Please Note: As  of 6/10/09 - several pages have been split to provide quicker loading & easier browsing.

New Definitions Pages

Alternative Health Site

Definitions on this page
Ear Candling, Effeurage, Electromagnetism, EMDR, Energy work, Equine Sports Massage, Equissage, Erikson Method, Esalen Massage, Esogetic Colorpuncture, Eutony, Fango, Facial, Far Infrared, FIR, Fascia, Fascial Mobilization, Fasting, Natural Hygiene, Feldenkrais, Feng Shui, Five Element Shiatsu, Flower Essences, Flower Remedies, Foot Zone Therapy, Alternative Medicine,


Top of Definitions

Definitions of  Massage, Bodywork, Energy, Alternative Medicine & Healing Modalities

No statements in the definitions below should be considered to be medical advice or taken as advice against seeking medical treatment, but are provided purely for their educational value. In the case of  serious acute, chronic or degenerative conditions immediately seek competent medical advice from your primary health care provider.
Now over 250 modalities! Check Here for More Definitions in the Future

<< Previous            Next>>


Ear Candling - ( also referred to as Ear Coning ) involves placing the narrow end of a specially designed hollow candle at the entry of the ear canal, while the opposite end is lit.  Primarily used for wax buildup and related hearing problems, ear candling is also used for ear infections and sinus infections.

Effeurage - A smooth gliding stroking motion applied with the fingers, hands, or forearm that usually follows the direction of the underlying muscle or fascial tissue.  One of the four basic strokes of Swedish massage.

Electromagnetism - A form of energy that comes from an electric charge in motion, electromagnetism is used in medicine to relieve muscle aches, suppress pain, stimulate knitting of broken bones, pulverize kidney stones, and more.  To heal broken bones, specialized electrodes that create a weak electromagnetic field are applied externally across a plaster cast or fracture site and worn during sleep until complete healing. (See also Magnetic Energy Healing )

EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - Uses left/right stimulation of the brain, through sight, sound or touch to accelerate the brain's information processing system.  Originated by Francine Shapiro in 1987 to help people address emotional issues.

Energy Work - Therapies in which practitioners seek to restore proper circulation and a balance of the energy field in and around the client's body, to relieve stress and promote healing.  Treatment may involve physical laying-on of hands. ( See Auric Healing, Chakra Energy Balancing, PolarityTherapy, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, & Touch for Health. )

Equine Sports Massage -  Just like people, horses get sore muscles and joints, but they can't express where the pain is.  Rather, the owner and/or rider notices the horse doesn't want to perform that day, or is moving stiffly or is just having an 'off day.' Horses are asked to perform regardless of what pain they may be in.  We can alleviate their discomfort, help prevent lameness, and assist in correcting behavioral problems by performing equine massage. 

Equine Sports Massage Therapy is designed for any horse at any age.  It is a vigorous type of massage that gets the blood and lymph moving in the body and assists is relaxing the muscles as well.  The horse feels looser and more energetic after a session.  Its performance, whether in the ring or just a pleasure ride, is greatly enhanced.

Benefits of Equine Sports Massage are: Enhances muscle tone and increases range of motion. Assists in balancing the body by treating the body as a whole, rather than each individual part. Reduces inflammation and swelling in the joints, thereby alleviating pain. Promotes healing by increasing the flow of nutrients to the muscles, and carrying away excessive fluids and toxins. Creates a positive effect on the contractual and release process of the muscles.  When tension is released, muscles relax.  Stimulates circulation by "defrosting frozen muscles", thereby releasing ENDORPHINS – natural pain killers.  Improved circulation also increases the excretion of toxins through the skin. Helps maintain the WHOLE body in better physical condition.  For More information about Horse Events, Clinics and related businesses in New Mexico visit Horse Talk - New Mexico Horse Directory.

Equissage - A trademarked name for Equine Sports Massage, the school by that name and a term sometimes used by the therapists (ESMT) certified by the school.  Click here to learn more about Equissage certification.

Erickson Method - See Hypnotherapy

Esalen Massage -  Developed in the 1960's, this style originated at the Esalen  Institute located in Big Sur, California, and is based on a combination of Oriental and Swedish massage techniques.  Esalen is light and gentle in nature, emphasizing nurturing and empathy.  The strokes are  soft, easy, and slow, prompting deep relaxation. Used to reduce stress, relieve pain, improve sleep, aid digestion, and promote healing.  This is a non-sexual relaxation or therapeutic massage, but as practiced at the Esalen Institute, it may be performed with little or no draping with multiple points of body contact between the therapist and client to provide physical and emotional support.  Apparently, some non-licensed individuals have used this term as a euphemism for sexual services.

Esogetic Colorpuncture - is an advanced healing technique in which gentle, noninvasive vibrations of light are introduced to the body with light pens via acupuncture (and other) points on the skin to energize powerful healing impulses in the body.  It was developed by German scientist and naturopath Peter Mandel.  He has conducted over 25 years of empirical research to develop this unique system of healing. In colorpuncture treatments, frequencies of colored light are focused on the skin using a hand held acu-light tool which emits different colors of light and through focused tips.  Each color consists of different wavelength frequencies of light and therefore communicates different energetic information.  As the light is absorbed by the skin and transmitted along energetic pathways or meridians deep into the body, it stimulates the intracellular communication which supports life.  Coloropuncture treatments support the body's natural healing processes in regards to nervous system stress, colds & bronchitis, spinal relaxation, headaches and immune strengthening. (see also Color Therapy ).  For more information about esogetic colorpuncture go to

Eutony - Developed by Gerda Alexander of Germany.  "Eu" meaning good, exact. "Tonus" meaning tone tension.  Based on the theory that there is a constant interaction between muscular tone and physical activity.  Acting on muscle tone can affect the whole being. 

F Top of Page

Fango Treatment - A mud pack or body mask (as opposed to a full mud bath ) intended to promote the release of toxins and relieve muscular and arthritic pain. see also Parafango.

Facial - deep cleansing of the face with steam.  Facials may include exfoliation, extraction, the application of creams, lotions, cleansers, masks, peels and massage.Facials are most often performed by licensed aestheticians or cosmetologists.

Far Infrared (FIR) Heat Therapy - relies on the use of ceramic or carbon fiber heating elements which emit heat in the non-visible infrared spectrum.  Infrared heat frequencies are just below visible light frequencies on the electromagentic spectrum. The longer wave lengths (2 to 25 microns or micro meters) furthest away from red light are called far infrared.  Humans preferentially absorb and reradiate infrared heat in the 9 to 10 mircron range.  Far infrared therapy equipment ranges from lamp like units used  on specific areas to infrared emitting heating pads to full body sauna rooms.  The benefits of far infrared therapy are: pain relief due to arthritis, sprains, or spasms; relaxation of soft tissues such as muscle, tendon and ligaments; reduction of scar tissue and cellulite; reduced time to heal wounds; and if combined with high air temperatures (120-130 degrees Fahrenheit) to promote sweating, it can cleanse skin pores and aid in detoxifying the body. For more information on the benefits of far infrared heat therapy, please read our facts and benefits page.  Click here to purchase a 30 minute far infrared sauna session at Earth Spirit Therapies in Albuquerque, NM

Fascia - the fascial (connective tissue) system is one continuous, laminated, three-dimensional connective-tissue web that spreads without interruption throughout the entire body. It provides the underlying support to and connects the skin (dermis), musculo-skeletal system, membranes and organs of the body.

Fascial Mobilization - Fascial mobilization allows therapists to locate and address restrictions in the fascial system that are causing asymmetries, postural malalignment, abnormal tensions, and pressures that can lead to pain and dysfunction.  The goal of fascial mobilization is to produce a well balanced, symmetrical and mobile body within the skeletal, soft-tissue, and craniosacral systems. See also Connective Tissue Massage.

Fasting or Natural Hygiene - Natural Hygiene is a health system that seeks to remove the causes of disease and encourage the body's self-healing capacity through natural-food diets and therapeutic fasting. Fasts may last from a few days to a month or more.  They are rarely water only fasts. Therapeutic Fasts may include vegetable broth, juices, vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements to provide cleansing or detoxification, and maintain nutrition during a prolonged fast. Colon Hydrotherapy is often recommended during fasting to aid in flushing toxins from the system.  Holistic counselors as well as primary care doctors (MDs, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, naturopaths, and Doctors of Oriental Medicine) may specialize in fasting supervision as a part of natural hygiene care. A healing crisis may occur during a prolonged fast. An inexperienced person should not enter into a prolonged fast without supervision.

Feldenkrais - Russian born Israeli educator Moshe Feldenkrais based his method on the importance of awareness in human functioning.  The Feldenkrais method consists of two branches, Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration.  He believed that awareness had to be experienced, not taught verbally.  Functional integration involves treating the nervous system primarily through the skeletal structure using hands-on, painless manipulation.

Feng Shui - (pronounced "fung shway") is the ancient Chinese practice of configuring home or work environments to promote health, happiness, and prosperity. The ancient Chinese art of placement that literally means wind & water, shorthand for natural surroundings. Symbolically, it means gentle wind, clear water, warm sun and lush vegetation.  Feng Shui consultants may advise clients to make adjustments in their surroundings - from color selection to furniture placement - in order to promote a healthy flow of 'chi', or vital energy.

Five Element Shiatsu - Shiatsu is a Japanese word that means 'finger pressure'.  Five element shiatsu is based on classical Chinese medicine's Law of the Five Elements.  The Five Element system views the human body as a microcosm of the Universe with the tides of energy and emotions waxing and waning. (See also Shiatsu)

Flower Essences - Popularized in the '30s by Edward Bach, M.D., flower essences are intended to alleviate negative emotional states that may contribute to illness or hinder personal growth.  Drops of a solution infused with the captured "essence" of a flower are placed under the tongue or in a beverage.  The practitioner helps the client choose appropriate essences, focusing on the client's emotional state rather than on a particular physical condition. 

Flower Remedies ( See Flower Essences )

Foot Zone Therapy - is based on the premise that energy flows in the body through meridians from the brain all the way to the foot.  Every organ and every cell of your body has a representative point on the foot.  When pressure is applied to a specific point on the foot, the brain then sends a signal to the corresponding part of the body to facilitate healing and to restore balance. (see also Ingham Method and Reflexology)

Full Body Massage (See Massage, Full Body )

<< Previous            Next>>

[Home] [About_Us] [Catalog] [Self-Help] [Massage] [Definitions] [Professional] [Links]

Site Created: Tuesday, September 26, 2000
Site last modified :Thursday, July 16, 2009
Copyright 1997-2009 by: Earth Spirit Therapies
Page last modified:Thursday, July 16, 2009