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  Institute  of  Natural  Health  and  Education

    Affordable and accredited clinical massage therapy program.

Online Continuing Education on Principles and Theories of Bodywork Therapies  

The Principles and Theories of Bodywork Therapies class will cover the history, development, and applicability of some of the most common bodywork modalities. This subject of study will expose massage therapists to complementary therapies that are used in conjunction to massage therapy practices. Moreover, gives an opportunity to massage therapists to explore the possibilities to learn other modalities of bodywork that he or she did not learn before and could be a business advantage to explore such modalities covered in this subject of study. Upon completion of this subject of study, the practitioner will receive a certificate of completion referent to 4 continuing education credits on Principles and Theories of Bodywork Therapies.

Credit:      4 CE Hours

Steps on how to complete this course

1. Download the course in PDF or open a second window to be used as a reference  guide

2. Read the course material

3. Watch the attached video to enhance your knowledge

3. Click on the online exam (70% score is needed to pass and unlimited attempts are allowed) The exam is based on the PDF file.


Acupressure is a form of touch therapy that utilizes the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In acupressure, the same points on the body are used as in acupuncture, but are stimulated with finger pressure instead of with the insertion of needles. Acupressure is used to relieve a variety of symptoms and pain.

Chinese medicine has developed acupuncture, acupressure, herbal remedies, diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and other remedies as part of its healing methods. One legend has it that acupuncture and acupressure evolved as early Chinese healers studied the puncture wounds of Chinese warriors, noting that certain points on the body created interesting results when stimulated. Acupressure is the non- invasive form of acupuncture, as Chinese physicians determined that stimulating points on the body with massage and pressure could be effective for treating certain problems.

Acupressure is practiced as a treatment by Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists, as well as by massage therapists. Most massage schools in American include acupressure techniques as part of their bodywork programs. Shiatsu massage is very closely related to acupressure, working with the same points on the body and the same general principles, although it was developed over centuries in Japan rather than in China. Reflexology is a form of bodywork based on acupressure concepts. Jin Shin Do is a bodywork technique with an increasing number of practitioners in America that combines acupressure and shiatsu principles with qigong, Reichian theory, and meditation.


Acupressure massage performed by a therapist can be very effective both as prevention and as a treatment for many health conditions, including headaches, general aches and pains, colds and flu, arthritis, allergies, asthma, nervous tension, menstrual cramps, sinus problems, sprains, tennis elbow, and toothaches, among others. Unlike acupuncture which requires a visit to a professional, acupressure can be performed by a layperson. Acupressure techniques are fairly easy to learn, and have been used to provide quick, cost-free, and effective relief from many symptoms. Acupressure points can also be stimulated to increase energy and feelings of well-being, reduce stress, stimulate the immune system, and alleviate sexual dysfunction.


Acupuncture is one of the main forms of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. It involves the use of sharp, thin needles that are inserted in the body at very specific points. This process is believed to adjust and alter the body's energy flow into healthier patterns, and is used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and health conditions.


The original text of Chinese medicine is the Nei Ching, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which is estimated to be at least 2,500 years old. Thousands of books since then have been written on the subject of Chinese healing, and its basic philosophies spread long ago to other Asian civilizations. Legend has it that acupuncture developed when early Chinese physicians observed unpredicted effects of puncture wounds in Chinese warriors. Today acupuncture is being practiced in all 50 states by over 9,000 practitioners, with over 4,000 MDs including it in their practices. Acupuncture has shown notable success in treating many conditions, and over 15 million Americans have used it as a therapy. Acupuncture, however, remains largely unsupported by the medical establishment. The American Medical Association has been resistant to researching it, as it is based on concepts very different from the Western scientific model.

Several forms of acupuncture are being used today in America. Japanese acupuncture uses extremely thin needles and does not incorporate herbal medicine in its practice. Auricular acupuncture uses acupuncture points only on the ear, which are believed to stimulate and balance internal organs. In France, where acupuncture is very popular and more accepted by the medical establishment, neurologist Paul Nogier developed a system of acupuncture based on neuroendocrine theory rather than on traditional Chinese concepts, which is gaining some use in America.

Esalen Massage

This type of bodywork is founded on Swedish massage. The focus is on individual aspects of the body applying technique and detail to these areas. However, the Esalen classical technique is focused on the integration of the body. Long strokes are used with the intent to bring connecting awareness to the whole body. When the therapist open to this awareness, he/she has an understanding of how stress in an individual areas, affects the whole body.

Esalen massage is set apart us an unique styles because it also reflects an attitude about touching, caring, energy awareness and emotional, spiritual healing besides just physical manipulation.

Part of the attitude of Esalen is that touching is a basic need, as essential as air, food or water: that caring about others is natural; that getting in touch with one's own body leads to a more effective way of loving and relating to others, and that healing comes from within as well as from the outside.

In Esalen massage the social differences between the giver and receiver is reduced. No white uniform as a symbol of authority. Esalen massage is often practiced as an exchange - alternating between whom gives and receives - and is traditionally done in the nude. However when done by professional therapists, this of course, is not done. At the hot spring baths in California where it originated, getting dressed when it was your turn to give massage seemed not only superfluous but also downright silly.

In public practice Esalen practitioners usually dress very informally and the client is usually covered with a towel or sheet, but since one of the aims of Esalen style massage is to tie the parts of the body together, coverings are moved aside to permit long flowing "connecting" strokes that are among its hallmarks. In exchange groups and retreats for massagers, clothing is usually optional for everyone. Having options places responsibility on each individual rather than on some external authority, and that's what holistic health care is all about.

Fascial Mobilization

Fascial Mobilization aims to produce a well-balanced, mobile and symmetrical body within the skeletal, soft tissue and craniosacral system. The fascial system consists of a laminated connective tissue sheath that spreads uninterrupted throughout the body in a three-dimensional web. Because it is an integral part of all anatomical structures, it plays a vital role in the functioning of the body. Restrictions within the fascial system can contribute to pain and dysfunction. These restrictions can be caused by postural imbalances, asymmetries, gravitational pulls, induced microtrauma or macrotrauma, inflammation and abnormal tension or pressure.

Feldenkrais Method®

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, 1904-1984.

The Feldenkrais Method® has strong scientific roots. Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, originator of the work, studied human movement and development using his knowledge in mechanical and electrical engineering. He received his doctorate in physics. It was a severe knee injury that inspired him to understand more about human movement and neurophysiology.

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais studied other disciplines: biology, anthropology, cybernetics, systems and learning theory to develop his understanding of the relationship between body and mind. In addition to his involvement with science he was a master in Judo.

He was a passionate human being who used all that he knew to develop a unique way of knowing and working with people. Finally, he talked about his work as a way for people to actualize their potential, put their intentions into action and live their dreams.

Benefits of the Feldenkrais Method

Feldenkrais® Alternative Movement Therapy Enhances Cognitive and Physical Performance / Functioning by accessing neurological patterns and developing sensory awareness of skeletal and neuromuscular biomechanics resulting in pain relief, freedom of movement and ability to realize human excellence.

Because the Feldenkrais Method is based on such a fundamental human experience, movement, it reaches a wide range of people of all ages and capabilities.

Professionals who benefit:

Athletes, artists, actors, musicians, dancers, singers, martial artists, computer operators, etc.

Those challenged with various conditions:

Learning disabilities, strokes, cerebral palsy, autism, multiple sclerosis, vestibular disorders, etc...

It helps improve:

Flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, efficiency, learning, breathing, speech, communication, self-image, injury prevention, pain management, recovery from surgery, stress and fatigue reduction, and the quality of life.

Geriatric Massage

Geriatric massage is a specialty of massage therapy, which focus on the treatment of elderly patients. Here are some of the responsibilities and knowledge that a massage therapist working with geriatric massage would have:

· Review of medical terminology and of the symptoms of the most prevailing age-related health problems and how to select approaches to the diverse afflictions of old age

  • Positioning of clients in hospital beds, standard beds, wheelchairs, geriatric
  • chairs and standard massage tables.
  • Cautions in positioning of challenged clients, wheelchair transfers, aiding in
  • ambulation.
  • Handling of clients with various types of paralysis eg. flaccid or spastic, and
  • upper or lower extremities. Also working with incontinence.
  • In depth understanding of the most common age-related health problems and
  • how to work specifically with each, as well as cautions and contraindications.
  • Choose the proper techniques to utilize while working under the direction of
  • the prescribing physician but without the need for direct supervision.
  • Know how to work with clients who have various degrees of age-related
  • health and mobility problems.
  • Be familiar with working in an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.

Haelan work®

Haelen Work recognizes that people who are in great pain are often unable to focus on the need to integrate body, mind and spirit. It combines Therapeutic Touch, psychotherapy and counseling. Developed by Janet F. Quinn, Ph.D., R.N., a practitioner of therapeutic touch and holotropic breathwork. This system attempts to assist people with physical illness to participate in their healing from a more holistic perspective.

This program was formulated by Joseph Heller in the USA in 1978, is a form of deep tissue bodywork designed to realign and rebalance the body, releasing chronic tension and stress and producing a more relaxed, youthful state. The central premise of Hellerwork is that structurally misalign body experiences gravity as stressful and so movement and flexibility is limited, causing energy loss, aging and deterioration. A body in vertical alignment with gravity experiences gravity as a supporting force is flexible and moves easily.


This program was formulated by Joseph Heller in the USA in 1978, is a form of deep tissue bodywork designed to realign and rebalance the body, releasing chronic tension and stress and producing a more relaxed, youthful state. The central premise of Hellerwork is that structurally misalign body experiences gravity as stressful and so movement and flexibility are limited, causing energy loss, aging and deterioration. A body in vertical alignment with gravity experiences gravity as a supporting force is flexible and moves easily.


This program was formulated by Joseph Heller in the USA in 1978, is a form of deep tissue bodywork designed to realign and rebalance the body, releasing chronic tension and stress and producing a more relaxed, youthful state. The central premise of Hellerwork is that structurally misalign body experiences gravity as stressful and so movement and flexibility are limited, causing energy loss, aging and deterioration. A body in vertical alignment with gravity experiences gravity as a supporting force is flexible and moves easily.

Hoffa Massage

Hoffa massage was developed by Albert Hoffa and uses five massage strokes from Swedish style. The strokes follow the venous flow towards the heart except on the back. The massage techniques used on this style are gentle and light, and the sessions are no longer than thirty minutes. Hoffa believed that the client’s joints should be half-flexed, providing optimum relaxation during the treatment. Healthy tissue should be massage first, followed by work on injured areas. He also believed that the body part being massage should be free of hair.


Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest, simplest and most effective of all natural therapies. From the Roman and Turkish Baths, through Bavaria, Britain and Lourdes, to modern saunas, alternating hot and cold water, hydrotherapy is believed to stimulate blood and lymph circulation, relieve congestion, tone body tissue, ease pain, relax the nervous system, and improve overall health. Thalassotherapy is a form of hydrotherapy which includes Turkish baths and seawater baths to cure specific ailments or as a cleansing tool.

Colonics, also called colon therapy, uses hydrotherapy to cleanse toxins from the colon and restore health. The medical community is divided on the safety and effectiveness of this therapy.

Also, hydrotherapy is widely used in conjunction with physical therapy, chiropractic, naturopathy, massage therapy, and other forms of medical treatments.

Hydrotherapy can be very efficient on the treatment of muscular and joint pain, inflammation, and a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.

Infant Massage

It is a healthy touch activity between parent/caregiver & child that promotes healthy family development by strengthening the physical & emotional well being of infants, young children and all family/caregiver members involved.

This style of massage promotes early physiological and neurological development and function, and is especially helpful for premature infants.

Why is it important? What are the benefits of Infant Massage?

Healthy touch is a key element in promoting secure bonding & attachment between children and their parents/caregivers. Bonding is the early contact between the two parties, and it enhances their relationship throughout life. Attachment is the shared experiences and the exchange of verbal and non- verbal communication that create mutual feelings of love, comfort, trust and respect. This is a life long process that begins before birth. Healthy massage can only enhance this process by increasing the probability of successful parent/caregiver and child relationships -- facilitating the establishment of security, availability and support for the child and ultimately empowering the parents because they now have a tool to help their child grow in a whole new healthy and loving way.


Jin Shin Do® BodymindTMAcupressure, "The Way of the Compassionate Spirit"): Combination of acupressure and Taoist yogic breathing methods developed in the 1970s by psychotherapist Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, author of The Acupressure Way of Health: Jin Shin Do (Japan Publications, Inc., 1978) and The Joy of Feeling: Bodymind Acupressure (Japan Publications, Inc., 1987). It borrows from Reichian Therapy and allegedly moves "stagnant energy" through the body. According to Jin Shin Do theory, stressful experiences increase tension at certain acupoints. Practitioners decide on which parts of the body are "tense." Then, purportedly to "balance" the "energy" of the body, they hold the "tense" part with one hand and supposedly stimulate a series of acupoints with the other. "Jin shin do" means "way of the compassionate spirit" in Japanese.

Jin Shin Do is based on the "Strange Flows," which provide a short-cut to balancing the body energy. It uses a unique 45-point system, a color- coded chart and simple "release examples" (like recipes) to make it easy for anyone to use Jin Shin Do to help self, family and friends. As the student progresses, s/he learns the twelve "Organ Meridians" and, eventually, a couple hundred points. Jin Shin Do classes teach how to combine these powerful points, by pressing one or more "distal points" while a point of tension, or "local point," is held. The distal points help to release tense areas more easily, deeply and pleasurably.


Lomi-lomi (Ancient Hawai'ian Bodywork, Lomi Lomi Nui): "Prayerful" type of massage practiced by kahunas (Hawaiian witch doctors). It includes the laying on of hands; its theory posits mana, an alleged supernatural force; and one of its purported purposes is to let a person's spirit be "more fully present."

Lomilomi is a spiritual healing art that the Kahunas (Hawaiian experts) practiced for centuries. Today, there are only a handful of these masters of Hawaiian descent. Because of the evolution of healing practices throughout the world, some of these masters began to impart their knowledge and open up the teaching to non-natives, with training and permission. The therapy involves a “hands on” setting, finishing with a full body routine. It includes “Ho’oponopono,” breathing techniques, and biomechanics and healing chants.

Furthermore, deep tissue techniques that involve the use of hot towels and hot stones, and techniques for specific conditions. Healing chants, breathing, and centering techniques. Wellbeing of practitioner and client is increased through proper use of body weight, relaxed hands and loving touch.

Lomilomi massage was one of the most often used forms of physical therapy in old Hawai'i. It was often a family occupation with methods varying from family to family, though generally the village kahuna would train the family member who was destined to inherit the knowledge over a period of years to be sure of his ability as a lomilomi healer.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymph drainage massage is a unique technique first developed in Europe as a physical therapy modality for the treatment of lymphedema disease. Experience has shown that it is not only for ill patients; lymph drainage massage is also a perfect technique for helping clients to maintain health and improve the beauty of the skin.

In the 1930s, a Danish doctor, Hans Vodder, noticed the connection between swollen and blocked lymph glands and colds, infections and other ailments. Since the lymph system is designed to remove bacteria and toxins from the body, he reasoned that massaging the lymph system would improve the flow of lymph and benefit the patient. Together with his wife, a massage practitioner, they developed a specific technique that massages the lymph nodes and lymph system using light rhythmic strokes. A characteristic of lymph system massage is that the strokes are always with the muscle fiber, rather than cross-fiber, because the lymph system runs in the direction of the muscle fiber. Rated Light

All the Lymphatic Drainage strokes are based on one principle motion. Research has found that the initial lymphatics open up and the lymph regions are stimulated by a straight stretch, but even more so with a little lateral motion. After these 2 motions, we need to release completely to allow the initial lymphatics to close and the lymph to be sucked down the channels. In this zero pressure phase don’t completely disconnect from the skin, just return your pressure to nothing. Also don’t pull the skin back with you as you return, let it spring back by itself.

This basic motion may resemble a circle, and is called stationary circles. All motions are based on this principle. In orienting this motion, we always want to push the lymph towards the correct nodes, so the last, lateral stretch motion should be going towards the nodes.

Lymphatic drainage massage can be combined with other techniques with cellulite massage to speed the removal of toxins

with sports massage to speed the healing of injuries

with deep tissue massage to reduce post -session soreness and swelling with facials to enhance the skin from the inside and outside

with body-mind work to produce a deeply relaxed state for inner work with detoxifying treatments to speed the removal of cellular garbage

Medical Massage

Medical massage is the combination of Swedish massage strokes and other modalities of massage techniques used on the treatment of medically diagnosed physical condition.

Mennel Massage Technique

Developed by James B. Mennel, a medical officer and massage lectured at the

Training School of St. Thoma’s Hospital in London, England, is a form of medical massage that uses a slow rhythm and light pressure where the strokes are done toward the heart to promote lymphatic drainage. Elevation of the limbs was used in order to speed up the lymphatic circulation. Healthy tissue is massage first, leading up to the area of injury. The length of the treatment depends upon the degree of the condition, and the therapist uses herbally blended oils.

Mennel preferred mechanical vibrators to the practitioner’s techniques because he believed that vibrators delivered a more efficient, firm, and even movements, where a human hand could not achieve.

Obstetric Massage or Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy massage is the prenatal use of massage therapy to support the

physiologic, structural, and emotional well- being of both mother and fetus. Various forms of massage therapy, including Swedish, deep tissue, neuromuscular, movement, and Oriental-based therapies, may be applied throughout pregnancy as well as during labor and the postpartum period.


Profound physiologic, functional, emotional, relational, and lifestyle changes occur during gestation and labor, often creating high stress levels. Too much stress can negatively affect maternal and infant health, resulting in reduced uterine blood supply and higher incidence of miscarriage, prematurity, and other complications. Massage therapy can help a woman approach her due date with less anxiety as well as less physical discomfort. Even apart from easing specific aches, massage can act as an overall tonic and increase the expectant mother's body awareness.

Massage therapy can address the various physical challenges of pregnancy: edema; foot, leg, or hand discomforts; and pain in the lower back, pelvis, or hips. Swedish massage may facilitate gestation by supporting cardiac function, placental and mammary development, and increasing cellular respiration. It can also reduce edema and high blood pressure as well as contribute to sympathetic nervous system sedation. Deep tissue, trigger point, and both active and passive movements alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints, muscles, and fascial tissues to reduce neck and back pain caused by poor posture and strain on the uterine ligaments. During labor, women whose partners use basic massage strokes on their backs and legs have shorter, less complicated labors. After the baby's birth, massage therapy can gently facilitate the body's return to its pre-pregnancy state, alleviate pain, foster a renewed sense of body and self, and help maintain flexibility despite the physical stresses of infant care. For post-Caesarean mothers, specific therapeutic techniques can also reduce scar tissue formation and facilitate the healing of the incision and related soft tissue areas.

Myofascial Release®

Myofascial Release is a highly specialized stretching technique used by physical therapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems.

To understand what Myofascial Release is and why it works, you have to understand a little about fascia. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn't expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.

In other words, Myofascial Release is stretching of the fascia. The stretch is guided by feedback the therapist feels from the patient's body. This feedback tells the therapist how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch. Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes the therapist uses only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. The feedback the therapist feels determines which muscles are stretched and in what order.

Each Myofascial Release technique contains the same components. The physical therapist finds the area of tightness. A light stretch is applied to the tight area. The physical therapist waits for the tissue to relax and then increases the stretch. The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed. Then, the next area is stretched.

The therapist will be able to find sore spots just by feel. Often, patients are unable to pinpoint some sore spots or have grown used to them until the physical therapist finds them. The size and sensitivity of these sore spots, called Myofascial Trigger Points, will decrease with treatment.

Most patients are surprised by how gentle Myofascial Release is. Some patients fall asleep during treatment. Others later go home and take a nap. Most patients find Myofascial Release to be a very relaxing form of treatment.

Myofascial Release is not massage. Myofascial Release is used to equalize muscle tension throughout the body. Unequal muscle tension can compress nerves and muscles causing pain. Progress is measured by a decrease in the patient's pain and by an improvement in overall posture.


Myotherapy has its origins in the medical discipline of trigger point injection therapy pioneered by Janet Travell, M.D., and therapeutic exercise and immediate mobilization developed by Dr. Hans Kraus, it is non-invasive and very teachable which has encouraged wide spread use of Myotherapy by the ordinary person via Bonnie Prudden’s books, videos, self-help tools, TV and radio appearances.

Myotherapy is a method of relaxing muscle spasm, improving circulation and alleviating pain. To defuse "trigger points," pressure is applied to the muscle for several seconds by means of fingers, knuckles and elbows.

"Trigger points" are highly irritable spots in muscles, which take up residence in the muscle when it is damaged at any time in life, starting before birth. Accidents, sports, occupations and disease add their share. Trigger points become activated when undue stress, either physical or emotional, is present. An activated trigger point throws the muscle into spasm and spasm causes pain. Older persons suffer more than younger ones because they have had more time to acquire trigger points...NOT because of more years

During a Myotherapy session, the trigger points are defused by pressure and the newly relaxed muscles are then passively stretched to help return them to their normal state of painless activity. The average number of sessions is fewer than ten.

In a Myotherapy session, the patient, shoeless and wearing loose clothing, lies relaxed on a table as the body is checked for areas of potentially active trigger points, highly irritable spots that remain in the muscle after it has been damaged.

When a trigger point meets with either excess emotional or physical stress it often responds by throwing a muscle into spasm. Spasm, in turn, causes pain. The myotherapist erases the spasm by pressing on the appropriate trigger points and then re- educates the affected muscle to its normal resting relaxed condition with special exercises designed for each individual problem. The correct exercise is requisite to success. Each person is trained in the exercises needed to remain free of pain using Myotherapy.


Naprapathy is a treatment method, which concentrates on studying, treating and preventing locomotor disorders. Passive treatment methods are manipulation, mobilization and soft-tissue methods and active ones include medical training therapy and ergonomical guidance.

Naprapathy is a branch of medicine, (manual medicine) that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. Doctors of Naprapathy are connective tissue specialists.


Naprapathic treatment consists of Naprapathic manipulative techniques, adjunctive treatments, and nutritional counseling

A functional locomotor disorder is a common treatment indication. Pains, symptoms or detrimental factors caused by this disorder can be affected mechanically, either increasing the symptom or decreasing it (provocation tests) during the treatment. Motional restrictions for a joint or joints are used as an indication for manipulation treatment. These can be expected to be in connection with the patient's symptoms. Counter-indications concerning the patient's health or other condition can be an obstacle for naprapathic treatment.

The purpose of treatment is to cure functional locomotor disorders. The main treatment methods are manipulation or mobilization treatments for joints and different kinds of soft tissue methods (if necessary). Other scientifically effective physical medicine

treatments can be also used as preliminary treatments. The most common of these are ultrasonic, cry-/thermotherapy, electro-irritation and electrical pain-relieving treatments.

A naprapath can apply indicated medical training therapy to the patient. This can be used while treating, for example, joint hypermobility or instability, or while attempting to affect joint mobility and muscular strength by training.


  • · low back pain
  • · neck pain
  • · sciatica
  • · joint pain
  • · structural headaches
  • · migraines
  • · TMJ
  • · spasms
  • · sprain/strains
  • · tennis elbow
  • · whiplash



"Naturopathy: a distinct system of non-invasive healthcare and health assessment in which neither surgery nor drugs are used, depend ence being placed only on education, counseling, naturopathic modalities and natural substances, including without limitation, the use of foods, food extracts, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, digestive aids, botanical substances, topical natural substances, homeopathic preparations, air, water, heat, cold, sound, light, the physical modalities of magnetic therapy, naturopathic non-manipulative bodywork and exercise to help stimulate and maintain the individual's intrinsic self-healing processes."

Naturopathic doctors are trained specialists in a separate and distinct healing art which uses non-invasive natural medicine. They are not orthodox medical doctor’s (M.D.s).

Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are conventionally trained in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, counseling, dietary evaluations, nutrition, herbology, acupressure, muscle relaxation and structural normalization, homeopathy, iridology, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy and thermal therapy.

Naturopathic doctors tailor the healing modality to the needs of the individual with methods, which are effective for both chronic and acute problems.

Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all branches of medical science, referring individuals to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

Ohashiatsu ®

Ohashiatsu is a nurturing method of touch based on Eastern healing philosophies. Developed by Ohashi after years of practicing, teaching and observing human nature, Ohashiatsu incorporates touch techniques, exercise, meditations and Eastern healing philosophy.

Ohashiatsu courses are filled with insights into our daily lives, helping us gain a healthy perspective of how and why we move and react. Gentle exercises and hands-on touch techniques relieve stress, improve health and rejuvenate both giver and receiver.

Meditations and the philosophies behind Ohashiatsu help quiet mind and self, while the knowledge and techniques learned in each course can be used in everyday life and shared with family and friends.

Like other Eastern therapies, Ohashiatsu manipulates the energy within the body and uses a framework of Eastern philosophy. However, the emphasis of Ohashiatsu is on communication and synergism between giver and receiver, on the self-development of the giver as well as the receiver and on true physical, psychological and spiritual harmony for both. A primary difference between Ohashiatsu and other bodywork methods is: Ohashiatsu maintains and improves the giver's posture, movement and well-being. When you give Ohashiatsu, you are energized and regenerated because of the way your body moves, because you are enhancing your Ki energy (the force that gives us life) and because you are meditating while you work. For many students, studying Ohashiatsu begins a voyage of self-discovery and self-healing.

Japanese Deep Tissue Therapy

This therapy is an energetic deep tissue therapy with a combination of energy Meridian therapy developed by Antonio Carrico a traditional naturopath doctor and the founder of the American Bodywork Institute

The Japanese Deep Tissue Therapy works over Meridians (pathways of energy) and over muscles of the human body. This therapy helps to balance the energy that circulates into the meridians and also helps to relax the muscle fibers. Strokes using the forearm, hands, and fingers are applied over these Meridians and muscles with the attempt to stimulate the energy and promote muscular relaxation. A full body session is normally done during a Japanese Deep Tissue therapy. However, an isolated and more specific work may be applied to an area or multiple areas if a clinical work is desired. The time frame for completion of the therapy depends if is a full body or a localized work is done. The time for treatment may vary from 15 to 60 minutes. The direction of the strokes are pedal (downward) and rhythmically, giving the end feeling of more energy but with general relaxation.


Ortho-Bionomy is a gentle, non-forced way of releasing tension from throughout the body. Ortho-Bionomy is non-intrusive as it recognizes comfort and completely honors where the body is at the moment. Simply described, imagine a piece of wire that has become kinked. If you pull on the wire, the knot tightens. If you offer slack in the tension, you can more easily unknot the wire and bring it back to its natural straightness. Ortho-Bionomy takes this approach in working with tightened muscles in the body. By gentle positioning of the body into its preferred posture (offering slack leading to a place of relaxation), Ortho-Bionomy creates a comfort zone within the body and once recognized by the person the body is allowed to return to a state of balance and ease of movement away from pain.

Ortho-Bionomy is in many ways a way of life. Ortho -Bionomy allows people to experience and understand themselves and their body in a different perspective than most are accustomed to. It allows one the opportunity to be in touch with certain patterns of

stress or tension in the body (whether physical or emotional) and gently enhances the body's own natural healing process. By stimulation of the body's self-corrective reflexes it allows the person to recognize and release those patterns which conflict with comfort in the body thereby naturally bringing the body back into balance.

Ortho-Bionomy is an educational system reminding the body of proper alignment for comfort. Better posture, increased vitality, and a greater sense of harmonious connection with the environment, result.

Polarity Therapy

Is a health system based on the concept of the Human Energy Bio-Field. The term

“polarity” is used to describe the basic nature of this energy flow: cycles of expansion/contraction and attraction/repulsion. Polarity therapy was originated by Randolph Stone, D.O.,D.C.,N.D. Polarity incorporates bodywork, diet, exercise and counseling in a comprehensive physical, emotional, mental and spiritual approach to total healthcare. Dr. Stone treated patients and conducted research at his office in Chicago for over 50 years. When he retired in 1974, his students continued development of the system, diversifying its applications across a broad spectrum of disciplines. In the 1980s, the American Polarity Therapy Association assumed polarity leadership. Disease and pain occur when energy is blocked, fixed or imbalanced. Blockages arise primarily from trauma, self-defeating attitudes and expectations and unhealthful lifestyles. In diet, polarity espouses a vegetarian diet with periodic cleansing practices.


Is also called RADIX Neo- Reichian education, is an educational model by which students learn how to experience, express and manage feelings that are trapped in deep body tissues. Radix emphasizes personal growth and development toward individual differentiation; students participate fully in the process.


The origin of reflexology is hazy, but Dougans offers several conjectures. One is that it goes back 5,000 years to ancient China; another that it originated among the Incas who passed it along to Native Americans. Dougans reproduces an ancient Egyptian picture showing a man massaging another man's foot. She thinks this proves that reflexology flourished in ancient Egypt. Evidence for all these theories is nonexistent. What is known is that reflexology was a spinoff from a more general therapy called zone therapy that became popular in Europe, Russia, and America in the late nineteenth century.

Reflexology the study, science and art of using various touch techniques on specific points of the feet, hands, or ears. Dr. William Fitzgerald, an ear, nose and throat specialist developed Western Reflexology in 1913. Eunice Ingham, a massage therapist and an assistant of Dr. Joe Shelby Riley, a pioneer in zone therapy, conducted further research.


An ancient system of natural healing that works with the human Energy Bio-Field. Reiki training is divided into three main levels. In the first level, Reiki I people are attuned to the energy and instructed in a balanced method of channeling it for themselves and for others. In the second level, Reiki II, people are attuned to a more sensitive level and given the means to intensify the power of the reiki energy that flows through them. The third level, Reiki III, is mastership in which a person acquires the ability to initiate people to the use of Reiki.

Generally, the Reiki session takes between 30 and 90 minutes. It accelerates healing of physical injuries, discomforts and diseases.


Rolfing is a unique system of bodywork designed to change the way people relate to gravity by systematically lengthening and repositioning the body’s entire connective tissue matrix in a highly detailed 10-session series causing deep changes in the body, which are physical as well as emotional.

Dr. Ida P. Rolf developed Rolfing. She was born in New York and graduated from Barnard College in 1916 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

The most common misconception about Rolfing is that the technique consists of gratuitous pressure that is applied to the client, but the Rolfer’s eyes, more than his hands, are the primary tolls used to “see” the structural patterns that have emerged over the course of a person’s life.

Each of the ten sessions has a number of structural goals addressed individually according to each client’s pattern. The fourth session works deep into the body’s core, from the inside of the ankles to the pelvic floor, hamstrings back and neck. The fifth session concentrates on releasing deep abdominal muscles.


Shiatsu an ancient Japanese bodywork system that uses hand, knuckle, palm, elbow or foot pressure on specific points, called TSUBOS, located along energy pathways, called

MERIDIANS, to promote the free flow of Ki (Chi). The word shi translates to mean “finger” and atsu means, “pressure.”

Oriental medical theories maintain that disease occurs because of a stagnation or blockage in the free flow of Ki energy. Balance must be established in order for health to be restored. Shiatsu uses pressure techniques to affect the interrupted energy flow throughout the meridians and related organs.

A shiatsu treatment generally takes less than an hour. Before the work begins, however, the practitioner uses many of Japanese and Chinese medicine’s diagnostic techniques to evaluate the client’s energetic, emotional and physical condition.

The treatment begins with the client laying on a padded mat or futon, dresses in loosely fitted clothing. Joints are often put through their Range of Motion to increase their flexibility. Specific points are held for approximately 3 to 10 seconds. The pressure can be shallow or deep.

Shiatsu has many beneficial effects. In addiction to balancing Ki energy and the five elements to prevent disease, this ancient system reduces muscle tension, promotes the functioning of the internal organs, prompts peristaltic contractions of the intestines, is deeply relaxing and is useful in treating symptoms with no or slight organic malformation. Shiatsu bodywork can also be adapted for self-help purposes.

Shiatsu is contraindicated in the presence of contagious diseases; for patients with serious organ disorders in the heart, liver, kidneys or lungs; with patients who are susceptible to internal bleeding.

St. John Neuromuscular Therapy

St. John Neuromuscular Therapy, also called St. John Neuromuscular Pain Relief or the St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy, is the science by which balance is brought about between the nervous and musculoskeletal system. This system recognizes five physiological principles that govern the activity of the nervous and musculoskeletal system as the predominant forces that create balance.

These five principles are dysfunctional biomechanics, postural distortion, ischemia (lack of blood), trigger points and nerve compression and entrapment.

Paul St. Jonh created St. John Neuromuscular Therapy during the 1970s as a result of his own constant physical pain. He had sustained a serious back injury in high school, survived a helicopter crash in Vietnam and was severely injured in a automobile accident in 1974.

The client is actively involved in the process of healing by helping the St. John Therapist understand his or her particular condition. The initial visit is generally an hour or an hour and a half long. During that assessment, the therapist evaluates for:

  1. Postural Distortions
  2. Biomechanical Dysfunction
  3. Soft Tissue causes of these patterns and presenting pain conditions

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage in the United States. It involves the use of hands, forearms or elbows to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles to improve mental and physical health. Active or passive movement of the joints may also be part of the massage. The benefits of Swedish massage include increased blood circulation, mental and physical relaxation, decreased stress and muscle tension, and improved range of motion.

A Swedish fencing instructor named Per Henrik Ling in the 1830s invented Swedish massage. When he was injured in the elbows, he reportedly cured himself using tapping (percussion) strokes around the affected area. He later developed the technique currently known as Swedish massage. Two brothers, Dr. Charles and Dr. George Taylor in the 1850s, brought this technique to the United States from Sweden. The specific techniques used in Swedish massage involve the application of long gliding strokes, friction, and kneading and tapping movements on the soft tissues of the body. Sometimes, passive or active joint movements are also used.

There are numerous physical benefits associated with the use of Swedish massage:

  • temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, and athletic injuries
  • · speeding up healing from injury and illness

· improving lymphatic drainage of metabolic wastes

In Swedish massage, the person to be massaged lies on a massage table and is draped with a towel or sheet. It is a full-body massage treatment, except in areas that are contraindicated or where the client requests not to be touched. Aromatic or unscented oil or lotion is used to facilitate the massage movements. Each session usually lasts 30-60 minutes. Depending on the client's preferences, a massage session may involve the use of several or all of the following basic techniques: effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration, and tapotement.

  • · kidney disease
  • · large hernias
  • · hemorrhaging
  • · torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles
  • · high blood pressure or heart problems
  • · certain kinds of cancer

· history of phlebitis or thrombosis (These patients may have blood clots that may

  • become dislodged and travel to the lungs, with potentially fatal results.)

    • drug treatment with blood thinners (These medications increase the risk of bleeding under the skin.)

Some clients with histories of physical violence or abuse may feel uncomfortable about removing their clothing or other aspects of massage. A brief explanation of what happens in a massage session and how they can benefit from massage is usually helpful.

Side effects

There have been few reported side effects associated with massage of low or moderate intensity. Intense massage, however, may increase the risk of injury to the body. Vigorous massage has been associated with muscle pain and such injuries as bleeding in the liver or other vital organs, and the dislodgment of blood clots.

Research & general acceptance

Swedish massage is now gaining acceptance from the medical community as a complementary treatment. Studies have shown that massage can relax the body, decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce stress and depression. It may also provide symptomatic relief for many chronic diseases. Many doctors now prescribe massage therapy as symptomatic treatment for headache, facial pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, other chronic and acute conditions, stress, and athletic injuries. Many insurance companies now reimburse patients for prescribed massage therapy. As of 2000, however, Medicare and Medicaid do not pay for this form of alternative treatment.

Thai Massage

Thai massage, also known as Nuad bo-Rarn in its traditional medical form, is a type of Oriental bodywork therapy that is based on the treatment of the human body, mind, and spirit. The therapy includes treating the electromagnetic or energetic field, which surrounds, infuses and brings the body to life through pressure and/or manipulative massage.

The origins of traditional Thai massage reputedly began over 2,000 years ago along with the introduction of Buddhism. It is one of four branches of traditional medicine in Thailand, the others being herbs, nutrition, and spiritual practice. The legendary historical creator of Thai medicine is Dr. Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, known as Shivago Komarpaj in Thailand. Bhaccha was from the north of India and said to be a close associate of the Buddha and chief to the original community gathered around the Buddha. The movement of medicine into Thailand accompanied migration of monks from India to Thailand, possibly around the second century B.C.E. Thai medicine developed within the context of Buddhist monasteries and temples, where Thai have traditionally sought relief from all kinds of suffering.

While the recorded history of Thai massage was lost during the Burmese attack on the royal capital of Ayutthia in 1767, the surviving records are now inscribed in stone and can be found at the Sala Moh Nuat (massage pavilion) within the temple of Pra Chetuphon in Bangkok, known as wat Po, the temple of the reclining Buddha. Its spiritual aspect also remains as teachers of the therapy begin classes with the practice of wai- kru, a series of prayers and recitations dedicated to Shivago Komarpaj, the father of Thai massage and the Goddess of Healing, and teaches of the tradition through the centuries.

The benefits of Thai massage are numerous with the most predominant being the maintenance of good health and its ability to treat a wide spectrum of health concerns. Traditional Thai massage is known for its ability to clear the energy pathways.

  • · eliminates muscle pain and muscle spasms
  • · improves postural alignment

· calms the nervous system and promotes a deep sense of relaxation with

  • an increased energy level
  • · allows for a significant release of deep, emotional distress
  • · stimulates blood circulation and lymph drainage
  • · stimulates internal organs

· relieves fatigue, swollen limbs, painful joints, and headaches

Thai massage looks like a cross between acupressure, yoga, and zen shiatsu and is inspired by Buddhist teachings. The actual massage consists of a technique that uses slow, rhythmic compressions and stretches along the body's energy lines, also called sen in Thai. Over 70,000 sen are said to exist within the body, and Thai massage concentrates on applying pressure along 10 of the most important sen using the palms of the hands, thumbs, elbows, and feet. The effort from the practitioner works to free tension within the

body. Practitioners also position the body into yoga-like poses and gently rock the body to more deeply open joints and facilitate limbering.

A thorough Thai massage includes the following four basic positions:

  • · from the front with the client lying supine
  • · from the side with the client alternately lying on either side
  • · from the back with the client lying prone · in a sitting position

One of the most important principles of Thai massage is the continuous flow of sequential movements that prepares the client for the next step in the massage. The practitioner is always aware of his position so that an uninterrupted, slow rhythm is maintained. Deep, sustained pressure ensures that the myofascia, or the muscle's connective tissue, soften and relax in order to release the flow of energy along the sen, and to prepare the client for the large-scale stretches that follow.

There are two styles of practice, Northern (Chiang-mai) and Southern (Bangkok). The former is considered gentler. The latter is faster and sometimes more intense but is widespread in Thailand, while the Northern style has become popular in the United States.

The preparation needed before receiving a Thai massage is minimal. A Thai massage is typically performed on a floor mat enabling practitioners the ability to use their body weight and to incorporate the many movements that would not be possible on a massage table. Normally, the client remains fully clothed, and lubricant for the skin is rarely used. A Thai massage usually lasts one to two hours, but may be three hours or more if needed.

While some of the pressure techniques used in Thai massage may seem too penetrating to many, most can adjust to it quickly. For those who are frail or stiff, a skilled practitioner will be able to adjust all of the soft tissue and manipulation work to their level of comfort.

Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic touch is a method that claims to assist the natural healing process by redirecting and rebalancing the energy fields within the body. A practitioner places his or her hands on or close to the body of the patient and redistributes the patient's energy or transmits his or her own energy as appropriate.

This technique is employed as a healing system and claims to be useful for reducing pain and anxiety, promoting relaxation, and stimulating the body's natural healing process.

Besides the danger of a seriously ill person choosing only therapeutic touch and excluding any other type of medicine, it is not recommended for conditions like cancer, in which increased blood flow may be harmful rather than healing.

Therapeutic touch can be regarded as a modern variation of the ancient "laying-on of hands." Stories of the use of touch as a healing method can be found in the Bible, in Greek mythology and Eastern philosophy, in Native American myths, and in the "royal touch" of the kings in medieval Europe. Therapeutic touch was developed and named in 1972 by Dolores Krieger, a nursing professor at New York University. Krieger had been inspired by the therapist and clairvoyant, Dora Kunz, who had been studying the laying on of hands and who worked with and observed the renowned Hungarian psychic healer, Oskar Estabany.

As developed by Krieger, therapeutic touch does not necessarily involve massage, bodywork, or even any actual touching. In fact, the practitioner's hands are usually placed an inch or two above the patient's body and may move or hover. This unusual technique is based on the Eastern notion that the body, like all living things, has a life-energy field that extends beyond or outside itself. It is argued that, in a state of health, this life energy flows freely and in a balanced manner in, through, and out of the body, and nourishes all of the body's organs. Disease occurs, it is thought, when the flow of energy is blocked, unbalanced, or depleted. Trained practitioners of therapeutic touch claim to be able to tune into or "feel" this energy field with their hands, and can sense when the flow is congested or disordered. The practitioner then manipulates this invisible energy field, smoothing out the "ruffled" field and channeling new energy into the ill person's body.


Tui Na is an ancient Chinese system of massage and bodywork. History shows that

China’s first physician Pien Jue used this type of bodywork system. Tui- na uses a variety of hand techniques, such as grasping, pressing, rolling, rubbing, vibrating, pushing, squeezing, twisting, and tapping and dragging. It is gentle but vigorous treatment usually lasting for 20 to 30 minutes. The practitioner uses his fingers, thumb surfaces, knuckles, palms and elbows in order to stimulate the acupoints, affect the meridians and treat the soft tissue.

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