ABCs of Natural Health

By Diane Olson

Talk about a revolution—living a healthful lifestyle enables you to have the strength to get up and do what needs to be done. Here’s a look at the alternative systems and tools, and some of the practitioners, who can help.

Welcome to Catalyst’s 7th Annual Guide to Alternative Healthcare. Periodiclly we examine all the diverse medical and health care systems and practices that are not presently considered to be part of conventional, or allopathic, medicine, and update our list of offerings. Some of these therapies are thousands of years old. Others are as new as the latest technology. Old and new, they all share a common belief in the body’s innate ability to heal itself, and a common goal to facilitate mental, spiritual and physical well-being. Not all, but most of these practices can be found in the Salt Lake Valley.

We hope this guide encourages you to explore the wide variety of alternative practices available. And remember, it’s all about health: Be proactive. Don’t wait until you feel unwell to seek treatment. You take your car in for regular tune-ups—why not your body? Explore those modalities that intrigue and may benefit you. So it doesn’t fit your health insurance company’s definition of acceptable care and you have to spend some money up front? It’s worth it. Most of these modalities are pleasant. You can talk about them in polite company. And they work—which means you stay healthy.

Thanks to Guthrie Goeglein for additional assistance in researching this story.

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Ayurveda, the oldest and most complicated medical system in the world, dating back to 3,000 B.C., is the basis of all Oriental medicine. Ayurvedic means “the science of life,” and it is said to have been developed by the same sages who crafted India’s original systems of meditation and yoga. The primary health care system used in India, Ayurveda is often practiced hand-in-hand with Western medicine in this country. A highly personalized regime, it categorizes patients into doshas, or body types, each with a specific lifestyle, diet and exercise plan.

Traditionally, practitioners diagnosed illness or imbalance based on physical observation, extensive discussion, and examination of the pulse, tongue and urine. However, practitioners may also use Western diagnostic tools. Ayurvedic practitioners regularly use diet, herbal tonics, exercise, yoga, meditation, massage, medicated inhalation, herbal sweat baths, medicated enemas, and panchakarma, an intensive detoxification process. In India, Ayurvedic physicians must attend a minimum of five years training. In the U.S. no specific license or training is required, though some medical schools offer specializations in Ayurvedic medicine.

Shiva Centre
Vedic Harmony, 801-942-5876


Acupuncture originated in China around 3,000 years ago, based on the belief that health is determined by a balanced flow of chi, or energy, through the body’s 12 major energy pathways or meridians. Practitioners insert slender needles into combinations of the 1,000-plus acupoints in the body to rebalance chi and consequently relieve pain and restore health. In the 1960s, a team of researchers in Korea, attempting to document the existence of meridians, discovered an independent series of fine, duct-like tubes corresponding to the paths originally mapped by the Chinese nearly 5,000 years ago.

Acupuncture has been proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of acute, chronic and degenerative conditions, including addiction, allergies, asthma, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, fibromyalgia, hot flashes, irritable bowel syndrome, Ménière’s disease, migraine, morning sickness, osteoarthritis, PMS, rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, sciatica, stroke, tonsillitis and more.

Required training: The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) gives a national competency exam. To sit for this board, a student must attend a graduate school program in traditional Chinese medicine for three to four years. Upon passing this exam, an acupuncturist is awarded the title Diplomat of Acu­punc­­ture. In Utah, NCCAOM certification, plus a Utah laws and rules exam, is required to attain the title of Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc). MDs, DOs and chiropractors may also use acupuncture as a sideline, though their training is usually minimal compared to that of an NCCAOM-certified practitioner.

SLC Qi Community Acupuncture
Keith Stevens

Alexander Technique:

Created by Frederick Matthias Alexander, a 20th century Shake­spear­ean actor, Alexander Technique uses subtle hands-on guidance, verbal instruction and gentle bodywork to teach simple and efficient ways of moving, in order to improve gait, posture, balance and coordination, and to relieve tension and pain. Alexander Technique is beneficial for anyone with back, shoulder or neck problems, or for those who have had orthopedic surgery.

Required training: A minimum of 1600 training hours spanning over at least three years of supervised teacher training. May be preceded by 20-40 private lessons ranging from 30 minutes to one hour each.

Cathy Pollock

Anthroposophically Extended Medicine:

A system of therapeutics based upon the theories of Rudolf Steiner developed in the late 1800s, Anthro­po­sophically Extended Medicine conceptualizes the human being as three-fold—physical, etheric and spiritual —and considers each aspect in the treatment of illness. Therapy encompasses changes to the patient’s environment, lifestyle and eating patterns, and uses plant and mineral remedies (primarily homeopathic), as well as psychological counseling.

Ask your MD, ND or DO if he/she is trained in this modality.


The therapeutic use of essential oils distilled from plants is often used in conjunction with other therapies. Its roots go back at least 4,000 years to the time of the ancient Egyptians.

Aromatherapy can be effective in the treatment of migraine, anxiety, tension, insomnia, chronic pain, asthma and other respiratory ailments. It is particularly popular during the cold and flu season, as many oils have antiviral, antibacterial or antiseptic properties.

Required training: No formal certification process is required, though various organizations offer accreditation.

Larissa Jones

Auricular Therapy:

A form of acupuncture in which points on the outer ear are stimulated in order to treat pain or other symptoms in various other parts of the body.


Bars could be described as reflexology of the head. Bars proposes that there are 32 bars of energy that run through and around the head that connect to different aspects of a person’s life (these include bars for healing, body, control, awareness, creativity, power, aging, sex and money). These bars store the electromagnetic component of all the thoughts, ideas, attitudes, decisions and beliefs that a person has ever had about anything. Each thought, idea, attitude, decision or belief that has been fixed in place solidifies energy and limits an individual’s capacity to change anything in that area. By gently touching the bars you effectively erase everything you have ever stored there and clear away the energy locked up in that aspect of your life.

Required Training: Completed three full-day Access Bars classes) with three different Access Bars facilitators.

Sara Hall
Julie Merwin

Chelation Therapy:

Utilizes organic or synthetic agents to bind with undesirable or excess minerals to remove them from the body. Chelation therapy is most often used to treat lead poisoning, though some physicians may also use this approach to battle heart disease, arterial blockage of the legs, and atherosclerosis of the arteries to the brain.

Ask your MD, ND or DO if he/she is trained in this modality.


Records of the use of spinal manipulative therapy date to ancient Chinese and Greek medicine, but the principles of modern chiropractic medicine weren’t formalized until 1895, when physiologist and anatomist Daniel David Palmer set forth his theory that abnormal nerve function can cause medical disorders. Chiropractic medicine operates on the premise that our nervous system acts as a switchboard; therefore, whenever there is nerve interference—caused by misalignments in the spine—not only will pain occur, but the body’s im­mune system will also be compromised. Palmer’s principles were not well received in the medical community, and some early chiropractors, including Palmer himself, were actually imprisoned.

Chiropractic is the second largest health system in America; only Western allopathic medicine is more widely practiced. Practitioners base their diagnoses on a standard physical examination, X-rays, palpation, and, in some cases, muscle response testing (MRT). Chiropractors may use adjustment, electrical stimulation, heat/cold therapy, ultrasound, acupressure/acupuncture, traction, herbs, nutritional counseling and exercise.

Chiropractic has been found to be effective at treating back, neck and shoulder pain, migraine, head­ache, strained vision, balance and coordination problems, sprains, arthritis, bursitis and menstrual difficulties.

Required training: A four-year accredited college, preceded by at least two years of undergraduate study. Required courses mirror those taught in allopathic medical school.

Michael Cerami, DC
Great Basin Chiropractic
Integrated Chiropractic

Colon Hydrotherapy:

Colonic irrigation may have been used in ancient Egypt, China, India and Greece. This practice gained some popularity in 19th century European spas, and has been used in modern times for general well-being and a variety of other conditions.

Colon hydrotherapy, the gentle filling and emptying of the colon, is used to improve peristaltic activity and aid in more efficient waste removal. Practitioners also use gentle massage, reflexology and nutrition to restore proper function and aid digestion and elimination. It is used to treat many ailments, including constipation, diarrhea, headache, backache, fatigue, bad breath, body odor, irritability, mental confusion, skin problems, abdominal gas and bloating, weight gain, food allergies and immune dysfunction.

Required training: Minimum 100 hours of training from an I-ACT-certified school. Must have current CPR card preceding training.

Rebecca Diehl, 801-518-5073

Color Therapy/Colorpuncture:

Uses colored lights and visualization techniques to treat both physical and mental disorders, and to stimulate the healing process. Color, light or phototherapy using single or mixed colors, sometimes from a laser, may be shined on the whole body or on particular chakras. The Luscher Color Test is said to indicate mood and personality.

Colorpuncture combines color therapy with acupressure to clear chi blockages, and uses Kirlian photographs to track progress.

Required training: Varies. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training and experience.

Studio 101
Mary Nickle 

Consegrity Therapy:

A gentle, hands-on energetic technique, Consegrity therapy works with the electromagnetic balance of the body to support the immune system and clear blocked energy. Consegrity has been used to treat a wide range of health problems, including ADD/ADHD, allergies, depression, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, chronic fatigue, asthma, fibromyalgia, lower back pain and headache.

Craniosacral Therapy:

The craniosacral system includes the brain and spinal cord, the cerebrospinal fluid which bathes them, the meninges which encloses them, and the bones of the spine and skull that house the meninges. Cranio­sacral therapy practitioners touch areas of the patient lightly to sense the cranial rhythm impulse of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), said to be similar to feeling the pulse of blood vessels. Practitioners then use subtle manipulations over the skull and other areas with the aim of restoring balance by removing restrictions to CSF movement, a process that is proposed to help the body heal itself and improve a wide range of conditions.

Craniosacral therapy is beneficial to newborns and infants who have had difficult deliveries or inadequate prenatal nutrition, or who suffer from earaches, sinus congestion, vomiting, irritability or hyperactivity. In adults it is used to treat autism, cerebral palsy, chronic pain, dizziness, dyslexia, epilepsy, headache, mood disorders, spinal cord injury, stroke, tinnitus and TMJ.

Required training: Full craniosacral therapy training at the foundation level requires 700 hours of study if you pursue a program recommended by BCTANA (Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America). Massage therapists may be able to acquire certification with as little as 150 hours of training. Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Kellie Scheffres
Sheryl Seliger

Detoxification Therapy:

Traditional detox therapy uses fasts and raw fruit and vegetable diets to eliminate or neutralize the toxic buildup of chemicals and pollutants in the body. It is used to treat a variety of disturbances, including allergies, arthritis, decreased immune function, cardiovascular problems, decreased hormonal function, diabetes, neurotoxicity, obesity, and psychological disturbances. Healthcare practitioners often recommend detoxification as part of an overall cleansing regimen, which may also include aromatherapy, colonic irrigation, hydrotherapy, massage, manual lymphatic drainage and yoga.

Buprenorphine detoxification is used to aid in the withdrawal from opiates, including heroin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Codeine and Demerol. Buprenorphine is a prescription medication that is itself weakly addictive, but it has a lower risk of overdose and fewer side effects than methadone. Its effects last for about three days. Buprenor­phine has revolutionized detoxification from opiates, as it decreases or ends drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Required training: Varies. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training and experience.

Distant Intentionality Healing:

The mental intention to heal/benefit another person or other living organism. Techniques of mental intention include, but are not limited to, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, Qigong, prayer and other human energy healing methods. Studies from the 1960s to today have attempted to test the efficacy of DIH on humans and wider nature (ranging from reducing the incidence of postoperative complications for patients receiving foot and ankle surgeries to attempting to inhibit the growth of laboratory fungus cultures from varying distances) with significant positive results.

Required Training: No consistent requirements. DIH subsumes many different practices, techniques and traditions. Ask your provider if they are trained in any distant healing techniques.

Ear Candling:

This ancient therapy has been practiced since 2500 BC to remove blockages from the ear canal and clear sinus passages of wax and fungus. Today, as in ancient times, a handmade conical beeswax and cotton candle is gently inserted into the ear canal; as it burns, wax and fungus deposits are drawn from deep within the ear canal, and either burned off, or deposited in the bottom part of the candle. Anyone with hearing or sinus problems will benefit from ear candling, as will musicians—particularly singers and horn players—who often have more wax buildup than most people. You can buy ear candles at health food stores and do it at home with a partner.

Required training: No formal training required. Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique. You can also do it yourself.

Electrical Stimulation:

Chiropractors and physical therapists often use electrical currents applied to the body to stimulate healing of musculoskeletal conditions. Devices such as transelectrical nerve stimulation (TENS units), and diapulse machines are used to deliver minute electrical impulses through the skin to treat sprains, fractures, bursitis, arthritis, strained muscles, and to treat postsurgical pain and scarring.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Electrodermal (Bioelectric) Testing:

This diagnostic approach uses an electrical instrument to measure skin resistance at meridian points to locate energetic blocks to healing. Such instruments are most often uses by kinesiologists, acupuncturists and chiropractors.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

EMF Balancing Technique:

An energetic system that works with the “Universal Calibration Lattice,” a model of the energetic body. Origina­tor Peggy Phoenix Dubro says the technique uses the human-to-human effect upon the electromagnetic field, providing the framework necessary to integrate spirit and biology.

Required training: 33 hours of study.

Environmental Medicine:

Physicians who practice environ­mental medicine study their patient’s physical, emotional and mental environments, believing that many illnesses stem from reactions to foods, pollution, chemical substances and other environmental factors. Also called clinical ecology.

Required training: MD, with additional training in alternative modalities.


A sports injury drove Moshe Feldenkrais, a nuclear physicist, to explore the functioning of the muscular system. A blending of martial arts, physiology, anatomy, psychology and neurology, Feldenkrais incorporates Awareness through Movement, a slow, gentle sequence of movement which seeks to replace old patterns with new ones, and Functional Integration, in which the practitioner gently touches or moves the student in a wide variety of ways to facilitate awareness, learning, and vitality. Feldenkrais can help restore movement and loss of balance caused by back problems, injury, stress, pain and chronic disease.

Required training: Four-year certification program.

Daniel Schmidt
Carol Lessinger
Carl Rabke
Erin Geesaman Rabke

Flower Remedies:

“Behind all disease lies our fears, our anxieties, our greed, our likes and dislikes,” wrote British physician Edward Bach, who created Bach Flower Remedies in the early 1930s to complement other physical and psychological therapies. Bach believed that illness is the effect of disharmony between body and mind, and that symptoms of an illness are the external expression of negative emotional states. Bach classified various emotions into seven principal categories, which he then divided further into 38 negative feelings, each of which was associated with a particular therapeutic plant. He also developed a compound of five flowers called Rescue Remedy to be used in emergency situations for trauma.

Today, flower remedies are used to treat anxiety, asthma, behavioral problems, chronic fatigue, decreased immune function, depression, drug abuse, headache, migraine, and acute emotional and physical trauma.

Required training: Varies. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training and experience.

Guided Imagery:

Harnesses the power of the imagination to evoke positive physical responses. According to practitioners, good worriers—particularly those who can literally worry themselves sick—are excellent candidates for guided imagery. Oncologist O. Carl Simonton pioneered its use in cancer treatment in the early 1970s, as a means of reinforcing and enhancing traditional medical treatment. Guided imagery is routinely recommended by physical and mental health practitioners to reduce stress, slow heart rate, stimulate the immune system, reduce pain and decrease healing time. It can also be effective in treating chronic abdominal pain, functional urinary complaints, high blood pressure, obesity, PMS and spastic colon.

Required training: Varies. Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.


Was created to structurally realign the body and facilitate an awareness of the body/mind through deep touch, movement education and verbal dialogue. Developed by Joseph Heller, first president of the Rolf Institute, Hellerwork patterns its mechanical aspect after Rolfing. Eleven sessions are generally recommended.

Required training: 1250 hours of classroom and home study.


The word “drug” comes from the old Dutch word drogge meaning to dry, and dried plants are the most ancient and commonly used form of health care in the world.

Required training: Many health practitioners use herbs in their practice, and no license is required to do so. However, the National Com­mis­sion for the Certification of Acupunc­ture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has developed a competency exam in Chinese Herbology. Those who pass this exam are awarded the title Diplo­mat of Chinese Herbology (Dipl. CH)

The Herbalists Guild grants professional membership to those who pass a rigorous admissions review process. A person can apply for professional membership only after being in practice for at least five years. Members use the designation RH (AHG)—Registered Herbalist, American Herbalists Guild.

Merry L. Harrison


Hygienist/toxicologist/psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Hahnemann developed this 180-year-old system in Germany as an alternative to what he considered the “barbaric” medical practices of the day, which included blood-letting and mercury-based laxatives. The term homeopathy was derived from Greek homoios, meaning similar, and pathos or suffering. Based on the prin­ciple that “like cures like,” homeopathy uses dilutions of illness-causing substances to provoke the immune system. In other words, the same substance that in large doses produces the illness is used in small doses to cure it. Homeopathic products may be made from plants such as aconite, arnica, dandelion or plantain; from minerals such as iron phosphate, arsenic oxide or sodium chloride; from the venom of poisonous snakes; from ink of the cuttlefish; or even from prescription drugs such as penicillin.

The World Health Organization has cited homeopathy as one of the systems of traditional medicine that should be integrated with conventional medicine worldwide to provide adequate global health care in this century. However, the U.S. has no nationally accepted standard or training for homeopaths.

Homeopathic medicine has been found to be most effective at treating chronic degenerative diseases, diabetes, arthritis, bronchial asthma, allergies, emotional disorders, colds, flu, headache, PMS, fatigue, back pain, respiratory infections, digestive disorders and postoperative infections.

Required training: Although there is no nationally accepted standard or training, certification programs are available. Naturopathic and Chinese medicine schools include training in homeopathy.


Also called balneotherapy. Involves the use of water in any form or at any temperature (steam, liquid, ice) for the purpose of healing. It is among the oldest and simplest of healing tools, and has been used medicinally for thousands of years by many cultures, including ancient China, Japan, India, Rome, Greece, the Americas and the Middle East. Modern hydrotherapy can be traced to the development of “water cure” spas in 19th century Europe.

Many traditional and alternative practitioners prescribe baths, Jacuzzis, steam, saunas, mineral baths, wraps, rubs, flushes, fasts, enemas, colonic irrigation, douches, sitz baths and compresses. Hydrotherapy has been used to treat numerous conditions, including low back pain, hemorrhoids, skin bacteria, knee rehabilitation, labial edema during pregnancy, fibromyalgia, heart failure, arthritis, burns, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, common cold, diabetes mellitus, pain, insomnia and varicose veins.

Required training: Varies. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training and experience.


Hypnotherapy-like practices were used in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Persia, Britain, Scandinavia, America, Africa, India and China, and it is mentioned in rhe Bible, Talmud and Hindu Vedas. In the 18th century, Austrian Franz Anton Mesmer used hypnotherapy to facilitate behavioral, emotional and attitudinal changes, but when his technique failed to work for Freud, it was dismissed as quackery. However, in 1958, the American Medical Association endorsed hypnotherapy for a variety of uses.

Hypnotherapy uses both the power of suggestion and trancelike states (during which body chemistry actually changes) to access the subconscious to effect change. Today it is commonly used to help people stop smoking, lose weight, control pain and overcome addictions, as well as to treat stress, sleep disorders, anxiety, fear, phobias, depression and headaches.

Required training: Several organizations provide certification. Many programs require around 200 hours of instruction followed by an exam

Marilynne Moffitt, 801-266-4551
Catherine Patillo

Immune Augmentation Therapies:

De­veloped by Lawrence Burton, PhD, Immune Augmentation is a cancer therapy which measures and equalizes four substances in the blood related to the immune system.

Ask your MD, ND or DO if they are trained in this therapy.

Intradermal Provocative Neutralization Technique :

An allergy testing and treatment technique used by some environmental medicine practitioners, Intrader­mal Provocative Neutralization Technique involves injecting different concentrations of the same substance into the skin at different times to determine if the person is sensitive to that substance. When a reaction occurs, another dilution of the same substance is administered to “shut off” the symptoms.

Ask your MD, ND or DO if they are trained in this technique.

Integrative Medicine

While many alternative practitioners borrow from other fields, a growing number of Western MDs cross-train in alternative modalities. This allows them to take both the long (alternative) and the short (allopathic) view: A practitioner may start out using less invasive (and often less expensive) alternative therapies, and then turn to pharmaceuticals or surgery if the condition does not improve. Or they may combine treatments, in order to address the patient’s emotional, physical and spiritual needs. Most integrative practitioners use conventional Western diagnostic procedures, but may also use Chinese and Ayurvedic method­ologies. Integra­tive MDs are licensed to prescribe the full range of Western pharmaceuticals and procedures and employ homeopathic and herbal remedies, manipulative therapies, acupuncture and acupressure.

Required training: MD, with additional training in alternative modalities.

Web of Life Wellness Center—Todd Mangum MD, guide sponsor

Injection Therapies:

Mesotherapy, myofascial triggerpoint injection, prolotherapy and neural therapy are injection therapies often used by naturopathic and integrative physicians to control pain and stimulate healing.

Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy [IVMT]:

Some chronic conditions cause the depletion of micronutrients in the body, especially magnesium. IVMT allows high concentrations of these crucial nutrients to be absorbed into the cells. IVMT is used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, and is being investigated as a treatment for fibromyalgia. It can also be used to boost the immune system and improve physical performance.


Mesotherapy is considered mainstream medicine in France, where doctors use it regularly to treat acute sports injuries. Homeopathic medicines are injected immediately beneath the skin—a mere 1 mm to 4 mm deep—and allowed to slowly diffuse into deeper tissue for up to a week at a time. Many European physicians also use mesotherapy as a means to break down cellulite, injecting substances to stimulate the mesoderm, or middle layer of skin, which in turn improves circulation and lymphatic and venous drainage.

Myofascial Triggerpoint Therapy:

Myofascial trigger points are areas of muscles that become stuck in chronic spasm. Practitioners inject the points with local anesthetic to rinse out metabolic waste and allow the points to relax, restoring normal blood flow and function.

Naturopathic Medicine

Though the term naturopathy, which literally translates as “nature disease,” wasn’t coined until the late 19th century, naturopathic medicine’s philosophical roots extend all the way back to the first of Hippocrates’ six principles: First, do no harm. In the naturopathic medical system, disease is seen as a manifestation of the natural causes by which the body heals itself. Therefore, the physician does not wage war on the disease, but rather supports the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. Diagnostic procedures include a standard physical exam, allopathic diagnostic procedures, lifestyle assessment and discussion.

Naturopathic physicians may use diet and clinical nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, Ayurveda, herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercise, spinal and soft tissue manipulation, psychological counseling, detoxification and physical therapies involving electrical current, ultrasound and light therapy.

Naturopathic medicine is commonly used to treat chronic and degenerative diseases, colds, flu, viruses, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, arthritis, prostate cancer, colon cancer, digestive disorders and skin problems. It is also used to support allopathic cancer treatments, as it can minimize the side effects and help strengthen the immune system.

Required training: Undergraduate pre-med, followed by a four-year, accredited, postgraduate, in-residence naturopathic medical program. In addition to the same basic sciences, diagnostics, pharmacology and minor surgery taught at conventional medical school, ND training includes therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, classical Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulative therapy and natural childbirth. Utah licensing laws also require one year of medical residency. Though licensed as primary physicians/general practitioners, naturopaths are not trained in major surgery or acute trauma care, and in Utah, are not licensed to prescribe Schedule 2 drugs.

Full Circle Care: Leslie Peterson, ND
Cameron Wellness Center: Todd Cameron, ND
Eastside Natural Health Clinic, Uli Knorr, ND

Neural Therapy:

Neural therapy has been widely used in Europe and South America since the 1940s, though it has only recently been introduced in North America. For reasons not completely understood, an injury in one part of the body can cause pain in another. By injecting a solution of mild anesthetic, botanicals, homeopathic medicines and nutrients into nerve sites, acupuncture points, scars or other tissues, pain can often be relieved elsewhere.


Prolotherapy, sometimes called stimulated ligament repair, uses a solution of dextrose and mild local anesthetics, injected into an injured ligament or tendon. This causes a localized, controlled inflammation, which increases blood supply to the area and stimulates tissue repair. The American Association of Orthopedic Medicine recommends prolotherapy for relief of acute and chronic pain “emanating from the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (midback), lumbar spine/sacroiliac region (low back), upper limb (shoulder-elbow-wrist-hand) and the lower limb (hip-knee-ankle-foot).”

Required training: MD, ND or DO.

Integrated Awareness:

Created by Lansing Barrett Gresham, Integrated Awareness works with the physical structure to revise beliefs, sending energy to or through the physical or energetic structure to facilitate increased health and happiness. Workshops consist of teaching, floor work and table sessions. Participants discover how patterns of thinking, feeling and believing manifest themselves, and how taking note of structural patterns gives insight into the beliefs that shape our lives.

Required training: A series of workshops, usually over a three-year period.

Jaffe-Mellor Technique/JMT:

JMT is a bioenergetic system created to neutralize pathogens and accelerate the healing of worn joints, tissues and organs. JMT uses kinesiology, acupressure and other techniques to alleviate the symptoms of chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, colitis, myasthenia gravis, scleroderma and multiple sclerosis.

Required training: 1- to 2-day seminar.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Jala Neti:

Also called nasal irrigation. A method of nasal cleansing originating in the yoga tradition. Practiced for thousands of years, it is believed to clear the sinus cavity and the mind. Physicians in the 19th century promoted nasal irrigation for routine cleansing. In modern times, nasal irrigation is becoming more widely accepted as a home remedy for treating allergies, colds and sinus infections. Growing scientific evidence supports the use of nasal irrigation for these conditions. Supporters of this therapy assert that it is more soothing and less expensive than many over-the-counter drugs, and it lacks side effects such as drowsiness or upset stomach that may be associated with other therapies.

Delivery methods include the traditional neti (irrigation) pot, nasal sprayer, bulb syringe, cupped hand and commercially available devices. The strength of the saline solution depends on the amount of salt added to the water. Additives have included antibiotics, vasoconstrictors (which narrow the blood vessels) and buffers (which reduce acidity).

Visit the Internet for instructions and videos on how to use this technique.


Developed in 1964 by American chiropractor George Goodheart, kinesiology, also known as muscle response testing (MRT), is a hands-on biofeedback tool used to identify electromagnetic blockages in the body. By stimulating or relaxing key muscles, practitioners can diagnose and resolve a variety of problems, including structural imbalances, joint problems, musculoskeletal imbalances, food allergies, nerve dysfunction, circulatory problems, organ or gland dysfunction, digestive disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, allergies and even learning disabilities. Kinesiology is commonly used as a diagnostic tool by chiropractors and acupuncturists. (A similar practice based on kinesiology is called bio-kinetic testing.)

Required training: Varies. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training/experience.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Massage Therapy:

Massage is the most popular form of bodywork in the United States, and one of the oldest healing modalities known to humankind. Egyptian carvings dating back to 2200 BC depict foot massage. The word massage is Arabic for “stroke,” and massage therapists use everything from long, light, feathery fingertip strokes, to hacking, pummeling, cupping, plucking percussion strokes, to deep tissue strokes that use the elbow to manipulate the covering (fascia) over the muscles.

There are many types of massage—Swedish/Western, circulatory, Mayan abdominal, myotherapy, Jamu, Thai, lymphatic, vibrational healing (VHMT), neuromuscular, sports, seated, Okazaki restorative, hot stone, orthopedic, myofascial release, trigger point, aromatherapy—and all have slightly different focuses and purposes.

Studies have proved that therapeutic physical massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and causes the brain to release endorphins, the brain’s natural opiate-like substances that promote stress reduction. Dozens of acute and long-term conditions can be improved by massage, including asthma, back pain, bronchitis, chronic fatigue, depression, edema, heart disease, hypertension, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, PMS, Raynaud’s disease, sciatica, stress, stroke, tendonitis and varicose veins.

Required training: Minimum 500 hours of training.

Healing Mountain Massage School
MJ Jones
Catherine Patillo
Carl Rabke


”Whether you sit in meditation, bow to Mecca, or recite the rosary or the Lord’s Prayer, faith really can heal—or at least facilitate healing. Hundreds of clinical studies show that regular meditation or prayer is conducive to better health, particularly if your practice synchronizes the repetition of a word, sound or movement with the out breath. Some forms of meditation, such Transcendental Meditation, focus on an out-of-body experience, using guided imagery to find healing and relaxation outside of the body’s present experience. Body-oriented meditations, on the other hand, focus on being present in the body, and use breathing, yoga and tai chi to find joy and relaxation.

Meditation has proven effective in treatment of anxiety disorders, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain conditions, heart disease, high blood pressure, migraines and post-surgical recovery.

Inner Light Center, p. 36, 39
Vedic Harmony, 801-942-5876
Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa Tibetan Buddhist Temple (Red Lotus)


Approaches childbirth as a natural, non pathological process and relies on technology only when it is medically necessary. As a result, women under the care of a certified nurse midwife (CNM) are less likely to have a cesarean section or an episiotomy and are more likely to experience a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section. Midwifery encourages natural birth training methods, such as the Bradley Method, Lamaze and Hypnobirthing, as well as prenatal massage and counseling.

CNMs provide primary care to women of childbearing age, including preconception, prenatal, labor, delivery and newborn care, gynecological exams, assistance with family planning, menopausal management and counseling in health maintenance and disease prevention. They are qualified to administer drugs and perform some medical procedures, but must be assisted by an MD during delivery.

Doulas provide physical, emotional and informational support before, during and immediately following childbirth. They are essentially birth coaches and advocates, and work in homes, hospitals and birth centers.

Required training: Certified nurse midwives are required to have a registered nursing degree (RN) and a certificate of midwifery obtained from the American College of Nurse-Midwives following at least a year’s training in obstetrics and gynecology.

Doulas must attend a professional labor support training program and go through an apprenticeship to become licensed.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction:

MBSR was developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical School by Jon Kabat-Zinn, MD. It has become a complementary medicine program that uses mindfulness in an approach that focuses on alleviating pain and improving physical and emotional well-being for individuals suffering from a variety of diseases and disorders. Mindful­ness has roots in Buddhist traditions but MBSR is not spirituality-based. Studies have shown that, for a majority of participants, activity levels and feelings of self-esteem increased, and the utilization of drugs for pain-related issues decreased after completing a MBSR program.

Required Training: To be certified in MBSR, a practitioner must have professional experience and a graduate degree or equivalent in the fields of health care, education or other related field; teach a minimum of four eight-week MBSR courses; participate regularly in 5-10 day silent, teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreats; have professional portfolio reviewed by a team of senior MBSR teachers.

Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET):

Named for Dr. Devi Nambudripad, the Indian nurse/acupuncturist/chiropractor who created the technique in 1986, NAET is an amalgamation of kinesiology, acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic. NAET practitioners believe genetic predisposition, poor digestion, exposure to toxins, overuse of antibiotics and other drugs, and poor nutrition and emotions cause allergies; and that allergies—food allergies in particular—lie at the root of virtually all imbalances and disease. Anxiety, arthritis, ADD/ADHD, auto-immune disorders, cancer, candida, colitis, depression, addictions, fibromyalgia, herpes, indigestion, joint pain, migraines, obesity and thyroid disorders have all been treated with NAET, as well as acute conditions, such as spider bites, colds and flu. The method is most commonly used by acupuncturists, though some chiropractors, allergenists and naturopaths also train in NAET.

Required training: Must be licensed medical practitioner with a current license and attend one basic NAET course (two full days or 16 hours intense training), one advanced training (two full days or 16 hours) and pass written and practical exams.

Network Spinal Analysis:

Network spinal analysis (NSA) is a system of assessing and contributing to spinal and neural integrity for overall health and wellness. Using precise and gentle touch, NSA practitioners reposition the spine to reduce nerve interference and restore function. During treatment, two “healing waves” develop: a breathing wave, which releases tension throughout the spine and body, and a somatopsychic (or body-mind) wave, which is associated with a dolphin-type undulation or movement of the spine. Wellness profiles and clinical assessment are also used to determine a course for continued healing and improved quality of life. Network spinal analysis is used to treat a range of physical complaints including dizziness, eczema, headaches, cramps, pain and stiffness, and to improve overall wellness.

Required training: Licensed chiropractor and postgraduate training, must pass written exams for certification

Michael Cerami, DC

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP):

Developed in the early 1970s by John Grinder, a professor of linguistics, and Richard Bandler, a student of mathematics and psychology, NLP can help people detect and reprogram unconscious patterns of thought and behavior in order to enhance the healing process. By asking questions and reading autonomic body changes, NLP practitioners discover how a client relates to issues of identity, personal beliefs and life goals. They can then teach the client how to tap into a positive way of healing, based on individual methods of processing information and perspectives on the health condition. NLP has proven helpful for people suffering from AIDS, cancer, allergies, arthritis, Parkinson’s, migraines, stress-related problems and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Required training: More than 100 hours of training with a minimum of six hours of practice sessions over 6 months.

Christiane Turner
Marilyne Moffit, 801-266-4551
Ross Gigliotti

Nutritional Therapy:

These days, knowing which foods to avoid is as important as knowing which to eat. Over 2,000 food additives — artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, texturizers, stabilizers, antimicrobials and antioxidants—are permitted by the FDA. Some may exacerbate, or create, both acute and chronic health problems. A medical nutritionist or doctor of Ayurvedic, naturopathic, integrative or Chinese medicine can assess your “biochemical individuality” to create a diet to help manage or prevent health problems.

Required training: Varies. Programs range from 15 classes over a nine-month period to 260 hours and two years of courses. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training and experience.

Dave Card

Orthomolecular Medicine:

Uses natural substances, primarily vitamins, to treat disease. The term “orthomolecular” was coined by Linus Pauling, and refers to creating the optimal molecular environment for cell health.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.


Founded by American physician Andrew Taylor Still around the time of the Civil War, osteopathy is a form of physical medicine which emphasizes the special role of the musculoskeletal system in relation to the organ systems. Today, osteopathy in the United States combines conventional medical practices with osteopathic manipulation, physical therapy and education about healthful posture and body positioning.

Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) believe the structure of the body is intimately related to its function—that joint mechanics, the action of ligaments, muscles and joint surfaces all influence the vascular and nervous systems, which in turn affect all the organs. By manipulating the musculoskeletal system, DOs aim to enhance the blood supply and nerve pathways throughout the body, thereby creating a balanced system.

Diagnostic procedures include conventional allopathic procedures (such as laboratory tests and x-rays), palpation, structural exam and gait assessment. Treatment may include joint manipulation, visceral manipulation, physical therapy, postural reeducation and allopathic drugs.

Osteopathic medicine has been especially effective in the treatment of spinal and joint pain, arthritis, head­ache, respiratory problems, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, chronic pain, allergies, cardiac disease, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, headaches, hypertension and sciatica.

Required training: Doctors of Osteopathy carry the same license and scope of practice as MDs. The osteopathic curriculum mirrors allopathic training except that it emphasizes preventive medicine and specializes in musculoskeletal manipulation.

Oxygenating Therapies:

Hydrogen peroxide therapy uses low doses of hydrogen peroxide, intravenously injected, to oxygenate the blood, stimulate the immune system and oxidize toxins, for treatment of acute and chronic infectious conditions.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses gaseous pressure greater than normal for administering oxygen in the treatment of certain diseases

Ozone therapy uses ozone, an active form of oxygen gas, to oxidize (or detoxify) toxic substances and stimulate the immune system. Ozone may be administered by directly injecting it into a vein, by removing blood, mixing it with ozone, and re-injecting the blood, or by rectal insufflation. Ozone therapy has been used in Europe for many years to treat AIDS, cancer and chronic infections.

Ask your MD, ND or DO if they are trained in these therapies.

Passive Positional Therapy:

A gentle, hands-on therapy for treating chronic and acute muscular pain and increasing range of motion. Therapists conduct a posture evaluation, and then place the affected muscles in a position of comfort for 90 seconds, activating an automatic resetting of muscle spindles. Passive positional therapy is used to treat pain due to injury, stress, repetitive strain, postural distortion and chronic neuromuscular conditions.

Required training: Must be an LMT, plus specialized training.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Polarity Therapy:

Developed by Randolph Stone, DC, DO, ND, polarity therapy is a Western body/mind therapy based on the Eastern concept of chi. Polarity therapy employs massage, pressure point therapy, joint manipulation, breathing techniques, hydrotherapy, exercise, reflexology, dietary counseling and emotional balancing to remove blockages and ensure the proper flow of chi.

Required training: Must be an LMT with 100 hours specialized polarity therapy training.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Qigong/Tai Chi:

Qigong is a 5,000-year-old self-healing art which combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement, mind-body integration and breathing exercises. Tai Chi, a system of slowly flowing movements and shifts of balance, is the physical movement aspect of qigong. The practice of qigong/tai chi has been proved to improve oxygen uptake, reduce blood pressure, slow the decline of cardiovascular power, decrease pain, increase bone density, strength, range of motion and flexibility, dissipate stress and improve immune function.

Required training: Varies. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training/experience.

Carl Rabke
Red Lotus


Reflex areas in the hands and feet correlate to every area of the body, including organs and glands. By applying direct pressure to these reflex points, practitioners can release energy blockages and break down accumulations of lactic acid and calcium crystals around nerve endings. Widely used in Europe, reflexology is used to relieve stress and tension, stimulate deep relaxation, improve circulation and decrease pain.

Required training: No formal training required. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training and experience.


Reiki is the Japanese word for universal life force energy, and practitioners of this ancient energetic healing modality act as conduits for that energy. The reiki is believed to enter through the top of the practitioner’s head and exit through the hands to be directed into the recipient’s body or energy field. Seichim (pronounced say-kim) is a Reiki system which traces its origins back to the Shin Yon Buddhists who traveled to Egypt to be initiated into the ancient mystery schools. Seichim means “mystery” or “sacred might.”

Required training: No formal certification required. The term “Reiki master” traditionally signifies at least three years as a Reiki practitioner, and one year as an apprentice to a Reiki master.

Conscious Journey

Rolfing & Structural Integration:

Rolfing, aka Structural Integration, invented by biochemist Ida P. Rolf, is a form of deep tissue bodywork that uses deep manipulation of the fascia, or connective tissue, to restore the body’s natural alignment, which often becomes rigid through injury, emotion­al trauma and inefficient movement habits. Rolfers use finger, knuckle and elbow pressure to release fascial adhesion and lift, lengthen and balance the body segments. An intense and highly effective therapy, Rolfing involves 10 sessions, each focusing on a different area of the body.

Required training: 731 hour program over 12-18 months. For bodywork professionals, an accelerated 600 hour program is available for certification from the Rolf Institute.

Paul Wirth
Carl Rabke 

Rosen Method:

Rosen Method creator Marion Rosen sees the body’s tensions as indications of unexpressed feelings and suppressed aspects of the self. Her method uses gentle touch and verbal communication to draw the client’s attention to these areas of holding, allowing them to release the associated pain, tension and emotional blockage.

Required training: A minimum of 262 hours of classroom training programs, followed by an internship consisting of extensive practical experience with clients, supervision and consultation.


Shamanic healing is intuitive medicine at its most basic. The role of the shaman is to mediate between the visible and the invisible world: Practitioners see themselves as conduits of healing energy from a spiritual source. While healing techniques are unique to each group, all subscribe to the belief that illness results when the body’s harmony with nature is disrupted. Cures are approached first at the spiritual level, then the physical, emotional and societal. Herbs are commonly prescribed, as is laying on of hands, prayer, dietary changes, drumming, dancing, and purification through fasting and sweats.

Required training: No formal license is required, though various schools across the country offer certification. Ask your practitioner about his or her level of training and experience.

Dee Ann Nichols
John Knowlton
Naomi Silverstone
Sarah Sifers
Sanctuary for Healing & Integration
Elena Radford
Stephen Proskauer
Nick Stark


Literally meaning “finger pressure” in Japanese, shiatsu uses a firm sequence of rhythmic pressure holds on specific points for three to 10 seconds to awaken the acupuncture meridians. A widely used form of acupressure, shiatsu has been used in Japan for more than 1,000 years to treat pain and illness, and for general health maintenance.

Required training: Varies. Programs can require anywhere from 150 to 500 hours of training and can be part of a more comprehensive massage training program. Ask your practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Sound Therapy:

Chanting, drumming and clapping hands were the healer’s earliest tools. Sound and music have a powerful effect on the human body and brain: they can alter skin temperature, increase cerebral circulation, stimulate mental lucidity and promote mental and physical endurance. Sound therapy is now used in some hospitals (before, after and even during surgery), hospices (musical thanatology), dentist offices, therapists’ offices, nursing homes, waiting rooms and schools. Chants, nature sounds and the tones from tuning forks and crystal bowls have been proved to significantly reduce stress in surgical patients, as well as improve their ability to withstand pain.

Required training: No formal license is required, though various schools across the country offer certification.

Spiritual & Energy Healing

Energy/spiritual healing is one of the oldest and most fundamental forms of healing. It is based on the belief that each of us carries an energetic matrix deep within, a pattern of perfect psychological and physical health upon which our bodies and minds may draw for healing. Energetic healers use energy, light and color techniques to help the client break free from afflictions and limitations of the body, mind and spirit.

McKay Method School of Energy Healing
All Saints Episcopal Church
Inner Light Center
Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa
Tibetan Buddhist temple
Xuanfa Dharma Center of Utah
Boulder Mountain Zendo
Dee Ann Nichols
New Earth Potentials
Mary Nickle

Therapeutic Touch:

Developed in 1972 by Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN, Therapeutic Touch is a form of energy work combining visualization, the laying on of hands and aura therapy. Generally there is little or no physical contact; the practitioner typically places his or her hands two to six inches away from the patient. In clinical studies, Therapeu­tic Touch has been shown to have physiological effects, including altering enzyme activity, increasing hemoglobin levels and accelerating the healing of wounds.

Required training: 35-hour course for certification.

Ask your practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Theta Healing:

Theta brain waves are associated with REM sleep and very deep meditation. Theta healing, created by medical intuitive Vianna Stibal, is an energetic/spiritual healing modality in which the practitioner goes into the theta brain wave meditative state to facilitate physical, energetic and spiritual healing. Practitioners often use theta healing in conjunction with other modalities, such as massage or acupuncture, to address a wide variety of health problems and spiritual and emotional issues.

Required training: 2- to 4-day workshop for certification.

Ask your practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a complete system of healing, dating in written form back to 200 B.C. It contends that optimum health depends upon the harmonious flow of chi along the body’s meridians, and focuses on prevention, rather than treatment. Health is viewed as a balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle, and disease is believed to result when either becomes dominant.

Diagnosis is based on examination of the pulses and tongue, and Muscle Response Testing (MRT) may be used as well.

Practitioners use acupuncture, herbs, massage and moxibustion (burning herbs on acupuncture point). Many also employ NAET, CranioSacral massage, energy work and flower essences.

Traditional Chinese medicine has been found to be most effective at treating acute infectious diseases, AIDS, allergies, autoimmune disorders, asthma, chronic degenerative diseases, diabetes, headache, heart disease, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, all types of gynecological disorders, migraine, sciatica and sinusitis. An excellent complement to Western medicine, it can minimize the side effects of many allopathic treatments, while reinforcing their positive effects.

Required training: A four-year Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) degree, preceded by a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited college.


Developed in 1927 by Milton Trager, MD, Trager is a form of bodywork and movement reeducation which uses gentle, rhythmical touch combined with a series of playful movement exercises. Practitioners are taught to feel how the client is holding his or her body, and by applying gentle rocking, pulling and rotational movements to the head, torso and appen­dages, are able to loosen tense muscles and stiff joints. The movements, in turn, provoke a sense of deep relaxation, which practitioners believe the unconscious learns to mimic.

Required training: 226 hours for certification.

Ask your health care practitioners if they are trained in this technique.

Tui Na Chinese Bodywork:

This 2,000-year-old form of bodywork combines soft tissue massage, acupressure and skeletal manipulation in order to establish a more harmonious flow of chi through the body. External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments and salves may also be used to facilitate healing and energize depleted systems.

Visceral Manipulation:

A manual therapy consisting of light, gentle, specifically placed manual forces, visceral therapy encourages normal mobility, tone and inherent tissue motion of the viscera (internal organs) and their connective tissues. By releasing and softening scar tissue, reintroducing fluid flow, and enhancing fluid exchange. Visceral manipulation can be helpful in treating hiatal hernia, acid reflux, congested bowel, gall bladder, kidney and stomach dysfunction, incontinence, menstrual problems, varicose veins, backache, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, sprains, carpal tunnel syndrome and postsurgical pain.

Ask your massage therapists if they are trained in this technique.


Among the oldest known systems of health practiced in the world, the tenets of yoga were first set down in writing in the 2nd century BC. What distinguishes yoga (the word means “union”) from other forms of physical culture is its attention to the endocrine and nervous systems, which are toned and stimulated. Its physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation practices have proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, regulate heart rate, improve memory, motor skills and intelligence, alleviate pain, provide relief from addictions, heighten visual and auditory perceptions, enhance metabolic and respiratory functions, and retard bone marrow depletion.

You needn’t be a Buddhist or gymnast to do yoga; there is neither dogma, nor extreme physicality attached to its practice. There are nearly as many types of yoga as there are postures (actually, it is said there are 8,400,000 postures).

The practice of yoga is commonly prescribed by both alternative and allopathic physicians to treat asthma, cardiovascular arhythmia, thyroid disorders, menstrual problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, diabetes, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also helpful during pregnancy, as it stretches the pelvic region and promotes deep, regular breathing.

Required training: Minimum of 200 hours for certification, but many good teachers are not certified.

Avenues Yoga, p. 37
Bikram Yoga-Sandy, p. 37
Charlotte Bell, p. 37
Kundalini @ Dancing Cranes, p. 3
Erin Geesaman, p. 35
Centered City Yoga, p. 37
Roz Newmark,  801-328-4456
Shiva Centre, p. 19
The Shop Yoga Studio, p. 39
Zen Living Yoga, p. 17, 21

Zero Balancing:

Based on the theory that an unseen energetic body encases the physical body like a (sometimes ill-fitting) glove. When injury or trauma occurs, the healing of these two bodies often does not occur simultaneously, which can cause physical, emotional and mental incongruities. Zero balancing uses gentle pressure at key areas of the skeleton to realign the physical with the energetic body.

Required training: 150 hours for certification.

Recommended reading

We invited healthcare practitioners and a book buyer to share their favorite books that might inspire you on your path to wellbeing.


The Rainbow And The Worm, by Mae-Wan Ho. Ho seeks to answer the question “What is life” from the point of view of physics, and comes up with some amazing insights based on observation, experimentation and quantum theory. I understood perhaps two-thirds of it at most, but it was well worth the journey. In a field where “quantum” as a term is used by many—many people who, like myself, know next to nothing about it—it’s refreshing to have your mind blown by someone who is both a scrupulous scientist and a fearless questioner.


Your Inner Physician, by John Upledger. This is a small, humorous, easy-to-read book that describes craniosacral and how it can help your body heal itself.


Mindful Spontaneity, by Ruthy Alon: A clear-as-a-bell guide to improving your body-mind connection. You can open this book to any page and immediately start learning how to move, feel, and live better. This could be the best $20 you ever spend.


The Core Balance Program, by Marcelle Pick. Marcelle has created specific plans associated with particular areas of health—imbalances: neurotransmitters, adrenals, hormones, detoxification, inflammation, digestive. She also provides a good overview of how we become “imbalanced” in the first place. Lots of menus, recipes, plans.


Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollan. A pocket compendium of food wisdom from the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. Pollan, the nation’s most trusted resource for food-related issues, offers this indispensable guide for anyone concerned about health and food.

This article was originally published on February 2, 2012.