DFW Total Health and glossary of health terms
Your Total Health
Acupressure Acupressure, based on the same points and meridians as acupuncture, uses the fingers or hands to press or heat certain points on the body in order to relieve ailments. The pressure is designed to release energy blocks in the meridians of the body in order to treat ailments such as tension and stress, aches and pains, or arthritis. The system is also used for general preventive health care.
Acupuncture Acupuncture is a more technologically advanced method of acupressure created by the Chinese over five thousand years ago. Ancient Chinese practitioners identified more than 2,000 points. Often used for pain relief, acupuncture is also used to improve well-being and treat acute, chronic, and degenerative conditions.
Allopathy Modern allopathic medicine heals with the use of agents such as drugs or surgery.
Alternative Healing Alternative healing or medicine is seen by the general public and some healthcare practitioners to refer to medical techniques which are not known or accepted by the majority of conventional medical practitioners. Some of these techniques would include the use of herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy,and other non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical techniques. However, the term Alternative Medicine can also refer to any experimental drug or non-drug technique that is not currently accepted by conventional medical practitioners.
Amma Therapy Amma therapy is a Chinese massage which involves stretching, kneading, stroking, and percussion. Treatment can also include the use of dietary therapy, herbs, nutritional supplements and the external application of herbal preparations. In early Chinese history this therapy was primarily practiced by the blind.
Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is the use and blending of undiluted, pure essential oils extracted from specific aromatic plants. It involves specialized knowledge of how various essences affect the body and psyche and was used in ancient Egypt and other cultures to promote healing by altering brain activity.Astrology Astrology interprets the influence of heavenly bodies on human affairs. It is the science of the placement of the planets and stars. Natal charts, based upon how the planets and stars are positioned around you at the time and place of your birth, are used to describe your personality strengths and areas of growth.
Auras All living creatures have energy fields surrounding them called auras. Auras have colors flowing from then which reflect emotions and experiences. Aura readers perceive these colors and can determine physical, emotional, and spiritual conditions from the colors.
Sanskrit, Ayurveda means The Science of Life. Ayurvedic
Medicine is a comprehensive system of medicine combining natural therapies with a highly
personalized approach to the treatment of disease. The oldest healing art on the planet,
it has been practiced in India for the past five thousand years. Placing equal emphasis on
body, mind, and spirit, Ayurveda endeavors to restore the innate harmony of the individual
with the primary goals of prevention and longevity. According to Ayurvedic medicine,
each person has a particular pattern of energyan individual combination of physical,
mental and emotional characteristicswhich comprises his/her own constitution. This
constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and remains the same
throughout ones life. Ayurveda identifies three basic types of energy or functional
principles that are present in everyone by the original Sanskrit words vata, pitta, and
kapha. Balance and health are the natural order; imbalance and disease are disorder.
Within the body there is a constant interaction between order and disorder but by
understanding the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order and health.
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Chakras The word chakra is Sanskrit for wheel or disk and signifies one of seven basic energy centers in the body. Each of these
centers correlates to major nerve ganglia branching forth from the spinal column and corresponds to and governs specific parts of the physical body. In addition the chakras correlate to levels of consciousness, elements, developmental stages of life, colors, sounds, body functions, and more. Chakra Balancing Imbalances occurs when there is too much or too little energy flowing through a person's chakras. Various techniques are used to balance the chakra system and restore individual health physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When our chakras are balanced, maximum vitality and health is experienced.
Channeling Channeling is the activity of bringing forth information that was previously beyond one's conscious awareness. It is the ability to communicate with your higher self or with nonphysical beings in order to bring forth needed or desired information. There are many different types of channeling, such as automatic writing or spontaneous channeling, but the interest in channeling is usually prompted by a desire to understand death and what lies beyond this life.
Chelation Therapy As a method for ridding the body of toxins, metabolic wastes, and unnecessary toxic metals from the blood stream, chelation therapy is often used to reverse the process of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and/or as an alternative to bypass surgery and angioplasty. It is accomplished by administering chelating agents into the bloodstream to increase blood flow and remove arterial plaque.
Chi/Qi/Energy Qi is the energy or natural force which fills the universe. The idea of Qi is fundamental to Chinese medical thinking, yet no one English word or phrase can adequately capture it's meaning. Qi has been translated as energy, ether, vital force, life force, and more. The definition of Qi actually changes according to different situations. Consideration of Qi as cellular information which travels along specific routes or meridians, offers another clue for understanding the body. In Chinese medical thinking, Qi is the information net of the body and associated with every biological function. Although the concept that information alone is sufficient to handle complex organization is now scientifically accepted in the West, the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse regarded this as a fundamental principle more than 2,000 years ago.
Chi Nei Tsang Chi Nei Tsang, brought to America by Master Mantak Chia, is an entire system of Chinese healing that increases the energy flow of the five major systems in the body--acupuncture meridians, lymphatic, nervous, tendon/muscle, and vascular--through massaging and freeing energy blockages in the navel, then guiding that energy into other parts of the body.
Chiropractic Chiropractic is a therapeutic system that focuses on the structure of the body. Based upon the premise that interference with nervous system function predisposes the body to a disease state and that maintaining proper body structure can help the body function well, this system focuses on restoring normal conditions by correcting the vertebral segments of the spinal column. Central to chiropractic technique is the "adjustment" of the specific spinal vertebra that are out of alignment and which are considered a primary cause of nerve dysfunction.Clairvoyant One who has the ability to obtain information without involving any of the known human senses. Many believe children are naturally clairvoyant up to the age of 12.
Coach A person who instructs or trains--a private tutor.
Collective Unconscious/Universal Consciousness The collective unconscious is part of the psyche which can be distinguished from a personal unconscious by the fact that it does not owe its existence to personal experience and consequently is not a personal acquisition. The content of the collective unconscious is made up essentially of archetypes which seem to be present always and everywhere. The archetype is a hypothetical and irrepresentable model--something like the pattern of behavior in biology. The universal consciousness is inborn psychological bedrock--common to all humans--that enables telepathy.
Colon Therapy (Colonics) Colon therapy uses a series of filtered and temperature regulated water flushes into the colon. These water flushes cleanse and detoxify the lower intestine and aid in the reconstitution of intestinal flora. The purpose of colonics is to balance the body chemistry, eliminate toxic wastes that have accumulated, and restore proper tissue and organ function.
Complementary Medicine The term complementary medicine is used by conventional medical practitioners to refer to non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical techniques which are used in conjunction with medical treatments such as drugs and surgery. The term implies that conventional medicine is used as a primary tool and the non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical techniques are used as a supplement when needed.
Counseling/Therapy Therapy is the remedial treatment of a disorder. Mental therapy can be given to individuals, couples, families, and groups. There are many types of therapy available.
Dentistry-Holistic Holistic dentistry treats the teeth, jaw, and related structures with special focus on how treatment will affect the entire body. It stresses the use of nontoxic restoration materials for dental work, and focuses on the impact that hidden dental infections and other dental problems can have on overall health. Other holistic health practices may be used.
Doulas Doulas are birthing assistants who support parents from planning of the birth thru labor and delivery, then assist new parents in learning how to care for their infant.
Dowsing Dowsing is one method of the art of divining. It develops one's intuitive awareness outside third dimensional (3D) concepts. It allows one to access one's whole brain potential. Years ago, it was called "Water Witching." Tools for dowsing are Y-rods, L-rods, and pendulums.Dream Analysis Personal dreams can relay messages from the subconscious mind and may or may not be influenced spiritually or by our higher selves. The messages can inform you of a health problem, your emotional state, or remind you of something important
that have been forgotten by your conscious mind. Jung considered the dream a fundamental natural expression of the unconscious psychic process. According to Jungian theory, some dream symbols are universal, allowing dream interpretation.
Ear Candling Ear candling or coning involves the use of hollow beeswax candles that are rolled into the shape of a tube, placed in the ear, and lit. Ancient cultures, including the Egyptians, used this painless procedure to draw ear wax, fungus, and toxins from the ear.
Environment Our environment, from the air we breathe to the soil that grows our food, affects our health, energy, and ability to breath. Pollution takes a toll on human health, and there is increasing evidence of interaction among large-scale environmental, development, and demographic changes with human disease. Health can even be defined as a state of equilibrium between humans and the physical, biological and social environment.
Essential Oil Essential oils are products of the secondary metabolism of plants, and generally are fragrant volatile materials. They are produced by steam, steam and water, or water distillation of vegetable plant matter or by being mechanically cold-pressed from the rinds of citrus fruits. In practice, certain "essential oils" are also produced by the distillation of oleo-resins and absolutes. Essential Oils are used in aromatherapy, cosmetics, perfumery, pharmaceuticals and many other applications.Feng Shui Feng Shui (actually pronounced as Fung Shway in Chinese) is the ancient science of balancing the elements within the environment. Feng means wind and Shui means water. Ancient Chinese scholars discovered that wind and water affect our environment and well being. By adding, subtracting, or repositioning items in our surroundings according to Feng Shui principles, harmony and balance is created in our environment and thus, our lives. Although mainly used in business and home environments, Feng Shui can also be applied to the person.
Herbalists Herbalists use an ancient approach to healing characterized by plants (a leaf, flower, stem, seed, root, fruit, bark, etc.), or substances derived from plants, to treat a range of illnesses or to improve the functioning of bodily systems. Herbs have provided humans with medicine from the earliest beginning of civilization. Herbology is the study of herbs and plants which aid in curing illnesses and preventing disease.
Holistic Holistic, a wide-reaching term, views individual elements of a system as determined by their relations to all other elements of that system. Being highly relational, holistic theories do not see the sum of the parts as adding up to the whole and don't see any elements of a system with a healthy existence when separated from the system in which it is a part. Holistic theories can be found in philosophical, religious, social, or scientific doctrines.
Homeopathy Homeopathy is a medical system that uses minute doses of natural substances-called remedies-to stimulate a person's immune and defense system. Based on the principle of "like cures like", these remedies specifically match different symptom patterns of illness, and act to stimulate the body's natural healing response. Samuel Hahneman, a German physician in the late 18th century believed symptoms of disease were our body's way of restoring balance. Hahneman determined that producing 'like' symptoms would allow the body to induce a natural healing response using three basic principles: prescription by the law of similar, minimum dosage, and singular dosage. Common conditions homeopathy addresses are infections, fatigue, allergies, and chronic illnesses, such as arthritis.Hydrotherapy Hydrotherapy is the use of water in any of its three forms (solid, liquid, or gas), internally or externally, for the treatment of disease and trauma or for cleansing purposes. Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy is the induction of a state of consciousness in which normal critical powers are suspended and the mind becomes highly suggestible and able to consciously influence the body. Also, the practice of using hypnosis in counseling.
Iridology Iridology is the analysis of the iris to determine a person's level of health including specific areas of nutritional deficiency.
Macrobiotics Macrobiotics is a lifestyle involving an awareness that humans are connected to nature, and therefore, what is best for physical bodies are those things from the earth. This includes special ways of selecting, preparing and eating organically grown, whole, and mostly vegetarian foods to maximize the energy derived from their consumption. The diet consists of mostly a variety of grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, Japanese condiments, and a little fish and seafood. The lifestyle stresses the importance of fresh air, breathing, moderate exercise, balance in life, use of natural products in the home and on the skin, and orderliness and organization in all things. The macrobiotic diet may be tailored to each person's own needs and condition.
Massage Massage is the manipulation of the superficial tissues of the human body in order to promote deep relaxation, and release tension. Recent research has proven that massage is therapeutic, and can soothe injured muscles, stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation, improve structure and function of the body, increase toxic elimination, and more. Massage therapy involves the healing art of touch.
Medicine-Ayurvedic Ayurvedic Medicine is a comprehensive system of medicine combining natural therapies with a highly personalized approach to the treatment of disease. The oldest healing art on the planet, it has been practiced in India for the past five thousand years. Placing equal emphasis on body, mind, and spirit, Ayurveda endeavors to restore the innate harmony of the individual with the primary goals of prevention and longevity. According to Ayurvedic medicine, each person has a particular pattern of energyan individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristicswhich comprises his/her own constitution. This constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and remains the same throughout ones life. Ayurveda identifies three basic types of energy or functional principles that are present in everyone by the original Sanskrit words vata, pitta, and kapha. Balance and health are the natural order; imbalance and disease are disorder. Within the body there is a constant interaction between order and disorder but by understanding the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order and health.
Medicine-Chinese Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient method of health care that combines the use of medicinal herbs, acupuncture, food therapy, massage, and therapeutic exercise. Oriental Health systems like acupuncture, shiatsu, acupressure massage, macrobiotics, Do-In, and sotai are based upon Chinese Medicine. It has proven effective for many conditions, including chronic degenerative disease, cancer, infections disease, allergies, childhood ailments, heart disease, and AIDS. At least 3,000 years old, Chinese Medicine is based on the view that humanity is part of the larger creation--the universe. Therefore humans are all subject to the same laws that govern nature and the understanding of health, then, must begin with an understanding of natural laws. Principles include the law of yin and yang, awareness and manipulation of life energy (Qi or Chi) which flows through meridians of the body, and the Five Element Theory.
Medicine-Holistic Holistic medicine approaches healing by recognizing that the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical elements of each person comprise a system that is determined by relations of all elements within that system. Holistic medicine is a system which looks at the whole person--the physical, mental, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual, and lifestyle values of the person. Based on the body's natural healing powers, the various ways the different tissues affect each other, and the influence of the external environment, various systems (both traditional and modern) of health protection and restoration are used.
Meditation To meditate is to contemplate. Meditation is the steady, continuous, and patient application of separating oneself from one's own thoughts--simply watching the mind without any expectations. There are many ways to meditate, each requiring the deliberate use of attention, but the effect is the same: a centeredness and a stillness within.Midwives One who assists women in childbirth.
Meridians Meridians are energy pathways which run along twelve major routes in the body. Each meridian is linked to specific internal organs and organ systems in the body. CHI/Qi is the vital life energy present in all living organisms and is the energy which circulates in the meridians of the body.
Metaphysics Metaphysics is that branch of philosophy which includes ontology, the science of being, and cosmology, or the science of the fundamental causes and processes in things; in a looser sense, all of the more abstruse philosophical disciplines, in a narrower sense, ontology alone It is also defined as the science of the principles and causes of all things existing; the philosophy of mind as distinguished from that of matter.
Myofascial release therapy is a hands-on therapeutic technique that applies a light,
stretching pressure with specific directions into the fascia to release the fascia from
surrounding tissue to which it may have become fastened. Fascia, a basic component
of the muscular-skeletal system of the body, is a tough connective tissue which
contains a substance that is normally gelatinous-like and slippery. Over time and through
trauma, inflammatory processes or poor posture, cross restrictions can occur within the
fascia which can cause this substance to become solidified, thus, shortening the fascia
fibers and pulling on pain sensitive areas. This creates symptoms of pain and
restriction of movement.
Natural Medicine Natural medicine or healing is the use of non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical techniques for providing wellness.
Naturopathy Naturopathy incorporates a variety of methods to utilize the body's inherent ability to heal. These methods include nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, counseling and lifestyle modification, even minor surgery. Naturopathic physicians promote health rather than confronting disease and allow patients to participate in the treatment.Nutrient A nutrient is any chemical element, chemical compound, or combination of chemical elements and/or chemical compounds that contributes to bodily development or is necessary for life.
Nutrition The science or study of daily diet and health.
Osteopathy Osteopathy is a holistic discipline which emphasizes prevention and the individual, not just disease. Osteopath philosophy is based on the belief that the body cures itself, and doctors should see the relationship between structure and function, with a special emphasis on holistic medicine, the musculo-skeletal system, proper nutrition and environmental factors. Osteopaths are licensed to adjust the bones of the body manipulate the body, prescribe medications, give injections, and perform surgery. Dr. Andrew Taylor Still established Osteopathic medicine in 1874.
Oxygen Therapy Oxygen therapies alter the body's chemistry to help overcome disease, promote repair, and improve overall function. These therapies have been found to be effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including infections (viral, fungal, parasitic, bacterial), circulatory problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, allergies, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
Physical Therapy Physical therapy is the field of medical care that uses exercise and such physical agents as heat, light, water, and massage to treat certain physical disabilities. Among its objectives are the relief of pain caused by surgery or by medical problems; the
improvement of muscle strength and mobility; and the improvement of such basic functions as standing, walking, and grasping in
patients who are recovering from debilitating illnesses and/or accidents or who are physically handicapped. Physical Therapy can cover a wide range of areas including neurological disorders, sports medicine, acute care, outpatient rehabilitation and pediatrics.
Polarity Therapy Polarity therapy is based on on the wisdom of the ancient healing arts, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda combined with Quantum Physics. Polarity therapists involve their own energy in healing: one hand is positive, one is negative and the placement of the two hands creates a current that stimulates the energy of the recipient. Some therapists also emphasize a vegetarian diet and polarity yoga and/or use such techniques such as light to deep bodywork, nutrition and cleansing, movement and awareness of patterns created by thoughts and emotions.
Prana/Energy Prana is life energy, life force, or life current. The Chinese call this life force chi or qi.
Pranayama Pranayama is a method of controlling prana or life force through the regulation of breathing.
Qi/Chi/Energy Qi is a vital force that underlies functioning of body, mind, and spirit. This concept of life force is fundamental to various Chinese practices, including architecture, art, health practices, magic, and martial arts. Also see Chi.
Qigong According to Qigong theory, Qi encompasses air and internal Qi, or true Qi, which includes essential Qi or vital energy. Qigong combines movement, meditation, and breath regulation to enhance the flow of vital energy in the body, improve blood circulation, and enhance immune function. It is the practice of refining the body through special exercises and meditation. In China, it is estimated that 200 million people practice qigong everyday. Because qigong can be used by the healthy as well as the severely ill, it is one of the most broadly applicable systems of self-care in the world.
Quality of Life Quality of life is the degree of comfort or pleasure one derives from one's usual actions.
Reconstructive Therapy Reconstructive therapy uses injection of natural substances to stimulate the growth of connective tissue in order to strengthen weak or damaged tendons or ligaments. As a simple, low-cost alternative to drug and surgical treatments, reconstructive therapy is used for degenerative arthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, and torn ligaments and cartilage.
Reflexology Reflexology is based on the premise that there are reflexes in our hands, feet and ears that relate to every organ and part of our body. Reflexology teaches that every part of the body has a direct line of communication to a reference point on the foot, hand and ear. By massaging these points, reflexologists help to restore nerve function and blood supply--aiding the corresponding body part to heal itself by stimulating energy in that area.
Reiki Practitioners of this ancient Tibetan healing system use light hand placements to channel healing energies of the universe to the recipient. While practitioners may vary widely in technique and philosophy, Reiki is commonly used to treat emotional and mental distress as well as chronic and acute physical problems, and to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity.
Rolfing Rolfing focuses on the connective tissue of the body; its goal is to place the body in balance with gravity. Rolfers ascertain that patterns of imbalance in the body deepen by repetition, and over time, most people are no longer in their vertical axis. These structural changes affect the function of the body. Rolfers use their fingers, knuckles, and elbows to work with the fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds each muscle and interconnects all of the otherinternal parts of the body. The goal of Rolfing is to gradually lengthen and reposition your muscles to allow your body to to change and adapt towards an easier relationship with gravity.Shiatsu Although Shiatsu arose from the original Chinese massage, Amma, there are significant differences in the Japanese forms. The goal of Shiatsu is to maintain health and wellness by using the fingers and palms of the hands to press and rub painful spots on the body. There are various forms of Shiatsu such as Zen Shiatsu, Five Element Shiatsu, and Integrative Eclectic Shiatsu, all using different techniques and practices.
Sound Therapy Sound therapy utilizes sound and music to have an effect on one's health. Sound therapy is used in hospitals, schools, corporate offices, and psychological treatment programs as an effective treatment to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, alleviate pain, overcome learning disabilities, improve movement and balance, and promote endurance and strength.
Spirit Spirit is defined as the vital force within living beings. It is called, among other things, wind, breath; life, a soul inside or outside a living being; a supernatural being; the nature of a person or of a group of persons; genius; and liveliness.
Tai Chi Tai Chi is form of Chinese exercise that uses slow and deliberate movement as well as meditation. Tai Chi is used to calm the nerves, tone muscles, and balance one's internal energy. This low impact exercise can be done anywhere as it requires no equipment or special clothing.
Thai Massage or Nuad Bo Rarn The traditional Thai medical massage is based upon an integration of Indian Buddhist medicine and traditional Chinese Medicine while incorporating a spiritual dimension in its hand techniques and gentle approach to tension..
Therapeutic Touch Therapeutic touch involves a healer passes his/her hands over a person's body in order to feel the energy imbalances, then redirecting the energy at will. This contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing practices consists of learned skills for consciously directing or modulating human energies by the "laying on of hands" above the body and moving the hands over the body without actual contact while working the energy field surrounding the body.
Tuina Tuina utilizes soft tissue manipulation, acupoints, external herbal medicines, therapeutic exercise, and structural realignment methods to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal and internal organ disorders.
Vegan Veganism is the way of life which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, anything derived from animals. A person practicing this custom is called vegan and often called a strict vegetarian.
Vegetarian A vegetarian is one who abstains from using meat, fish, fowl or any flesh as food, with or without the use of eggs and dairy products. Vegetarianism began many thousands of years ago with minds like Pythagoras, Buddha, Plato, and Plutarch. The word vegetarian was coined in 1842 and is derived from the Latin vegetus meaning whole, sound, fresh, and lively. However, it was not until 1847 that a significant turning point came in Western culture. on September 30, a group of 140 people in England gathered together to express their respect for their own well-being by asserting their unwillingness to eat flesh. Vegetarians may be ovo-lacto (eat no flesh but eat eggs and dairy), lacto (eat no flesh but eat dairy), ovo (eat no flesh but eat eggs, or vegan (eat nothing derived from animals.) William Castelli, M.D., Director Framingham Heart Study, said, "Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country. Some people scoff at vegetarians, but they have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate. On the average they outlive other people by about six years now."
Veterinary-Holistic In holistic veterinary medicine, the principles of alternative medicine are as applicable to animals as they are to human beings. Just as with humans, acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic manipulations and other alternative treatments are used to treat symptoms of animals and cure their underlying conditions.
Vibrational Healing Healing through vibrations.Visualization Visualization is a powerful tool which creates health through imagery. Visualization is the mind thinking in pictures and involves the use of imagination to produce a desired outcome.
Yoga The word yoga means union of body and spirit in Sanskrit. Yoga is a maintenance tool for the Mind-Body-Spirit as the physical postures and stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation practices are all designed to integrate a person's mind, body, and spirit. Some benefits of yoga are to increase health, vitality, and peace of mind, to lower blood pressure, decrease back pain, decrease menstrual problems, anxieties and stress, decrease and control asthmatic attacks, reduce or omit migraines, and much more. It has been proven to retard the aging process. Yoga can form the basis for an entire physical, mental and spiritual fitness program or it can be the flexibility component of a balanced physical fitness program. It's emphasis on good breathing can make meditation more effective. In fact; properly done, yoga is a form of meditation. Yoga is among the oldest known systems of health practiced in the world today and archaeologists have found 4,000 year-old figurines in what paper to be yoga poses. Research into yoga practices has and continues to have a strong impact on the fields of stress reduction, mind-body medicine, and energy medicine.
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Note: This directory is for information only. It is not medical advice and is not an endorsement of a particular alternative health, holistic health, or medical practice or practitioner. Consult your medical professional for information regarding your health. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of DFW Total Health.