Naturopathy – based on the concept of the healing force of nature that emphasizes the prevention of disease and the maintenance of health. Naturopathic physicians avoid therapies that weaken the body’s innate ability to self-heal or that take over a function of the body. Instead, naturopathic practice emphasizes the concepts of wellness, prevention, and the role of the health care provider as a teacher. Diagnosis and treatment based on natural laws. They may prescribe medications. Training includes: clinical training in botanical medicine (pharmacognosy), hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, therapeutic nutrition, and homeopathy. Modalities include phytotherapy, electrotherapy, physiotherapy, minor surgery, mechanotherapy, and therapeutic manipulation. Nutrition and dietary supplementation routinely used.
Chiropractic – embraces many of the same principles as naturopathy, particularly the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself and that the practitioner’s role is to assist the body in doing so, like naturopathy, chiropractic focuses on wellness and prevention and favors noninvasive treatments. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. Focus on locating and removing interferences to the body’s natural ability to maintain health, called subluxations (specifically musculoskeletal problems that lead to interference with the nervous system functioning properly). The central approach is the manual manipulation of the body, such as spinal adjustment and muscle work, with support from physiologic approaches to healing such as lifestyle modification.
Homeopathy – is a medical theory and practice advanced to counter the conventional medical practices of 200 years ago. It endeavors to help the body heal itself by treating like with like, commonly known as the law of similar. The law of similar is based on the theory that, if a large amount of a substance causes symptoms in a healthy person, a smaller amount of the same substance can be used to treat an ill person. The amounts of the remedies used in homeopathic medicines are extremely diluted, according to homeopathic principles, remedies are potentized (they become more powerful through shaking; a tincture is made directly from the source material; one drop of the tincture is then mixed with 99 drops of water or alcohol to make the first potency. The mixture is vigorously shaken more than 100 times). The minimum-dose principle means that many homeopathic remedies are so dilute that no actual molecules of the healing substance can be detected by chemical tests. The goal of homeopathy is to select a remedy that will bring about a sense of well-being on all levels-physical, mental, and emotional – and that will alleviate physical symptoms and restore the patient to a state of wellness and creative energy. Clinical evidence on the efficacy of homeopathy is highly contradictory.
Traditional oriental medicine – based on the concept that energy, also termed chi or life-force energy, is the center of body functions. Chi is the intangible force that animates life and enlivens all activity. Wellness is a function of the balanced and harmonious flow of chi, whereas illness or disease results from disturbances in its flow. Wellness also requires preserving equilibrium between the contrasting states of yin and yang. The underlying principle is preventive in nature, and the body is viewed as a reflection of the natural world. Four substances: blood, jing, shen (spirit), and fluids (body fluids other than blood) – constitute the fundamentals. The nutritional modality has several components: foods as a means of obtaining nutrition, food as a tonic or medicine, and the abstention from food. Foods are classified according to taste (sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty) and property (cool, cold, warm, hot and plain) to regulate yin, yang, chi and blood. The meridians are channels that carry chi and blood throughout the body. These are not channels per se, but rather they are invisible vertical networks that act as energy circuits, unifying all parts of the body and connecting the inner and the outer body. Organs are not viewed as anatomic concepts but as energetic fields.
Acupuncture – the use of thin needles, inserted into points on the meridians, to stimulate the body’s chi, or vital energy. Related to the concept of acupuncture is moxibustion, the application of heat along meridian acupuncture points for the purpose of affecting chi and blood so as to balance substances and organs. This therapy is used to treat disharmony in the body, which leads to disease. Disharmony or loss of balance, is caused by a weakening of the yin force in the body, which preserves and nurtures life, or a weakening of the yang force, which generates and activates life. The concept of yin and yang expresses the dual nature of all things, the opposing but complementary forces that are interdependent on each other and must exist in equilibrium.
Massage therapy – the philosophy of message therapy is that there is a healing that occurs though the action of touching. The key principles of body work is the importance of increasing blood circulation, moving lymphatic tissue to remove waste and release toxins, calming of spirit, enhancing physiologic functions of body systems, and improving musculoskeletal function. This therapy has also been widely used to reduce stress and increase energy.
Osteopathic medicine - emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. The key is to look at the whole person, which means to see each person as more than just a collection of organ systems and body parts that may become injured or diseased. Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. Osteopathic physicians hold to the priciple that a patient's history of illness and physical trauma are written into the body's structure. The osteopathic physician's highly developed sense of touch allows the physician to feel (palpitate) the patient's "living anatomy" (the flow of fluids, motion and texture of tissues, and structural makeup).