biomagnetic Handbook. were common in the twenties.
Choctaw, OK: Enviro-Tech Publisher, 1990. The Swiss psychoanalyst C. G. Jung
was integrating the world’s symbols into
Washnis, George J., and Richard Z. Hirack. Discov- a system of psychology, and Stone
ery of Magnetic Health. Rockville, MD: Nova endeavored to make a comparable
Publishing Co., 1993. grand synthesis of healing traditions.
He studied ayurvedic medicine in India,
acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal
medicine in China, and the modes of
healing used in the West prior to the sci-
entific revolution. By the 1940s he was
POLARITY THERAPY convinced that medicine did have a
central universal principle, the concept
of a bipolar life force, and could be

olarity therapy is a holistic method unified into one coherent system of pre-
of healing that acts upon the field cepts and techniques.
of bipolar energy surrounding and The final work of defining the system
animating the body. It assumes that ill- was carried out in Stone’s private prac-
ness is caused by an imbalance or block tice in Chicago and in a writing project
in the field, and through touch, diet, that he started in 1948 and completed in
exercise, and counseling attempts to 1970. Even staunch advocates of polari-
realign balance and recharge the over- ty therapy acknowledge that Health
all level of energy. While the principles Building and Polarity Therapy, Stone’s

Polarity Therapy

major treatises, are difficult reading and function. The entire element-chakra
have numerous inconsistencies and series is found acting together in every
ambiguities. This has left his teachings human being, usually in a way that fea-
open to wide interpretation, which tures some imbalance.
results in polarity therapists varying in The imbalance is regarded as the key
their approach to treatment. to unlocking the mysteries of individual
Nonetheless, Stone is recognized as personality and health. If, for example,
an important pioneer in holistic medi- the air-chakra correspondence is domi-
cine. His principles and techniques nant, mental activity is presumed to be
have been a catalyst for research into the person’s great strength and potential
non-Western medicine as well as an weakness. She or he will have unusual
effective therapy in their own right. intellectual powers that pose no problem
polarity therapy is now available so long as efforts to redress the imbalance
throughout the United States and is are made. Otherwise, the excess air ener-
offered by polarity practitioners gy will disrupt the flow of energy and
required to meet standards for practice cause an illness to occur in the upper
established by the American Polarity chest and lungs, where the air-chakra is
Therapy Association in 1987. located.
Microcosmic energy movement is
The Theory of Polarity Therapy the main diagnostic and therapeutic
Stone believed the body is animated by tool of polarity therapy. Through obser-
a three-dimensional field of pulsating vation and touch, the practitioner
energy called chi in Chinese tradition assesses the functioning of the element-
and prana in ayurvedic medicine. When chakra system, then proceeds to correct
the energy flows outward, it is consid- any dangerous disequilibrium. Manual
ered positive and when it contracts pressure is applied on or around the
backward, it is considered negative. chakras in order to balance the energy
There is no moral connotation to the flow, and often a regimen of corrective
distinction, but Stone followed exercises and diet is prescribed.
ayurvedic teaching that maintains that Because the person’s entire being, mind
complex, dynamic interplay of the posi- and body, is at stake, Stone believed
tive and negative currents determine polarity therapy should also address
the particular character of every portion troublesome personality traits.
of the human organism. Further, he
held that the polarized energy pervades Experiencing Polarity Therapy
the cosmos, pulsating in patterns that A polarity therapy session lasts an hour
can be correlated with the patterns it to an hour and a half. It generally begins
assumes in the human body. Like the with a discussion of the patient’s health
ayurvedic masters, Stone approached history, lifestyle, and therapy goals. Dur-
the human being as a microcosm of the ing the course of the interview, the prac-
larger macrocosm, the universe. “As titioner pays close attention to vocal
within, so without,” was one of his changes, gestures, and aspects of pos-
favorite sayings. ture indicative of the patient’s element-
Polarity therapy focuses upon the chakra system. The assessment
connection between the energy struc- continues after the patient, still fully
tures of the five elements distinguished dressed, lies on a treatment table and
in ayurvedic tradition: ether, air, fire, bodywork starts. The practitioner is
water, and earth, and five of the energy trained to use her or his hands as a type
centers in the body known as chakras in of magnetic transmitter of energy.
Eastern thought. Each element-chakra In the opening phase of the body-
unit is associated with a quality of ener- work, the hands cradle the patient’s
gy, an organ of the body, and a bodily head, then move to other sites in the

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

body, all the while picking up various the practitioner’s view of Stone’s teach-
qualities of pulsation. After contact, a ings. Some focus primarily upon the
diagnosis is made and the practitioner bodywork, while others emphasize the
uses more touching to harmonize the importance of supporting the bodywork
positive and negative charges of energy with diet, exercise, and psychological
throughout the body. counseling.
A polarity therapy practitioner The diet prescribed is usually vegetar-
always employs both hands for treat- ian and may include a preliminary regi-
ment and draws upon a repertory of men to detoxify and cleanse the body. The
more than twenty movements that exercises, based on yoga routines, involve
include gentle to vigorous holding, squats, stretches, rhythmic movements,
vibrating, and rocking motions. A ses- deep breathing, and utterance of the
sion may include stretch releases of the sound “Ha!” Like the other components
neck and spine, cranial balancing, work in polarity therapy, the counseling is
on reflex points in the ears, hands, and designed to promote freedom and bal-
feet, connective tissue strokes, and ance in the patient’s energy field.
strokes that connect the chakras. Dur-
ing these movements the type of touch The Benefits of Polarity Therapy
may vary from light and balancing to Polarity therapy acts as a tonic that
stimulating to deep and dispersing. No brings relief from specific problems such
two sessions are ever alike because as digestion problems and produces an
ongoing energy assessment of the overall sense of well-being, increased
patient determines the sequence of energy, and serenity in the patient.
movements and type of touch. Though it should not be regarded as a
As the bodywork proceeds, the substitute for medical diagnosis and
patient may become deeply relaxed, see therapy, it can accelerate the effects of
dreamlike images, or feel a release of conventional treatments for major ill-
emotion and the need to talk about past nesses and promote recovery from
traumas and current problems. The surgery. As a holistic system of health
conclusion of the session depends on care, polarity therapy can also provide

Polarity Practitioners

The standards of practice established by the American Polarity Therapy Association

require training of a polarity practitioner in over 615 hours of study in bodywork, exer-
cise, nutrition, anatomy, communication skills, professional ethics, and energy evalua-
tion. Practitioners are registered at two levels: associate polarity practitioner (APP) and
registered polarity practitioner (RPP). The American Polarity Therapy Association pub-
lishes a directory of registered polarity practitioners and trainers .

Choosing a polarity practitioner should be based on your personal needs and practi-
tioner qualification. The polarity practitioner you choose should be nationally regis-
tered with APTA. Registered polarity practitioners are required to meet basic standards
after which their training may vary, based on school emphasis, postgraduate training,
and additional degrees/specialties in other fields. Many polarity practitioners are qual-
ified in other disciplines such as medicine; chiropractic, osteopathic, and naturopathic
practice; nursing; massage; psychology; and social work. Many polarity practitioners
work for one hour and charge between $50 and $100 per session. Practitioners with
additional training and degrees may work differently and charge more based on their


guidelines for regulating everyday habits health, increases vitality, and can reduce
so as to strengthen the body’s resistance pain, anxiety, and depression. Qigong
and achieve inner harmony with one’s emphasizes strengthening the immune
sense of self and one’s feelings. system and treating problems when they
are subclinical—that is, before they pro-
—John Beaulieu, ND, Ph.D. duce obvious symptoms. However, qigong
is also a method of disease treatment. It
has been found effective for disorders
Resources: such as hypertension, headaches, bron-
chitis, asthma, ulscers, arthritis, chronic
American Polarity Association pain, and some forms of cancer. The
2888 Bluff Street, Suite 149 patient learns self-healing skills and how
Boulder, CO 80301 to take greater charge of his or her own
Tel: (303) 545-2080 health. Instead of shifting all responsibility
Fax: (303) 545-2161 into the hands of a physician, the qigong
Sets standards for certification in polarity therapy, patient cooperates in the healing process.
maintains a list of certified polarity therapy practi-
tioners, and provides information about the
theory and practice of polarity therapy.
Chinese Energy Medicine
The Chinese word qi, pronounced
“chee,” means “vital breath” or “life
Further Reading: energy.” According to Chinese medi-
cine, health is the result of an abun-
Beaulieu, John. Polarity Therapy Workbook. New dance of clear flowing qi. Disease is
York: BioSonic Enterprises, 1994. caused when the body’s reserves of qi
are depleted through physical, emo-
Stills, Franklyn. The Polarity Process: Energy as a tional, or environmental stress or when
Healing Art. Dorset, England: Element Books, the qi is stuck and unable to flow. Stag-
1990. nant qi, like stagnant water, is a breed-
ing ground for disease. When qi flow is
Stone, Randolph. Health Building: The Conscious blocked, some areas of the body have
Art of Living Well. Sebastopol, CA: CRCS Publi- too much energy or a yang condition,
cations, 1987. creating tension, congestion, and
inflammation. Other areas have too lit-
——. Polarity Therapy. 2 vols. Sebastopol, CA: tle energy or a yin condition, creating
CRCS Publications, 1987. weakness and conditions such as poor
digestion and anemia. When the qi is
completely gone, the body is dead.

The History of Qigong

Qigong began many thousands of years
QIGONG ago with healing dances of ancient Chi-
nese shamans. For instance, in the third
millennium BCE, a bear-masked shaman

igong is the most popular method would lead a dance to cleanse a village
of disease prevention in China. It before the New Year. This developed into
means, literally, “energy cultiva- the philosophy that movement and exer-
tion,” and is an ancient system of exercise, cise could also cleanse and refresh the
breathing techniques, self-massage, and body. According the Chinese doctor Hua
meditation designed to purify, gather, and Tuo (110–207 CE), “A door hinge won’t rust
circulate life energy, called qi. Many stud- as long as it is used.” Similarly, physical
ies in China and the United States have movement stimulates internal movement
shown that practicing qigong improves of the healing energy called qi.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: by Jim Cummins

Madame Gao Fu of Beijing, seventy-six-year-old master of Chen-style taiji

quan (t’ai chi ch’uän), one of China’s most popular qigong systems, noted for
its fluidity and dynamic, coiling movements.

The practice of controlling qi There are short captions under several

through movement and exercise was of the figures indicating the disease that
originally called dao-yin, which means the particular posture or exercise was
“leading and guiding the qi.” In 1973, designed to treat. The figures are from
archaeologists discovered the first writ- all walks of life—rich and poor, farmer
ten record of these exercises in a text and bureaucrat, man and woman,
called Dao-yin Tu, “Dao-yin Illustrated,” young and old.
in a tomb near the city of Changsha. The By the second century CE, qigong
Dao-yin Tu, dated approximately 168 was a popular healing therapy practiced
BCE, shows forty-four seated and stand- by a very broad segment of Chinese
ing figures in various qigong postures. society. Later centuries produced a

Photo: © Joel Gordon

A Western doctor applies medical qigong.

wealth of practical and philosophical healing qigong, made up of exercises and

literature on qigong. Most early texts are meditations, and a method of healing
found in the Taoist Canon, the 1,120- patients called external qi healing. An
volume collection of Taoist religious external qi healer attempts to transmit
works. Taoists had a great interest in healing energy by holding his or her
qigong because it includes meditation hands either a few inches above or lightly
techniques that cultivate tranquil self- on a diseased area. This method is similar
awareness and a feeling of harmony to therapeutic touch, practiced by many
with nature and the cosmos. Most mod- nurses in the West. Spiritual qigong, the
ern qigong texts are written by doctors second major application of qigong, uses
rather than Taoists. In this century, the meditative practices, such as abdominal
practice of qigong was not encouraged respiration and mental quiet, to develop
by the Communist regime in China until a serene and hardy spirit, immune to
the late 1980s, when it was adopted as a stress and worry. Martial arts qigong, the
sanctioned method of disease preven- third application, emphasizes dynamic
tion. Throughout the 1990s qigong has qigong exercises that improve balance,
experienced a huge resurgence in popu- coordination, strength, and stamina and
larity, with over 90 million practitioners that make the body more resistant to
in China and several thousand in the injury. Martial arts qigong can improve
United States. performance in any sport, increasing
power in a tennis serve, a swimmer’s
Applications and Styles of Qigong stroke, or a boxer’s punch.
Qigong has three principal applications. There are thousands of qigong styles.
Medical qigong is qigong for improving Some are named after legendary or
health. This is further divided into self- actual founders; others are named after
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

animals that the exercises imitate (e.g., feels stretched open. Your shoulders are
crane style, five animal frolics, turtle relaxed rather than lifted in an “uptight”
breathing); some describe health posture. The shoulders drop straight
benefits (inner nourishing, tendon down, neither pulled back nor slouched
strengthening, relaxation qigong, forward. The fingers are gently extend-
improving vision); and many are iden- ed, as if water were streaming out the
tified by philosophical principles: wis- fingertips. The mouth is lightly closed.
dom (zhi-neng) qigong, primordial Your eyes are open, gazing softly into
(hun yuan) qigong, inner elixir qigong, the distance. The whole body is as
etc. Most qigong exercises are gentle, relaxed as possible. If you need only five
fluid, and graceful. Some styles, such as ounces of strength to stand, do not use
taiji quan (t’ai chi ch’üan), look like six! The extra ounce is unnecessary
dance, consisting of many postures effort and stress.
linked one to the next, like a flowing While holding this stance for a com-
stream. In the past, many styles were fortable length of time—generally about
taught to only a small, select number of five to ten minutes—observe your
students or to family members. Today, breath. The most natural and healthiest
several qigong schools have millions of way of breathing is to allow the abdomen
followers each, with branches in major to gently expand as you inhale and
Chinese cities. Students generally select retract as you exhale. Think to yourself,
one or two qigong styles according to “My breath is slow, long, deep, smooth,
their interests, health needs, and and even.” Let the breath move at its own
teacher availability. pace. Do not pull the breath in; do not
push it out. Let nature’s wisdom work
The Qigong Posture without interference. As you continue
The foundation of all qigong practices is standing, notice how the fingers begin to
correct posture. Practicing the qigong tingle from improved circulation. You
posture is, of itself, good qigong. Stand may also feel a pleasant sensation of
with the feet parallel, shoulder width warmth, stability, and inner strength.
apart. Your knees should be slightly These are signs that the qi is both gather-
bent. Feel the weight of your body drop- ing and circulating.
ping down through the feet and into the
ground. You are like a tree with deep The Qigong Prescription
roots. The abdomen is relaxed rather It is recommended that qigong be prac-
than unnaturally held in. The chest is ticed daily before breakfast. The morn-
also open and relaxed, neither ing is called the “springtime of the day,”
depressed nor distended. The back is the best time to plant seeds of new
straight. Imagine that your tailbone is growth. The guiding principles in
being pulled slightly down and your qigong are practice, patience, and mod-
head lifted up, as though held like a eration. Qigong is a lifetime discipline.
puppet on a string. The entire spine It is possible to reap benefits after only a

Distributors of Qigong Books, Videos, and Audiocassettes

Dragon Door Publications. (800) 247-6553, (612) 645-0517.

Redwing Book Company. (800) 873-3946, (617) 738-4664.

Sounds True. (800) 333-9185, (303) 449-6229.

Wayfarer Publications. (213) 665-7773.


few lessons or to continue gathering qi Wang, Simon, M.D., Ph.D., and Julius L. Liu, M.D.
for a lifetime. Practice, but not to Qi Gong for Health and Longevity. Tustin, CA:
excess. If there is pain, there is no gain, The East Health Development Group, 1994.
because pain inhibits learning and per-
sonal growth. Qigong students should Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health &
not seek quick results but rather slow, Fitness. Anaheim Hills, CA: Insight Publishing.
steady progress. The body is an energy 800-787-2600. (Lists many qigong schools).
garden that must be tended and nur-
tured daily. According to the ancient
Chinese philosopher Mencius, you can-
not make wheat grow more quickly by
pulling on the stalks!
—Kenneth S. Cohen, M.A.

eiki is a mode of healing, based on
Resources: ancient Buddhist teachings, that
uses hands-on touch to strengthen
American Foundation of Traditional Chinese energy on the physical, intellectual,
Medicine emotional, and spiritual planes. Reiki
505 Beach St. (pronounced “ray-key”) combines two
San Francisco, CA 94133 Japanese words, rei referring to the vital
Tel: (415) 776-0502 force that pervades the entire cosmos,
Publishes a quarterly newsletter titled Gateways; and ki, referring to the life force that ani-
offers a referral service and international listing of mates every individual being. In reiki
classes, and sponsors continuing education pro- treatment, universal and individual
grams. energy are aligned and balanced
through the application of gentle
The Qigong Institute hands-on touch to energy pathways of
561 Berkley Ave. the body. Since no medication is ever
Menlo Park, CA 94025 prescribed, reiki is widely regarded as
Promotes education, research, and clinical work. one of the most natural of all holistic
Offers lectures and demonstrations and sponsors a systems of healing. Advocates of reiki
qigong science program. credit it with benefits ranging from
reduction of stress to quantum healing,
The Qigong Research and Practice Center
including recovery from acute, chronic
P.O. Box 1727
conditions. It is often used as an adjunct
Nederland, CO 80466
to medical treatment in order to gain
Tel: (303) 258-0971
relief from the trauma of illness and to
Offers training classes and conducts research into
accelerate healing.
the efficacy of qigong.
The Rediscovery of Reiki
Until recently reiki has been taught as an
Further Reading: oral tradition, making it difficult to be
precise about either the early develop-
Cohen, Kenneth S. The Way of Qigong. New York: ment of reiki or many of its tenets. It may
Ballantine Books, 1997. be the world’s oldest system of healing,
with origins that reach back to the dawn
Eisenberg, David, M.D. Encounters with Qi. New of civilization. There is agreement that
York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985. after antiquity, knowledge of the original
system was lost until it was rediscovered
Jiao Guorui. Qigong Essentials for Health Promo- in the second half of the nineteenth cen-
tion. Beijing: China Reconstructs Press, 1988. tury by a Japanese man, Mikao Usui.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: © Joel Gordon

Elaine Abrams uses a gentle touch to align and balance subtle energy within a person.

Mikao Usui transcends the cate- nothing about his miraculous powers of
gories Buddhist, Christian, scholar of healing. Though simple, the question
theology, teacher, holy man, and charis- raised fundamental problems about the
matic healer. Oral tradition holds that relationship of body, mind, and spirit in
the path that led him to reiki started at a Western and Eastern religion. To resolve
Christian seminary in Kyoto, sometime the question, Usui resigned his post in
around 1850, when a student asked Kyoto and embarked on a quest that
Usui why he was willing to explain took him to the graduate school of the
Christ’s spiritual teachings but said University of Chicago and eventually

back to Kyoto to a Zen Buddhist mon- The Philosophy and Methods of Reiki
astery. By this time his research was con- Reiki is based on a belief that the indi-
centrated on the earliest records of vidual is animated by a vital energy
Hindu and Buddhist belief, and at the emanating from the life force of the uni-
monastery he came upon ancient sutras verse and falls ill if the flow of energy is
(Buddhist teachings written in Sanskrit) weakened. Further, it is believed that
that gave him an insight into the princi- everyone is born with the ability to
ples he had been pursuing. access this universal energy. Opening
A deeply spiritual man, Usui knew pathways of healing using universal
that his understanding of the sutras energy is reiki’s central objective. To
would be incomplete so long as it learn the procedures for self-treatment
remained on the intellectual level. After and treating others using the Usui sys-
studying the texts, he ascended the tem, a would-be practitioner must her-
sacred mountain Kuriyama and fasted self or himself receive an “attunement,”
and meditated for twenty-one days. Very in order to become attuned to the ener-
early on the morning of the twenty-first gy-transfer system. This attunement
day, he had a vision in which a brilliant can be given only by an experienced
light struck him between the eyes, reiki master instructor in a ceremony of
exploded into tiny colored bubbles, then initiation. Though no religious dogma is
gave way to a number of gleaming San- involved in reiki, Usui’s teachings
skrit characters. Usui believed that this require that it be administered in a
vision initiated him into the ancient sys- sacred manner. Sanskrit symbols from
tem of reiki and empowered him to Usui’s vision on Mount Kuriyama serve
revive its methods of healing. Upon as the formulaic key to knowledge.
return to Kyoto, he brought about cures Hands-on touch is the key component
that were considered miraculous. He in the opening of an individual’s energy
traveled throughout Japan and attracted transfer ability.
a devoted following. Reiki’s attunements/initiations and
Shortly before Usui’s death he passed symbols may confound rational expla-
the reiki teachings to Chijuro Hayashi, nation, but practitioners and masters
who founded the first reiki clinic. One of are content simply to trust in their
the patients cured in Hayashi’s clinic beneficial workings. Most practitioners
during the 1930s was Hawayo Takata, a and masters emphasize that hands-on
Japanese-American woman. She studied touch of energy pathways in the body
reiki with Hayashi, became his successor has been a means of therapy used
in 1941, and in the 1970s traveled around the world for millennia. They
throughout North America, offering reiki deliver reiki through hand patterns and
treatment and the combination of train- positions that relate to the major
ing and initiation needed to become a organs and systems of the body, assist-
reiki practitioner. Takata is responsible ing the flow of energy through these
for transforming reiki into an interna- systems. It follows that if reiki normal-
tionally known mode of healing with a izes the flow of energy to the entire sys-
network of professional organizations. tem, it would generate profound
Many advanced reiki practitioners are physical and emotional benefits,
now qualified to provide treatment. In improving the entire organism’s resis-
addition, a number of massage thera- tance to stress and disease.
pists, nurses, and other health care pro-
fessionals incorporate aspects of reiki Experiencing Reiki
into their repertory of techniques. Today While reiki treatment may vary, based
many reiki master-instructors are on the practitioner’s level of experience
qualified to provide instruction in the and the recipient’s needs, it generally
Usui system of natural healing as well as takes the form of a bodywork session
offer treatment. that lasts from an hour to an hour and a
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

half. During the bodywork the recipient may be experienced immediately or

remains fully clothed and lies on a mas- not until several days after a session.
sage table, first in a supine, then in a It is recommended that first-time
prone position. Sometimes ambient recipients receive three or four treat-
sound of a relaxing type, music or ments as close together as the recipient
recordings of pleasant sounds in a nat- can manage in order to deepen the
ural environment such as a stream of process of healing. The number and
water, is provided. The recipient may timing of subsequent treatments
express preferences for such things. depends on the nature of the recipient’s
Reiki bodywork should not be con- condition.
fused with massage. The hands-on Hands-on bodywork has become
touch is gentle and aims not to manipu- standard in reiki practice, but touch is
late tissue, but rather to transmit uni- not necessary to the healing process.
versal life force to the recipient. The According to Usui, the channeling of the
practitioner uses both hands, palms universal life force can be achieved
down, fingers held together, and pro- through mental and manual focus that
ceeds in a pattern over the recipient’s is effective even over long distances,
body. After the front surface has been which is learned as an advanced tech-
treated, the client turns and treatment nique. After attunement/initiation, it is
continues on the back. Each positioning suggested that reiki be used as a mode
of the hands is maintained for three to of self-care as well as care for others.
five minutes without any movement of
the fingers or change in the initial gen- The Benefits of Reiki
tle touch. Practitioners may use twenty Practitioners believe reiki gives recipi-
or more hand positions in any single ents a sense of trust and overall well-
session. being. It is particularly beneficial in the
Experience of reiki bodywork differs treatment of stress and stress-related
from person to person; each client’s illnesses. Reiki is also considered help-
perception of how the energy transfer ful in debilitating disease because it
feels will vary. A slight warmth or tin- supplies energy and strengthens the
gling coming from the hands of the immune system. While reiki is not a reli-
practitioner may be felt, or his or her gious system, it often becomes a potent
hands may feel cool. In some instances stimulus to self-healing and spiritual
recipients doze or go into a threshold growth.
condition between sleep and full con-
sciousness. Most find reiki relaxing and
refreshing. The full effects of treatment —Elaine J. Abrams, Reiki Master-Instructor

Reiki Training

Reiki instruction has three degrees or levels. In first degree, or level I, training, the par-
ticipant receives attunement from a reiki master. He or she also learns techniques for
administering self-care. In second degree, or level II, training, the participant receives
further attunements of energy from a reiki master. He or she also embarks on study of
the ancient symbols and sounds Dr. Usui recovered from the sutras, learning to apply
them to the healing process. Third degree, or level III, provides the participant with yet
another attunement and final study of the ancient symbols and sounds used in reiki.
Practitoners with third degree training are called reiki masters, and are the only ones
able to offer level I and II instruction.


Resources: How SHEN® Developed

SHEN’s basic concepts were developed
The Reiki Alliance by scientist Richard R. Pavek after he
PO Box 41 retired from a career in business in
Cataldo, ID 83810 order to start a new career as an alterna-
Tel: (208) 682-3535 tive medical and health practitioner. In
Fax: (208) 682-4848 1977 he began formulating his original
A professional organization comprised of creden- concepts about emotions and their
tialed usui system reiki masters. effects on the body and the mind from
observations made during his own
The Reiki Alliance Europe
experimentation with the hands-on
Honthorststraat 40 II 1071 DG
healing techniques he was developing.
Amsterdam, Netherlands
It was apparent to him that emotions
Tel: (20) 6719276
were far more significant in determin-
Fax: (20) 6711736
ing our health than was then presented
The European headquarters of the Reiki Alliance.
in the medical and psychological text-
books. While the textbooks were teach-
ing that emotions occurred in the brain
and were unimportant by-products of
Further Reading:
mental activity, he, along with many
other scientists, physicians, and psy-
Brown, Fran. Living Reiki: Takata’s Teachings.
chologists, believed that emotions were
Mendicino, CA: LifeRhythm, 1992.
far more complex and often played a
dominant role in our lives. Pavek theo-
Haberly, Helen J. Reiki: Hawayo Takata’s Story.
rized that when we have an emotion, we
Salem, OR: Blue Mountain Publications, 1990.
feel it in our bodies, our bodies react to
it, and our minds cannot easily make it
Sharamon, Shalila, and Baginski, Bodo. Reiki: go away. It seemed to him that since
Universal Life Energy. Transl. Baker, Christo- emotions were not readily controlled by
pher, and Harrison, Judith. Mendocino, CA: Life the brain, they were not directly pro-
Rhythm, 1988. duced by the brain. It followed that
emotional empowerment is as impor-
tant to how we live our lives as intellec-
tual development.
As he began to determine the effects
emotions had on the body, Pavek
SHEN® noticed a relationship between the loca-
tions of painful emotions and the phys-
ical disorders with which they were

HEN®, which stands for specific associated. For example, he realized
human energy nexus, is a relatively that anger and fear, emotions that are
recent approach to body-mind health associated with eating disorders, are
and wellness that is concerned with how the experienced in the same region of the
body deals with repressed emotion. SHEN body that contains the digestive organs.
techniques release trapped emotional trau- This relationship of the emotions being
ma from specific areas by focusing felt in the body where related disorders
energy on the biofield that surrounds and occur is the same for long-term grief
permeates the human body. The release and heart disorders, and for shame,
and resolution of these emotions are meant guilt, and the dysfunctions they pro-
to reestablish normal functioning of the duce. He conceived that the organs in
affected organs and balance emotional and that region of our bodies must be
physical forces in the body. adversely affected by those emotions

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

because they are experienced there. both forms, but most of the time their
Somehow, emotions were controlling hands are in contact with the body
the body. through regular clothing.
The last part of the puzzle fell into
place when he noticed that if we felt Typical Session of SHEN
painful emotions, such as fear, grief, During the SHEN session the recipient
and shame, our bodies would clench reclines fully clothed on a hammock-like
around the locations where they are frame or a table similar to a massage
felt. Subsequently, the emotion would table, but with twice as much padding.
be trapped inside that location. He rea- The recipient is encouraged to relax while
soned that the physical tension that the practitioner places his or her hands in
trapped the emotion would interfere a rationally planned sequence of several
with normal flow of blood and other positions around the regions in the body
nutrients and prevent the physical where, according to Pavek’s theories, we
organs in the region from functioning mainly experience or feel the individual
normally. With these principles estab- emotions. These are the heart, the upper
lished, Pavek began developing the abdomen, the lower abdomen, and the
SHEN techniques now being used to groin. The recipient often feels tingles or
release trapped emotional trauma with- warmth as the qi between the practition-
in the recipient’s body. He demonstrat- er’s hands flows through his or her body.
ed that release and resolution of these Often the client drifts into a light sleep
emotions does reestablish normal func- state, similar to what one experiences
tioning of the organs. just before falling fully asleep or just
® before becoming fully awake.
How SHEN Works While in this state, emotionally
SHEN is a unique hands-on process that charged, dreamlike images often emerge.
does not use physical pressure or Sometimes memories of forgotten,
manipulation. Instead, it uses the painful emotional events from earlier por-
biofield that surrounds and permeates tions of one’s life come to the surface and
the human body. This field was first are relived. Whenever emotions come to
identified in ancient times and has been in the surface in a SHEN session they are
use in healing ever since. In some forms of experienced in a different way than we
biofield treatment the qi (pronounced usually experience them. Instead of being
chee; it is the Chinese name for the energy driven to physically respond to, or act out
that makes up the biofield) from the prac- the effects of the emotion, the person
titioner’s hands is applied to the body, strongly feels the emotion in one of the
either in direct contact with the skin or emotion regions. This occurs in a way the
through clothing. In other forms the person can handle and absorb. Very often
hands are placed close to, but not touch- these feelings are understood and
ing, the body. SHEN practitioners use resolved when they are recalled in a SHEN

SHEN Physics

SHEN’s singular techniques are unusually effective because they are based on conven-
tional physics rather than on the metaphysical principles used in the past. Through a
series of careful experiments, Dr. Pavek has been able to show that the biofield is regu-
lated by the same patterns of arrangement that oversee all other moving fields in nature;
electricity, magnetism, oceanic currents, and weather currents. SHEN practitioners
learn to apply the qi between their hands to the recipient according to these patterns in
ways that produce the greatest effect.

Therapeutic Touch

session. Recall of previous emotional change, or real emotional empower-

states and the resolution of troubling emo- ment and true personal growth.
tions are the hallmarks of the SHEN ses-
sion; emotional empowerment is its intent. —Richard Pavek
There are certified SHEN practitioners
and interns throughout the United States,
Canada, and many European countries.
More are being trained in a comprehen-
The SHEN Therapy Institute
sive professional training program that is
20 YFH Gate 6 Road
currently available in several countries.
Sausalito, CA 94965
Tel: (415) 332-2593
Benefits of SHEN® Fax: (415) 331-2455
SHEN is greatly beneficial with all phys- Provides information about research and develop-
ical conditions where unpleasant or ment, and training in the United States and Canada.
painful emotions are major factors.
These include conditions that have The International SHEN Therapy Association
often been slow to respond to conven- 3213 West Wheeler, No. 202
tional medical or psychological treat- Seattle, WA 98199
ment methods. Among these are Tel: (206) 298-9468
anorexia, bulimia, compulsive behav- Fax: (206) 283-1256
iors, disturbed childhood sleep patterns, A not-for-profit corporation founded in 1990 with
emotional depression, emotionally the goal of expanding and promoting SHEN
upset digestion, migraines, panic throughout the world. ISTA is charged with the
attacks, severe premenstrual and men- responsibility of maintaining and administering
strual distress, all types of post-traumat- uniform worldwide standards for Certified SHEN
ic stress disorders, and recurrent Practitioners, for maintaining an internship train-
nightmares. ing program, and for examining and granting
Besides being instrumental in caus- certification to interns.
ing physio-emotional disorders, our
SHEN Therapy Centre
emotions often interfere with our
26 Inverleith Row
thoughts and we find ourselves unable
Edinburgh, EH3 5QH
to think clearly, often ending up at cross
Tel/fax: 0131-551-5091
purposes with our best and most desired
interests. SHEN has proven to be a safe
Information about practitioners and training in
and reliable process that is extremely
the United Kingdom.
beneficial in resolving unpleasant and
detrimental emotional states that SHEN Therapy Centre
undermine rational thinking and nor- 73 Claremont Park, Circular Rd.
mal psychological development. By Galway, Ireland
clearing out the old, crippling, and inju- Tel: 91-525-941
rious emotional energy, SHEN paves the Fax: 91-529-807
way for emotional empowerment. Provides information about practitioners and
SHEN is very helpful in dealing with training in Ireland.
grief, feelings of humiliation, and with
resolving troublesome dreams. In addi-
tion, it has been extremely beneficial in
promoting and accelerating recovery
from alcohol and drug addictions and
from childhood and adult physical, sex-
ual and/or emotional abuse. It is often

very successful where more convention- herapeutic touch is an approach to
al methods and approaches have failed healing that assesses and balances
to foster psychological and behavioral the energy field that surrounds and
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

penetrates the body with the goal of sup- this by holding his or her hands a few
porting an individual’s own potential for inches from the receiver’s body, and
self-healing. Therapeutic touch, or TT, as sending energy through the palms to the
it is affectionately known to practitioners receiver until the receiver’s energy field
and devotees, is a contemporary inter- feels as though it has “filled up.”
pretation of a number of very ancient While some people may think that
healing practices, one of which is the lay- therapeutic touch sounds a little like
ing on of hands. hocus-pocus, this practice has, in fact,
been the subject of intense scientific
Finding the Common Denominator scrutiny. One of Dr. Krieger’s most
TT was developed in the 1970s by a important contributions to the field of
nurse healer and research scientist at healing has been her commitment to
New York University, Dolores Krieger, subjecting TT to academic research.
Ph.D., RN, in collaboration with a clair- Therapeutic touch has been the subject
voyant, Dora Kunz. They were interested of no less than 27 doctoral studies, 15
in studying various healers to see if there postdoctoral studies, and innumerable
were any underlying principles that Master’s theses—plus 2 National Insti-
might form a common basis for healing. tutes of Health (NIH) grants and 83 arti-
They also wanted to know if there were cles in 5 countries. TT is taught at more
any basic principles that might be than eighty colleges in the United States
taught to other people for use in healing. and in seventy foreign countries.
They did indeed find certain fundamen- Therapeutic touch is practiced by a
tal principles at work in healing, and large and devoted following, many of
therapeutic touch developed from their whom are nurse healers. As the practice
research. Dr. Krieger maintains that grows, however, many other health pro-
healing is a natural human potential fessionals and laypersons are discover-
that can be learned by virtually anyone. ing the many benefits of TT. It is one
bodywork practice that is very easy for
Clearing Areas of Imbalances laypersons to learn to use with
The practice of TT is based on the family members and friends. In fact, the
assumption that the human being rep- foundational techniques can be learned
resents an open energy system, and that in a one-day workshop. Even children
this system is bilaterally symmetrical. can be taught to do TT.
The practitioner feels for areas of imbal-
ance in the receiver’s field, such as areas Centering
of temperature difference (hot or cold), A typical TT treatment lasts about twenty
pressure, tingling, or other sensations. to thirty minutes. The receiver remains
These sensations are cues that an area is dressed in street clothes, generally seated
out of balance. Once the practitioner on a stool or straight-backed chair, facing
has gained a snapshot “feel” for the sideways, so that the back is exposed for
client’s energy field, he or she then treatment. If this position is uncomfort-
works to rebalance the field. able, or unsuitable because an individual
The therapeutic touch practitioner has difficulty sitting, treatment can be
clears areas of imbalance by gently performed with the receiver lying on a
brushing away any places of congestion, comfortable padded surface.
in a movement known as “unruffling.” The TT practitioner begins treat-
The movement looks almost as though ment by quietly centering, or focusing
the practitioner is using his or her hands his or her thoughts, while requesting
to iron out wrinkles in the space around that the receiver do the same. Centering
the receiver’s body. The practitioner calms the mind, and enables both prac-
then transfers energy to any areas in the titioner and receiver to access deep
receiver’s field that may feel as though inner resources that are powerful forces
they lack energy. The practitioner does in healing. While centered and attuned
Therapeutic Touch

to the receiver, the practitioner assesses Pumpkin Hollow Foundation

the receiver’s field. The practitioner RR#1, Box 135
does this by gently, rhythmically, and Craryville, NY 12521
rapidly passing his or her hands, palms Tel: (518) 325-3583, or (518) 325-7105
facing the receiver, about four to six Offers the only year-round setting where a full pro-
inches over the receiver’s body. The gram of TT classes from beginning to advanced is
practitioner then proceeds to clear offered.
areas of imbalance and transfer energy
as needed to the receiver’s field. The Therapeutic Touch Network (Ontario)
P.O. Box 85551
875 Eglinton Avenue West
A Safe Practice Toronto, ON M6C 4A8
Studies have shown that TT is effective at
inducing relaxation, diminishing pain,
Tel: (416) 65 TOUCH
alleviating anxiety, and accelerating
Provides information about Canadian programs
healing. Receivers report various sensa-
and practitioners.
tions during treatment, such as tingling,
heat, and other effects. They often say
they feel both relaxed and energized. Further Reading:
Therapeutic touch is especially recom-
mended for acute conditions, such as Claire, Thomas, M.S., LMT. Bodywork: What Type
infections, wounds, and sprains. of Massage to Get—and How to Make the Most
Because therapeutic touch is gentle, of It. New York: William Morrow, 1995.
and the practitioner often does not even
touch the body, there are very few situa- Krieger, Dolores, Ph.D., RN. Accepting Your Power
tions where it cannot be used. Treat- to Heal: The Personal Practice of Therapeutic
ments should be shorter and gentler for Touch. Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Co., 1993.
infants, the elderly, women who are
pregnant, seriously ill people, and indi- ——. The Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your
viduals with head injuries. Hands to Help or to Heal. New York: Prentice-
Hall, 1979.
—Thomas Claire
Macrae, Janet, Ph.D., RN. Therapeutic Touch: A
Practical Guide. New York: Knopf, 1987.

Nurse Healers–Professional Associates, Inc.

P.O. Box 444
Allison Park, PA 15101-0444
Nurse Healers-Professional Associates is the orga-
nization to which Dr. Krieger gave all her original
TT materials. They can help you find more infor-
mation on therapeutic touch.


Bowen Technique • Connective Tissue TherapySM • CORE Structural Inte-

grative Therapy • Infant Massage • Muscular Therapy • Myofascial Release
• Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy • Reflexology • Rolfing® • Rosen Method
• St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy • Swedish Massage

Massage is one of the

oldest methods of healing
the body, mind, and spirit.
The instinct to console one
another through touch is
perhaps as old as humani-
ty itself. According to the
seminal study Healing
Massage Techniques: Holis-
tic, Classic, and Emerging
Methods (1988), the first
cave dwellers probably
rubbed their bruises and
aches by instinct, the same
way many other animals
touch and groom each
other. Humans recognized
the therapeutic power of
touch very early on by
observing its physical and
Photo: © Joel Gordon

psychological benefits.
Many different massage
techniques have grown
out of that instinct—
known today under the
Massage is one of the most widely available body-mind therapies.
broad umbrella called mas-
sage therapy.

How Massage Therapy Developed

The use of massage as a therapeutic tool has been documented throughout histo-
ry. In the Americas, massage and joint manipulation was used by the Maya, Inca, and
other native peoples. Traditional African and Eastern cultures used sharp stones to
scratch the skin’s surface in a healing practice similar to Chinese acupuncture. Indige-
nous peoples of the South Pacific have their own forms of massage as well.

Although touch has been used as a method of folk healing in many cultures, the
development of formal therapeutic massage is strongly rooted in China. Evidence for
this can be found in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which, accord-
ing to legend, was written by the Yellow Emperor Huang-ti, who died in 2598 BCE. Two
descriptive names were used in China for massage: anmo, meaning press-rub, and
tui-na, meaning push-pull. According to Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage by
Sandy Fritz (1995), these methods involved kneading and rubbing down the entire
body with the hands and using a gentle pressure and traction on all the joints. Acu-
pressure, the ancient practice of applying hand and finger pressure to specific points
on the body, developed out of Chinese acupuncture—the practice of stimulating cer-
tain points along the body by inserting tiny needles.
Chinese massage techniques spread along trade routes to Japan and other Asian
countries, including India, where they have enjoyed respect for their therapeutic value
to this day. There is evidence in medical literature that massage was used as a respect-
ed element in ancient Egyptian and Persian medical practices. The “laying on of hands”
and “anointing with oils” has been recorded in the writings of the early Hebrews and
Christians; in fact, there is reference to these practices in Isaiah of the Bible.
Massage was considered an integral part of ayurvedic medicine in ancient India.
Alexander the Great (356–323 BCE) was one of those responsible for bringing massage
to the West. When conquering India, his troops were ravaged by fatal snake bites. The
Indian physicians had developed advanced surgical techniques to treat these snake
bites, so Alexander replaced all of his Greek physicians with Indian physicians, and
massage was incorporated into Greek medicine. Tschanpua—eventually known as
shampooing—was a technique initially employed by Alexander’s officers; it survived
until the 1800s. Last used by the British Colonial Army, it was incorporated as a part of
a greater health regimen that also involved bathing and the use of scented oils.
The ancient Greeks built great bathhouses, called thurmae, where exercise, mas-
sage, baths, and scholastic studies were available, much like modern-day health spas.
Citizens visited the thurmae daily as a part of the “duty of health.” Socrates, Plato, and
Aristotle were all teachers at thurmae and also received massage there. The Greeks
employed massage especially in conjunction with athletics; for example, an athlete
would be massaged before taking part in the Olympic Games.
Hippocrates, often referred to as the father of modern medicine, lived in ancient
Greece from 460 to 377 BCE. He learned massage and gymnastics and developed his
own method of medicine. He wrote prescriptions for massage and exercise. Many of
his techniques have survived to this day.
The Romans learned massage from the Greeks. Massage and baths were used
extensively throughout the Roman Empire (27 BCE–476 CE), which covered most of
Europe. Cicero wrote about receiving massage and attributed his health to it. Even
Julius Caesar (100–44 BCE) had himself “pinched all over” daily for relief of nerve pain
and to treat epilepsy, a severe nervous disorder.
After the fall of Rome and the barbarian invasions, the rise of monasticism helped to
preserve written accounts of the use of massage in the West. The monks were both
scribes and physicians. Although they were not medically trained as Roman physicians
were, they carried on the practice of massage, exercise, and anointing with oils as a

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

part of folk medicine. Eventually the monks abandoned the practice of medicine as
well as massage, and as a result massage faded in Europe.
During the Middle Ages, invasions and wars caused great political and social
chaos in Europe. Communication among countries was lost. This contributed to
the decline of medicine, massage, and medical advancements. At this time, super-
natural occurrences were often associated with massage, and it has been reported
in some sources that many healers were persecuted by the church for having evil
Change occurred once again after the Black Plague, which destroyed large popula-
tions in Europe. A time period known as the Renaissance (fourteenth to sixteenth cen-
turies CE) followed. Travel increased and communications were restored. People
started learning about Arabic and Persian culture, where the Greco-Roman traditions
of massage had thrived.
In the late fourteenth century, massage was first used in postsurgical recovery, and
was even considered a noninvasive type of surgery. Formal two-year medical training
programs were established at universities all across Europe, similar to the old Roman
schools. A well-known French physician, Ambroise Paré (1517–1590), began using
massage for postsurgical healing of wounds and joint stiffness. His ideas helped to
make massage better accepted by the medical community of the West and were
passed on to other European physicians.
Massage was finally popularized in the West by the work of a Swede named Per
Henrik Ling (1776–1839). A fencing master and gymnastics instructor, Ling is credited
with the development of Swedish massage. After curing himself of rheumatism in his
arm by the use of massage techniques, he began a study of the art and developed a
system that included massage and exercise. He based his system on the new science
of physiology.
Because of his continual study and dedication, Ling’s method eventually became
accepted and known as “the Ling system” or the “Swedish movement treatment.” In
1813 he established the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute, the first college to have
massage a part of the curriculum. It was popular internationally. Even the czar of Rus-
sia sent someone to study at the school. Through the writings and practice of Ling’s
students, his system became well known throughout Europe. Many new forms of
massage are based on this standard form.
From 1813 to 1918 massage became quite popular as a medical treatment. Many
spas were built all over Europe for the rheumatoid “cure.” In the mid-1800s two Ver-
mont physicians, Charles Faytte Taylor and George Henry Taylor brought massage to
the United States from Europe. However, after World War I the popularity of massage
in orthodox Western medicine declined once again with the rise in pharmaceutical
drugs and new medical technologies.
This decline lasted through World War II, and massage did not appear again in
medical literature until the late 1970s. After the reopening of China to the West dur-
ing President Richard Nixon’s administration, American physicians traveled there to
learn acupuncture and returned with the basics of acupressure and other Chinese
massage. Massage began to reappear in American popular culture in the 1960s after
President John Kennedy began to emphasize physical fitness as important to pre-
ventative medicine.
Massage was a part of the new age movement that began with the hippies in the
United States, but it was not really taken seriously by the medical community until
the 1980s, when studies were published describing the benefits of Eastern tech-
niques for certain conditions. It gained popularity as a method of managing pain.
On-site massage at the workplace became popular for work-related pain and stress
Sports massage has also flourished with the popularity of athletics. Practitioners
in the twentieth century began to innovate the practice of massage by combining
techniques and adding their own insights. This synthesis of old and new methods
contributed to the resurgence of therapeutic massage in the United States and
throughout the world.

Basic Systems of Massage

Today there have grown several systems, or modalities, of massage. They can be
divided into three different approaches:
• Mechanical approaches attempt to change the quality of muscles, tendons, and
ligaments or blood and lymph flow by the direct application of force. Connective
Tissue TherapyTM, myofascial release, Rolfing, and manual lymph drainage are
some of the popular forms that fall in this category.
• Movement approaches focus on passively repatterning habits of moving the body
for greater ease and relief. Neuromuscular facilitation and trigger-point myother-
apy are good examples.
• Energetic approaches deal with influencing reflexes in the nervous system and
balancing energy in the body. Shiatsu and many Eastern forms of massage, as well
as polarity, therapeutic touch, reiki, and Zero Balancing® deal with this approach.
Because these methods use substantially different techniques from the first two
approaches, they are dealt with in separate sections of this encyclopedia.

Many modalities, including medical and sports massage, may integrate all three
Massage aims to bring the participant’s body, mind, and spirit into balance by
encouraging the body’s own healing potential. The body has the amazing ability to
bring itself back to equilibrium through many built-in balancing mechanisms. For
example, when a harmful microorganism enters the body, one’s temperature rises to
kill the germ and then eventually returns to normal temperature (98.6° F). Using a
mechanical or movement approach, massage therapists determine where imbalances
may lie in the structure of the body (perhaps very tight muscles) and support the
body’s return to a more balanced state (i.e., encouraging the nervous system and mus-
culature to let go of excess tension in overcontracted muscles). This is done by manip-
ulating the soft tissues of the body—mainly muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Because the body and its systems are quite complex, a certain level of understand-
ing of energy-flow patterns, knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and competence
is required in order to give an effective massage. Thus, many states in the United
States require massage therapists to be licensed professionals who have a certain
number of hours of specialized training in a certified school and abide by certain rules
and ethical guidelines. This ensures the public a safe, quality service and is similar to
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

other professions in the field of health science such as physical therapists, doctors,
and chiropractors, who must also be licensed.
The requirements for licensure vary from state to state in the United States. Some
states do not require a license at all; most states require between 500 and 1,000 hours
of training in anatomy and physiology as well as massage technique. Ontario, Cana-
da, requires very extensive training of 2,200 hours, while British Columbia has a 3,000-
hour curriculum, and massage has become a more recognized profession there, more
integrated into the medical community. Recently in the United States, standards for
national certification have been established to require at least 500 hours of training
and the successful completion of a national exam.
Licensure has also helped to distinguish massage therapy from the business of
prostitution, which sometimes shrouds itself under the veil of “massage.” Therapeu-
tic massage is a nonsexual health practice.

The Power of Touch

Massage is usually done with the hands, but elbows, forearms, knees, or feet may
be used. The client may be clothed, as is the custom with Japanese shiatsu, which is
done on the floor or a mat with the practitioner kneeling alongside the client and
crawling along different parts of the body to administer pressure. Touch may also be
administered directly to the skin and underlying muscles of unclothed clients as with
Swedish massage. Usually in these cases the client lies on a massage table and is
draped with sheets and/or towels so that only the part of the body being worked on is
exposed, and most often a cream, oil, or some form of lubricant is used on the skin.
A typical treatment session lasts about one hour. If one is going for medical mas-
sage for a specific injury, it may last only thirty to forty minutes. Thai massage ses-
sions, which involve many elaborate stretches that the practitioner does for the
participant, may last for two hours.

Benefits and Risks

There are many benefits to massage therapy. Above all, it is used to relieve pain.
Psychologically, touch gives a message of caring, compassion, and support to a par-
ticipant and can thereby help reduce stress and aid healing. Mechanically, it can
alleviate muscle spasm and help increase flexibility. Physiologically, circulation of
blood and lymph is increased, which helps deliver nutrients to all the cells of the
body and also helps to remove the waste products of cells. Studies with AIDS
patients have shown that massage therapy can help activate the immune system.
Touch can have a soothing or stimulating effect on the nervous system. Further-
more, it heightens awareness of the body and its sensations, which supports the
connection of body, mind, and spirit. Scientific research is currently being done at
the Touch Research Institute in Florida to further investigate the effects of touch and
therapeutic massage.
Despite all of these healing effects, there are times when massage therapy is not
appropriate. Massage should not be administered if either the client or the practi-
tioner is under the influence of certain types of drugs, such as cortisone treatments or
mind-altering drugs. It should also be avoided if the client or the practitioner has a
fever or a communicable disease such as the measles or influenza.
Cancer is another major contraindication for massage. Many forms of massage
therapy, especially Swedish, involve moving lymph fluid, which may cause the cancer
to spread. If the participant has been diagnosed with any form of inflammation of the
blood vessels (especially phlebitis) or with having a blood clot, massage should not be
done for fear of moving the blood clot where it may damage the heart or cause a
stroke. Massage should be avoided locally if the participant has varicose veins, bruis-
es, or open wounds. Liver problems and other inflammations of internal organs
should be investigated with the client’s doctor before massage is administered.

—Katie Scoville , with information from an interview

with Richard van Why, publisher of The Bodywork Knowledgebase.

Resources: National Certification Board for Therapeutic

Massage and Bodywork
American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) 8201 Greensboro Dr.
820 Davis St., Suite 100 Suite 300
Evanston, IL 60201 MacLean, VA 22102
Tel: (847) 864-0123 Tel: (800) 296-0664
Fax: (847) 864-1178 Fax: (703) 610-9015
Web site: Web site:
An organization that provides information and Establishes and implements certification stan-
resources on massage therapy. Publishes the Mas- dards for massage therapists.
sage Therapy Journal.

Further Reading:
The American Oriental Bodywork Therapy
Association (AOBTA) Fritz, Sandy. Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeu-
Glendale Executive Campus, Ste. 510 tic Massage. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book,
1000 White Horse Rd. Inc., 1995.
Vorhees, NJ 08043
Tel: (609) 782-1616 Lidell, Lucinda. The Book of Massage. New York:
Fax: (516) 364-5559 Fireside, 1984.
Web site:
The AOBTA is a national organization of body- Tappan, F. M. Healing Massage Techniques: Holis-
workers in eleven different styles. They certify prac- tic, Classic, and Emerging Methods. Norwalk,
titioners, teachers, and schools throughout the CT: Appleton & Lange, 1988.
United States. The organization enforces mini-
mum entry-level standards (500 hours) for all
types of Oriental bodyworkers. Currently repre-
sents about 1,200 members.

College of Massage Therapists of Ontario

1867 Yonge Street, Ste. 810
Toronto, ON M451Y5
Organization that promotes the therapeutic use of
massage in Canada.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines


owen technique or Bowtech© is a
system of muscle and connective
tissue movements used to stimu-
late energy flow and restore the body’s
self-healing resources. A Bowtech spe-
cialist uses a series of gently rolling
movements to manipulate a client’s con-
nective tissue, including muscles, ten-
dons, and ligaments. With the goal of
stimulating, balancing, and realigning
the body’s energy flows, the Bowen tech-

Photo: courtesy of Oswald Rentsch

nique is used by many health care pro-
fessionals as an adjunct to their work;
however, it is increasingly used as a
stand-alone therapy, with many Bowen
practitioners maintaining their own
The Bowen technique was developed
in Australia by Thomas A. Bowen
(1903–1982). He began his professional Thomas A. Bowen, founder of the Bowen technique.
training with a year of medical school,
followed by service in the Australian
army during World War II. After the war, then attempts to alter its usual vibra-
while working in an industrial plant, he tions to match those ideal vibrational
gained a reputation for being able to patterns and in so doing, brings itself
help his coworkers with their aches and into harmony.
pains. Because he was able to help so A typical treatment lasts between
many people, he decided to open a clin- twenty and forty minutes. It is usually
ic using his method of muscle manipula- done on a massage table or bed, where a
tion. By 1975 he was seeing 13,000 client will lie comfortably and fully
patients per year. After his death, clothed on his or her back or abdomen.
Bowen’s work was continued by his col- The therapist relaxes a muscle, tendon,
leagues Oswald and Elaine Rentsch. The or ligament by gently rolling it back and
Rentsches had previously documented forth with his or her fingers. Each ses-
Bowen’s technique and since his death sion includes a series of waiting periods
they have introduced it throughout Aus- when the therapist will pause to allow
tralia, North America, and Europe. More the recipient’s body to integrate the
than 6,000 people worldwide have been changes to the area being treated. Gen-
trained to practice or administer the erally an increase in blood supply and
Bowen technique. lymphatic drainage results in the release
The Bowtech therapist uses two or of tension and reduced muscle spasms.
four fingers to gently roll muscles from Unlike traditional Swedish massage, the
side to side. Known as the Golgi tendon technique is gentle and contacts only
reflex, this movement triggers muscles muscles on the surface of the body, with
to relax. This movement appears to no deep rubbing.
affect the body’s autonomic nervous sys- The Bowen technique may be per-
tem and creates balance on a cellular formed on anyone, from newborn infants
level. Some believe that Bowtech sets up to seniors. It may be incorporated into the
vibrational patterns that correspond to treatment of the disabled or patients with
particular areas of the body. The body chronic illnesses, including multiple
Bowen Technique

Photo: courtesy of Oswald Rentsch

Oswald Rentsch performing respiratory procedures on a small child. The gentle

moves relax the diaphragm, easing gastrointestinal tract and breathing dysfunction.

sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dys- Resources:

trophy, acute and chronic fatigue, and Bowtech©
stress disorders. It has also been used to P.O. Box 733
speed rehabilitation of sports injuries Hamilton, Victoria 3300
and accidents, regardless of how old or Australia
recent the injuries may be. Tel: 011 61 3 55 723000
e-mail: bowtech©
—Oswald Rentsch Promotes the study and use of the Bowen technique.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

CONNECTIVE TISSUE THERAPY SM from the lower back became the means
by which Dicke saved her leg.
After she resumed activity as a phys-

onnective Tissue TherapySM is a iotherapist, Dicke began to explore the
form of bodywork, sometimes ramifications of her discovery. She
called binde or bindegewebsmas- noticed, for example, correspondences
sage, that stimulates the tissue between between malfunction in various organs
skin and muscle in order to relieve pain and changes in tension on specific areas
and promote mental, emotional, and of the body’s surface, named “Head
physical well-being. Developed by a zones” after Henry Head, the nine-
German physiotherapist, Elizabeth teenth-century English neurologist who
Dicke, it posits a powerful association first studied them. According to Head,
between particular areas of connective the nerves, organs, and their correlated
tissue and specific paths of the nervous “Head zones” of skin are rooted in the
system and internal organs. Following same segment of the spinal cord. Dicke
Dicke’s teachings, Connective Tissue built on Head’s work, using the “zones”
Therapy plots treatment so as to acti- as a guide for locating pathways of con-
vate relays between areas of tissue and nective tissue that could be manipulat-
different parts of the body. Connective ed to improve organ function.
Tissue Therapy can help restore balance By 1938 Dicke had formulated the
to the neuromuscular and organ sys- system of bodywork she called
tems after illness and has a relaxing bindegewebsmassage, literally connec-
effect beneficial to self-healing and tive tissue massage, and started to
health maintenance. search out ways to introduce it to the
medical community and the general
public. She collaborated with a number
Discovering Bindegewebsmassage
of scientists in publishing the material
Dicke discovered the basic principle of
in article and book form and became
Connective Tissue Therapy in 1929,
active as a teacher.
when she was incapacitated by toxemia
of the right leg so severe that doctors
recommended amputation. While The Theory of Connective Tissue
touching an area of her lower back, she TherapySM
came across abnormally thick, tense Connective Tissue Therapy concentrates
layers of tissue and realized she felt sen- upon the subcutaneous sheaths of tissue,
sations of warmth and tingling in her known as fascia, that are found through-
infected leg whenever she stroked the out the body surrounding, supporting,
area of abnormal tissue in a pulling and connecting the nerves, blood vessels,
manner. Though recovery required muscles, and organs. While distinct from
three months and the help of a physio- muscles, fascia is an important determi-
therapist who followed Dicke’s specific nant of strength and range of motion and
instructions, the transmission of energy in a healthy person is usually robust and

The Popularity of Connective Tissue TherapyTM

The Elizabeth Dicke Society was founded in 1954 to preserve and expand her legacy.
Bindegewebsmassage is a widely accepted physical therapy in Germany and in many
countries it is regarded as a medical treatment for organ and circulatory disease. In the
United States Connective Tissue Therapy remains less well known than many other types
of bodywork, but it is taught at various massage schools, and the technique is part of the
repertory of many massage therapists.

Connective Tissue TherapySM

Photo: © Joel Gordon

Connective Tissue TherapySM being given to a swimmer.

flexible. Conversely, tension in the fascia, done without oils or lotions, the receiv-
evident in a thickening of tissue and loss er sits on a chair or lies flat. The treat-
of ease in movement, is a sign of dys- ment starts at the pelvic area, then
function caused by disease or by an proceeds over the body, using a tech-
imbalance likely to cause disease if it is nique in which the therapist hooks his
not corrected. or her fingers into the skin and upper
Through massage, Connective Tissue layer of fascia while performing a
Therapy attempts to restore suppleness pulling stroke. The strokes cause tem-
and vitality to fascia that has tightened porary marks on the skin and sensa-
and become numbed or painful. It is pos- tions ranging from dull to sharp. As the
tulated that the massage is effective treatment continues the receiver may
because it activates the parasympathetic experience a desire to sleep, excessive
nervous system, which controls relaxation perspiration, deepened breathing, or a
as well as pain relief and healing in the drop in body temperature. Benefits
vital organs and all other parts of the body. from the session may last for months
following a series of treatments.
Experiencing Connective Tissue TherapySM
Length and frequency of sessions in The Benefits of Connective Tissue
Connective Tissue Therapy vary accord- TherapySM
ing to the needs of the receiver. Since Connective Tissue Therapy brings about
the benefits increase with each addi- a relaxation of the fascia that is particu-
tional session, a series of ten to twenty larly helpful in restoring function and
sessions may be recommended for a range of motion and in stimulating bone
receiver with a severe problem or one and muscle repair of damage suffered
interested in learning about the body’s from injuries, arthritis, and other degen-
potential for health. During treatment, erative disorders. It has a tonic effect
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

upon the circulatory and nervous sys- CORE practitioners utilize client-assist-
tems that can aid the elimination of tox- ed movement while applying massage
ins; the healing of wounds in a way that techniques, which brings heightened
prevents the formation of scar tissue; awareness of the body and allows the
promote recovery from kidney and other client to participate in releasing tension
organ malfunction; and lessen stress and and pain. This system was originated by
anxiety. It can also be an effective George P. Kousaleos, founder of the
adjunct to other forms of treatment. CORE Institute School of Massage Ther-
apy and Structural Bodywork.
—Jackie Hand A typical session of CORE structural
integrative therapy includes an analysis
Resources: of the client’s structural alignment and
movement patterns, the application of
Theresa Lamb (CTTSM) full-body or regional bodywork tech-
2140 Lower Smith Gap Rd. niques that stretch and tone the body’s
Kunkletown, PA 18058 myofascial network, and instruction of
Tel: (610) 826-5957 corrective and postural exercises. CORE
Provides training in CTTSM. bodywork techniques vary from moder-
ate to deep pressure, and sessions can
Wholistic Pathway be organized for specific ailments or for
152 North Wellwood Avenue, Suite 5 general benefit.
Lindenurst, NY 11757 CORE structural integrative therapy
Tel: (516) 226-3898 usually involves ten sessions of body-
Offers training in bindegewebsmassage. work, but also includes introductory
and maintenance sessions that support
a lifelong system of improved alignment
Further Reading: and optimal performance. The CORE
system includes CORE myofascial ther-
Dicke, Elizabeth, et al. A Manual of Reflexive Ther- apy, a full-body session that introduces
apy of the Connective Tissue (Connective Tissue the client to the concepts and benefits
Massage) ‘Bindegewebsmassage’. Scarsdale, NY: of structural alignment; CORE extrinsic
Sidney S. Simon, 1978. therapy, a three-session series that
aligns the superficial musculature,
Ebner, Maria. Connective Tissue Massage: Theory which allows for greater freedom of
and Therapeutic Application. Huntington, NY: movement; CORE intrinsic therapy, a
Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co., 1980. four-session series that aligns the deep-
est musculature, which supports the
Tappan, Frances. Healing Massage Techniques: pelvis, spine, and cranium; and CORE
Holistic, Classic, and Emerging Techniques. Nor- integration therapy, the final three-
walk, CT: Appleton & Lang, 1988. session series, which provides integrat-
ed movement patterns throughout the
A person will experience the physical
CORE STRUCTURAL benefits of CORE structural integrative
therapy immediately. Clients may feel a
INTEGRATIVE THERAPY lighter, longer, and looser relationship
of muscles and joints. Some people who
receive CORE therapy often perceive

ORE structural integrative therapy that they are using less energy to pro-
is a system of bodywork that seeks duce all physical activities, and that
to improve the structure and func- they sleep and rest at a deeper level.
tion of the musculoskeletal system and Some clients will also experience a
connective tissues of the human body. release of emotional memories and
Infant Massage

trauma, often resulting in a greater infant massage are just as profound on

sense of self-reliance. the parent’s physical, mental, and emo-
While CORE structural integrative tional well-being as they are on the
therapy can be beneficial for every age child’s.
group and activity level, the positive
aspects are greater for those who are
actively engaged in rigorous physical or
The History of Infant Massage
Vimala McClure was one of the first
mental endeavors. Many clients report
individuals to bring the practice of
immediate improvement in their physi-
massaging babies to the United States.
cal and psychological stress levels,
While living in India in the early seven-
resulting in a higher state of clarity and
ties, McClure observed the beneficial
focus. From 1994 to 1996 CORE practi-
effects of daily massage on infants. She
tioners have worked with British
returned to the United States and put
Olympic athletes who were in training
together a curriculum for parent-infant
for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It is esti-
classes. McClure wrote a book on the
mated that more than 300 Olympic ath-
subject, Infant Massage: A Handbook
letes and coaches have received CORE
for Loving Parents, developed an
instructor training program, and in
1981 founded the International Associ-
—George Kousaleos and Gary Genna
ation for Infant Massage (IAIM). The
purpose of IAIM is to integrate the art of
Resources: infant massage into the parenting tradi-
tions of Western cultures. IAIM offers
The CORE Institute
courses for parents and other care-
223 West Carolina Street
givers and, according to its mission
Tallahassee, FL 32308
statement, works to “promote nurtur-
Tel: (904) 222-8673
ing touch and communication through
Fax: (904) 561-6160
training, education, and research so
Offers training for CORE practitioners. All CORE
that parents, caregivers, and children
practitioners have been trained though the faculty
are loved, valued, and respected
of the CORE Institute and are nationally certified
throughout the world community.”
in therapeutic massage and bodywork. Training in
There are presently more than 1,500
CORE structural integrative therapy is offered
active certified infant massage instruc-
throughout North America.
tors (CIMI) throughout the world.

How Infant Massage Works

Infant massage includes the critical ele-
ments of bonding: eye-to-eye and skin-
INFANT MASSAGE to-skin contact, smiling, soothing
sounds, cuddling, and sound and smell
reciprocity. “Touch communication”

nfant massage is an ancient tradition provides a common language for par-
in many cultures throughout the ent/child communication. Babies com-
world. Since the 1970s this art has municate through many types
been enjoying a renaissance in the West. of nonverbal cues such as rubbing their
Traditional infant massage strokes, like eyes when tired, sucking their hands
those practiced in India, are used in the when hungry, smiling when happy, cry-
United States as a way for parents and ing when hungry, wet, or in need of
other caregivers to communicate their attention. By learning to read the non-
love, caring, and respect for their babies verbal cues that babies use to express a
and children. Studies seem to indicate full range of emotions in response to the
that the positive effects of practicing massage, caregivers develop a tangible
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: courtesy of Mindy Zlotnick

Vimala McClure brought infant massage techniques from India to the United States.

sense of their own powers to help Research on the Positive Effects of

soothe, comfort, and nurture their Infant Massage
babies. Research conducted over the years in
Renowned British anthropologist regard to human touch has indicated
Ashley Montague points out in his book that it is particularly beneficial for vul-
Touching that all mammals except nerable babies. One landmark study by
human beings lick their young. This lick- F. A. Scafidi shows that premature
ing process serves to stimulate the phys- babies who were massaged daily devel-
iological systems and aids in the oped more rapidly both physically, with
bonding process. Montague postulates greater weight gain, and neurologically.
that the massage tradition, found in In 1987 researcher K. J. Ottenbacker
most countries of the world, is the analyzed nineteen separate infant stim-
human equivalent of mammals licking ulation studies and found that 72 per-
their young for health and well-being. cent of the infants receiving some form
Clinical evidence shows that loving, of tactile stimulation were positively
touching, and nurturing contact affected. Most of the investigators of the
between caregiver and infant has a pos- nineteen separate studies reported
itive impact on subsequent physical, greater weight gain and better out-
mental, and emotional development of comes on developmental assessments
the child. Many studies suggest the compared to those infants who did not
benefits of positive, interactive contact receive as much stimulation.
as an integral part of early life. They also Studies conducted at the Touch
suggest that a lack of early interactive Research Institute (TRI) at the University
touch can have a negative impact on a of Miami Medical Center since its incep-
child’s development. tion in 1992 affirm the effectiveness of
Infant Massage

Photo: © Jennifer Durant

Infant massage uses touch communication to develop the bond between parent and child.

the techniques outlined in Vimala groups to facilitate communication and

McClure’s book. TRI studies have shown support among the caregivers in the
that massage improves cardiac and res- group. Instructors teach a series of class-
piratory output, promotes longer and es over a four- to five-week period. It usu-
deeper sleeping patterns, and develops ally takes about a month for a healthy
immunological factors. In one TRI study baby to learn to accept a full-body mas-
conducted by researcher Tiffany Field, sage.
babies of depressed adolescent mothers Parents are encouraged to massage
were massaged by their mothers. These their baby on a regular basis, every day
babies fell asleep faster and became if possible. Since the premise of the
more vocal, mother-baby interactions work is that parents are teachers of
improved, and the mothers perceived relaxation, parents are also encouraged
that the babies were easier to soothe. to set up relaxed environments for
Field has also identified other positive themselves, so that they can pass on
effects that providing massage can have this sense of relaxation to their babies.
on the caregiver, including improved Infant massage’s precepts also encour-
mood and a reduction in anxiety. In age self-care for parents as a means of
addition, their stress levels decreased caring for one’s child.
and they reported improved self-
esteem. Practicing Infant Massage
An important tenet of the massage is
Infant Massage Classes learning to show respect for the baby. It is
Certified infant massage instructors very important that caregivers learn to
(CIMI) conduct parent education classes use tactile, auditory, and visual cues to
in a variety of settings, usually in small ask the baby’s permission to massage.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

This can be done by rubbing small cir- classes or learned from a book or video
cles around the hairline, holding their are the basic choreography. Once a par-
baby’s hands together, or placing the ent is comfortable with the massage,
baby’s hands on his or her chest and improvisation begins. Parents use the
then waiting for a response from the same strokes that generations of par-
baby. Learning to understand and ents all over the world have used, yet
respect the baby’s answer, which is given each parent and child develop a “duet”
with the same kinds of nonverbal cues, that is their own unique expression of
is part of learning to communicate love.
through appropriate touch. By asking
permission in this way, parents also The Benefits of Infant Massage
teach their children to discern touch The practice of infant massage
that is loving and appropriate. Asking enhances the parent-baby bond, help-
permission is also a way of demonstrat- ing create loving and respectful relation-
ing respect for the baby. By giving the ships among family members. The
baby respect, the caregiver helps the massage time offers parents an opportu-
baby develop self-respect. nity to explore and develop their
Babies are massaged without clothes, responses to the baby’s sounds, move-
using edible oils that are absorbed by ments, and facial expressions. Babies
the skin, such as sunflower or almond are taught that they are aware human
oil, so that the baby will not be harmed if beings who deserve respect, tenderness,
he or she swallows any oil. A massage warmth, and above all, a listening heart.
lasts as long as the baby gives permis- This type of interaction serves as a
sion and the caregiver is available. This model for the child as he or she grows
can be as short as two minutes or as long and for the parent as well, encouraging
as an hour. Most massages are twenty to them to develop respectful, loving rela-
twenty-five minutes long. tionships with an ever-widening circle
Massaging a baby is a tactile expres- of people.
sion of love and security. Experience
and clinical research show that babies —Mindy Zlotnick
enjoy and benefit from firm, confident
touch as opposed to light, feathery
touch. Babies typically move, kick, and
talk throughout the massage. They are Resources:
not quiet recipients like adults. Parents
are encouraged to actively listen to their IAIM (International Association of Infant Massage)
babies’ responses to the touch of the 1720 Willow Creek Circle Suite #516
massage. This type of interaction teach- Eugene, OR 97402
es parents to talk with their hands and Toll-free: (800) 248-5432
listen with their hearts. Fax: (541) 485-7372
Massage is a dance between the par- e-mail:
ent and baby. The techniques taught in Organization that trains and certifies instructors.

IAIM trains and certifies individuals to teach parents and caregivers to massage their
babies. Many CIMIs are branching out to work with special-needs populations, such as
physically challenged infants, infants who are drug-exposed or HIV-positive, medically
fragile infants, as well as teen moms, incarcerated moms, homeless families, and
women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Muscular Therapy

Further Reading: After several frustrating failed attempts to

obtain relief, his injury was successfully
Books: treated by Alfred Kagan, a well-known
Kennel, J., and M. Klaus. Parent-Infant Bonding, French practitioner who had developed
2nd edition. St. Louis: CV Mosby, 1982. original techniques for the treatment of
muscular tension and injury. During the
McClure, Vimala. Infant Massage: A Handbook for course of his treatment, Dr. Benjamin
Loving Parents. New York: Bantam Books, 1989. became interested in Kagan’s method and
studied with him after his recovery. He
Montague, Ashley. Touching. New York: Harper observed and analyzed Kagan’s complex
and Row, 1978. technique. From his observation Dr. Ben-
jamin created a series of more than 700
Journals: discrete muscular manipulations.
Field, Tiffany. “The Benefits of Infant Massage on Following his work with Kagan, Dr.
Growth and Development.” Pediatric Basics, Benjamin spent several years studying the
Volume 71, 1996. origins of physical tension and learning
ways that people could care for them-
Ottenbacher, K. J., et al. “The Effectiveness of Tac- selves without requiring continual treat-
tile Stimulation as an Early Intervention: A ment from a physician or therapist. He
Quantitative Evaluation.” Journal of Develop- became particularly interested in the work
mental Behavioral Pediatrics, 8: 68–76, 1987. of Dr. Wilhelm Reich, F. M. Alexander, and
Dr. James Cyriax and sought ways of incor-
Scafidi, F. A., T. Field, and S. M. Schanberg, et al. porating some of their ideas into his
“Effects of Kinesthetic Stimulation on the Clini- approach to tension reduction. In Reich’s
cal Course and the Sleep/Wake Behaviors of work, Benjamin learned of the emotional
Pre-term Neonates.” Infant Behavior and component of muscular tension. Dr. Ben-
Development, 1986: 9:91–105. jamin realized that this understanding of
the physical manifestation of emotional
Scafidi, F .A., et al. “Massage Stimulates Growth in distress could help the practitioner distin-
Preterm Infants, a Replication.” Infant Behavior guish between emotional distress in the
and Development, 1990 13:167–68. body and mechanical or injury-related
tension. In his study of the Alexander tech-
nique, Dr. Benjamin discovered a method
for establishing proper movement habits.
He felt that by using these techniques,
MUSCULAR THERAPY practitioners could learn to use their bod-
ies more effectively and avoid movement
habits that cause pain, tension, and injury.

uscular therapy, also referred to as The third influence was the injury evalua-
the Benjamin system of muscular tion and deep friction treatment devel-
therapy, consists of a series of oped by Dr. Cyriax.
techniques and exercises designed to pro- These three approaches combined
mote physical health and reduce muscular with Benjamin’s original treatment tech-
tension and stress caused by physical niques provide a comprehensive under-
injury. It is also an educational process in standing of the nature and treatment of
which the client learns to understand the physical tension. They enable the practi-
cause of his or her physical symptoms and tioner to determine if an injury has been
what needs to be done to alleviate them. caused primarily by overuse, an align-
Muscular therapy was developed by Dr. ment problem, or by emotional stress.
Ben Benjamin from a synthesis of several Using these techniques, Benjamin was
approaches to working with the body. Dr. able to distinguish between a serious
Benjamin’s interest in the field began in injury, which requires a physician’s
1958, when he sustained a serious injury. attention, and one that is relatively minor
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

and could be safely handled with muscu- mild and gentle form of pressure to the
lar therapy techniques. Benjamin’s tech- body in order to relieve tension in the
niques are not designed to treat muscular soft connective tissue called fascia.
tension caused by emotional stress. Myofascial release is the release of the
A therapist works with the client by connective tissue, or fascia. The thera-
performing deep massage, including a pist applies a stretching technique to
variety of area-specific strokes, pressure, the body that exerts a small amount of
and rhythms to reduce chronic tension pressure to the fascia. Myofascial
and pain. In a typical session, therapists release experts have shown that fascia
may educate clients about the causes will soften and begin to release tension
and effects of tension. Clients learn when the pressure is sustained over
techniques designed to prevent the time. It is used to relieve chronic pain,
buildup of new tension. These may especially in areas such as the neck, jaw,
include basic exercises for warming up, and back. With the release of physical
stretching, and building strength. pain, patients report that there is often a
release of emotions that were formerly
—Ben Benjamin, Ph.D., and buried deep in the subconscious. Myo-
Mary Ann di Roberts fascial release uncovers “secrets” stored
in the body.

How Myofascial Release Developed
Myofascial release was developed by
Muscular Therapy Institute
John F. Barnes, PT. Barnes graduated
122 Rindge Avenue
from the University of Pennsylvania in
Cambridge, MA 02140
1960 with a degree in physical therapy.
Tel: (617) 576-1300
He started his own practice in 1966.
The Muscular Therapy Institute offers a two-year
Barnes’s first experience with what
training program in massage therapy that empha-
we now know as myofascial release
sizes physical technique, clear professional bound-
began when he was seventeen. He acci-
aries, and good communication skills.
dentally injured his back while lifting
weights. He initially ignored the pain of
Further Reading: this injury but eventually, in his own
work as a therapist, came to the realiza-
Benjamin, Ben E. Are You Tense? The Benjamin tion that he was in worse shape than
System of Muscular Therapy. New York: Pan- most of his patients. The pain grew so
theon, 1978. bad that, from age twenty-five to thirty,
he could not sit for more than two to
———. Exercise Without Injury. New York: Summit three minutes at a time. Finally, Barnes
Books, 1979. went to see a neurologist and an ortho-
pedist, who diagnosed him with a
———.Listen to Your Pain: The Active Person’s Guide crushed disc. They removed the disc,
to Understanding, Identifying and Treating Pain which took the intensity out of his pain
and Injury. New York: Viking/Penguin, 1984. and allowed him to function. However,
he still had problems with his back, and
through his frustration in trying to help
himself before and after his surgery, he
developed techniques that relieved the
MYOFASCIAL RELEASE symptoms. This injury also gave Barnes
an understanding of what it is really like
to be “trapped” in pain.

yofascial release is a gentle, Barnes began trying these tech-
hands-on form of therapy that niques on his patients. Despite the fact
involves applying an extremely he did not know why these techniques
Myofascial Release

worked, he noticed that patients were allows therapists to become sculptors

responding consistently. While attend- with their fingers, hands, and elbows.
ing a course about the connective tissue By steadily releasing the fascia, they can
system, he realized that his therapy dealt remold the body back into a more
directly with the body’s fascia. The soft healthful, functional, and comfortable
tissue mobilization techniques he position. This is because the pressure
learned at this course were basically an stretches the connective tissue, and
old form of myofascial release. He used removes the tightness that causes the
these techniques to control his own pain.
pain, but because of the difficulty mov-
ing, he tended to hold each position for
an extended period. This extended time Experiencing Myofascial Release
factor turned out to be what was so A myofascial release session usually
important in releasing the total myofas- lasts thirty to ninety minutes. The client
cial complex. Older forms of myofascial undresses down to his or her underwear
release were too superficial to give com- and lies on a massage table. Unlike mas-
plete release. sage, no oil is used. The therapist uses
his or her fingers, palms, elbows, and
The Theory of Myofascial Release forearms to warm and stretch the fascia.
Fascia extends from the head of the The pressure is gentle but firm and is
body to the feet. In a normal, healthy used for at least 90 to 120 seconds with
state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in each therapeutic stroke. When an indi-
configuration. It has the ability to vidual first begins this form of treat-
stretch and move without restriction. ment, therapists recommend the
When we experience physical trauma, patient have several sessions a week. As
such as inflammation, a fall, whiplash, his or her condition gradually progress-
surgery, or even just habitual poor pos- es, the patient begins to need less treat-
ture over time, the fascia loses its flexi- ment.
bility. It becomes tight, restricted, and a
source of tension to the rest of the body.
The changes these traumas cause in the The Benefits of Myofascial Release
fascial system influence the skeletal Barnes has seen consistent, positive
framework for our posture, and the fas- results using myofascial release to treat
cia can exert excessive pressure, pro- acute pain, chronic pain, fibromyalgia,
ducing pain, headaches, or restricted headaches, scoliosis, chronic fatigue
motion. syndrome, birth injuries, cerebral palsy,
Because fascia permeates all regions geriatric problems, pediatric problems,
of the body and is all interconnected, and movement dysfunction.
when it scars and hardens in one area Myofascial release experts say that
following a trauma, it can put tension this form of therapy works especially
on adjacent pain-sensitive structures as well for individuals seeking long-term
well as on structures in far-away areas. relief for chronic pain and immobility
Thus a restriction in one region can that are caused by extreme tightness of
theoretically put a “drag” on the fascia the muscles. Common areas of treat-
in any other direction. Because all mus- ment in the body include the neck, jaw,
cle is enveloped by and ingrained with and back. Myofascial release can also
fascia, myofascial release is the term reduce muscle tension and treat recur-
that has been given to the techniques ring injuries and other stress-related
that are used to relieve soft tissue from problems.
the abnormal grip of tight fascia.
Fascia is made up of a fibrous, soft,
gel-like substance, which can be soft- —Tara Welch for Myofascial Release
ened when released. Myofascial release Treatment Centers and Seminars
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Resources: disease, neurology, pharmacology, and

musculoskeletal pain. In 1961 she was
MFR Treatment Centers and Seminars appointed physician to the president of
Routes 30 and 252 the United States, serving both presidents
10 South Leopard Road, Suite 1 John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Paoli, PA 19301 Her major interest over the last forty years
Tel: (610) 644-0136 or (800) FASCIAL was the mechanism and management of
Web site: chronic pain syndromes, especially those
Provides information on MFR, organizes seminars related to myofascial trigger points.
and training programs, offers treatment programs, She initially reported on the phe-
and refers patients to qualified practitioners. nomenon of trigger points in 1942,
determining that these points of tender-
ness could limit a person’s range of
Further Reading: motion and produce pain in other parts
of the body. She also noted that sus-
John F. Barnes, PT. Myofascial Release: The Search
tained pressure applied directly to trig-
for Excellence, a Comprehensive Evaluatory and
ger points could be an efficient
Treatment Approach. Paoli, PA: Rehabilitation
treatment technique. Over the next
Services Inc. T/A, Myofascial Release Seminars,
forty-seven years, Dr. Travell continued
her research and mapped out the loca-
tions of common trigger points, their
pain patterns, and methods of treating
She coauthored the textbook
MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The

THERAPY Trigger Point Manual with David

Simons, M.D. It is considered the most
comprehensive work available on the

subject of myofascial pain. Dr. Travell
yofascial trigger point therapy
died in 1997.
(MTPT) is a physical, therapeu-
In 1979, Bonnie Prudden founded
tic discipline for treating
the Bonnie Prudden School for Physical
myofascial, or muscular and connective
Fitness and Myotherapy, based on the
tissue pain in muscles and joints by
trigger point principles described by Dr.
focusing on trigger points, which are
Travell. The school teaches the treat-
defined as sensitive areas in the muscle
ment of muscle pain through pressure
that are very tender to the touch. MTPT
applied to trigger points.
therapists apply pressure, among other
techniques, to trigger points in order to
release these areas of constriction and Defining Myofascial Trigger Point
pain. It is intended to provide the client Therapy
with a greater awareness of his or her MTPT is a noninvasive therapeutic pro-
body, and to release stress and tension. gram for the relief and control of myofas-
cial pain and dysfunction. The goal of
The History of MTPT treatment is the client’s recovery to a nor-
While many people contributed to the mal or as near normal function as possi-
development and spread of MTPT, the ble with either complete recovery from or
person most responsible for its birth was significant reduction in pain.
Dr. Janet Travell. Born in New York City in This is achieved through a system-
1901, Dr. Travell began practicing medi- atized approach, which consists of
cine in 1926. Her concentration was in the ischemic compression (direct pressure)
areas of internal medicine, cardiovascular applied to trigger points, spray and stretch

Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy

Photo: courtesy of Bonnie Prudden Pain Erasure

Using elbows, knuckles, or fingers, Lori Drummond, master certified Bonnie Prudden myother-
apist, releases a trigger point that causes pain in the lower back.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

technique (spraying a vapocoolant along The muscle is then passively stretched.

the muscle while simultaneously stretch- Moist heat may be applied to the muscle
ing it), passive stretch, and a specifically to further induce relaxation. The patient
designed stretch and corrective exercise is given exercises, usually in the form of
program. The exercise program requires stretching, in order to maintain the
the client to be very aware of his or her effects of therapy and retrain the muscle
body to avoid future pain. to function at its normal resting length.
Factors that aggravate trigger points Perpetuating factors may also be dis-
must be eliminated or modified to cussed at this time, such as eliminating
achieve lasting results. For example, if a or modifying certain activities that may
client is having neck and shoulder pain, aggravate the muscles, alternate sleep-
and his or her job involves working at a ing positions, correct posture, etc.
computer, the therapist will make sug- Progress is checked by monitoring the
gestions for ways of doing the activity client’s pain levels and periodic evalua-
with less stress on the muscles. Clients’ tions of range of motion.
posture, sleep positions, daily activities,
and nutrition may also be addressed. The Benefits and Risks
Success of therapy is measured by the The benefits of MTPT are as follows: the
level of pain reduction experienced by decrease or elimination of pain;
the client and increased range of increased movement and flexibility;
motion, strength, endurance, and other increased energy and activity level.
measures of improved function. Common problems that are helped by
MTPT is part of an interdisciplinary therapy are lower back, neck, shoulder,
approach to myofascial pain and dys- face, arm, hand, knee, leg, and foot pain;
function. Although myofascial trigger temporal mandibular joint disorder
point therapists are knowledgeable in (TMJD); sciatica; carpal tunnel syn-
the areas of myofascial pain and dys- drome; whiplash; fibromyalgia; tennis
function, they are not diagnosticians. elbow; plantar fascitis; and headaches.
They must, therefore, rely on medical People with any of the following
clearance (prescription) and support by conditions should not engage in
a licensed doctor of medicine, chiro- myofascial trigger point therapy: sys-
practic, osteopathy, or dentist before temic or localized infection; acute cicu-
beginning a treatment plan. This pro- latory condition; aneurysm; obstructive
tects the client from delayed diagnosis, edema; acute healing fracture;
delayed treatment, or treatment that advanced diabetes; and hypersensitivi-
might conflict with some other aspect of ty of the skin.
the healing process.
—Elliot Shratter
Description of a MTPT Session
An MTPT session is usually an hour in Resources:
length. At the initial visit a complete
medical history is taken. Muscles are Academy of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy
palpated or touched to determine the Richard Finn, Director
exact locations of trigger points. Range 1312 East Carson St.
of motion, or how far the client can Pittsburgh, PA 15203
move a particular limb or joint, is also Tel: (412) 481-2553
noted. Offers training in myofascial trigger point therapy
As patients are palpated for trigger leading to national certification.
points, they are also treated. Treatment
consists of the application of sustained National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point
direct pressure to the trigger point and/or Therapists
the use of spray and stretch technique. Web site: www.frontiernet/painrel/index.shtml


Further Reading: Basic Principles of Reflexology

Reflexology works through the nervous
Travell, Janet, and David Simons. Myofascial Pain system, the circulatory system, and
and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. Vol- through correspondences of subtle ener-
umes I and II. New York: William & Wilkins Co., gy currents. As in Fitsgerald’s principles
1992. of zone therapy, the body is divided into
ten vertical zones that run the entire
length of the body from head to foot. The
ten zones on the feet (five on each foot)
contain the reflex points that are worked
in a session. The theory is that the whole
REFLEXOLOGY body is superimposed upon a zone grid
on the feet (also hands and ears). Thera-
peutically working a reflex point on the

eflexology is both an ancient and foot will result in the stimulation of all
modern “hands-on” therapeutic the body parts relating to that zone. In
technique that activates and facili- this way a practitioner can release
tates the natural healing powers of the blocked energy in any part of the body by
body. This is accomplished by applying applying systematic pressure to the cor-
noninvasive, penetrating pressure to responding reflex point on the feet.
specific reflex points and areas on the Like acupuncture, reflexology is still
feet, hands, and ears. In most instances not completely understood. The feet are
this pressure work is focused on the feet extremely sensitive, with more than
because of the accessibility and larger 7,200 nerves, and no doubt the stimula-
size of the reflex points, the sensitivity of tion of these nerve endings partially
the feet, and their physical and ener- accounts for the beneficial results. How-
getic connection with the earth. ever, there are also less easily discernible
Reflexology has been found to be most energy currents and relationships in the
effective in stimulating and balancing body that also contribute to the healing
the energy flow to specific organs, power of this technique. In addition, the
glands, and other physiological systems skill of the practitioner, enhanced by
of the body that correspond to his or her personal sensitivity, aware-
these reflex points, so that the body can ness, empathy, intention, and integrity,
utilize this energy to begin healing, or to contributes to the effectiveness of
maintain optimal function. reflexology.

History of Reflexology Reflexology in Practice

Reflexology was practiced in many How a client experiences a session
ancient cultures, including Asian, Chi- depends upon the style or method of
nese, Egyptian, Greek, Japanese, and reflexology being employed as well as
Native North American. The rediscovery the quality of resonance between the
and promotion of this technique in the practitioner and client. Depending
West is attributed largely to Eunice Ing- upon the style of the practitioner, some
ham, an American masseuse, who for- clients may share thoughts and feelings,
mulated her own unique “pressure what is referred to as “verbally unwind-
technique” for the feet after many years ing,” as the practitioner applies pressure
of working with patients with various to the reflex points. Others may main-
complaints and illnesses. She synthe- tain an interior focus, as in a meditative
sized different popular theories with her state, while others may relax into a
own personal explorations and experi- deep, restful sleep. It is important for
ences to create what is recognized as the client to be in communication with
modern reflexology. the practitioner with regard to the

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: © Joel Gordon

A reflexologist treats all parts of the body by massaging the feet.

degree of pressure being applied, which (such as ulcerations); burns; chronic

could be described as a “good hurt,” but inflammations; neoplasms/tumors;
which still allows the client to feel varicose veins; severe sprain of the
relaxed. Many people express feelings ankle or foot; severe bruises; hema-
and sensations of tingling, warmth, tomas; and in some instances, recent
expansiveness, electrical currents, surgery. When the foot is too painful to
pleasant numbness in certain areas, work, the corresponding points on the
and overall euphoria. The effects of hand can be worked instead.
reflexology are cumulative, producing Reflexology reduces and alleviates
subtle, long-term results, although dra- the debilitating effects of stress, the
matic and immediate results are also prime cause of many ailments. It pro-
quite common. vides a natural way of promoting bal-
ance within and between all the
Benefits and Risks systems of the body by affecting all the
As with any type of therapeutic body- organs, glands, and body parts. Added
work, personal health habits, genetic benefits include a deep feeling of
factors, emotional and mental atti- groundedness. It also assists in
tudes, and amount of physical activity detoxification by breaking up crystallized
all play a part in one’s personal health. deposits of uric acid that lodge in the feet.
Reflexology is not recommended for It contributes to relief from nervous disor-
those suffering from the following con- ders, intestinal disorders, poor circulation,
ditions: hemorrhaging; intense pain of digestive problems, glandular disorders,
an unknown origin; any break in the headaches, fatigue, post-menstrual syn-
skin; severe swelling characterized by drome, back spasms, infertility disor-
red-hot pain with loss of motion; conta- ders, sinusitis, eye problems, emotional
gious or infectious disease of the foot shock and grief, and a great variety of


sports injuries. In extreme chronic con- Ingham, Eunice. The Original Works of Eunice P.
ditions, it is best used in conjunction Ingham: Stories the Feet Can Tell Through
with other therapies and under the Reflexology: Stories the Feet Have Told Through
supervision or awareness of a medical Reflexology. With revisions by Dwight C. Byars.
doctor. St. Petersburg, FL: Ingham Publishing, Inc.,
—Laura Norman
Kunz, Kevin, and Barbara Kunz. The Practitioner’s
Guide to Reflexology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Resources: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1985.

American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) ——. Hand Reflexology Workbook. Englewood
P.O. Box 620607 Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1985.
Littleton, CO 80162
Tel: (303) 933-6921 Norman, Laura. Feet First: A Guide to Foot
Web site: Reflexology. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.
Offers information regarding certification require-
ments and testing, and provides certification for
qualified practitioners.

Laura Norman & Associates

Reflexology Center
41 Park Avenue, Suite 8A
New York, NY 10016 Rolfing® is an original methodology of
Tel: (212) 532-4404 structural integration of the body through
Offers services and certification training in the use of fascial (also known as connec-
reflexology. tive tissue) massage. Structural integration
is a holistic approach that seeks to align a
Reflexology Association of America person’s body in order to improve physio-
4012 S. Rainbow Blvd. logical and psychological functioning. It
Las Vegas, NV 89103-2059 starts with the body’s relationship to gravi-
Provides information about educational programs ty; in fact, one of its primary objectives is to
and recommends certified practitioners. reeducate the body to move more
efficiently and without tension and pain.

Further Reading:
The Development of Rolfing®
Rolfing was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf,
Grinberg, Avi. Holistic Reflexology. London: Thor-
an American biochemist who studied
sons Publishing, 1989.
the flexibility of proteins in connective


Reflexology has been found to be most effective in stimulating and balancing energy flow
to specific organs, glands, and other physiological systems of the body that correspond to
these reflex points, so that the body can utilize this energy to begin healing, or to main-
tain optimal function. Clients are fully clothed during sessions with only their feet
exposed, and are usually most comfortable reclining on a padded bodywork table or bed.
The practitioner applies pressure to the feet in a systematic fashion to induce deep relax-
ation (one of the hallmarks of reflexology), which facilitates the flow of energy.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: courtesy of The Rolf Institute

Dr. Ida P. Rolf, developer of Rolfing, a seminal method of connective tissue massage.

tissue in the 1930s and 1940s. Dr. Rolf Along with other researchers, Dr. Rolf dis-
was a young research biochemist at the covered that connective tissue is the organ
Rockefeller Institute in New York City of structure of the human body and that its
studying connective tissue (a network of shape, elasticity, even its length, can be
tissue beneath the skin that links other tis- altered with the application of appropriate
sues and forms ligaments, tendons, and pressure. She spent the next fifty or so
aponeuroses), particularly its plasticity, or years traveling widely—studying and
capacity for being molded or altered. eventually teaching a systematic way to go


about organizing human structure. She release the emotional stress that
called her method structural integration, accompanies the physical symptoms.
and eventually, in the late 1960s, it became After many years of searching, Dr.
more widely known as Rolfing. Rolf discovered that Rolfing works best
in a ten-session format. The ten sessions
Basic Principles of Rolfing® are designed to slowly and methodically
Rolfing is based on the following three get the body—probably stuck from
ideas: First, the human body is affected by many years of poor compensation from
gravity, and when the body’s major seg- accidents and injuries and from poor
ments (head, shoulders, chest, pelvis, postural habits, along with a multitude
legs) are properly aligned, gravity works to of other possibilities—to lengthen,
uplift the body rather than pull it down. widen, deepen, or just let go.
Second, connective tissue, or the
myofascial network of the body—a con- Rolfing® in Practice
tinuous bandage that ensheathes the The first session of Rolfing begins after a
whole body and all parts of the body, thorough interview and structural analy-
even individual muscle fibers—can be sis, usually using Polaroid pictures. Rolfers
molded and changed. attempt to identify the main structural
Third, the key to aligning the body in issue in a person’s body, or the reason a
gravity is systematically releasing the person remains stuck and unable to find
connective tissue network. This will the ease or support he or she needs.
allow the muscles to return to a bal- For example, in a person who has
anced relationship with each other. It been slumping with the head forward
will also free the body of many chronic for a number of years, the tissue of the
tensions and aches. upper chest has been responding by get-
“When the body gets working appro- ting shorter; the muscles of the upper
priately,” Ida Rolf said, “the force of back (now assigned the task of holding
gravity can flow through. Rolfers make a the head on) have become more rigid.
life study of relating bodies and their The person is unable to voluntarily get
fields to the earth and its gravity field, his or her head back over the shoulders
and we organize the body so that the where it belongs. The pelvis will very
gravity field can reinforce the body’s likely be tipped forward, unable to pro-
energy field. This is our primary con- vide support for the shoulders and head.
cept.” In turn the pelvis is probably not getting
When a body is properly aligned it the support it needs from having the legs
can release the physical tensions and and feet under it. Rolfing examines the
holding patterns resulting from years of relationships between body parts—left
compensation resulting in impaired and right, back and front, lower and
balance and movement. It can also upper, core and limb.

Rolfing Functions on Three Levels:

• Releasing the outer or superficial layer, relieving the body of accumulated stresses
and strains (sessions 1–3);

• Freeing the body of its deeper core issues from which shortness, rotations, and imbal-
ances emanate. This can be done successfully only if the way has been paved by the
first level of sessions (sessions 4–7);

• Integrating the body in gravity and assisting clients to use and enhance the changes
that have occurred in Rolfing in their lives (sessions 8–10).

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

During Rolfing sessions the client acute problems. People seeking imme-
either lies on a low table, or occasional- diate pain relief would be better served
ly, sits or stands. The Rolfer begins to by a wide range of body therapies that
release tension from the outer layers of would better address these issues.
the tissue with the application of pres-
sure, using the fingers and hands as pri- —Allan Davidson
mary tools. The first session begins on
the torso to release the outer wrapping
(superficial fascia) and free up the Resources:
breath. The work is done slowly and
with the cooperation of the client, usu- The Rolf Institute
ally through specific feedback to help 205 Canyon Blvd.
the Rolfer relax the fascial tissue. There Boulder, CO 80302
is some pressure—the proper applica- Tel: (800) 530-8875 or (303) 449-5903
tion of pressure is what makes the tissue Web site:
release and change. Founded in 1971, the institute trains Rolfers and
Although some clients find the Rolfing movement integration teachers, conducts
degree of pressure painful, most clients research, and provides information to the public.
find it acceptable, at times even plea-
surable. Rolfers ask their clients to guide Further Reading:
them and to participate in their process
of harmonizing body parts. At various Anson, Briah. Rolfing: Stories of Personal Empow-
times, the client may be asked to stand erment. Kansas City, MO: Heartland Personal
and move about so that the results of Growth Press, 1991.
the work can be felt and assessed by
both the client and the Rolfer. Fahey, Brian. The Power of Balance: A Rolfing View
Sessions are cumulative and work of Health. Portland, OR: Metamorphous Press,
progressively deeper into the body’s 1989.
structural issues. An important goal of
Rolfing is not just to get the body to Feitus, Rosemary, ed. Ida Rolf Talks About Rolfing
change, but to get the whole system to and Physical Reality. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts
incorporate and use that change. Press, 1990.
Rolfing sessions generally last an hour
and are usually spaced about a week Rolf, Ida. Rolfing: Reestablishing the Natural Align-
apart ment. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1989.

Benefits and Risks of Rolfing® Schultz, R. Louis, and Rosemary Feitus. The End-
The primary objective of Rolfing is the less Web. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books,
release of the body’s chronic and limit- 1997.
ing holding patterns. After Rolfing ses-
sions, people have reported freer
movement and breathing, increased
flexibility, release of chronic muscular
tension and pain, psychological growth,
and most important, continuous and
progressive change.

Not everybody is an ideal candidate he Rosen method is a form of thera-
for Rolfing. Rolfing is designed to get at peutic bodywork that uses gentle
the underlying roots of chronic body touch and supportive words to
issues or for people who want to feel and bring about a release of muscular and
understand their bodies. In general, breathing constrictions, called “hold-
Rolfing deals with chronic rather than ings,” that limit our physical, emotional,
Rosen Method

and spiritual well-being. Developed by thing behind recurring dysfunction and

Marion Rosen, this method enables the chronic pain that is revealing itself via
mind and body to work together for these spontaneous verbalizations.
optimal healing and growth, by facilitat- Following this line of inquiry, Rosen
ing awareness and integration of thus discovered a route to lasting physi-
repressed emotional experiences that cal improvements that involves touch-
underlie and sustain physical holdings. ing the body in such a way that the
The Rosen method is often used as an mind, via memories, images, and emo-
adjunct to psychotherapy and to physi- tions, becomes an active participant in
cal therapy, for it is considered a preven- the body’s healing.
tative practice that enables people to
alter their predispositions to psycholog-
ical and physical illness.
The Importance of Self-Awareness
Current memory research supports that
the sensory modalities (visual, emotion-
Two Discoveries al, kinesthetic, verbal, etc.) store infor-
Marion Rosen trained in Munich in the mation in different parts of the brain,
1930s with Lucy Heyer, herself a student forming interactive networks throughout
of Elsa Gindler, the “grandmother” of the brain. Rosen believes that memories
today’s breathing and relaxation tech- can be accessed by the restimulation of
niques. Rosen apprenticed with Heyer’s any of these senses. Rosen’s touch stimu-
group of therapists, giving breathwork lates the kinesthetic area to release
instruction and massage to the psycho- memories, emotions, and associated
analytic patients of Carl Jung. Rosen images, also known as body-memory.
studied physical therapy further in Body-memory includes emotional
Stockholm and at the Mayo Clinic in the states because emotions are patterns of
United States. She became a physical brief physiological responses whose
therapist and has conducted a private function may be to move us to act. Every
practice in Oakland, California, since emotion has its own biological signature;
1950. During this time she developed for example, fear makes our sensory cir-
the Rosen method of bodywork and the cuits more sensitive and activates our
Rosen method of movement. autonomic nervous system. Each emo-
Over several years, Rosen made two tional state has its own repertoire of phys-
intriguing discoveries. The first was that ical reactions, thoughts, and memories.
some of her clients would improve, only We are mentally and physically
to relapse, while other clients main- equipped to suppress and override our
tained their improvements. Rosen won- emotions and their programs of action.
dered: The body likes to feel well, but if This is called inhibition and takes place
the body feels better after treatments, in the prefrontal cortex of our brain. The
why do the same problems recur? physical equivalent of this is muscular
Her second discovery was that when tightening.
she worked with some clients, they Rosen method practitioners believe
began to tell her deeply emotional that from infancy on, when events give
things that they had never before told to rise to feelings that are overwhelming,
anyone. Why, Rosen wondered, were threatening, or unacceptable, we inhibit
they telling me these things? She them neurologically and physiologically.
observed that those clients who talked These responses, becoming automatic,
with such openness were the clients may assume a life of their own over time.
who made lasting changes. The intrigu- We forget, or we have never consciously
ing question became: What is the link known, their original purposes and
between a client’s spontaneous verbal- meanings, yet they live on in our bodies
izations and his or her physical healing? as muscular holding and affect our cur-
Perhaps, thought Rosen, there is some- rent physical and emotional well-being.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo by Jan E. Watson

Marion Rosen developed the gentle techniques of the Rosen method while work-
ing with the patients of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung.

We usually are not aware that we are the body’s “barriers to self-awareness.” As
restricting our muscles and our breath the practitioner’s touch and verbal
until these holdings create dysfunction encouragement elicit memories from the
and pain. When the body and the breath body, information that had been uncon-
are chronically held, all of our emotions, scious moves into conscious awareness.
whether they be happy or sad, are dimin- This is of great importance, for now the
ished, leaving us with the experience of traumatic memories—events, emotions—
inner deadness or emptiness. can be acknowledged and accepted.
When a Rosen method practitioner Rosen method practitioners believe
attends to these muscular holdings, he or that as participants discover clues to the
she believes that he or she is contacting origin and meaning of their holdings,
Rosen Method

Photo: © Joel Gordon

The Rosen method of movement involves movement therapy style exercises that can
be used in conjunction with the Rosen method of bodywork.

and as they experience their sup- ways of expressing themselves and of

pressed emotions, they come to a being in the world: different ways of
greater acceptance and appreciation of interacting, moving, looking, and feel-
who they actually are. In finding these ing. The Rosen practitioner intends to be
components of themselves that were a midwife in the client’s process of self-
forgotten, or never known, they gain a discovery. Rosen quotes Jesus from the
larger view of themselves in which living Book of Thomas: “If you bring forth what
life more fully becomes possible. is within you, what you bring forth will
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the save you. If you do not bring forth what
Rosen method is its ability to bring peo- is in you, what you do not bring forth
ple to the point of choosing different will destroy you.”
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

The Power of Touch people to recognize tendencies or pre-

A Rosen session is one hour. The partici- dispositions toward illness and then to
pant lies on a massage table, removing reverse those tendencies. It can provide
as much outer clothing as he or she is relief from symptoms caused by stress,
comfortable with, always keeping on injury, and fatigue. It has been shown to
undergarments or wearing a swimsuit. be an effective adjunct to psychothera-
Sessions are conducted with the client py, shortening the treatment process.
lying both face-up and face-down, so People who are at appropriate stages of
that the entire body can be contacted. recovery from trauma, physical and sex-
No oils are used. ual abuse, eating disorders, and addic-
Practitioners, with gentle, noninva- tions may benefit from adding the
sive touch and supportive, encouraging Rosen method to their treatment pro-
words, direct the client’s awareness to grams.
shifts in muscle tension and breathing The Rosen method is not recom-
patterns. The Rosen touch is an open, mended for individuals suffering from
soft, listening hand, but with the quality severe emotional disturbance or acute
of curiosity. A Rosen method practition- physical pain.
er asks through touch, “How is this per-
son, really?” The practitioner’s hands do —Ivy Green
not attempt to fix or change the client’s
body, for the intent is that the client
experience what his or her body feels
like, and what it is doing, in this
moment. Through an open hand, the
Rosen practitioner attempts to commu-
nicate acceptance, appreciation, and
engagement. In this environment of
safety and support, the participant’s

body seems to relax and open to healing he St. John method of neuromuscu-
itself. lar therapy combines bodywork and
A Rosen method practitioner focuses physical rehabilitation techniques
on a muscular tightness until it relaxes. to alleviate chronic pain related to stress
It is a basic premise of the Rosen or injury. Although recently developed,
method that these shifts in the quality of it rests on the assumption, formulated
the breath indicate and mirror changes in a number of much earlier holistic
in the quality of the client’s emotions therapies, that pain can be traced to a
and associated images, memories, and block or distortion in the flow of mes-
thoughts. The Rosen method aims to sages from the nervous system to the
increase the client’s awareness of these rest of the body’s structures.
shifts by asking, “What just happened?” What distinguishes the St. John
“Can you say more about that?” or by method from such forerunners as chiro-
simply saying, “Yes.” Rosen method practic is its hybrid approach to treat-
practitioners do not reinforce thoughts ment. Through massage as well as
and emotions that are not echoed in the analysis of a client’s posture and gait, it
body and the breath. Marion Rosen calls seeks to free the transmission of nerve
this “one’s body supporting the truth of impulses and restore harmony to the
one’s words.” entire organism.

Benefits and Risks Relieving Pain

Rosen method practitioners believe that Paul St. John, the founder of the St. John
the Rosen method’s greatest contribu- method, began to study the phenome-
tion to health is preventative: enabling non of pain in 1974 after a devastating

The St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy

automobile accident. Noticing that firm understood or cured unless the totality
pressure on his neck and shoulders of the organism’s neuromuscular activity
brought temporary relief from the con- is examined.
stant aches caused by his injuries, he Instead of X rays, the St. John
undertook research that started with method directly observes the nervous
massage and led to the disciplines of system’s capacity to maintain the equi-
chiropractic and neurology. librium of the body. These symptoms
By 1978, St. John had cured himself have been codified into the five so-
and put together a method of bodywork called principles of pain: tissue with an
aimed specifically at the problem of insufficient blood supply; imbalance in
persistent pain arising from trauma the muscle and skeletal system; habitu-
rather than disease. Convinced of its al distortion of posture and gait;
efficacy, he set up a clinical practice “trigger points” of pain explicable only
and eventually established an informa- by reference to another region of the
tion and teaching center, the St. John body; and “nerve compression” by soft
Neuromuscular Pain Relief Institute. tissue, cartilage, or bone.
Today, his treatment is widely By means of the five “principles of
acclaimed as an important addition to pain,” the St. John method charts
the repertory of physical and massage chronic pain’s pathway from the ner-
therapists specializing in pain manage- vous system through the bones, mus-
ment. They receive their training in a cles, and blood vessels to soft tissue and
series of four seminars available only the experience of distress. Since the
through the St. John Neuromuscular pain is habitual, successful treatment is
Pain Relief Institute. believed to require bodywork that goes
beyond relaxation to disruption of the
unhealthy pathways and reeducation of
the neuromuscular system. A type of
While the St. John method incorporates
therapeutic massage that exerts strong
Eastern and Scandinavian techniques
pressure on tissue is accordingly a stan-
of massage, its approach to the diagno-
dard feature of the St. John method.
sis of pain derives from the concept of
homeostasis first popularized by Amer-
ican chiropractic teaching. Homeosta- The St. John Method in Practice
sis (meaning human equilibrium) Treatment with the St. John method is
refers to the belief that the human usually received from a physical or
organism functions perfectly so long as massage therapist who has completed
it exists in a state of ease and harmony, the seminar program of the St. John
free from mental or physical distur- Neuromuscular Pain Relief Institute. A
bance. With this idea as its foundation, first office visit will include a conversa-
the St. John method views chronic pain tion about the patient’s needs and a
as a symptom of a trauma that lingers physical examination based on the five
on in the form of a block or imbalance “principles of pain.”
in the organism’s mechanisms of The patient’s posture, gait, and the tone
response. of body tissue are analyzed through visual
Further, the St. John method posits observation. Additional information
that such old injuries are often neglect- about “trigger points” and thickened,
ed because they manifest themselves in unhealthy areas of tissue is obtained by
an indirect fashion. They may appear palpating the body. Once a diagnosis has
healed yet be the cause of acute pain in been reached, the therapist and patient
another, apparently unrelated part of agree upon a plan of treatment, which
the body. For the St. John method, varies according to individual need but
chronic pain is thus a systemic, not a generally comprises a series of office visits
localized problem and cannot be for therapeutic bodywork.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

The form of massage used in the St. to improve blood flow to the heart. The
John method is designed to interrupt combination of these strokes is
dysfunctional responses in the neuro- believed to be an extremely effective
muscular system and stimulate healthy tool to bring about relaxation, stress
blood circulation. Manual pressure is reduction, better circulation, and a
exerted upon selected portions of the general sense of well-being.
patient’s body in a rhythmic series of
eight- to twelve-second applications. How Swedish Massage Developed
Though the therapist will be sensi- Swedish massage has its origins in the
tive to the patient’s condition, the pres- dedicated work of Swedish fencing
sure is supposed to be strong enough to master and gymnastic instructor Per
produce moderate discomfort. The dis- Henrik Ling (1776–1839). Ling suffered
comfort is regarded as crucial evidence from a form of rheumatism that affect-
that the bodywork is affecting receptors ed his fencing arm. As a result, he began
in the nervous system and initiating the to use anatomical and physiological
desired balancing of the body’s struc- principles as a basis of a systematic
method of massage in order to relieve
his symptoms. His method became
Many Benefits known as the “Ling system.” In 1813,
The St. John method has gained recogni- the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute
tion for its success in relieving soft-tis- of Stockholm introduced the Ling sys-
sue pain without the use of drugs or tem of massage to its curriculum,
costly laboratory tests. Advocates also where it became known as Swedish
claim that it can help rebuild injured tis- massage.
sue; eliminate spasms and hyper con-
tractions, enhance the flow of blood and Basic Techniques of Swedish Massage
lymphatic fluids, restore alignment to There are five stroke techniques used in
posture, and free the individual from the Swedish massage: effleurage, petris-
aftermath of severe stress and trauma. sage, friction, tapotement, and vibra-
tion. As a general rule, the majority of
Resources: strokes in a Swedish massage move
toward the heart in order to facilitate
American Pain Association blood flow back to the heart. For exam-
1615 L Street, NW, Suite 925 ple, an effleurage stroke may begin at
Washington, DC 20036 the foot and travel toward the pelvis.
Tel: (202) 296-9200 The most often used technique of
Provides information about techniques for the these five strokes is effleurage. Effleurage
relief of chronic pain. strokes are long, gliding strokes that may
be deep or superficial. They are used to
initiate the massage in order to disperse a
lubricant over the body part being mas-
saged, to accustom the person to being
massaged to the touch of the therapist,
SWEDISH MASSAGE and to allow the therapist to discover areas
of spasm and tenderness. It is also used as
a transitional stroke interspersed with

wedish massage, also known as tradi- other strokes. Deep effleurage may be
tional massage, is a type of used to passively stretch a muscle group.
massage characterized by its use of Petrissage is a kneading stroke that
five distinct stroke techniques. Developed gently lifts the muscle mass and rhyth-
by Per Henrik Ling, these techniques are mically rolls, squeezes, or wrings it. This
applied by Swedish massage therapists stroke has a stimulating effect on the
Swedish Massage

muscles, deeper blood vessels, and lym- position, with the part of the body being
phatics. It helps to break down adhe- massaged properly supported. Massage
sions in the soft tissues and relieves the strokes should begin at a moderate
muscles of metabolic wastes while intensity and increase in intensity based
increasing blood supply to the area. on the tolerance of the person being
Friction is most often performed in massaged. The massage should end as
small circular motions with the tips of gently as it was begun.
the fingers or the thumb. It is a deeper
stroke used around the joints, bony Benefits and Cautions
prominences, or scar tissue. This stroke There are many beneficial effects of
should be followed by effleurage to pro- Swedish massage. The most discernible
mote absorption of localized blockages effect is its analgesic, soothing effect
or swelling. upon sensory nerve endings in the skin.
Tapotement, or percussion, is the Depending upon the type of strokes
stereotyped, often misrepresented, used, and the length of the massage
Swedish massage stroke commonly treatment, this may produce a sense of
portrayed in motion pictures. This relaxation, stimulation, or even exhaus-
stroke is done with the hand rapidly tion on the nervous system. These
alternating in hacking, clapping, or effects are useful in eliminating many
cupping movement. Tapotement has a painful muscular, neurological, and
stimulating effect on the muscles as arthritic conditions.
well as on the nerves if done for brief Swedish massage also improves cir-
periods, and a sedating effect on the culation and increases nutrition to the
nerves if prolonged. If, however, a stim- joints and soft tissues while easing the
ulating effect is desired, tapotement demand on the heart by assisting the
renders a slight sense of stimulation heart’s ability to move blood through
and well-being. the circulatory system. Massage
Vibration is performed in a rhythmi- improves nutrition to the tissues of the
cal vibrating motion coming from the body by facilitating a cellular exchange
whole arm, with the elbow, wrist, and of oxygen and nutrients in the blood
fingers kept stiff in a slightly flexed posi- with carbon dioxide and cellular meta-
tion. The pressure applied with this bolic wastes as circulation is increased.
stroke should be very light, to impart a This is essential for people who have
smoothing effect. been incapacitated by injury or disease.
It should be noted, however, that not
How Swedish Massage Is Practiced everyone should be massaged. Massage
Swedish massage begins with the per- enhances circulation, therefore anything
son being massaged lying on his or her that can be spread via the circulatory sys-
back, fully draped with a sheet or towels tem should not be massaged. These
so that only the part being massaged is include cancer, acute febrile conditions,
exposed. A full-body massage follows a jaundice conditions, bacterial infections,
general order of right arm, left arm, pain associated with infections, and
right leg, left leg, chest, abdomen; the areas of acute inflammation. Massage
person then rolls over and the massage should not be given to fracture sites, as
continues with the back of the left leg, it may cause a separation of bony frag-
back of the right leg, and lastly the back. ments.
A typical massage ranges from thirty Hemorrhages, acute phlebitis, throm-
minutes to one hour depending on the bosis, and varicose veins should not be
person’s needs. massaged due to the risk of dislodging a
For maximum comfort of the person clot in the blood vessels. Persons with
being massaged, the room should be cardiovascular problems should be
warm but not stuffy. The person should carefully screened and massaged only
be positioned in a comfortable, relaxed with a physician’s recommendation.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Care should be taken in areas of

abnormal or decreased sensation due to
stroke, diabetes, or people using med-
ications such as muscle relaxants. The
person receiving the massage may have
an abnormal vasomotor response to
massage or may not be able to give
accurate sensory feedback on the depth
of the massage.

—Janie McGee

Further Reading:

Tappan, F. M. Healing Massage Techniques: Holis-

tic, Classic, and Emerging Methods. 2nd ed.
Norwalk, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1988.

Acupressure • Acupuncture • Jin Shin Do® Bodymind AcupressureTM •
Jin Shin Jyutsu® Physio-Philosophy • Process Acupressure • Shiatsu • Tui Na

Acupuncture and Asian

bodywork are holistic
methods of healing, health
maintenance, and human
development based on the
principles of traditional
Chinese medicine (TCM).
Asian bodywork is formally
referred to as Oriental
bodywork by many profes-
sionals in the field and, in
the United States, the pro-
fessional organization of
Asian bodyworkers is called
the American Oriental
Bodywork Therapy Associa-

Photo: © Ziggy Kaluzny/Tony Stone Images

tion (AOBTA). All Asian
bodywork practices are part
of a larger group of methods
that have come to be known
collectively as bodywork, a
general term describing a
wide variety of methods
that use touch to improve
awareness of feelings and
sensations in the body and The principles of traditional Chinese medicine form the basis for
improve physical function- acupuncture and forms of Asian bodywork.

ing. They are also used to

relieve pain and encourage
relaxation. There are many disciplines in this book that are included in the bodywork
category. They may be found in this volume in the sections entitled Body-Oriented
Psychotherapies, Massage, Movement Therapy Methods, Skeletal Manipulation
Methods, Somatic Practices, and Subtle Energy Therapies.
All acupuncture and Asian bodywork practices view the physical, mental, and
emotional states of a person to be the result of chi—an invisible life energy. As water
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

flows through canyons and riverbeds, chi travels through the body in channels called
meridians. All the methods described in this section are based on observing and
manipulating the flow of chi through twelve major meridians, each of which corre-
sponds to organs and systems in the physical body.
According to TCM theory, when chi is flowing freely through the meridians, an
individual will be healthy, well-balanced, and able to adapt quickly and easily to
changes in his or her internal and external environment. When the chi is blocked, it
will produce uncomfortable physical and emotional conditions that will eventually
produce debilitating diseases.

Different Approaches to Manipulating Chi

Each of the methods included in this section employs different techniques to
manipulate the flow of chi through the body. Acupuncturists insert thin, stainless steel
needles at specific points along the meridians known as acupoints. Acupressure and
tui na, the ancient Chinese forms of massage, use many different techniques from
gentle stroking to firm grasping and pinching of the acupoints. In shiatsu massage the
practitioner uses his or her arms, elbows, knees, and feet to create the many different
pressing, stroking, stretching, and percussive movements applied to the acupoints. Jin
Shin Jyutsu®, revived in Japan in the early part of this century from ancient Chinese
and Tibetan sources, is characterized by its technique of applying pressure to two
points simultaneously. Contemporary methods such as Jin Shin Do® and process acu-
pressure combine the ancient techniques with others developed by Western body-ori-
ented psychotherapies in order to affect the flow of chi.
While all these methods work to alleviate physical pain, they all recognize the
many different causes of illness and imbalance. Since every aspect of life, from inner
emotions to external environment, is seen as interdependent with the others, an
acupuncturist or Asian bodyworker may also suggest changes in diet, exercise, or
lifestyle to help an individual find and maintain a harmonic relationship with the con-
stant flux of the forces of nature.
Since TCM theory believes that no two people have exactly the same physical,
mental, or emotional methods for coping with nature’s flux, all changes will be rec-
ommended according to the particular needs of the individual and his or her symp-
toms and energy patterns. All methods stress the need for moderation to achieve
balance and harmony with nature. Some methods of Oriental bodywork stress the
importance of self-applied bodywork, as the responsibility associated with self-care is
seen as a necessary part of the process of strengthening chi.

A Multitude of Benefits
Acupuncture and the various forms of Asian bodywork have been used by millions
to heal hundreds of physical problems. They are useful for acute muscle and soft tis-
sue problems such as sprains and strains as well as conditions resulting from over-
work. These techniques have also been shown to be effective with many chronic
problems related to stress, such as headaches, insomnia, stomach disorders, asthma,
and arthritis. Other complex chronic problems that combine emotional and physical
attributes, such as alcohol, tobacco, and drug addictions, have been treated success-
fully with these methods. On a physical level, acupuncture and Asian bodywork aid
circulation of all body fluids, removing harmful toxins from the system. By clearing
blockages on the physical level, these practices tone and balance the interdependent
organs and systems, opening neurochemical lines of communication in the body. But
it is by clearing away blockages on the energetic level, and by treating every individ-
ual as a unique image of nature that they teach awareness and respect for the inner
and outer needs of each person at each stage of life, providing a means for living a
long, healthy, happy, productive life.

—Nancy Allison, CMA

Resources: Further Reading:

American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Claire, Thomas. Bodywork: What Type of Massage to
Medicine (AAAOM) Get—And How to Make the Most of It. New York:
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 201 William Morrow, 1995.
Raleigh, NC 27607
Tel: (919) 787-5181 Knaster, Mirka. Discovering the Body’s Wisdom.
Offers information about traditional Chinese medi- New York: Bantam Books, 1996.

The American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Associa

tion (AOBTA)
Glendale Executive Campus, Suite 510
1000 White Horse Rd.
Vorhees, NJ 08043
Tel: (609) 782-1616
Fax: (516) 364-5559
A professional organization that has determined
and enforces minimum entry-level standards (500
hours) for all types of Asian bodywork. Currently
represents about 1,200 members.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

ACUPRESSURE use of acupoints was refined and tested

through study of the body, experience
with patients, and contemplation over a

cupressure is an ancient practice period of at least 2,000 years. It is still
of applying hand and finger pres- practiced in Asia today.
sure to specific points on the body Though traditional Chinese medicine
in order to control the flow of chi, or was overshadowed somewhat during the
vital energy, which, according to tradi- last century by the introduction of West-
tional Chinese medical theory, courses ern medicine, it has now come back into
through the body at all times. It is widespread use. At present both Eastern
believed that doing this helps alleviate and Western medical practices are often
tension, pain, and other discomforting used together in order to provide maxi-
symptoms, and to prevent harmful tox- mum relief to patients. Since the “open-
ins and disease from spreading ing” of China to the West in the 1960s, the
throughout the body. According to principles and methods of traditional
recorded history, acupressure, as a for- Chinese medicine are now being dis-
mal and defined therapeutic practice, seminated throughout the West, in
originated in China more than 2,000 acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal
years ago. Oral tradition suggests that medicine programs where Westerners
the practice is even older than that, up are able to study these ancient methods
to 5,000 years old. with traditional Eastern practitioners.
Acupressure is a part of traditional Training for acupressure specialists
Chinese medicine, the system of holis- begins with a basic 150-hour
tic medicine that relates all of the parts certification program and can range up
of the body to each other through the to 850 hours for advanced training pro-
flow of chi. Further, it relates the health grams.
of the human body to a person’s genetic
background, psychological conditions, Other Forms of Bodywork Based on
and to exterior conditions of nature,
the Acupressure Model
such as climate and the changes of the
Various styles of acupressure were
developed over time, although they all
rely on the basic traditional model of
How the Ancient Art of Acupressure energy flow through the meridians, acu-
Developed points, and whole person. Tui na is the
It is hard to know the exact date of acu- Chinese massage method of using acu-
pressure’s origin since it is known to pre- points to regulate energy flow. Amma
date existing written records. It is thought was the name used in Japan for a similar
to derive from the instinctive practice of method. Shiatsu, meaning “finger pres-
people rubbing, holding, or kneading sure” in Japanese, is a vigorous form of
painful places on the body for relief. acupressure that uses firm and rhyth-
Through experimentation and close mic pressure on acupoints over the
observation, early healers developed an whole body for three to ten seconds
understanding of certain places on the each. Jin shin jyutsu is the practice of
body that could assist in the recovery holding two-point combinations at the
from illness and promote wellness. Over same time until a release of energy and
many years of practice and experience tension is felt. It was developed by Jiro
with acupressure, healers came to identi- Murai in Japan in the twentieth century
fy the points on the body, called acu- and has been taught throughout the
points, where stimulation produced world. Contemporary American pro-
maximum effects. They found that stim- gressions from jin shin jyutsu are: Jin
ulation of these points cured numbness, Shin Do®, developed by Iona Marsaa
stiffness, and chills in afflicted areas. The Teeguarden, which combines gentle yet

Photo: © Joel Gordon

An acupressurist applies pressure to a client’s head and neck to manipulate the flow of chi.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

deep finger pressure on acupoints with primary acupoints today. Through the
simple verbal techniques that heighten centuries more acupoints have been
awareness of the connection between added to the map so that there are now
the body and the mind; and process some 2,000 points in the contemporary
acupressure, developed by Aminah Chinese system.
Raheem, which combines psychological
and spiritual work in consciousness The Importance of Open
with acupressure. In addition, self-acu-
pressure techniques such as acu-yoga,
In initial meetings with an acupressure
developed by Michael Reed Gach in
therapist, open communication is
America, teach people how to find their
established between patient and thera-
acupoints and to release energy and
pist. A therapist will determine a
relieve tension through self-massage.
patient’s total body symptoms, and
establish a thorough family and child-
Meridians and Acupoints hood history to uncover genetic or envi-
The Chinese holistic system is postulat- ronmental reasons that could cause or
ed on the premise that when the energy contribute to a patient’s disorder. Once
system and the internal organs of the the patient and therapist are satisfied
body are functioning normally, a person that all significant issues have been dis-
will be in good health. Conversely, if cussed, the patient is encouraged to
either the energy or the organs are out of relax and pressure is applied to prede-
balance or distressed, illness will eventu- termined pressure points. During the
ally occur. Therefore, the therapeutic session, acupressure should result in
approach is to locate any site of conges- lessened muscle tension, increased
tion, tension, or imbalance, in either blood circulation, as well as a release of
energy or organs, and then to apply the endorphins and subsequent pain relief.
method that will release this obstruction, Toxins are also released and purged
thereby returning the body to its own from the body. Length and frequency of
internal regulation processes and health. the sessions are determined by the ther-
The energy system of the body was apist and patient and depend on the
mapped during ancient times. It is severity of the problem.
defined by explicit energy pathways
(called meridians) that flow up and A Powerful Tool
down the body, from head to toe. Twelve Acupressure is particularly beneficial
of these pathways are linked to internal for those who suffer with severe back
organs and are said to help regulate the pain, arthritis, nonarticular rheuma-
health of these organs. The pathways tism, or chronic muscle aches. It can aid
are accessed by acupoints, or “win- in relieving the pain of headaches. It is
dows,” into the pathways, which can be also credited with balancing the differ-
stimulated to affect energy flow. Origi- ent systems of the body and eliminating
nally 361 acupoints were located on the harmful toxins. In this sense it is consid-
surface of the body. These are still the ered a powerful preventive tool against

In acupressure, pressure is applied to the body by an acupressure specialist using his or

her hand, knuckle, finger, or a blunt-tipped instrument called a tei shin, which causes
the body to release endorphins, an important neurochemical that is credited with effec-
tive pain relief. Various styles of acupressure have been developed over time, although
they all rely on the use of acupoints to control energy flow through the meridians and
regulate the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.


the onslaught of illness and disease as it (Available from author at Process Acupressure
purifies and strengthens the body’s Unlimited, P.O. Box 1096, Capitola, CA 95010.)
resistance, resulting in a healthy, vital
existence. Serizawa, Katsusuke. Tsubo: Vital Points for Orien-
As a caution, self-acupressure re- tal Therapy. Tokyo: Japan Publications, Inc.,
quires no special tools but instruction is 1976.
encouraged in order to effectively deter-
mine pressure points. Steinfeld, Alan. Careers in Alternative Medicine.
New York: Rosen Publishing, 1997.
—Aminah Raheem, Ph.D.
Teeguarden, Iona Marsaa. Acupressure Way of
Health: Jin Shin Do. Tokyo: Japan Publications,
Resources: Inc., 1978.

Acupressure Institute ——. A Complete Guide to Acupressure. Tokyo:

1533 Shattuck Avenue Japan Publications, Inc., 1996.
Berkeley, CA 94709
Tel: (510) 845-1059
Offers certification programs from basic to
advanced, including specialized classes and an
850-hour program.

The American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Associ

ation (AOBTA)

Glendale Executive Campus, Ste. 510 cupuncture is one of the ancient
1000 White Horse Rd. healing practices recommended
Vorhees, NJ 08043 by traditional Chinese medicine to
Tel: (609) 782-1616 cure disease, relieve pain, and maintain
Fax: (516) 364-5559 health. Acupuncture is a holistic medi-
Web site: cine, that is, it stresses the interconnect-
A professional organization that has determined edness of one’s body, mind, and spirit. An
and enforces minimum entry-level standards (500 acupuncturist understands that physical
hours) for all types of Oriental bodywork. Current- ailments can affect one’s emotional or
ly represents about 1,200 members. psychological state and equally, emo-
tional, spiritual, or psychological
Jin Shin Do Foundation for Bodymind Acupressure difficulties can lead to disease. According
366 California Avenue, Ste. 16 to Chinese philosophy, energy—called
Palo Alto, CA 94306 chi or qi (pronounced chee or key)—cir-
Tel: (408) 763-7702 culates through all things, including our
Provides a myriad of information on Jin Shin Do bodies. The proper flow of chi is essential
acupressure, including a list of registered practi- to good health. The practice of acupunc-
tioners, newsletters, books, videotapes, and train- ture involves placing needles into
ing courses. specific points on the body in order to
control the flow of this energy.
Further Reading:
Origins and Development of
The Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. An Acupuncture
Outline of Chinese Acupuncture. Peking: For- There is evidence suggesting that
eign Languages Press, 1975. acupuncture has been practiced for more
than 5,000 years. It is mentioned in one of
Raheem, Aminah. Soul Return: Integrating Body, the first written records of traditional
Psyche and Spirit. Santa Cruz: Aslan, 1991. Chinese medicine practices, called the

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: © Meryl Levin/Impact Visuals

A practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine works with herbs and oils to administer acupuncture.
Here she removes the needles used in acupuncture.

Huang-ti Nei Ching (The Yellow Emperor’s integrated aspects of our being. They
Classic of Internal Medicine). This text was cannot be separated from one another.
compiled sometime between 213 BCE and They must be balanced in order for us to
240 CE, and is reputed to document prac- be healthy. Chi is the energy of our lives,
tices used during the legendary reign of what motivates us, our life essence—it
the Yellow Emperor in China (2697–2595 affects our whole being. It is believed that
BCE). Acupuncture started spreading when the energy flows we feel generally
throughout Asia around 1000 CE and well, and when it is impeded we feel out of
reached Europe by around 1700 CE. balance and begin to develop the symp-
Until recently in the United States, toms of disease. Chi is thought to travel in
acupuncture has been used mostly for channels, called meridians, deep inside
anesthesia and for the treatment of alco- the body. Acupuncture points are the
hol, tobacco, and drug addictions. These places where these meridians come close
are very limited uses of acupuncture to the surface and where the chi can then
that may be of help in some situations be influenced.
but do not embrace the underlying Acupuncture, like all aspects of tra-
holistic philosophy of acupuncture. As ditional Chinese medicine, is firmly
more studies reinforce the benefits of rooted in Chinese philosophy. The Tao,
acupuncture, its use as a method of yin and yang, the five elements, and the
health care and health maintenance twelve meridians or officials provide the
seems to be increasing in the West. foundations for acupuncture’s origin,
development, and procedures.
The Philosophy of Acupuncture Tao. The principle of the Tao comes
Acupuncture is based on the belief that from the book Tao Teh Ching (Book of the
our body, mind, and spirit are fully Way of Life), written by the philosopher

Photo: © FPG International Stock/Miguel S. Salmeron

A three-dimensional acupuncture model shows the meridians and acupoints.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Lao-tzu. Like the Taoist principles that Experiencing an Acupuncture Session

Lao-tzu described in this classic book, Today, a session with an acupuncturist
acupuncture emphasizes the impor- is conducted in much the same way it
tance of balance and harmony, change was thousands of years ago. Talking to
and growth, and ever-flowing energy of the patient, hearing his or her descrip-
one’s life. tion of the illness, is very important.
Yin-Yang. The terms yin and yang The practitioner wants to hear the
represent polar opposites that accord- patient describe the problem in his or
ing to Taoism are continually merging her own words rather than a standard
into, and creating balance with, each medical definition or diagnosis. The
other. Yin and yang create balance in practitioner will want to know about
the world and in ourselves. Yin is the the patient’s background, including
cool, nighttime, reflective energy that family history and his or her childhood.
takes things to completion; yang is the According to traditional Chinese medi-
hot, daytime, active energy that starts cine, no two people ever have exactly
things into motion. Yin is often consid- the same illness, even if the Western
ered representative of female energy diagnosis would be the same. One’s
and yang of the male energy. individuality affects how and why one
Five Elements. Chinese philosophy becomes ill and must be taken into
sees individuals as an integral part of consideration when deciding on a
nature, a microcosm reflecting the treatment. Listening to the sound of the
macrocosm. In nature we have ele- patient’s voice, seeing subtle face color,
ments such as fire, earth, metal, water, palpating (touching), noticing any
and wood. In acupuncture we envision unusual breath or body odor, examin-
these elements within us. We can feel all ing the tongue and taking the pulse at
fired up or burned out; dry and stiff as the wrist are all very important meth-
dried wood or flexible and supple as a ods of diagnosis and aid in formulating
willow shoot; hard and cold as steel or a treatment plan. There are several
hot and flowing as molten gold; fresh hundred acupuncture points, and the
and pure as a freshwater stream or stag- practitioner chooses which will be used
nant and dank like a polluted well. An in a session by using these diagnostic
acupuncturist uses these and many, methods.
many more images to conceptualize a The goal, simply stated, is to restore
person’s state of well-being. the flow and balance of chi. The
Meridians. The twelve meridians, or acupuncturist accomplishes this by
officials, are seen as channels within our inserting very thin, solid, sterile stainless
bodies that act as conduits for the chi to steel needles into acupuncture points in
flow through, to animate and nourish us. order to open blockages and manipulate
The meridians have names akin to West- the chi. Needles are placed and either
ern medical terms for organs but are taken out quickly or left to stay in for up
much broader in their scope. For exam- to thirty to forty minutes, depending on
ple, the lung meridian is thought of as the what the acupuncturist wants to accom-
receiver of chi. It takes energy in and lets plish. On occasion the acupuncturist
it go. In addition to breathing, the lung will warm or energize the chi by burning
meridian has the capacity for inspiration an herb called Artemesia vulgaris (mug-
on an emotional and spiritual level. The wort, moxa) on the skin. This technique
small intestine meridian is in charge of is called moxibustion. The practitioner
“separation of pure from impure.” On a may check the patient’s pulse again and
physical level this determines which will decide whether or not to treat more
nutrients to absorb or to discard. On an points. An acupuncturist may also rec-
emotional and spiritual level it deter- ommend herbal remedies, dietary
mines which aspects of ourselves we will and/or lifestyle changes, or exercises, to
keep and which we will let go. assist in recovery.
Jin Shin Do® Bodymind AcupressureTM

Benefits Hartford, CT 06105-4298

The World Health Organization accepts Professional organization with a membership of
acupuncture as a treatment for more than individual practitioners and medical colleges. The
100 health problems, including migraines, group lobbies to integrate acupuncture into Ameri-
bronchitis, back pain, sinusitis, high blood can health care.
pressure, ulcers, arthritis, PMS, hay fever,
and the common cold. Also, various stud- Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture, Inc.
ies in China, Europe, and the United States 6175 N.W. 153rd Street, Suite 324
have shown acupuncture to be a useful Miami Lakes, FL 33014
tool in treating drug and alcohol addic- Offers information, resources, and training in five-
tions, mental disorders, depression, anxi- element acupuncture.
ety, insomnia, and stress.

Further Reading:
Theories from the Western Perspective
From a Western perspective, two theories Mann, Felix. Acupuncture: The Ancient Chinese Art
as to how acupuncture works have been of Healing. Magnolia, MA: Peter Smith, 1990.
put forth. One by researchers Melzack
and Wall is called the double gate theory ——. Acupuncture: Cure of Many Diseases. Second
of pain. This theory suggests that Edition. Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann
acupuncture stimulates certain nerves Ltd., 1992.
that close a neurological “gate” in the
spinal column, inhibiting pain fibers Melzack, Ronald. The Puzzle of Pain. New York:
from ascending to higher cognitive levels. Basic Books, Inc., 1973.
The other theory, suggested by the stud-
ies of several different researchers, sug- Mitchell, Ellinor R. Plain Talk About Acupuncture.
gests that acupuncture stimulates New York: Whalehall, Inc., 1987.
opiate-like substances called endorphins
and enkephalins that account for its Worsley, J.R. Traditional Acupuncture, Volume II.
pain-relieving effects. These theories are Warwickshire, U.K.: College of Traditional
enlightening but, acupuncturists con- Acupuncture, U.K., 1990.
tend, do not account fully for the far-
reaching and long-lasting effects that
acupuncture can have on a patient’s
body, mind, and spirit.

—Dr. Robert J. Abramson



in Shin Do® Bodymind Acupres-
American Association of Acupuncture and Orien- sureTM is a form of Asian bodywork
tal Medicine that was developed by Iona Marsaa
4101 Lake Boone Trail, 201 Teeguarden. It combines gentle yet deep
Raleigh, NC 27607 finger pressure on specific points on the
Tel: (919) 787-5181 the body (acupoints) with simple verbal
Works to improve awareness and acceptance of techniques to release tension and
acupuncture as a form of complementary medicine. heighten the connection between body
and mind. Jin Shin Do is effective in
National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine helping to relieve muscular pain and
Alliance (NAOMA) stress-related problems such as
638 Prospect Ave. headaches, backaches, anxiety, fatigue,
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

Photo: courtesy of Jin Shin Do Foundation for Bodymind Acupressure (JSDF)

Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, developer of Jin Shin Do® Bodymind AcupressureTM, combined tradition-
al Asian bodywork practices with the theories of body-oriented psychotherapist Wilhelm Reich.

insomnia, eye strain, menstrual and In 1979, to better understand how to

menopausal discomfort, digestive dis- respond to emotions released by her
tress, joint pain, urogenital problems, patients during sessions, Teeguarden
sinus pain, and allergies. returned to school, receiving an M.A. in
psychology from Antioch University in
The Recent Development of Jin Shin 1980 and a license to practice psycho-
therapy in 1982. Integrating Western and
Do® Eastern theories, she developed the
Iona Marsaa Teeguarden was born in emotional kaleidoscope, a detailed map
1949 in Rugby, North Dakota. She stud- of body-mind connections identifying
ied piano performance and philosophy acupoints that have an effect on specific
at the University of Michigan, but was emotions.
still in search of a profession when she In 1982 Teeguarden began to develop a
met Mary Burmeister, who practiced new teaching approach, including a color-
Jin Shin Jyutsu®, a Japanese acupres- coded system that illustrates where the
sure technique developed in the twen- forty-five basic points are on the body and
tieth century by Jiro Murai. Teeguarden how to combine them in a simple way. She
turned to Burmeister in 1971 for relief also established the Jin Shin Do Founda-
of back pain due to scoliosis. The tion, and began offering teacher training
improvement that Teeguarden experi- programs. There are now about eighty
enced motivated her to study acupres- authorized Jin Shin Do teachers, and more
sure and, two years later, she began to than 300 registered Jin Shin Do acupres-
treat clients in her home, working surists throughout the world.
mainly with patients suffering from
pain. She subsequently studied with
Chinese, Korean, and Japanese A Synthesis of Techniques
acupuncture and acupressure special- The energy system of the body was
ists. mapped in ancient times by practitioners
Jin Shin Do® Bodymind AcupressureTM

of traditional Chinese medicine. It is tension, with “distal points,” which are

defined by energy pathways (called far away from the area of tension but
meridians) that flow up and down the enhance the effectiveness of local-point
body, from head to toe. Practitioners pressure. At the same time, she uses psy-
believe these meridians help regulate chotherapeutic techniques, verbally en-
the health of internal organs as well the couraging the individual to remain open
physical and psychological processes to emotions and thoughts that arise
that these organs control. when muscular armor begins to dis-
In developing Jin Shin Do, Tee- solve.
guarden connected four main energy
flows taught by Jiro Murai with the eight Achieving Relaxation
“strange flows,” or “extraordinary merid- A typical session lasts between sixty
ians,” of acupuncture. The strange flows and ninety minutes, with the client
are a primary self-regulating system that, clothed and lying on his or her back on
when functioning correctly, move energy a massage table. The practitioner evalu-
around the body, continually adjusting ates the tension pattern in the body by
and moderating the balance of the
asking the client and through pulse
twelve organ meridians. They also store
reading and inquiring touch, or “point
and release energy for the meridians.
palpation.” After identifying main
To this already rich therapeutic her-
points of muscular contraction, the
itage, Teeguarden added a Western com-
practitioner holds combinations of
ponent—Dr. Wilhelm Reich’s view of the
acupoints to release tensions and
body as a series of segments that contain
rebalance energy. The individual being
muscular tension related to specific
treated initially will feel sensitivity at
emotional experiences. Reich stated that
the point of pressure, but that is quick-
the health of human beings depends
ly replaced by a pleasurable feeling of
upon proper flow of energy within the
tension being discharged. The general
body. He believed that a stoppage of
effect is a state of deep relaxation in
energy flow is unhealthy and results in which the individual achieves a peace-
both character armoring and muscular ful mental state and a deeper aware-
armoring. ness of his or her body. After a session,
Character armor is evident in the clients typically feel relaxed and rejuve-
attitudes of people and the makeup of nated. Over a series of sessions, armor-
their personalities. For example, a com- ing is progressively released in the
mon type of character armor is aloof- head, neck, shoulders, arms, back,
ness stemming from guilt and shame. chest, diaphragm, abdomen, pelvis,
Muscular armor is apparent in muscular and legs.
tensions and contractions, which are
physical barriers to the flow of energy.
Both forms of armoring eventually lead The Way of the Compassionate Spirit
to pain. Reich contended that they are Teeguarden, like Reich, believes that
unconscious techniques used by the when we are not allowed to express an
body-mind complex to cope with early emotion, we hold it back by tightening
traumatic experiences and that the the muscles that would normally
character armoring and muscular express it. This tension can become
armoring are just different aspects of the chronic, with the muscles involved
same defense. becoming rigid and incapable of
Teeguarden related classic Chinese expression. Teeguarden believes that
theories of the emotions and acupoints when we hold our emotions back with
with Reichian theories of character and muscular tension, we also impede the
muscular armoring. She found that flow of the Oriental energy pathways.
armoring could be released by holding At its basic level, Jin Shin Do is a relax-
“local points,” or acupoints in the area of ation method that helps release physical
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

and emotional tension, and so is named Jin Shin Do training program. An international
“The Way of the Compassionate Spirit.” directory is also available.
In the hands of a trained psychothera-
pist, it appears to help ease the effects Further Reading:
of childhood abuse and other trauma
trapped by the body in the form of Teeguarden, Iona Marsaa. The Acupressure Way of
physical tension. Treatment can have Health: Jin Shin Do. New York: Japan Publica-
the intensity of catharsis, but is gener- tion, 1978.
ally characterized by gentleness. JSD
acupressurists avoid pressing on open ——. Color-Coded Strange Flows Chart. Wat-
sores and rashes, and pressing too hard sonville, CA: Jin Shin Do Foundation, 1981.
in cases of phlebitis (inflammation of a
vein), varicosities (swollen veins), bro- ——. A Complete Guide to Acupressure. New York:
ken blood vessels, or extensive bruis- Japan Publication, 1996.
ing. Certain points are forbidden
during pregnancy. Of course, clients ——. Fundamentals of Self-Acupressure. Wat-
should first consult their medical doc- sonville, CA: Jin Shin Do Foundation, 1989.
tor, particularly in the case of chronic
or acute conditions. ——. The Joy of Feeling: Bodymind Acupressure.
New York: Japan Publication, 1987.
—Iona Marsaa Teeguarden


American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Association

Glendale Executive Campus, 510 JIN SHIN JYUTSU® PHYSIO-
1000 White Horse Rd.
Vorhees, NJ 08043
Tel: (609) 782-1616

Fax: (609) 782-1653
Founded in 1984, this organization represents
in Shin Jyutsu® Physio-Philosophy is
practitioners and teachers of all types of Oriental
an ancient art that uses the hands on
bodywork, including acupressure, shiatsu, and
specific areas of the body to harmo-
AMMA. The American Oriental Bodywork Therapy
nize the flow of life-giving energy through-
Association Council of Schools and Programs
out the body. It can be utilized either as a
includes the JSDF among its members.
“self-help” tool or received from a practi-
tioner. Jin Shin Jyutsu provides the body
Jin Shin Do Foundation for Bodymind Acupres-
with an excellent opportunity to restore
sure (JSDF)
and maintain healthy physical, mental,
P.O. Box 1097
emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Felton, CA 95018
or An Ancient Discipline
1084G San Miguel Canyon Rd. According to records in the Imperial
Watsonville, CA 95076 Archives of Japan, the principles of Jin Shin
Tel: (408) 763-7702 Jyutsu date back to ancient times. This
Fax: (408) 763-1551 understanding was passed down in the
Founded in 1982, the Jin Shin Do Foundation is a oral tradition from generation to genera-
network of Jin Shin Do teachers and acupressurists tion, until many of the principles became
throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, distorted and the art was nearly lost.
and elsewhere. Write for a free newsletter, which Near the turn of the twentieth century
includes a list of books, charts, and audio and this art was rediscovered by Master Jiro
video tapes available as well as a description of the Murai, the second son born into a family

Jin Shin Jyutsu® Physio-Philosophy

of medical professionals. Faced with a States and western Europe. Mary has
life-threatening illness, considered termi- since selected eight instructors whom
nal by traditional medicine, Jiro Murai she has certified to continue her teach-
turned to the wisdom of the great sages ings and those of Jiro Murai.
for his salvation. Jiro healed himself
through the application of hand mudras
and through breathing exercises. Safety-Energy Locks
Upon his healing, Master Murai Jin Shin Jyutsu employs twenty-six safety-
vowed to dedicate his life to the study energy locks throughout the body. These
and development of the art he eventual- are found along the various pathways
ly named Jin Shin Jyutsu, which trans- through which the universal energy trav-
lates as “the art of the Creator through els. This energy flow creates and supports
man of compassion and knowing.” life, and all the functions of the body,
In the late 1940s, Jiro met Mary including organ function. For many rea-
Burmeister, an American-born Japanese, sons—hereditary, character, stress, acci-
working in the U.S. diplomatic corps. dents, tension of daily lifestyle, etc.—these
Upon their first meeting, Jiro asked Mary pathways may become blocked, causing
if she would like to bring a gift from symptoms and illnesses. By placing our
Japan back to America. Without knowing hands (jumper cables) on these safety-
what Jiro was referring to, Mary accepted energy locks in specific sequences (flows),
his offer, and became Jiro’s first student. practitioners can unlock these areas to
Mary studied with him for the next six restore harmony, balance, and the proper
years, and then for another six years of functioning of the body. There are many
correspondence after she returned to the different sequences that can be used, and
United States until Jiro’s death. these sequences are determined by listen-
Mary spent the next several years ing to the pulse and reading the confor-
deepening her understanding of the art mation of the body. These show where
of Jin Shin Jyutsu. It wasn’t until the attention is required.
early 1960s that Mary was approached To apply Jin Shin Jyutsu, the hands
by the doctor of a neighbor she had are placed on a clothed body. There is no
been helping. Having noted positive massage or manipulation. Practitioners
change in the neighbor, this doctor only wait to feel the rhythmic pulsation
wanted to learn more about what had in the safety-energy lock to know that
helped so much and became Mary’s first area is in harmony with the universal
student. Mary continued to teach until energy. Then they move on to the next
1990, sharing her awareness and under- area of the sequence. Upon completion
standing of this profound art with thou- of this sequence, they will have become
sands of students across the United aware of the harmony restored to this

Studying Jin Shin Jyutsu®

For those interested in studying Jin Shin Jyutsu, the basic five-day course is offered in
the United States, Canada, Brazil, and throughout Europe. The number of locations
expands each year as interest grows. At this point, there are only eight instructors autho-
rized by Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Inc., the sole organization offering instruction in this disci-
pline. The class includes lecture, material, and a good deal of hands-on experience. It is
broken down into two parts. Part I is the first three days and covers the safety-energy
locks. Part II is the remaining two days, and covers the seventeen “individualized” body
function energy flows. Anyone is welcome to attend, and there is no prerequisite.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

particular flow of energy. Symptoms will session will continue for eight hours, as
disappear over time or, in some cases, the circulation pattern is completed.
These sequences can be applied by a —Ian Kraut
practitioner to another person, or by an
individual utilizing them for self-help.
This self-help is an important aspect of Resources:
Jin Shin Jyutsu as self-awareness, or
“now know myself,” helps us to main- Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Inc.
tain balance and harmony, or to simply 8719 E. San Alberto
feel relaxed and peaceful. In order to Scottsdale, AZ 85257
find the proper techniques and Tel: (602) 998-9331
sequences for self-help, people can Fax: (602) 998-9335
consult their practitioner or self-help Web site:*.010jsjinc
books. Offers information on seminars, books and mate-
Jin Shin Jyutsu is an art, not merely a rials, and practitioner referrals.
technique. A technique is a mechanical
application whereas an art is a skillful
creation. This art is supported strongly Further Reading:
by its underlying philosophy, which
emphasizes an awareness of ourselves Burmeister, Alice. The Touch of Healing: Energiz-
and of our connection to the universal ing Body, Mind, and Spirit with the Art of Jin
energy. By maintaining this, we remain Shin Jyutsu. New York: Bantam Books, 1997.
in harmony—happy and healthy. When
we forget the philosophy, we can utilize
our “jumper cables” to recharge our bat-
teries and restore the proper function-
ing of our body. As Mary has said,
“Philosophy is the richness of Jin Shin
Jyutsu, and the technique is for when we

don’t live the philosophy. It’s a tool to get rocess acupressure (PA) was devel-
us out of trouble.” oped as a single modality for
addressing and supporting all parts
Achieving Harmony of an individual. According to PA, touch is
A Jin Shin Jyutsu session lasts about an able to release tension stored in a person’s
hour. The recipient lies face-up on a body, allowing him or her to develop
table or any available comfortable sur- more balance, strength, and clarity to
face. The practitioner will “listen” to the understand and handle problems better.
pulse not for diagnosis, but to deter- As in traditional acupressure, gentle pres-
mine which energy function flows sure is applied to the body to strengthen,
might be utilized to bring the body to its release, and balance the body’s energy
natural state of harmony. At this point, systems. PA also is concerned with reveal-
the practitioner uses the hands in ing a person’s soul, or inner wisdom. This
specific sequences to restore energy deep inner knowing is accessed as a guid-
flow. By the end of the session, the pulse ing influence over one’s healing and
should be even and balanced. development.
The practitioner often provides PA grew out of Dr. Aminah Raheem’s
information during or after the session. search for ways to support a person’s
The actual experience and results may wellness and growth in body, mind, emo-
vary from person to person. The recipi- tions, and soul simultaneously. In PA, she
ent may feel a sense of relaxation and combined traditional acupressure meth-
deeper breathing as the energy flow is ods with the unique touch of Zero Bal-
restored. The immediate effects of the ancing®. It also uses skills developed from
Process Acupressure

Photo by Richard Beaumont

Aminah Raheem, developer of process acupressure.

transpersonal psychology, which includes systems—meridians and chakras—are

Carl Jung’s analytical psychology, Roberto referenced in PA. While the meridians
Assagioli’s psychosynthesis, and Arnold comprise the network of energy path-
Mindell’s process oriented psychotherapy. ways used in Chinese acupuncture,
It took six years for Dr. Raheem to test and chakras are an ancient Hindu system of
develop her theoretical framework into a energy vortices along the central mid-
hands-on application. PA premiered in line of the body. Both of these systems
Zurich, Switzerland, in 1986. Since then it are directly connected and intermin-
has been continuously taught there and in gled, with the meridians feeding energy
the United States and England to body- into and out of the chakras.
workers, psychologists, and laypersons. By allowing personal history to sur-
According to PA, energy offers the face from the body during bodywork, PA
most natural access to the whole per- is able to process directly the most rele-
son because it integrates the body, vant psychological material for the per-
mind, emotions, and soul. Two energy son’s growth at the time. For example, if
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines

memories or traumas from the past arise experience, and examination. PA does not give licen-
during the bodywork, the PA practitioner sure, therefore practitioners must be licensed in a
knows how to help a person bring feel- professional health care modality, such as massage,
ings and images to consciousness, allow- medicine, or osteopathy; or in a psychological field,
ing him or her to reach a resolution. Or if such as marriage and family counseling, psychology,
feelings, images, or issues come to mind or psychiatry, before they can be certified in PA.
during the bodywork they can be
explored and furthered in consciousness
for the client’s health and well-being. Further Reading:
Typically a PA session takes from one
to one and one-half hours. In a typical Raheem, Aminah. Process Acupressure I. Palm
PA session the client lies on a massage Beach Gardens, FL: The Upledger Institute,
table, fully clothed, and relaxes deeply Inc., 1994.
while the practitioner applies custom-
designed acupressure techniques. Phys- ——. Process Acupressure II: Releases for the Whole
ical, psychological, or spiritual issues Being. Palm Beach Gardens, FL: The Upledger
are addressed in a team approach by Institute, Inc., 1994.
both practitioner and client. In some
cases a problem is clarified and resolved ——. Process Acupressure III: The Hologram.
in one session. More commonly, several Aptos, CA: Process Acupressure Association,
sessions are required to resolve a condi- 1996.
tion and prevent recurrence.
PA has been used to address a variety ——. Soul Return: Integrating Body, Psyche and
of physical symptoms, including back Spirit. Santa Rosa, CA: Aslan Publishing, 1991.
problems, headaches, respiratory,
digestive, and systemic problems as
well as colds, flus, allergies, and healing
from injuries. Advocates also recom-
mend PA to help relieve stress-related SHIATSU
conditions, including post-traumatic

stress. PA is promoted as a method of
furthering and empowering develop- hiatsu is a method of Japanese body-
ment in the well person who wishes to work derived from ancient healing
grow toward his or her full potential. practices. In shiatsu, practitioners
PA should not be used to treat severe apply pressure using the fingers, palms,
medical problems and does not sup- elbows, forearms, knees, and even feet, to
plant medical care. It should not be pressure points (called tsubos in Japan-
used for psychotics or people during ese) along a receiver’s body. This practice
severe psychotic episodes because it encourages the proper flow of qi, or life
uncovers and releases unconscious energy, which, according to traditional
material that may be overwhelming for Chinese medicine, is necessary for the
a person in a weakened ego state. optimum health of one’s body and mind.
Primarily, shiatsu is recommended as a
—Aminah Raheem preventative technique, that is, to be
practiced even when you are healthy in
order to maintain good health. It is also
Resources: practiced for the relief of pain, to improve
mental functioning, and to relieve a vari-
Process Acupressure Unlimited ety of ailments, including chronic stress,
P.O. Box 1096 digestive problems, and lower back pain.
Capitola, CA 95010
Certifies health care professionals as PA practition- Shiatsu: A Practice with Ancient Roots
ers after progressive levels of training, supervised The use of bodywork and massage for

curing disease and improving health has channels of energy in order to balance a
ancient origins in China. Massage is one receiver’s energy. According to the tradi-
of the treatment principles of traditional tional Asian worldview, illness or disease
Chinese medicine, the basic tenets of (including emotional and psychological
which are thought to date back to the problems) is the result of an imbalance
legendary reign of the Yellow Emperor in in the flow of qi. By balancing and forti-
China from 2697–2595 BCE. Although the fying vital life energy, the shiatsu thera-
principles of traditional Chinese medi- pist can help a client maintain and
cine were not written down until some improve his or her health. Shiatsu is
time between 213 BCE and 240 CE, people thought to help prevent the onset of ill-
believe that the practices had been ness. If illness or disease has already set
passed from generation to generation in, shiatsu is used to encourage the
for thousands of years before that. body’s healing process.
The various practices of traditional
Chinese medicine spread throughout Experiencing Shiatsu Massage
Asia, making their way to Japan in about Shiatsu emphasizes the physical manipu-
500 to 600 CE. In Japan, massage became lation of the body. It aims to work with
known as amma, which literally means both the physical body and the energy that
rubdown. By the early 1900s amma was surrounds and interpenetrates it. As the
still being practiced in Japan but had number of practitioners grows, the variety
earned a reputation as folk medicine and of styles of shiatsu also grows. A shiatsu
became associated more with pleasure, session may be a vigorous massage or it
relaxation, and sensuality than with medi- may employ only gentle touch, depending
cine. As a result, some practitioners who on the practitioner. Some people find the
wanted to continue practicing therapeutic more vigorous method painful. One
massage began calling their practice shiat- should seek a shiatsu therapist that best
su. These practitioners worked to raise meets his or her own personal needs.
public awareness of the healing aspects of Increasingly, Western shiatsu practice is
massage. Today shiatsu is one of the most gentle and less invasive than the tradition-
popular forms of massage in Japan. al Japanese approach. The most well
known and representative form of this
Balancing and Fortifying Life Energy
style of shiatsu is Ohashiatsu . Ohashiat-
Shiatsu is a holistic form of bodywork.