Online Exclusive: Complementary & Alternative Medicine Guide
Our NEW database directs you to integrative and complementary medicine practitioners in Madison
When we set out to do a Q&A with holistic and integrative medicine health doc Sheryl Spitzer-Resnick in our March issue (read it here), we wanted to be a bit more comprehensive than just running a one-page Q&A—so we decided to offer readers extra online content: one is a database where you can seek services such as massage, Reiki or chiropractors in the Madison area. Click on this link to view our database that contains over forty-five-plus categories of complementary healthcare—from Reiki to chiropractic and more. If you want to know more about each modality listed in our database, scroll down a bit to read definitions of each category.
Also check out our online-exclusive Q&A with naturopathic doc (ND) Rebecca Georgia of the Family Clinic of Natural Medicine. Georgia explains how being a licensed as an ND is different than just practicing naturopathy (to be an ND you need a four-year degree in naturopathic medicine) and what services patients are seeking at the practice she works at.
Acupressure: An Asian body work that aims to restore the patient’s balance and health by applying pressure to certain parts of the body. It is similar to acupuncture without the needles.
Acupuncture: Disposable, stainless steel needles that are inserted into specific points of the body to relieve pain, enhance the immune system and reduce stress.
Aromatherapy: Using a plant’s aroma-producing oils, the substance is put on the skin, sprayed, or inhaled to promote relaxation and relieve stress.
Cancer Wellness: Nontraditional medicinal practices such as meditation, yoga and T'ai Chi that helps patients with cancer cope and improve their quality of life.
Chiropractic: A hands-on therapy that involves adjusting the joints and bones in a person’s spine to relieve neck and back pain as well as headaches.
Cognitive Therapy: A type of mental health counseling that strives to eliminate inaccurate or negative thoughts.
Counseling: A form of mental health therapy that helps individuals cope with and overcome life challenges and various issues.
Craniosacral Therapy: A light touch, manual approach to correcting the body’s healing mechanisms. The practitioner uses pressure to evaluate the patient’s craniosacral system.
Dietician/Nutritionist: Individuals who promote healthy eating habits and plan nutrition programs to help prevent and treat illnesses.
Doula: A trained labor individual who provides non-medical support to a woman in labor and birth.
Energy Work: Such works as meditation, Reiki and other chakra balancing therapies that initiate healing and well-being.
Functional Medicine Doctor: Doctor who specializes in treating the underlying cause of a symptom and facilitating the patient’s natural healing process.
Fibromyalgia Consultations: Physicians educate individuals on how to recognize the symptoms and causes of fibromyalgia by designing treatment plans.
Healing Touch: Based on the assumption that energy flow affects an individual’s health, a practitioner moves their hands several inches above a person’s body to change a person’s energy flow and restore health.
Herbal Medicine: Using plants or plant materials to create medicines that prevent or treat illnesses.
Holistic Dentist: Dentist that treat the whole patient, rather than focusing on an isolated symptom by using safe, painless and natural remedies.
Homeopathic Doctor: Doctors who treat not just the ailment, but the patient’s entire being through the use of natural substances.
Homeopathy: A medical practice that seeks to stimulate the body’s regulatory healing properties by using highly diluted substances.
Hot Stone Therapy: By using volcanic rocks, this kind of massage is believed to promote relaxation and eliminate negative energy.
Hydrotherapy: A kind of therapy that involves using the external application of water in any form such as taking a bath, physical therapy in pools, etc. for healing purposes.
Hypnotherapy: Exercises that alter the consciousness of the mind and promote relaxation, allowing the patient to be highly responsive to suggestion. Hypnosis helps decrease stress and ease pain.
Hypnobirthing: A gentle and comfortable approach to childbirth, hypnobirthing uses deep relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis to prepare for a successful delivery.
Integrative Medicine: A holistic approach to treating patients by combining Western medicine with alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage, yoga and others in an effort to treat the whole person.
Lymphatic Drainage: The lymphatic system is the body’s major waste removal mechanism and an important part of the immune system. Lymphatic drainage involves pulling the skin to remove toxins in the body.
Massage Therapy and Bodywork: As one of the oldest healing arts, massage therapy and bodywork is the application of soft-tissue manipulation intended to reduce stress and affect changes to the body.
Meditation: Practiced for thousands of years, meditation is the practice of bringing the mind to a state of thoughtless awareness through focusing on breathing, visualization, or a mantra.
Mind Body Therapy: Based on the premise that there is a relationship between the mind and body, mindbody therapies recognize that the “whole” of person needs to be engaged to restore overall health. The therapist teaches mindbody skills and techniques such as meditation, energy work, and journaling.
Myofascial Release: Used to equalize muscle tensions in the body, Myofascial Release involves a hands-on technique that involves applying pressure into the fascial restrictions in order to restore motion and eliminate pain.
Naturopathy: A holistic and preventative approach to health and healing that uses natural substances and techniques to achieve a balanced internal chemistry such as chiropractic and message therapy, homeopathy, herbal medicine, etc.
Naturopathic Doctor: Naturopathic doctors teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and natural therapies to enhance the body’s capabilities of fighting off diseases. Naturopathic doctors must have a naturopathic medicine degree from a four-year institution; thus, being a naturopathic doctor (ND) is different than simply administering naturopathic treatments. NDs are trained as primary-care physicians, so only those who have a four-year degree in naturopathic medicine can call themselves an ND.
Neuromuscular: Involving the complex connection of the nervous system and muscle control, the neuromuscular junction is the meeting place of a nerve and a muscle fiber and the neuromuscular transmission is the where the nerve transfers information to muscle. Both are critical to the functioning of the nervous system and muscle control in the body.
Oriental Bodywork: With the aim to restore the flow of energy in the body, the massage therapist focuses on acupressure points, muscle and joints.
Pharmacist: A critical source of medical knowledge in various medical settings and institutions throughout the world, pharmacists are health professionals whose expertise is in the use of medicines.
Pilates: Developed by Joseph Pilates in Germany, Pilates is a physical fitness system that seeks to enhance strength, flexibility and control of the body.
Polarity Therapy: Based on assertion that a person’s health is determined by the natural flow of energy, practitioners use touch, movement, and other methods to balance this energy flow.
Pressure Point Therapy: Using ancient acupressure trigger points to aid healing, pressure point therapy releases tension and increases the circulation of blood.
Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, counseling or psychosocial therapy, psychotherapy is an umbrella term that addresses mental health concerns by speaking with a psychologist or other mental health provider.
QiGong: Also known as Chinese yoga, QiGong is a mind-body practice that combines slow, graceful movements with mental focus and deep breathing exercises to balance an individual’s vital energy.
Reflexology: Using specific hand, thumb and finger techniques to effect a physical change in the body, Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands.
Reiki: A Buddhist practice that reduces stress, promotes relaxation and improves overall well-being, Reiki practitioners place their hands on the individual’s major chakras.
Rolfing: Bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, that permeate the entire body.
Shiatsu: A Japanese form of bodywork, Shiatsu therapists use finger and palm pressure to improve the individual’s flow of energy.
SomatoEmotional Release: By using gentle techniques, SomatoEmotional Release is a mind-body technique that facilitates the release of old traumas by freeing up vital body energy.
Stress Reduction: Techniques such as aerobic exercises, meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing and others that help reduce an individual’s stress level.
T’ai Chi: An ancient Chinese martial art that enhances physical and emotional well-being, T’ai Chi is a combination of moving yoga and meditation.
Trigger Point Therapy: A trigger point therapist will locate and deactivate a taut band of muscle fibers by using finger pressure in order to ease chronic pain.
Wellness Evaluation: Assessments that evaluate a patient’s social, physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual components.
Yoga: Enhancing strength and flexibility, yoga is a mind-body practice that involves various poses and deep breathing exercises.
Zero Balancing: Clearing blocks in the body’s energy flow and enhancing postural alignment, Zero Balancing is a body-mind therapy that balances the structure and energy of the bones.
— Definitions compiled by Dena Goldstein