Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. As part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body.
To practice acupuncture in Arizona, a practitioner must be licensed by the Az. State Acupuncture Board of Examiners. The Board licenses and regulates acupuncturists, evaluates professional competency, investigates complaints, and enforces the standards of practice for the acupuncture profession. Licensure qualifications include: graduate or complete an accredited or Board approved program of acupuncture; complete at least 1850 hours of training that includes 800 hours of clinic; successfully complete a clean needle technique course; be certified by NCCAOM or pass the NCCAOM exams required to be certified by NCCAOM, or licensed by another state with similar standards to Arizona; has not had a license or certificate revoked.
Aromatherapy is a therapy in which the scent of essential oils from flowers, herbs, and trees is inhaled to promote health and well-being.
Aromatherapy practitioners come from a wide range of career fields and there is no set credential or standard. Many complementary health professionals use aromatherapy in conjunction with other modalities such as acupuncture or massage therapy. Basic courses at aromatherapy schools vary in length from 30 hours to 100 hours. To practice at the professional level, organizations such as the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) suggest 200 hours or more of training.
Ayurvedic medicine evolved in India, and is considered to be the world’s oldest healthcare system. It is named for the Sanskrit word Ayurveda, meaning the: science of life. The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness. Ayurvedic medicine uses a variety of products and techniques to cleanse the body and restore balance.
The United States has no national standard for training or certifying Ayurvedic practitioners, although a few states have approved Ayurvedic schools as educational institutions. Many practitioners study in India, where there are more than 150 undergraduate and 30 postgraduate colleges for Ayurvedic medicine. Training can take 5 years or longer. Students who receive their Ayurvedic training in India can earn either a bachelor's degree or doctoral degree there.
Biofeedback trains patients to observe shifts in their bodily functions by using electronic monitors (i.e., heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, muscular tension, and brain activity). With this focus, patients learn to adapt and modify their mental and emotional responses to alleviate symptoms and regulate specific conditions.
Bowenwork is a gentle, holistic, healing therapy. Bowen's gentle ''moves'' over muscle and other soft tissue address the whole body, stimulating it to reset and heal itself. The mechanisms or action work primarily through the nervous system on both structural and energetic levels
Many licensed practitioners, such as, doctors, nurses, massage therapists, and chiropractors, have trained in the Bowen Technique. Bowen work practitioners initially take 7 Modules to learn the basic skills, and can become certified in Bowenwork through the Bowen Academy of Australia at that time. Many choose to continue with Continuing Education Programs of Specialized Bowen Procedures 1 and 2, and they can then become accredited as Professional Bowenwork Practitioners.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance; it is non-invasive and scientifically based. It can be a very effective treatment for a wide range of common conditions and stress-related problems.
The Upledger Institute, Inc.® CranioSacral Therapy certification program is designed to bring therapists trained in UI CranioSacral Therapy (CST) recognition for their knowledge and skill in this therapeutic modality. There are 2 levels of CST certification available through UI: Level 1; Techniques and Level 2; Diplomate. CST certification is not required, nor is it designed to serve as a hands-on license; health care practitioners who become trained in CST typically include: massage and shiatsu therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and nurses.
EMDR (Eye Movement De-sensitization and Re-processing) is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects.
Clinicians who are EMDRIA (EMDR International Association) Certified are licensed or certified in their profession for independent practice and have had a minimum of 2 years experience in their field. They have completed an EMDRIA approved training program in EMDR, have conducted a minimum of 50 clinical sessions in which EMDR was utilized, and have received 20 hours of consultation in EMDR by an Approved Consultant. In addition they must complete 12 hours of continuing education in EMDR every 2 years. Certification is not required at this time. Once practitioners have completed the full Basic Training, they can practice EMDR under their license.
Facial Reflexology is a noninvasive gentle treatment which involves gently stimulating acupressure points releasing endorphins and serotonin to bring balance and serenity.
The American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) and the NCBTMB – the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork - often offer Continuing Ed. courses for reflexology practitioners and massage therapists who want to become skilled in Facial Reflexology also. The Sorensensistem of Facial Reflexology consists of 4 modules. Upon completion of all 4 modules, case studies will be reviewed and an exam will be given. After passing the exam, a certificate is awarded.
Feldenkrais is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this Method, you can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.
The Feldenkrais Guild of North America (FGNA) is the professional organization of practitioners and teachers of the Feldenkrais Method. Only graduates of Guild Accredited Training Programs, or those who trained with Dr. Feldenkrais, are eligible to be certified and to become members of FGNA. A Feldenkrais® professional training program generally lasts 3 to 4 years, with completion of 740-800 hours of training, leading to professional certification as a Feldenkrais practitioner.
Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. It is a counseling tool used to teach psychophysiological relaxation, alleviate anxiety and depression, relieve physical and psychological symptoms, and help patients prepare for surgery and tolerate procedures more comfortably.
The Academy for Guided Imagery (AGI) provides the nation's only comprehensive, integrated curriculum for teaching Interactive Guided Imagery (IGA) skills. The Academy’s Professional Certification Training Program offers 150 hours of in-depth training in IGA suitable for health care professionals, educators, and counselors.
Healing Touch is a relaxing, nurturing energy therapy. Gentle touch assists in balancing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Healing Touch works with your energy field to support your natural ability to heal.
To become a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner (CHTP), one must complete a 5-level training program, 1 year mentorship, meet the certification criteria, and be approved by the HT International Certification Board. HT Certification is intended for licensed, professional practitioners; certification is endorsed by AHNA (American Holistic Nurses Association) and NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork) for continuing education credits. Licensed health care professionals, including registered nurses, body-oriented therapists, and psychotherapists are typically who become CHTP’s. Every 5 years, CHTP’s are required to complete continuing education credits as part of recertification.
Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is a whole medical system; it seeks to stimulate the body's ability to heal itself by giving very small doses of highly diluted substances that in larger doses would produce illness or symptoms (an approach called ''like cures like''). Homeopathy is used for wellness and prevention and to treat many diseases and conditions.
Arizona is one of only 3 states in the U.S. that has a state licensing board that licenses medical doctors to practice homeopathy. The organization that creates and upholds standards for the practice of homeopathy in North America is the Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC). The certification offered by the CHC is not a license to practice homeopathy, as licenses can only be granted by states or provinces. Certification is peer-recognition of having attained a reasonable level of competency in homeopathy. In the dozen or so states that license naturopathic physicians (ND’s or NMD’s), homeopathy is included within their scope of practice.
Hypnotherapy uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person's attention is so focused while in this state that anything going on around the person is temporarily blocked out or ignored. In this naturally occurring state, a person may focus his or her attention with the help of a trained therapist on specific thoughts or tasks.
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis is the largest U.S. organization for health care professionals using clinical hypnosis. ASCH Certification in Clinical Hypnosis is distinct from other ''certification'' programs in that it ensures that the certified individual is a bona fide health care professional who is licensed in his or her state to provide medical, dental, or psychotherapeutic services. ASCH believes that persons trained only in hypnosis lack the diagnostic and therapeutic skills as well as the licensure required to safely and responsibly treat medical, psychological, or dental problems with hypnosis. ASCH Certification distinguishes the professional practitioner from the lay hypnotist. There are 2 levels of Certification. Entry level is simply called ''Certification''. An advanced level, called ''Approved Consultant'', recognizes individuals who have obtained advanced training in clinical hypnosis and who have extensive experience in utilizing hypnosis within their professional practices.
Jin Shin Jyutsu® physio-philosophy is an ancient art of harmonizing the life energy in the body. It brings balance to the body's energies.
Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc. issues a certificate of attendance for completing a specific number of classes. The certificate does not constitute a license, such as those required by state or municipal governments for massage therapists. Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc. does not test for proficiency or do background checks on its students. After attendance of a 5-day Basic Seminar, a certificate of completion is issued for 35 hours. Upon completion of three 5-day Basic Seminars, a 2nd certificate is issued, certifying that 105 hours of class time have been attended.
The Kinesio Taping® Method is a therapeutic taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. It also prolongs the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting by providing extended soft tissue manipulation.
The Kinesio Taping® Association International (KTAI) has designed a certification process for Kinesio Taping® Practitioners. To become certified, practitioners must complete KTAI approved KT1, KT2 and KT3 level courses, be current KTAI members, and pass the Certification Exam with a minimum 80% grade. Health care providers who become trained in Kinesio Taping, typically include: massage and shiatsu therapists, and physical and occupational therapists.
Massage therapy encompasses many different techniques. In general, therapists press, rub, and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. People use massage for a variety of health-related purposes, including to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, and aid general wellness.
In Arizona, only massage therapists licensed by the Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy are allowed to practice. To obtain a regular license, one needs to have transcripts from a Board Recognized Massage School reflecting at least 700 clock hours and also to show proof of current certification with (or have taken and passed exams) for the NCBTMB or MBLEX (Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination), the exam developed by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. During the 2-year period immediately preceding license expiration, a licensee applying for renewal shall have completed 25 hours or more of continuing education.
Meditation is a mind-body practice where a person learns to focus attention. When meditating, the practitioner becomes mindful of thoughts, feelings, and sensations and observes them in a nonjudgmental way. This practice is believed to result in a state of greater calmness and physical relaxation, and psychological balance.
There is no governing body or set standard or credentials for Meditation Instructors. The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc., offers a full online program of continuing education courses which, when completed, qualifies participants to apply for and receive Meditation Instructor Certification. To meet the certification requirements, one must successfully complete 150 hours of education. Certification is a voluntary process and is different than any type of licensing. There are many other Meditation Programs, such as the International Meditation Instructors Training & Certification program and The Meditation Instructor Certification Program offered by the University of Holistic Theology.
Meridian Therapy is a Japanese therapy based on Chinese meridians to balance energy flows. It is a healing art whereby touch and pressure is applied to the body's energy pathways that correspond to internal organ functions.
The Association For Meridian Energy Therapies (AMT) offers Certification Trainings and those who become certified can become AMT members. This certification is not required and does not substitute for a license to practice counseling or psychotherapy, but provides a thorough grounding in the basic principles of the field of Meridian Energy Therapies and prepares one to practice these unique forms of mind-body treatments.
Naturopathy - also called naturopathic medicine—is a medical system that has evolved from a combination of traditional practices and health care approaches popular in Europe during the 19th century. Guided by a philosophy that emphasizes the healing power of nature, naturopathic practitioners now use a variety of traditional and modern therapies. Practitioners view their role as supporting the body's inherent ability to maintain and restore health.
In, Arizona, Naturopathic doctors (NMD’s) are regulated by the State Of Arizona Naturopathic Physicians Medical Board. To be licensed to practice naturopathic medicine in Arizona, one must be a graduate of a 4-year, professional-level program at a federally accredited naturopathic medical school and pass the national Naturopathic Physicians Licensing board exams.
Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that leads to health, wellness and fitness. It draws from disciplines of the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. Every class offers a unique combination of 52 moves that correspond with the main areas of the body: the base, the core and the upper extremities.
Nia training follows a series of progressive belt levels: White, Green, Blue, Brown and Black Belt. Each belt explores 5 body and life competencies for health and vitality, and includes 50+ hours of education in the form of movement, interactive discussion and self-reflection. All teachers are required to be a Livelihood Member, which grants a license to teach and professionally represent Nia. Black Belt certification is the highest level of training; all Black Belt instructors have graduated from the 4 levels of Training.
Pilates is physical conditioning that focuses on connecting the mind and body and building a strong core foundation. It can improve mental and physical well-being, increase flexibility, and strengthen muscles through controlled movements done as mat exercises or with equipment to tone and strengthen the body.
There are a wide variety of Pilates Training Programs available with 2 main focuses: traditional training that adheres strictly to what Joseph Pilates taught (classical); or training that incorporates new techniques and developments in exercise science (contemporary). The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) offers the only professional certification exam for the Pilates industry; after passing the exam, Pilates instructors are PMA certified. Most Pilates instructor training programs are excellent, requiring many hours of study, practice, and exams at a level that meets or exceeds the requirements for the PMA professional exam. However, Pilates training is not regulated, so PMA certified is the gold standard.
Polarity Therapy asserts that the flow and balance of energy in the human body is the foundation of good health, which is experienced when energy systems function in their natural state, and energy flows smoothly without significant blockage or fixation. In a typical session, the practitioner assesses energetic attributes using palpation, observation and interview methods. Sessions do not require disrobing, and involve soft touch, some rocking as well as point specific touch.
Once a practitioner successfully completes 200 hours of specialized training, he/she is awarded a Certificate of completion and is eligible to apply for national certification as an Associate Polarity Practitioner (APP) through the American Polarity Therapy Association (APTA.) One does not have to be a member of the APTA in order to practice Polarity Therapy, but joining provides a level of assurance that one has met an education standard established by professional practitioners and educators.
QiGong is a traditional Chinese mind/body exercise and meditation that uses slow and precise body movements with controlled breathing and mental focusing to improve balance, flexibility, muscle strength and overall health.
The National Qigong Association (NQA) offers 2 Professional Member Certifications: Teacher and Clinical. Certification is internal to the NQA as there is presently no national standard. The Qigong Teacher Track has 4 Skill Levels: ranging from Level I with at least 200 hours of formal Qigong training, to Level IV, the Highest Certification granted. A Level IV Teacher has at least 1000 hours of training and has taught instructors of qigong or qigong clinical therapists for 10 years or more. The NQA Clinical Track certifies Clinical Practitioners who practice applications of healing qigong, and may also teach prescriptive exercises. Criteria includes: at least 500 hours documented formal Qigong training, a minimum of 2 years clinical experience, and a current liability insurance policy.
Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is a non-invasive complementary modality involving the use of alternating pressure applied to the reflexes within the reflex maps of the body located on the feet, hands and outer ears. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.
Reflexology is not massage, and it is exempt through scope of practice from the 2004 Arizona Massage Therapy Law. National certification is available from the American Reflexology Certification Board; certification provides recognition of having met core educational and skill standards within the field, with completion of a ‘hands-on’ reflexology course involving a minimum of 110 hours. Every ARCB Certificant must obtain 12 hours of Continuing Education every 2 years. There are 2 member organizations: the Arizona Reflexology Association, a non-profit professional member organization, which is affiliated with the Reflexology Association of America (RAA).
Reiki, commonly translated from the Japanese as universal life energy, is a spiritual, vibrational healing practice used to promote balance throughout the human system. Reiki does not involve physical manipulation or the ingestion or application of any substances, but works with the subtle vibrational field thought to surround and penetrate the body.
To become a Reiki Master, one must first take Reiki I & II and Advanced Reiki training. There is no licensing in the field, but the International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP) is a professional member organization for registered Reiki practitioners; a registered IARP® Member, is recognized as attaining the highest standards of professionalism and service within Reiki. The International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) is also an accrediting body and membership organization; Reiki Teachers licensed by the ICRT have completed an advanced program of study after becoming a Reiki Master.
Shamanism is a spiritual healing practice which cuts across all faiths and creeds, because it is not an organized religion as such, but rather reaching deep levels of ancestral memory. As a primal belief system, which precedes established religion, it has its own symbolism and cosmology.
Those who are considered to be shamans typically have been brought up and trained in spiritual healing by an elder healer from their shared culture or tribe. There is no set standard for becoming a shaman, as they come from many different cultures and healing traditions, and develop their skills and knowledge over many years and through ancestral wisdom.
Shiatsu (Japanese from shi, meaning finger, and atsu, meaning pressure) is a traditional hands-on therapy originating in Japan. It is an evolving form, and its various styles incorporate aspects of Japanese massage traditions, Chinese Medicine practice, and ''Western'' anatomy and physiology.
There are 2 main Shiatsu schools: one based on western anatomical and physiological theory and the other based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Shiatsu Therapy does not have set practice standards, nor does it require licensing or certification in Arizona. However many licensed massage therapists have taken continuing education courses and received Shiatsu diplomas or course completion certificates. Other Shiatsu Therapists are graduates of Shiatsu Therapy educational training programs (ranging from 7 months to 3 years), but they are not are not LMT’s.
Tai chi, which originated in China as a martial art, is a mind-body practice, sometimes referred to as ''moving meditation''. Practitioners move their bodies slowly, gently, and with awareness, while breathing deeply. Tai chi incorporates the Chinese concepts of yin and yang and qi (a vital energy or life force). Practicing tai chi is said to support a healthy balance of yin and yang, thereby aiding the flow of qi.
There is no governing body or set standards or credentials for Tai Chi Instructors; there are numerous training programs and masters to study with, who have different styles and lineages. The American Tai Chi and Qigong Association (ATCQA) provides independent Tai Chi accreditation; their Certification is not affiliated with any particular school, program, style or lineage. They offer 3 Certification Levels for Tai Chi Instructor, ranging from Level I with at least 150 documented hours in formal Tai Chi training and at least 500 hours of experience in teaching, to Level III, requiring at least 2000 hours of experience in teaching Tai Chi.
In Therapeutic Touch, therapists place their hands on or near their patient’s body with the intention to help or heal. The focus is on balancing the energies of the total person and stimulating the body’s own natural healing ability rather than on the treatment of specific physical diseases.
State laws vary regarding the practice of Therapeutic Touch (TT.) There are many levels of TT training from Basic and Intermediate to Advanced TT workshops, which are for persons who have at least 3 years practice. Nurses, massage therapists, and body workers often learn TT to add to their practices. Nurse Healers-Professional Associates International, Inc. (NH-PAI), the official organization of Therapeutic Touch, provides national credentialing in TT. To apply for National Credential, one must complete a basic TT Course, a year long Practicum and Mentorship, and Intermediate TT.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years. TCM practitioners use herbs, acupuncture, and other methods to treat a wide range of conditions.
To practice TCM (acupuncture) in Arizona, a practitioner must be licensed by the Az. State Acupuncture Board of Examiners. The Board licenses and regulates acupuncturists, evaluates professional competency, investigates complaints, and enforces the standards of practice for the acupuncture profession. Licensure qualifications include: graduate or complete an accredited or Board approved program of acupuncture; complete at least 1850 hours of training that includes 800 hours of clinic; successfully complete a clean needle technique course; be certified by NCCAOM or pass the NCCAOM exams required to be certified by NCCAOM, or licensed by another state with similar standards to Arizona; has not had a license or certificate revoked.
''Trager work'' is an innovative approach to movement re-education and rehabilitation developed by Milton Trager, MD. It is a gentle, effective approach to mind/body integration that uses rocking and cradling movements that re-awaken your body, mind and spirit. As you yield to these movements, tensions disappear and new movement patterns become possible. A Trager session consists of table work and self-care movements called Mentastics. Allowing gravity to work for you, letting go of stress and tension, habitual patterns are changed.
The Trager Professional Training Program generally lasts 2 to 4 years, and leads to professional certification as a Trager Practitioner. This program consists of a combination of hands-on training, fieldwork, and supervised tutorials. The US Trager Association is a member of Trager International, a worldwide international organization dedicated to the growth and support of the Trager Approach. The US Trager Association maintains a database of Certified Practitioners.
The term tui na (pronounced twee naw), which literally means pinch and pull, refers to a wide range of TCM therapeutic massage and body work. Tui na is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony.
In Arizona, the practice of Tui na does not have set standards, nor does it require licensing or certification. Many Shiatsu Therapists, bodyworkers, and licensed massage therapists take continuing education courses (which range from 12 to 30 hours in length) and receive Tui na course completion certificates; they add Tui na techniques to complement their practice, along with acupressure, reflexology, and massage.
Watsu is a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water, (around 35°C.) It combines elements of massage, joint mobilisation, shiatsu, muscle stretching and dance. The receiver is continuously supported while being floated, cradled, rocked and stretched. The deeply relaxing effects of warm water and nurturing support, combine with Watsu's movements, and massage work, to create a bodywork with a range of therapeutic benefits and potential healing on many levels.
The Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association (WABA) oversees the training programs for Watsu® and other Aquatic Bodywork programs and practitioners, and maintains their authorizations and transcripts on the Worldwide Registry. WABA also authorizes 4 training institutes to offer variants of its programs. There are 4 stages in a typical Watsu training, from a 16 hour Basic course to multiple 50 hour intensive courses. Those with a current license to touch, who have attended at least 50 hours of shiatsu or its equivalent, may add Watsu as an additional modality to their current practice on completion of Watsu 1 and 2 (100 hours) and 20 supervised practice sessions.
Yoga therapy is an emerging field of practices that use yoga to address mental and physical problems while integrating body and mind. Practitioners work one-on-one or in group settings, assisting clients with yoga postures, sometimes combined with therapeutic verbal dialogue.
There are many yoga therapy Training and Certification Programs approved by the National Yoga Alliance with standards and curriculums varying depending on whether the student is already a practicing yoga instructor when enrolling. As with yoga instructors, there are both 200 and 500 hour training programs available.
Zero Balancing is a body-mind therapy using skilled touch to address the relationship between energy and structures of the body. Zero Balancing helps to clear blocks in the body’s energy flow; it focuses primarily on key joints of our skeleton that conduct and balance forces of gravity, posture and movement.
The Zero Balancing Health Association (ZBHA) is a membership organization that offers varying levels of Zero Balancing training and a certification program. Zero Balancing is taught as an advanced, continuing education program available to health care professionals who use skilled touch in their practices; professionals who become ZB practitioners typically include: physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors.