Glossary of the Key Terminology


A therapeutic method of traditional Chinese medicine that aims to establish bodily balance and consequently remove or alleviate health problems. Fingers or blunt instruments are used to press the body’s acupressure points. It is similar to acupuncture, but the acupressure points are pressed, no needles are inserted into them.


A therapeutic method based on inserting thin needles into the body’s acupuncture points. It is a part of traditional Chinese medicine. Science has already recognized the efficacy of acupuncture for certain health problems, but it has not yet accepted all aspects of acupuncture.

alternative medicine

A therapeutic approach used instead of scientific medicine.

anthroposophic medicine

A therapeutic and diagnostic method that recognizes current scientific medicine but it extends it by adding a mental and spiritual level. In addition to drug remedies it also uses various therapeutic procedures, e.g. art therapies, therapeutic eurythmy, and rhythmic massages. It also emphasizes the importance of preventive methods.


A therapeutic method that uses essential oils from plants in order to enhance the body’s balance and harmony physically and mentally. The oils are either inhaled or used as massage oils, in baths , etc.


A field of life energy around the body. Some people can feel or even see it. This information can then be used to diagnose the causes of health problems.


Traditional Indian health care that consists of a unique system of nutrition, herbal therapy, relaxation, yoga, meditation, and various treatments including massage, body detoxification and regeneration, aromatherapy and colour therapy.


The life (vital) force that, according to the philosophy of Josef Zezulka, is one of the three components of existence, alongside the material and the spiritual component. It is also one of the components of a living organism. This vital force originates in the essence of existence and gives life to the material and the spiritual component. The same way we divide matter into inorganic matter and organic matter, the vital force can be divided into the inorganic vital force and the organic vital force. Some people have the ability to pass on this organic vital force to others in order to improve their health. A disease can originate in the material, spiritual (psychic) or vital component. Medicine is the best treatment for diseases that originate in the material component. Psychotherapy is most useful for diseases that originate in the spiritual (psychic) component, and Biotronics is the most effective treatment for diseases originating in the third component, the vital force. Vital energy is not directly measurable by material instruments but it can be perceived or seen by sensitive people. It can also be measured indirectly by observing changes in the patient.

bioenergy therapy

A treatment that involves a healer transferring vital energy to a patient in order to enhance and balance the patient’s energetic system.


A term that has begun to be used within science as a unified definition of the life energy used by various energy therapies. The idea is to simplify further research and mutual communication.


A person who passes on the life (vital) force to others in order to enhance and balance their body’s life energy and thus improve their health. The method was created by Josef Zezulka, the founder of Biotronics.


A non-medical branch that treats patients suffering from diseases caused by a bioenergetic insufficiency. It is a branch of spiritual healing that was founded and established in the middle of the 19th century by the Czech philosopher and biotronicist Josef Zezulka. Tomáš Pfeiffer is his disciple and entrusted successor. As the name Biotronics has also started to be used by other healers, the name Josef Zezulka Biotronics is now used to avoid confusion.

complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

An established name for a number of complementary and alternative therapeutic procedures that have not yet been integrated into scientific medicine.

complementary medicine

A therapeutic approach used as a complement to scientific medicine (before, simultaneously or after scientific medicine).

conventional medicine

See scientific medicine.

classical medicine

See scientific medicine.

energy healing

A treatment that involves a healer transferring vital energy to a patient in order to enhance and balance the patient’s energetic system. There are various kinds of energy healing (Biotronics, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, etc.). Josef Zezulka Biotronics is a kind of energy healing that originated in the Czech Republic.


This term currently refers to all sorts of activities that relate to spiritual cognition, non-conventional medicine, a healthy lifestyle in harmony with nature and the universe, various unusual human abilities (e.g. clairvoyance), spiritual art, astrology, and other related fields that acknowledge the existence of something beyond the material world. As in all areas, there are people who are active within esotericism mainly in order to try to earn money or gain something for themselves. However, this does not mean that everyone in this area is like that.

folk medicine

An older term for complementary and alternative medicine.


A generally established term for a person that heals others and/or makes a diagnosis with the aid of non-conventional medicine.

healing touch (HT)

A treatment that involves a healer transferring vital energy to a patient in order to enhance and balance the patient’s energetic system.


Licensed non-medical practitioners that provide various CAM treatments in Germany. To obtain a license they must pass an exam proving they have basic medical knowledge and skills.

herbal medicine

Therapeutic treatments based on the effects of various plants. See phytotherapy.


Therapeutic treatments based on the effects of various plants. See phytotherapy.

holistic medicine

A method that considers the whole person – body, mind, soul, emotions – when treating a patient.


A therapeutic method that uses the principle “fight fire with fire”. The same substance that caused the symptoms is used to cure these symptoms, doing so in very small doses diluted in a water solution.


A deceitful or inexperienced healer that harms the patient.


A manual therapeutic method that aims to remedy imbalances in the muscoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles) through manipulating the spine and limbs, thereby influencing the internal organs’ health.

integrative health

In contrast to the term “integrative medicine” that focuses on clinical care, “integrative health” focuses on the overall well-being of body, mind and soul of individuals and society alike. It covers a number of factors, not only by clinical care.

integrative medicine

A therapeutic approach that combines conventional medicine with therapeutic procedures from complementary/alternative medicine.

integrative oncology

Integrative medicine focused on oncology. It is used in many medical centres (Europe has 47 such centres according to a survey from 2013).


Diagnosing diseases based on the iris.


A therapeutic method that uses the muscles’ reactions to gentle pressure from the hand. Any kind of stress or disease can be seen in the way the muscles react. A therapist thus communicates with the patient‘s subconscious looking for the root cause and solutions to the patient’s problems.

massage therapy

Various kinds of massages that can provide health benefits and can therefore be classified as CAM methods.


Research that statistically combines the results of several research studies and tries to reach more general conclusions.

mind-body medicine

A therapeutic method that emphasizes a balance of the body and mind, as the mind strongly affects our health. It tries to enhance the body and mind’s natural healing abilities. It uses various methods – relaxation, hypnosis, visualisation, meditation, yoga, biofeedback and more.

natural medicine

A term generally used to refer to non-conventional medicine that uses natural therapeutic products or procedures. It is also called naturopathy.


A natural treatment method which assumes that diseases are caused by harmful and toxic substances accumulating in the body. Removing the harmful substances leads to recovery. Cures include dieting, physical exercises, massages, psychotherapy, etc.


The opposite of a placebo. A medical state is exacerbated due to the patient’s negative expectations of a treatment method.

non-conventional medicine

In short, all therapeutic methods that are not part of conventional medicine.


A therapeutic method that diagnoses mechanical disorders in the skeletal system and tries to remedy them. It is based on the knowledge that many diseases are related to problems with posture. Fixing these problems can therefore influence these diseases. It uses gentle manipulation techniques to release tension and restore the skeletal system to a normal state of being.

peer-reviewed scientific journal

A scientific journal that publishes articles that have been peer-reviewed, i.e. other experts in the field have provided comments and remarks on the article in order to maintain the highest possible scientific quality. An article published in a peer-reviewed journal is of utmost importance in science.


A therapeutic method that uses various parts of plants either on their own or in various mixtures (e.g. tea, extracts, tinctures, wine, dragée and salves). It is also referred to as herbalism. It is part of traditional Chinese medicine.


When a medical state is improved due to the patient’s positive expectations of a treatment or method. Sceptics often argue that non-conventional medicine works mainly due to the placebo effect.

psychosomatic medicine

It is similar to holistic medicine, but it is a part of conventional medicine. The term “psychosomatic” means that some bodily problems originate in our psyche.


A form of exercise that works with the life energy in order to improve health. It is part of traditional Chinese medicine.


A random allocation of research subjects to control groups. It ensures an equal distribution of factors that could affect the outcome.


A therapeutic method that uses massage or pressure on specific points on the feet or hands. Individual zones on the feet etc., correspond to individual body parts and organs. An American variant of acupressure.


A treatment that involves a healer transferring vital energy to a patient in order to enhance and balance the patient’s energetic system.

scientific medicine

Classic, conventional medicine based on scientific evidence (hence also evidence-based medicine).


A system of massage techniques originally from Japan. Pressure is placed on energetic channels and certain points on the body or they are touched energetically or physically in order to balance out the circulation of bodily energy.


Czech Sceptics‘ Club.

spiritual healing

See energy healing.

systematic review

A summary of all available studies that are combined in order to answer specific questions.

therapeutic touch

A treatment that involves a healer transferring vital energy to a patient in order to enhance and balance the patient’s energetic system.

traditional Chinese medicine

A set of therapeutic and diagnostic methods originally from China. It includes herbal treatments, acupuncture, massages, qigong, etc.

traditional medicine

A set of therapeutic methods that originate in specific countries’ traditions, e.g. traditional Chinese or Indian medicine. In other countries, this traditional medicine can then be classified as complementary and alternative medicine.


A general term for various healthcare services, healthy lifestyles, and mental and physical well-being, i.e. massages, various physical exercises, bathing, spa, salt caves, healthy diets, etc. Centres that offer complementary and alternative medicine sometimes use this term.


Physical exercises that can be of assistance on a spiritual journey towards unifying one’s personal “I” with the universal Existence. Its use for health improvement is also being researched within CAM.