Not sure what it is?

Here is a list of general descriptions of the different practices and terms you will run into. We’ve headed up the list by identifying the differences between alternative, complementary and integrative medicine practices. This is just an introduction that hopefully leads you to further research and exploration.

Alternative vs. Complementary Medicine

Many Americans—more than 30 percent of adults and about 12 percent of children—use health care

approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine. When describing these

approaches, people often use “alternative” and “complementary” interchangeably, but the two terms refer to

different concepts:

  • If a non-mainstream practice is used together with conventional medicine, it’s

    considered “complementary.”

  • If a non-mainstream practice is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative.”

True alternative medicine is uncommon. Most people who use non-mainstream approaches use them along

with conventional treatments. source:

Integrative Medicine

There are many definitions of “integrative” health care, but all involve bringing conventional and

complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. The use of integrative approaches to health and

wellness has grown within care settings across the United States. Researchers are currently exploring the

potential benefits of integrative health in a variety of situations, including pain management for military

personnel and veterans, relief of symptoms in cancer patients and survivors, and programs to promote

healthy behaviors. source:

The following offers general descriptions of some of the services we provide.

Please refer to our individual practitioners descriptions for more information.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin. These points have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike Western medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person.

Certified clinical nutritionists, or CCNs, and registered dietitians, often called simply RDs, are two types of licensed professionals who deal with dietary intake. Although both deal with food, their emphasis is somewhat different, with some nutritionists putting more emphasis on alternative therapies such as homeopathic medicine and herbology. Both types of specialties require a college education and passing national examinations for credentialing. Not all people who call themselves nutritionists are certified or credentialed, but all those who use the term CCL have passed nationally administered exams.

Certified Nutritionists vs. Registered Dietitians

Corporate/Workplace Wellness

Workplace Wellness is any activity, health promotion or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes. Initiatives can include health education, medical screenings, nutrition and fitness programs, work-life balance and flex time. Numerous studies have shown that investing in worksite wellness programs not only improves productivity but offers cost savings and resource availability. According to Dr. Roger Sahoury, author of Gladiator’s Guide to Corporate Health & Wealth, “55% of workers identified a workplace wellness program as an instrument in improving their overall well-being. In fact it equates to $250 million in savings in lowered health costs and a 50% reduction in high blood pressure among employees.”

Cranio-Sacral Therapy

Cranio-sacral therapy stimulates healing by using gentle hand pressure to manipulate the skeleton and connective tissues, especially the skull and sacrum (the large, triangular bone at the base of the spinal column). Cranial-sacral therapy is based on the theory that the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord, has subtle, rhythmic pulsations that are vital to health and can be detected and modified by a skilled practitioner. It is beneficial for many conditions like TMJ, Back and Neck Pain, Headaches, Trauma and Stress.

Equine Gestalt Coaching Method®

The EGCMethod involves the horse as an active partner with a coach in the client’s exploratory process. The integrative approach of the equine’s interaction combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness, guidance and Gestalt methodology, assist the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future. With EGCM the horse is an active partner in the coaching and healing process. Using their combined wisdom and intuition, the EGCM coach and their equine partner will guide a client through his or her experience.

Equine Therapy

Also referred to as Horse Therapy, Equine therapy is a form of experiential therapy involving interactions between patients and horses. Activities may include grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse, and are supervised by a mental health professional, often with the support of a horse professional. Equine Therapy has been successfully integrated into treatment programs for adults and teens who are being treated for substance abuse, addiction, trauma, autism amongst many others.


Herbal Medicine

Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history.  Clinical herbalists employ clinical strategies and methods which support vitality through encouragement of nourishment, digestion, rest, and appropriate activity; identification of purpose in personal life; connection with nature; an active spiritual life; identification and removal of obstacles to cure on all levels; and avoidance of methods which suppress or distort life processes. Clinical herbalists employ physiology and pathophysiology and equally value knowledge from traditional medicine, empirical observation, instinct and intuition.

Home Health Care vs Home Care

Home care and home health are distinct types of care which are both provided in a home setting.

Home Health Care is clinical medical care provided by a registered nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist or other skilled medical professionals. It is often short-term, physician-directed care designed to help a patient prevent or recover from an illness, injury, or hospital stay. Private Duty Nursing Care is long-term, hourly nursing care at home for adults with a chronic illness, injury, or disability such as ventilator or feeding tube care.

Home Care is often used to refer to Personal and Companionship Care. It’s non-medical care with everyday activities like bathing and dressing, meal preparation, and household tasks to enable independence and safety. It can be known as Home Health Aide Services and is often used for supervision with people with dementia.

Intuitive Guide vs Psychic and Medium

Psychic work and intuitive work happen on very much the same level, but there is a fundamental difference: Psychics must ‘process’ or ‘translate’ an insight they receive on the psychic plane into real-life meaning.

Intuitives tend to get a flash of insight that needs no translation at all. Intuitive insight cannot be controlled the same way that psychic insights can, and tends to ‘hit’ people from out of the blue. Common examples of the intuitive ‘flash’ can be found in almost every mother on the planet — what we often call ‘mother’s intuition.’

A medium uses his or her psychic or intuitive abilities to see the past, present and future events of a person by tuning into the spirit energy surrounding that person. This means mediums rely on the presence of non-physical energy outside of themselves for the information relevant to the person being read.

Life Coaching vs Health Coaching

A coach is someone who uses their knowledge to motivate others in developing skills in many areas of life, be it health, fitness, emotional or spiritual growth. Coaches take on the role of a leader who helps to set goals, guide, motivate, encourage and teach. Life coaching focuses on personal growth in the more intimate areas of a person’s life such as love, relationships, social life, career and finances, parenting and family; they help clients find success and satisfaction.

Aligning the factors that affect a person’s health is the foundation of health coaching. Such factors include mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and environmental influences. Health coaches address the lifestyle habits of the patient by taking a careful examination of that person’s health and conditions which may have been the result of poor habits and lack of integration in lifestyle. Many sufferers of chronic disease and/or pain are unaware that their own behaviors are leading to the manifestation of poor health and need help getting back to a good baseline.

Massage Therapy

The term “massage therapy” includes many techniques, and the type of massage given usually depends on your needs and physical condition. Massage therapy dates back thousands of years as references appear in ancient writings from China, Japan, India, and Egypt. In general, massage therapists work on muscle and other soft tissue to help you feel better. It is sometimes done using essential oils as a form of aromatherapy.

  • In Swedish massage, the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping.

  • Sports massage combines techniques of Swedish massage and deep tissue massage to release chronic muscle tension. It’s adapted to the needs of athletes.

  • Myofascial trigger point therapy focuses on trigger points—areas that are painful when pressed and are associated with pain elsewhere in the body.

  • Deep Massage uses deep effleurage, myofascial release, trigger points, and soft tissue fulcrums to address both the tension being held in the muscular, fascial, neurologic and energetic systems.


Meditation is a mind and body practice with a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body and behavior.

There are many types of meditation, and most have four elements in common: a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture; a focus of attention (specially chosen words or object or sensations of breath); and an open attitude (letting distractions come and go without judging them.)


Mindfulness is a form of ongoing meditation. It means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. It also involves acceptance, paying attention to ones thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When mindfulness is practiced one tunes into what s/he is sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

Patient Care Coordination

Care coordination involves deliberately organizing patient care activities and sharing information among all concerned to achieve safer and more effective care. This means that the patient’s needs and preferences are known ahead of time and communicated at the right time to the right people, and that this information is used to provide safe, appropriate, and effective care to the patient.

Patient care coordinators are liaisons between patients and the healthcare system. They ensure that patients receive the care they need and that the patient understands their medical condition, medications, and other instructions.

Personal Training

A personal trainer is an individual certified to have a varying degree of knowledge of general fitness involved in exercise prescription and instruction. They motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client’s strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments. These fitness assessments may also be performed before and after an exercise program to measure their client’s improvements in physical fitness. They may also educate their clients in many other aspects of wellness besides exercise, including general health and nutrition guidelines.

Qualified personal trainers recognize their own areas of expertise. If a trainer suspects that one of his or her clients has a medical condition that could prevent the client from safe participation in an exercise program, they must refer the client to the proper health professional for prior clearance.


Pilates is an innovative and safe system of mind-body exercise using a floor mat or a variety of equipment. It emphasizes proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration on smooth, flowing movement, in order to become acutely in tune with the body. In Pilates the quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Pilates exercises develop a strong “core,” or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine.


Psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”) is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Most psychotherapy takes place with a licensed and trained mental health care professional in one-on-one individual meetings or in small groups.


Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears. The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body. Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Sometimes practitioners use items, such as rubber balls, rubber bands and sticks of wood, to assist in their work. Practitioners of reflexology include chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists, among others. Reflexology can be helpful in pain management, dealing with anxiety and depression, and enhancing relaxation and sleep. Studies also show that reflexology may have benefits in palliative care of people with cancer.


Reiki is a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese, and Reiki practitioners are trained to detect and alleviate problems of energy flow on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way to achieve similar effects that traditional massage therapy is used—to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions.

Sound Healing/Acutonics

Acutonics is an integrated approach to health care grounded in Oriental medicine, psychology, science, cosmological studies and sound healing principles. This non-invasive methodology works with vibratory energy created through sound.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual Wellness is a personal matter involving values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. While different individuals may have different views of what spiritualism is, it is generally considered to be the search for meaning and purpose in human existence, leading one to strive for a state of harmony with oneself and others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world. The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness follows the following tenets:

  • It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.

  • It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.


Yoga is a 5000 year old Indian body of knowledge. It is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing techniques, body postures (asanas), and meditation. Among the most well known types of yoga are Ashtanga, Hatha, and Kundalini. The physical benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, strength, and balance while the mental benefits include stress reduction, improved sleep patterns, and relaxation.