AA - Alcoholics Anonymous
AC - alternating current
ACS - American Cancer Society
AHCPR - Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
AIDS - acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
AMA - American Medical Association
AMTA - American Massage Therapy Association
BEM - bioelectromagnetics
BRM - biological response modifier
CCE - Council of Chiropractic Education
CHD - coronary heart disease
CoQ1p - coenzyme QIO
DC - direct current
DMT - dance/movement therapy
D.O. - doctor of osteopathy
DRG - Division of Research Grants
ECT - electroconvulsive therapy
EDTA - ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid
EEG - electroencephalogram
ELF - extremely low frequency
EM - electromagnetic
EMG - electromyographic
EMS - eosinophilia myalgia syndrome
FDA - Food and Drug Administration
FDCA - Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
FTC - Federal Trade Commission
G - gauss
GSR - galvanic skin response
HDL - high-density lipoprotein
HIV - human immunodeficiency virus
HPA - hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical
Hz - Hertz, (see hertz)
IgA - immunoglobulin A
IgE - immunoglobulin E
IND - investigational new drug
INF-A - interferon alpha
INF-G - interferon gamma
IU - international units
LDL - low-density lipoprotein
MEDLARS - Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System
MEDLINE - MEDLARS on Line
MHz - megahertz
MRI - magnetic resonance imaging
NAMT - National Association for Music Therapy
NCI - National Cancer Institute
NCNM - National College of Naturopathic Medicine
NCSA - Network Chiropractic Spinal Analysis
NHLBI - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NLM - National Library of Medicine
NRC - National Research Council
NSAID - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
NSF - National Science Foundation
OAM - Office of Alternative Medicine
OTA - Office of Technology Assessment
PEMF - pulsed electromagnetic field
PET - positron emission tomography
PRC - People's Republic of China
RF - radio frequency
RFA - request for applications
SD - standard deviation
SHBG - sex hormone binding globulin
TCES - transcranial electrostimulation
TENS - transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
TIMPs - (proteins that are) tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases
TM - transcendental meditation
TNF - tumor necrosis factor
USAID - United States Agency for International Development
WHO - World Health Organization
adiposity: the state of being fat.
adjustment: the chiropractic adjustment is a specific form of direct manipulation of joint (articular) areas, using either long or short leverage techniques with specific contacts. It is characterized by a dynamic thrust of controlled velocity, amplitude, and direction (see thrust). Colloquially referred to as "bone cracking."
adrenergic: activated by, characteristic of, or secreting adrenaline (scientific name, epinephrine) or similar substances that constrict blood vessels and raise blood pressure, preparing the body for "fight or flight."
adrenochrome: a red oxidation product of epinephrine that slows the blood flow because of its effect on capillary permeability. It is currently being tested as a psychomimetic drug (a drug that imitates natural substances that can affect a person psychologically).
allergic rhinitis: hay fever; significant nasal drainage and inflammation of the eyes in susceptible subjects, caused by inhaling allergens (usually pollens).
allopathy: substitutive therapy; a therapeutic system in which a disease is treated by producing a second condition that is incompatible with or antagonistic to the first. May be used to describe Western medicine as currently practiced.
amide: an organic compound in which the hydroxyl (-OH) of a carboxyl group (-COOH) of an acid has been replaced by the nitrogen-containing group -NH2. For example, O=C-NH2.
amine: an organic compound containing nitrogen, equivalent to replacing one or more atoms of hydrogen in ammonia by an organic hydrocarbon. For example, -NH2.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a disease marked by progressive degeneration of the nerve cells that conduct electrical impulses, leading to degeneration of the motor cells of the brain stem and spinal cord and resulting in a deficit of motor skills among other symptoms; it usually ends fatally within 2 to 3 years. Also called Lou Gehrig's disease.
anabolism: constructive metabolic processes in which new substances are built.
anaphylaxis: a major type of allergic reaction to a substance, resulting in difficulty breathing and followed usually by shock and collapse of the blood system.
angina pectoris: a spasm with sudden chest pain, accompanied by a feeling of suffocation and impending death, most often due to lack of oxygen to part of the heart wall, and caused by excitement or activity.
angiography: the study of the cardiovascular system (heart and blood) by radioscopy after the introduction of a contrasting material, such as radioactive iodine, into the body.
anthropology: the study of human beings and their origin in relation to social, cultural, historical, environmental, and developmental aspects.
antipsychotic drug: a substance effective in the treatment of psychosis, a severe type of mental disorder involving total disorganization of the personality.
apoenzyme: the protein portion of an enzyme that can be separated from any cofactor but needs the cofactor present to function properly as an enzyme.
arrhythmia: any variation from the normal rhythm of the heartbeat.
ascorbyl palmitate: a derivative of vitamin C that is being tested as a preventive agent.
autism: a condition characterized by preoccupation with inner thoughts, daydreams, fantasies, delusions, and hallucinations; egocentric, subjective thinking lacking objectivity and connection with reality; a disorder of currently unknown origin characterized by such activities.
benzopyrene: a highly carcinogenic organic chemical that is produced when carbon compounds are incompletely burned.
bind: an increasing resistance to motion in the problem area (in manual therapy the practitioner uses feedback obtained by touching the problem area to guide the medical procedure). See also ease.
bioelectromagnetics: the scientific study of interactions between living organisms and electromagnetic fields, forces, energies, currents, and charges. The range of interactions studied includes atomic, molecular, intracellular up to the entire organism.
biofeedback: the process of furnishing an individual with information, usually in an auditory or visual mode, on the state of one or more physiological variables such as heart rate, blood pressure, or skin temperature; it often enables the individual to gain some voluntary control over the physiological variable being sampled.
biofield: a massless field (not necessarily electromagnetic) that surrounds and permeates living bodies and affects the body. Possibly related to qi. See qi.
bioflavonoid: a generic term for a group of anti-oxidant compounds that are widely distributed in plants and involved in animals in maintaining the walls of small blood vessels in a normal state. See flavenoids.
biogenesis: Thomas Huxley's theory that living matter always arises by the agency of preexisting living matter. The opposing theory is spontaneous generation.
biomechanics: the study of structural, functional, and mechanical aspects of human motion.
biophoton: a small amount of electromagnetic energy emitted by molecules in living organisms. Biophoton emission is associated with processes, such as mitosis (cell division), and possibly with the vibrations of certain large molecules; It may also be used to communicate information over relatively large distances, as the firefly does.
biorhythm: the cyclic occurrence of body processes, such as in daily, or circadian, rhythm. Other rhythms may be monthly or yearly.
biostatistics: the science of applying statistics in biology, medicine, and agriculture.
botanical medicine: another term for herbal medicine.
cardiac catheterization: the passage of a small fluid-gathering tube through a vein in the body into the heart to gather blood samples, to measure internal blood pressure, or to obtain other intracardiac information.
catabolism: destructive metabolic processes in which substances are broken down.
catecholamine: chemical messengers, such as dopamine and nor epinephrine, that stimulate various receptors in the sympathetic and central nervous systems in the body.
catechu: an extract from the heartwood of the Acia catechu tree that contains catechin, a crystalline, contraction-causing chemical. Formerly used as an antidiarrheal agent.
cell proliferation: growth by the reproduction of similar cells.
cellular metabolism : the sum of the chemical processes of a cell, including the transformation of sugars into energy and related processes.
cervical dysplasia: deviations in the cells that cover the uterine cervix, which may begin as unusual increased cell growth and progress to the loss of the unique characteristics of a cell; tends to lead to a tumor.
chakra: one of the areas of rotation in the biofield, first elaborated in ancient Indian metaphysics.
chelation: formation of a complex molecule involving a metal ion and two or more polar groupings of a single molecule. Chelation can be used to remove an ion from participation in biological reactions, causing a change in the reaction.
chemopreventive: the attempt to prevent disease through the use of chemicals, drugs, or food factors, such as vitamins.
chemotherapy: treatment of disease by chemical compounds selectively directed against invading organisms or abnormal cells.
chiropractic practice: a discipline of the scientific healing arts concerned with the development, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive care of functional disturbances, disease states, pain syndromes, and neurophysiological effects related to the status and dynamics of the locomotor system, especially of the spine and pelvis.
chiropractic science: the investigation of the relationship between structure (primarily of the spine) and function (primarily of the nervous system) in the human body.
Cholecystectomy: surgical removal of the gall bladder.
chronic fatigue syndrome: an illness characterized by long periods of fatigue, often accompanied by headaches, muscle pain and weakness, and elevated antibody titers to some herpesviruses. The cause or causes are unknown.
chronic hepatitis: a persistent inflammation of the liver.
circadian: a phenemenon being, having, characterized by, or occurring in approximately 24-hour periods or cycles (as of biological activity or function).
clairsentience: the ability to use touch to sense subtle variations in the biofield.
clairvoyance: the ability to perceive things that are out of the range of normal human senses.
closed system: a field or system that does not react with other fields or anything outside that system.
cochlear reflex: a contraction of the cochlea-a spirally wound tube that forms part of the inner ear-when a sharp, sudden noise is made near the ear.
Cofactor: a non-protein chemical that is not an enzyme in its own right but must be present for an apoenzyme (i.e., the protein component of the enzyme) to function.
collagen: an insoluble, fibrous protein that occurs in bones as the major portion of the connective tissue fibers. Yields gelatin and glue on prolonged heating with water.
complementary medicine: another term for alternative medicine; frequently used in Europe.
congenital: something that exists at, and usually before, birth.
corpus callosum: the mass of white matter in the brain that connects the two hemispheres, linking the "creative" (or left-brained) side with the "raw intelligence" (or right-brained) side.
coumarin: an odorous material found in tonquin beans, sweet clover, and woodruff; used for scenting tobacco and as an anticoagulant to prevent excessive blood clotting.
cryosurgery: the application of extreme cold to destroy tissue.
cyclotron resonance: the resonant coupling of electromagnetic power into a system of charged particles undergoing orbital movement in a uniform magnetic field.
cytokine: a generic term for various small proteins that are released by cells and that act as intercellular communicators to elicit an immune response. Examples include the interferons and the interleukins.
cytokinesis: the contraction of a belt of cytoplasm, bringing about the separation of two daughter cells during cell division in animal tissues.
cytotoxicity: the degree to which a chemical is toxic, or lethal, to a cell, such as how toxic a chemotherapy agent may be to cancer cells.
Delphi method: a consensus procedure in which participating experts are polled individually and anonymously, usually with self-administered questionnaires. The survey is conducted over a series of "rounds." After each round, the results are elicited, tabulated, and reported to the group. The Delphi process is considered complete when there is convergence of opinion or when a point of diminishing return is reached.
diabetes mellitus: a disorder of metabolism in which the lack of available insulin causes an excess of sugar in the blood and urine, as well as excessive thirst and loss of weight. Various long-term problems can result.
diagnosis: the art of distinguishing one disease from another; the use of scientific and skillful methods to establish the cause and nature of a person's illness.
dietetics: the study and regulation of the diet.
direct technique: any manual medical method or maneuver that engages and passes through and beyond an area of increasing tissue or joint motion resistance, commonly called a "direct barrier." (Physical penetration of the body surface is not involved.)
dosimetry: the process of measuring doses of radiation (e.g., x rays).
double-blind: a term pertaining to a clinical trial or other experiment in which neither the subject nor the person administering treatment knows which subjects are receiving actual treatment and which are receiving a placebo.
dysfunction: a term used in medicine to describe abnormal, impaired, or incomplete functioning of an organ or part.
dysmenorrhea: a condition characterized by difficult and painful menstruation.
ease: a region of decreasing resistance to movement. In manual therapy the practitioner uses feedback obtained by touching the problem region to guide the medical procedure. See bind.
echocardiography: a method of graphically recording the position and motion of the heart walls or the internal structures of the heart and neighboring tissue by the echo obtained from beams of ultrasonic waves directed through the chest wall.
eczema: an inflammatory skin condition characterized by itching and the secretion of liquids from subdermal pockets of pus and water.
electroencephalogram (EEG): a recording of the electrical potentials on the skull generated by currents emanating spontaneously from nerve cells in the brain.
electromagnetic field: the force or energy associated with electromagnetic interactions, charges, and currents. EM fields include electrostatic, magnetostatic, radiation, induction, vector-potential, and scalar-potential fields, and Hertz and Fitzgerald potentials. The EM field is usually said to comprise two components: an "electric field" and a "magnetic field." However, according to apparently well-established theorems (e.g., Maxwell's equations), these two components are closely coupled and not truly independent of each other.
electromagnetic radiation: one type of EM field, namely, an oscillating EM field that has free motion in space at a distance from its source.
electromagnetism: the magnetism produced by an electric current.
electrophysiology: the study of the mechanisms and consequences of the production of electrical phenomena in the living organism.
electropollution: EM fields produced by sources that may have harmful effects on humans, such as electric power transmission and radio transmission.
electrosurgical excision: surgical removal of an organ or tissue by electrical methods.
embolism: the blocking of a blood vessel, usually by a blood clot or thrombus originating from a remote part of the circulatory system.
emission tomography: a computer-constructed image of the body, created by measuring radioactive presences in the body.
end play: discrete, short-range movements of a joint, independent of the action of voluntary muscles, determined by springing each vertebra or extremity joint at the limit of its passive range of motion; also called "joint play."
endocrine: a material that is secreted internally in the body, most commonly through the bloodstream rather than through the various ducts; of or pertaining to such a secretion.
endorphin: any of three compounds found naturally in the brain that may have adrenaline-like effects, such as a burst of energy or an analgesic effect.
endoscopy: visual inspection of any cavity of the body by means of an endoscope (an instrument to examine the interior of a hollow cavity inside the body, such as the bladder).
enzymes: proteins that catalyze many biochemical reactions, necessary in all life forms.
epidemiology: the medical study of the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population; the conditions controlling the presence or absence of a disease or pathogen.
esophageal motility: the muscular movements of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Orderly and rhythmic esophageal motility is necessary for swallowing; any disorder in this process may result in pain and dysfunction.
ethnobotany: the science of plants in relation to ethnic groups of humans.
etiology: the medical study of causes of disease.
faith healing: healing that occurs because of the patient's belief in a supernatural being or the healer.
fascia: a sheet of fibrous tissue that envelops the body beneath the skin; it also encloses muscles and groups of muscles, and separates their several layers or groups.
fibromyalgia: a poorly understood illness characterized by fibrous muscular pain.
fibrositis: an inflammation of fibrous tissue.
flavonoids: a large group of metabolic byproducts of mosses and other plants, based on 2-phenylbenzopyran (a particular type of organic compound with a ring structure); for example, the chemicals that give yellow, red, and blue colors to plants.
forensic: evidence or material gathered for or used in legal proceedings or in public debate.
free radical: a molecule or atom in which the outermost ring of electrons is not complete, making it extremely chemically reactive.
galvanic skin response: a change in the electrical resistance of the skin, recorded by a polygraph; widely used as an index of autonomic (involuntary) nervous system reactions
gastroenteritis: an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and the intestines.
gauss: a unit of magnetic flux density. In colloquial terms, the strength of a magnetic field is specified in terms of gauss; for instance, the strength of a typical household magnet that holds papers on a refrigerator is about 200 G.
glycyrrhetinic acid: a derivative of vitamin A that is being tested for its disease preventive activity.
Hawthorne effect: the observation that experimental subjects who are aware that they are part of an experiment often perform better than totally naive subjects.
heavy metal: a metal of high atomic number; may be used to measure electron density in electron microscopy; high concentrations of heavy metals can harm plant and animal growth.
hematology: the medical specialty that pertains to the anatomy, physiology, pathology, symptomatology, and therapeutics of blood and blood-forming tissues.
Hertz (Hz): the unit of measure used to specify the frequency of complete waves of electromagnetic radiation, such as light, radio waves, and x rays; expressed as cycles per second. These waves take on the property of a sinusoid (see sinusoidal). Table 1 in the "Bioelectromagnetics Applications in Medicine" chapter shows the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from 0 Hz to over 1020 Hz.
heuristic: anything that encourages or promotes investigation; that which is conducive to discovery.
high sense perception: a system of diagnosis based on clairsentience and clairvoyance.
hippocampus: a particular part of the gray matter of the brain; in humans, it extends from the olfactory lobe to the posterior end of the cerebrum.
homeopathy: an alternative medical system that treats the symptoms of a disease with minute doses of a chemical. In larger doses, the compound would produce the same symptoms as the disease or disorder that is being treated.
homeostasis: the maintenance of a static, constant, or balanced condition in the body's internal environment; the level of physiological well-being of an individual.
humoralism, humorism: an ancient theory that health and illness are related to a balance or imbalance of body fluids or "humors."
hydrocortisone: a complex chemical secreted by the human adrenal cortex which has life-maintaining properties and is important to sustaining blood pressure and the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body.
hydrotherapy: treating a disease with water, externally or internally.
hypercholesterolemia: an excess of cholesterol in the blood.
hyperlipidemia: an excess of lipids (fatty components, such as cholesterol or triglycerides) in the blood.
hypertension: a persistent state of high arterial high blood pressure.
hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis: the interaction involving chemical and neuronal signals between the hippocampus, pituitary gland, and the cortex (outer layer) of the adrenal glands, with significant impacts on the body's state of health.
iatrogenic: an illness, injury, disease, or disorder induced inadvertently by physicians or their treatments.
ichthyosis: a group of skin disorders characterized by increased or aberrant development of keratin, resulting in noninflammatory scaling of the skin.
immunocompromising: anything that interferes with the healthy function of the immune system.
impedance: the state of resistance in electrical circuits. incontinence: the inability to control one or both excretory functions (i.e., defecation and urination).
indirect technique: any manual medical method or maneuver that engages and passes through and beyond an area of decreasing resistance, commonly called an "indirect barrier." (Physical penetration of the body surface is not involved.)
indole: a type of nitrogen-containing organic compound with a double ring structure; a breakdown product of the amino acid tryptophan and related biologically active compounds.
infrasonic energy: energy waves transmitted at a frequency lower than the frequency at which humans are normally aware of sound.
innate: something that inborn or hereditary.
innate intelligence: the intrinsic biological ability of a healthy organism to react physiologically to the changing conditions of the external and internal environment.
interferon: one of a group of small immune system stimulating proteins produced by viral-infected cells or by noninfected white blood cells; it is used as an anticancer agent in some clinical trials because of its ability to inhibit further viral replication.
interleukin: one of a group of small proteins that are involved in communication among white blood cells and that activate and enhance the immune system's disease fighting abilities.
internal validity: the certainty that the treatment or regimen under study, rather than something else, is responsible for producing study results.
irritable bowel (spastic colon) syndrome: a condition characterized by sudden, involuntary contractions of the colon.
ki: the Japanese term for qi.
kinesthetic senses: the senses by which movement, weight, and position are perceived; commonly used to refer specifically to the perception of changes in the angles of joints.
L-dopa: the naturally occurring form of the amino acid dopa, which is a precursor of epinephrine and other biologically active compounds. It is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
leukocytes: a group of blood cells that have a nucleus but lack hemoglobin and that are involved in fighting disease; also known as "white blood cells."
limbus: a general term for describing border structures, such as the limbic region of the brain.
lipids: a generic term for organic compounds based on fatty acids, such as fats, waxes, fat- soluble vitamins, and steroids.
local healing: biofield healing that uses the practitioner's hands on the subject's body.
lymph: a clear, transparent, or yellowish-opaque liquid found in the vessels of the lymphatic system; this liquid returns proteins and other substances from tissues to the blood.
lymphatic system: the system of the lymph, including the lymph nodes, and the vascular channels that transport lymph.
lymphocyte: a white blood cell formed in lymphatic tissue; in normal adults, lymphocytes comprise approximately one-quarter of the white blood cells.
macrophage: a class of white blood cells, found in tissues, that are scavengers. Macrophage can wander the system or migrate to points of infection in the body.
magnetic resonance imaging: the use of nuclear magnetic resonance of protons to produce proton density maps or images of tissues or organs in the human body.
magnetite: a spinel (metal oxide) of iron (Fe304); a naturally occurring magnet.
manipulation: a term used in connection with the therapeutic application of manual force. Spinal manipulation, broadly defined, includes all procedures in which the hands are used to mobilize, adjust, manipulate, apply traction, massage, stimulate, or otherwise influence the spine and nearby (paraspinal) tissues with the goal of positively influencing the patient's health.
materia medica: a collection of descriptions of products that are usable medically as drugs. In homeopathy, substances are included that may not be in the official pharmacopoeia (drug registry), as are descriptions of how to physically prepare the substances as drugs.
mental healing: a process whereby one individual endeavors to bring about the healing of another by using conscious intent, without the intervention of any known physical means. The term is often used synonymously with spiritual healing.
meridian: In Asian traditional medicine, the body has a channel with 12 portions, or meridians, which loop through the body in an endless circuit, connecting the principal organs and other body parts. The meridians are said to carry ching qi, which regulates the relationship between, and the functioning of, the various body structures.
meta-analysis: a method for combining the results of several or many studies to see if the combined results provide significant information that was not obtainable by examining individual studies.
metabolism: the sum total of the chemical and physical changes constantly occurring in a living body.
metaphysics: the branch of philosophy that systematically investigates first causes and the ultimate nature of the universe. Such investigations are generally of insubstantial elements and are outside physics, thus difficult to measure.
metastasis: the movement of cancerous cells in the body from a primary site to a distant site, usually through the blood or lymph system, with the subsequent development of secondary cancers.
mobilization: the process of making a fixed part movable; a form of manipulation characterized by non thrust, passive joint manipulation.
modulation: the change of amplitude or frequency of a carrier signal of given frequency.
molecular biology: the study of the structure and function of macromolecule in living cells.
morbidity: the state or condition of being diseased, for an individual or community.
mortality: the death rate within a given population.
motion palpation: a term used in connection with using touch to diagnose passive and active segmental joint ranges of motion.
motor hand: the hand the practitioner uses to induce passive movement in the subject. See bind.
mucosal: a term for cells of or pertaining to the mucous membrane, a tissue layer that lines various tubular cavities of the body, such as the viscera, uterus, trachea, and nose.
multivariate analysis or multivariate statistical treatment: a method of statistical analysis that employs several measurements of various characteristics on each unit of observation.
musculoskeletal manipulation: a hands-on procedure to physically correct or reset abnormalities of joint muscle and connective tissue function.
mutagenic: an agent that causes change or induces genetic mutation in the DNA of cells.
myocardial infarction: a sudden shortage of arterial or venous blood supply to the heart due to blockage or pressure; it may produce a sizable area of dead cells in the heart.
myofascial: of or relating to the sheets of fibrous tissue (that is, fasciae) that surround and separate muscle tissue.
necrosis: death of cells or groups of cells in a living body.
neurodegenerative disease: a disease that involves deterioration in the function and form of nerves and related structures. Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis are examples.
neuropeptide: a small chain of linked amino acids with neurological activity.
neurotransmitter: a chemical messenger used by nerves.
neutrophil: a granular white blood cell having a nucleus with three to five lobes connected by slender threads of chromatin and cytoplasm containing fine, inconspicuous granules.
nocebo effects: a toxic or negative placebo event.
noetic: a thought process based on pure intellect or reasoning ability, (e.g., a noetic doctrine).
noninvasive: not involving physical penetration of the skin (e.g., a noninvasive diagnostic or therapeutic technique).
nonlocal: something that occurs at a distance; in physics a nonlocal effect is a form of influence that is unmediated, unmitigated, and immediate. Nonlocal healing is healing that occurs at a distance.
oncology: the study of all aspects of cancer.
open system: a system that interacts with other fields or systems, giving off or receiving energy or materials. The opposite is a closed system.
orthomolecular medicine: a system of medicine aimed at restoring the optimal concentrations and functions at the molecular level of certain substances normally present in the body, such as vitamins.
osteopathic: a system of therapy that emphasizes normal body mechanics and manipulation to correct faulty body structures.
otitis media: inflammation of the middle ear.
oxidation: the addition of oxygen to a compound or the removal of electrons from a compound.
p-value: the probability that the observed outcome of a particular experiment is due to random chance. Also known as uncertainty level.
Paleolithic: of or belonging to the period of human culture beginning with the earliest chipped stone tools,about 750,000 years ago, until the beginning of the Mesolithic period, about 15,000 years ago.
palpation: the physical examination of the body using touch.
paradigm: an explanatory model, especially one of outstanding clarity; a typical example or archetype. See Introduction of this report.
parapsychology: the field of study concerned with the investigation of evidence for paranormal psychological phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis.
pathogen: any disease-producing microorganism or substance.
pathogenesis: the cellular events and reactions and other pathologic mechanisms occurring in the development of disease.
pathology: the medical study of the causes and nature of disease and the body changes wrought by disease.
pellagra: a clinical syndrome due to deficiency of niacin, characterized by inflammation of the skin and mucous membrane, diarrhea, and psychic disturbances.
peptide: any of various amides that are derived from two or more amino acids when the amino group of one acid is combined with the carboxyl group of another; peptides are usually obtained by partial breakdown of proteins.
peroxidation: the process by which enzymes activate hydrogen peroxide and induce reactions that hydrogen peroxide alone would not effect.
person-years: a unit of time used in various statistical measurements of the aggregate effects of agents or events on people, as in epidemiology.
phagocyte: a cell (e.g., a white blood cell) that characteristically engulfs foreign material and consumes debris and foreign bodies.
pharmacology: the science that deals with the origin, nature, chemistry, effects, and uses of drugs.
pharmacopeia: a book describing drugs, chemicals, and medical preparations, especially one issued by an officially recognized authority and serving as a standard for the preparation and form of drugs; a collection or stock of drugs.
phenomenology: the study of phenomena; in psychiatry, it is the theory that behavior is determined by the way the person perceives reality rather than by external reality.
physics, classical: the branch of physics that studies mechanics and electromagnetism. It includes kinetics, optics, hydraulics, aerodynamics, and astrophysics.
physics, quantum: the branch of physics that deals with atomic and subatomic particles.
placebo: an inert substance that is given to the control group of patients in a blinded trial. A placebo is used to distinguish between the actual benefits of the medication and the benefits the patients think they are receiving.
platelet: a disk-shaped structure found in the blood of all mammals, chiefly known for its role in blood coagulation.
plethysmography: the recording of the changes in size when an organ or other structure is modified by the circulation of blood through it.
polarity: the differences between portions of a biofield, similar to the polarity or directionality of magnet fields; a form of manual healing that incorporates this feature.
positron emission tomography: a form of diagnostic imaging that makes use of the electromagnetic energy transitions of "excited" molecules to indicate changes in the function of tissues under investigation.
postoperative: something that occurs after a surgical operation.
potentized: in homeopathic pharmacy, a substance that is prepared by dilution while the diluting fluid is being agitated in a standard fashion; widely believed by practitioners to impart additional medical value to higher dilutions.
propranolol: a chemical that decreases heart rate and output, reduces blood pressure, and is effective in the preventive treatment of migraine.
proprioceptive: stimuli produced by movement in body tissues. Proprioceptive nerves are the sensory nerves in muscles and tendons that detect such movements.
prospective study: a scientific study that is planned in advance, as opposed to looking back at previous situations to collect data for analysis.
psoriasis: a chronic disease of the skin in which red scaly papules and patches appear, especially on the outer aspects of the limbs.
psychic healing: a term for biofield and mental healing, used especially in England.
psychogenic: anything that is produced or caused by psychic or mental factors rather than by organic factors.
psychoneuroimmunology: the study of the roles that the mind and nervous system play in various phenomena of immunity, induced sensitivity, and allergy.
psychopathology: the medical study of the causes and nature of mental disease.
psychosomatic medicine: the branch of medicine that stresses the relationship of bodily and mental happenings, and combines physical and psychological techniques of investigation.
pulmonary: anything pertaining to the lungs.
qi (chi, ki): in Eastern philosophies, the energy that connects and animates everything in the universe; includes both individual qi (personal life force) and universal qi, which are coextensive through the practice of mind-body disciplines, such as traditional meditation, aikido, and tai chi.
qigong (qi gong): the art and science of using breath, movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the blood and vital life energy.
quantum domain: the atomic and subatomic dimension dealt with in the science of quantum physics.
Raynaud's disease/phenomenon: a disorder characterized by intermittent, bilateral attacks in which a restriction of blood flow occurs in the fingers or toes and sometimes the ears or nose. Severe paleness, a burning sensation, and pain may be brought on by cold or emotional stimulation; these symptoms sometimes are relieved by heat. The condition is due to an underlying disease or anatomical abnormality.
reduction: any chemical process in which an electron is added to an atom or an ion, or an oxygen is removed. The opposite process is oxidation.
retrospective study: a scientific study that collects data for analysis after events, rather than during events.
rheumatoid arthritis: a chronic inflammation of the joints, which may be accompanied by systemic disturbances such as fever, anemia, and enlargement of lymph nodes.
sacrum: the part of the vertebral column (backbones) that is directly connected with or forms a part of the pelvis; in humans it consists of five united vertebrae.
secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA): the predominant immune system protein in body secretions such as oral, nasal, bronchial, urogenital, and intestinal mucous secretions as well as in tears, saliva, and breast milk.
sensing hand: the hand used by the practitioner in manual therapy to detect changes (see bind); the sensing hand is used to assess the subject's increasing and decreasing resistance to the passive motion demands of the practitioner's motor or operating hand.
serial t- or z- tests: various types of statistical measurements that are used to determine whether data have significance.
serotonin: a naturally occurring body chemical that can cause blood vessels to contract; it is found in various animals, bacteria, and many plants. Serotonin acts as a central neurotransmitter and is thought to be involved in mood and behavior.
short leg: an anatomical, pathological, or functional leg deficiency leading to dysfunction.
sinusitis: the inflammation of any of the air-containing cavities of the skull, which communicate with the nose.
sinusoidal: of, relating to, shaped like, or varying according to a sine curve or sine wave, which is a waveform of single frequency and infinite repetition in relation to time.
sleep latency: the interval before sleep
sociogenic: anything arising from or imposed by society.
somatic: pertaining to or characteristic of the body; distinct from the mind.
somatic dysfunction: impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic system (the skeleton, joints, and muscles; the structures surrounding them; and the related circulatory and nerve elements).
spiritual energy: energy that comes from a supernatural being or the cosmos.
structural diagnosis (osteopathic): an osteopathic physician's use of hands and eyes to evaluate the somatic system, relating the diagnosis of somatic dysfunction to the state of a patient's total well-being, according to osteopathic philosophy and principles.
subatomic: something pertaining to the constituent parts of an atom.
subluxation: a situation in which two adjacent structures involved in joints have an aberrant relationship, such as a partial dislocation, that can cause problems either in these and related joints or in other body systems that are directly or indirectly affected by them.
symptomatology: the study of symptoms.
syndrome: the signs and symptoms associated with a particular disease or disorder.
synergistic: entities working together or cooperating to produce a positive effect greater than the sum of the contributing individual entities.
systemic review: a method of analyzing a group of scientific studies that may individually be weak, producing results with more significance than the individual studies may have.
theosophy: a doctrine concerning a deity, the cosmos, and the self that relies on mystical insights by unusually perceptive individuals; it teaches that its practitioners can master nature and guide their own destinies.
thromboembolism: an obstruction of a blood vessel with clotting material carried by the bloodstream from the site of origin to plug another vessel.
thrombus: an aggregation of blood factors that creates an obstruction; more severe than a clot.
thrust: the sudden manual application of a controlled directional force on a suitable part of the patient's body, the delivery of which effects an adjustment (see adjustment).
transcranial electrostimulation: a method of clinical treatment involving electrical stimulation of the brain through the skull.
transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: a clinical treatment modality involving electrical stimulation of nerves through the skin.
trigger points: specific points in the muscular and fascial tissues that produce a sharp pain when pressed; may also correspond to certain types of traditional acupuncture points.
triplet states: a state in which there are two unpaired electrons.
turnover: the movement of a substance into, through, and out of a place; the rate at which a material is depleted and replaced.
vascular system: the system formed by the blood vessels.
visceral: pertaining to the soft interior organs in the cavities of the body.