Terms & Definitions

Claret Center offers many, many services for body, mind, and spirit. The following terms and definitions may help you navigate options available to you. Please feel free to contact us for further information about any modality or approach!


Acupuncture is a technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine by which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body to promote energy flow and healing. Acupuncturists most often proceed by inserting extremely thin needles through the skin. However, they may use lasers stimulation, mild electrical stimulation, or pressure, in a technique known as acupressure. Acupuncture has been used as a healing technique for centuries, and recent Western studies confirm that acupuncture helps ease pain, nausea, tension, and other conditions.

Acupuncture at the Claret Center is offered through a Diplomate of Acupuncture certified by the NCCAOM. It is a considerable professional achievement to earn the designation Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM). National board certification in acupuncture has been the mark of excellence in AOM since the inception of the Commission in 1982. NCCAOM certification indicates to employers, patients, and peers that one has met national standards for the safe and competent practice of acupuncture as defined by the acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) profession.

A Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM) must complete three to four academic years of education at the master’s degree level, in an acupuncture program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). ACAOM is the only accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education as the authority for quality education and training in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. A Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM) must also demonstrate professional competency by passing NCCAOM certification examinations in Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Biomedicine. Every certified NCCAOM Diplomate must abide by the NCCAOM® Code of Ethics.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral Therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes the ways in which learning can affect behavior.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes the ways in which thought can affect behavior.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy

Cranio-sacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach to tension release through the balancing of the membranes and fluids that surround, protect, and nourish the brain and central nervous system. By normalizing the function of the nervous system, it promotes healing in response to injuries and pain.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is form of massage in which the therapist targets tissue that lies beneath the body’s superficial musculature. Using fingers, thumbs, and elbows, the therapist accesses multiple layers of muscle and fascia to alleviate tension, improve alignment and posture, and encourage more efficient patterns of movement.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR, is a psychotherapeutic treatment to help the brain process trauma. It relies on the process of free association and includes elements of other effective therapies. Originally, the method employed rhythmic eye movement to tap into the brain’s hemispheres (hence, the treatment’s title), but newer versions now employ alternative methods of bilateral stimulation, including the use of sound or the sense of touch. After EMDR processing, clients generally report that their emotional distress regarding a trauma has been eliminated or greatly decreased and that they have gained important insights. These emotional and cognitive changes usually result in spontaneous behavioral change.

Energy Therapies

Energy therapies are body-centered therapies that rebalance energy fields in and around the body to foster wellbeing. Though most energy therapies come from ancient medical traditions, recent discoveries in physics support the rationale for such therapies by suggesting that matter is not fundamentally different than energy but is, instead, a denser form of energy. Treating the body’s energy field is thus a non-invasive way to affect the functioning of the body as a whole.

Integrative Therapies

Integrative Therapies blend elements from different approaches in order to tailor a client’s treatment according individual needs.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy, or IPT, is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping clients improve relationships and increase interpersonal skills in order to cope with and reduce symptoms of depression.

Kinesio Taping

Kinesio Taping is a rehabilitative taping technique that supports muscle and joint stability while stimulating the body’s natural healing processes.


Meditation is the practice reflection or contemplation to increase awareness of the present moment. Though strongly associated in people’s minds with Buddhism, meditation is a core religious practice across faiths and among people of no particular faith.

Moving meditation

Moving meditation is physical movement designed fosters a concrete interaction between body, mind, and spirit. Moving meditation focuses attention to the wisdom of the body and helps integrate unresolved experiences including joy, pain, disappointment, and trauma, all of which are carried in the body at the cellular level.

Myofascial release

Myofascial release is a safe and effective technique for addressing physical trauma, inflammatory response, and restrictions in connective tissue. Myofascial therapists apply gentle sustained pressure into connective tissues to allow the body’s fascia to elongate, thus easing or eliminating pain and restoring motion. They promote independent healing through education in body awareness, proper body mechanics and movement, and self-treatment.

New Meridian Acupuncture Therapy

New Meridian Therapy (NMT) is a body-centered therapy developed by Master Tetsuji Kondo of Japan. A refinement of traditional acupuncture, NMT allows a practitioner to harmonize a client’s Qi by selecting and rebalancing the four most influential meridians, or energy lines, in the body.

Person-Centered Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy, also known as Client-Centered or Rogerian Therapy, is a form of talk therapy in which responsibility for treatment rests with the client. Person-Centered therapy fosters actualization through increased self-esteem and greater openness to new experiences.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy is a form of depth psychology, which focuses on the role of the unconscious in creating a sense of well-being.


Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a collaborative process for personal exploration and for exploring and dealing with challenges ranging from temporary stress to long-term anxiety, addiction, depression, or mental illness. It is sometimes called talk therapy.

Psychotherapy can help clients break out of old patterns, heal emotional wounds, and maintain mental and emotional balance to increase freedom from anxiety, depression, and addictive or compulsive behaviors. They also support personal growth by helping clients by improve communication, integrate experience, and explore intimacy, and develop their capacity for leadership.


Reiki is a non-invasive hands-on energy therapy with a goal of for stress reduction, relaxation, and healing on an energetic level. The term that defines the modality is a combination of Japanese terms meaning “higher power” and “life force. ” It describes the way in which Reiki practitioners assist in the flow of energy within and around the body.

Relational Therapy

Relational Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on connectedness, helping clients recognize and create healthful relationships.

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation at Claret Center is led by Kenji Aoki, a Zen Meditation student of the late Professor Masao Abe. Professor Abe was a pioneer in creating dialogue between Christians and Buddhists.

Spiritual Companioning

Spiritual Companioning is the practice of holding the space for clients as they deepen their relationship with the Divine. Originally known as Spiritual Direction, spiritual companioning offers an opportunity to deepen and explore spiritual aspects of the human journey. All major faith traditions have included some form of spiritual direction to help seekers contextualize their experience. A spiritual companion supports a directee’s sacred journey by being present to conversation, storytelling, and reflection.

Systems Therapy

Systems Therapy is a form of group therapy aimed at helping clients gain insight into their role as part of a couple, family, community, or larger organization. The technique relies on identifying individual behavioral patterns in order to encourage healthy interactions and foster transformation of the whole.

Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic Massage is the manipulation of the body’s muscle and soft tissue (ligaments and joints), using varying degrees of pressure and movement. A wonderful component of for self-care, massage helps calm the body, quiet the mind, and nourish the spirit. It provides an overall sense of wellbeing.

Trigger Point

Therapy Trigger point therapy is neuromuscular therapy that releases trigger points, or painful compression points, in skeletal muscles.


Yoga is a form of moving meditation with a name that is derived from a term for yoking together. Yoga literally yokes mind and body with quiet, meditative stretches that create physical mental, and emotional space.