Integrative Health Vermont: Terminology


An ancient Chinese technique involving the insertion of fine needles just under the skin in specific locations in order to relieve pain and treat a wide variety of complaints. The World Health Organization says acupuncture can be beneficial in many medical conditions ranging from neurological and gastrointestinal to mental and emotional ones.

Botanical Medicine

The use of plants for medicinal purposes, generally in the form of tinctures or powders. Also called ‘herbal medicine’.

Craniosacral Therapy

Therapeutic massage that focuses on releasing restrictions of the Cranial sutures and the underlying membranes through gentle hands-on contact with the bones of the skull. Craniosacral Therapy is gaining acceptance by health professionals worldwide as a successful treatment modality to improve overall body functioning. It treats a range of conditions, from headaches and ear infections to stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, and Cerebral Palsy. It has been especially successful in treating newborns and infants for common conditions such as earaches, sinus congestion, vomiting, irritability, and hyperactivity.


Sometimes spelt wholistic. It means targeted to the whole person - mind, body, and spirit. Holistic medicine considers not only physical health but also the emotional, spiritual, social, and mental well-being of the person.


A Medical system that uses immeasurably small doses of materials to stimulate the body’s own defense and healing process.

Lymphatic Drainage

Therapeutic massage that uses a delicate pumping technique to drain lymph nodes of water and trapped toxins. It promotes the elimination of toxins while it soothes and relaxes, and is an excellent choice for relieving the pain and swelling of sinusitis.


Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and cutting edge natural therapies to enhance their bodies’ ability to ward off and combat disease. NDs view the patient as a complex, interrelated system (a whole person), not as a clogged artery or a tumor. Naturopathic physicians craft comprehensive treatment plans that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat disease, but to also restore health.

Oriental Medicine

A complete medical system originating in China many centuries ago that uses acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, nutrition, massage, Qigong and Tai Chi. It is the most widely integrated form of energy medicine in western cultures. Traditionally used for prevention, it is has garnered modern acclaim for successful treatment of a variety of acute and chronic conditions without the adverse side-effects found in Western medicine.


Qigong (chee-GONG) is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that combines movement, meditation and the regulation of breathing to enhance the flow of vital energy (qi, pronounced chi) in the body, to improve blood circulation and to enhance immune function.