Activator:

A spring-loaded adjusting instrument that utilizes an extremely rapid pulse to help restore normal functioning in the body.

Acupressure:

The practice of applying; pressure on parts of the body to relieve pain.

Acupuncture:

The practice of inserting fine needles on specific meridian points for the purpose of relieving tension, stress, and pain. Highly useful in the treatment and relief of back pain.

Addiction:

Psychological, emotional, or physical dependence on the effects of a drug.

Adjustments:

A form of chiropractic technique involving the application of gentle, yet firm, pressure to a bone. Adjustments employ a high velocity, low amplitude thrust. The goal of any adjustment is to restore the bone to its natural, or original, position.

Adrenal glands:

Small glands located on the kidneys that produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline:

A hormone that stimulates metabolism, increases alertness and increases blood pressure.

Aerobic Exercises:

These kinds of exercises generally involve large muscle groups and foster a strong and healthy heart and lung function.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome):

The final and most serious stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system. AIDS begins when a person with HIV infection has a CD4 cell count below 200. (CD4 is also called “T-cell”, a type of immune cell.) AIDS is also defined by numerous opportunistic infections and cancers that occur in the presence of HIV infection. AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death among persons between ages 25 and 44 in the United States.

Alternative Medicine:

The use of various non-drug, non-surgical related therapies. Using natural means of treatment.

Amino acid:

The basic unit from which proteins are made. There are two classes of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be manufactured by the body and must be attained from the diet. Non-essential amino acids are those that the body can synthesize from other amino acids.

Anabolism:

The metabolic process of building new tissue. Typically used in relation to building muscle, ligaments and tendons.

Analgesics:

Medicines that are used to relieve pain – aspirin is an example.

Anesthesiologist:

A physician who specializes in giving drugs or other agents that block, prevent, or relieve pain.

Ankylosing Spondylitis:

A chronic, progressive, rheumatic disease of the spine that causes calcification of the spinal ligaments, resulting in a loss of movement.

Annulus fibrosis:

The tough outer layer of the intervertebral disc. Cartilage-like material formed in a series of rings surrounding the nucleus pulposus (soft center) of a disc.

Arthritis:

Inflammation of a joint; most arthritis is caused by degenerative changes related to aging. Arthritis affects not only joints but also connective tissue throughout the body can be involved, as well.

Autonomic nervous system:

The part of the nervous system that is responsible for controlling the involuntary functions in the body, such as digestion, metabolism, blood pressure, etc.

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