About Therapeutic Touch
What is Therapeutic Touch® (TT) ?
Therapeutic Touch is a contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing practices. It is an intentionally directed process of energy exchange during which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to facilitate the healing process. The practitioner may apply light touch with permission during the Therapeutic Touch session or may simply move his/her hands a few inches from the body.
Therapeutic Touch is a complementary therapy that may be used in conjunction with conventional medicine.
Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N. (Professor Emerita of New York University) and her mentor Dora Kunz developed Therapeutic Touch in the early 1970s. It is now practiced by thousands of healthcare professionals, holistic health practitioners and lay people in 75 countries throughout the world. Numerous colleges and universities teach it in their graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. Therapeutic Touch is a scientifically based practice, including at least 15 doctoral dissertations, post-doctoral studies and innumerable masters theses. U.S. National Institute of Health has funded Therapeutic Touch research.
All BCTTNS practitioners and teachers are instructed in the Krieger-Kunz method of Therapeutic Touch.
Research and experience have shown the effectiveness of Therapeutic Touch in:
- promoting relaxation and eliciting the relaxation response
- reducing anxiety
- changing the client’s perception of pain
- facilitating the body’s natural restorative processes ie: bone repair and wound healing
- boosting the immune system
Therapeutic Touch® is a natural human potential and is a skill that requires compassion and intentionality. Therapeutic Touch is administered with the intent to enable people to re-pattern their energy toward wholeness and health.
Therapeutic Touch is a benefit to the practitioner and the client. TT is often used by healthcare professionals who frequently work in stressful conditions. Therapeutic Touch Practitioners are trained to center themselves, and this enhances their ability to remain calm in any setting.
Healthcare providers using Therapeutic Touch include registered nurses, social worker, counsellors, AIDS caregivers, occupational therapists, hospice and palliative care nurses and volunteers, addiction workers, midwives, eldercare workers, and those providing pre- and post-operative care.
What happens during a Therapeutic Touch session?
Generally, the practitioner moves their hands through your energy field, a few inches from your body, but may use some gentle touch with your permission.
A typical session can last an average of 20-30 minutes or can be as little as 5 minutes, depending on the energy field. Seriously ill, frail and/or elderly, palliative patients, and infants for instance may benefit from very short Therapeutic Touch sessions.
Therapeutic Touch is used on humans, plants and animals and is an effective self-help tool. It can be given easily without the need for any equipment, and the client remains fully clothed in a lying or sitting position.
Where is Therapeutic Touch® used?
Therapeutic Touch can be given in your home, at the hospital, or in any other healthcare facility. When receiving Therapeutic Touch, many people experience a deep relaxation response, which is felt to support the immune system and enable the body to heal faster. Anecdotal reports and research suggest that almost any condition caused by stress or pain can be improved with the use of Therapeutic Touch. Many people report Therapeutic Touch to be effective when used pre- and post-operatively to hasten recovery, to assist cancer patients to deal with side effects of conventional therapies, addictions recovery, pre- and postnatal care, anxiety and aggression in patients with dementia, to support palliative care patients and their families, to decrease symptoms of depression, and to foster feelings of well-being. It is also used in self-care and self-healing.
Research: Over 50 doctoral and 20 post-doctoral studies are available through the Network, which have proven the effectiveness of Therapeutic Touch. See Research information.