Healing Touch Therapy

Can a gentle touch help people heal? Healing touch (HT) practitioners believe that hand techniques do influence mind, body, and spiritual health. The core idea behind healing touch is that people are fields of energy and continuously interact with other energy fields in their environment. Therapists use their hands to purposely direct their client’s energy into a balanced state of health.

Pain, illness, and stress disrupt the flow of human energy. This results in energy blockages that diminish our well being. HT practitioners eliminate the energy blockages by lightly placing their hands on a client’s body, or by making sweeping hand movements over the body.

During sessions, clients lie fully clothed on a massage table as the practitioner places their hands on and above them. Sessions run from 40 to 60 minutes. Because there is a cumulative effect with HT, clients frequently schedule regular weekly sessions. Most people report sessions are relaxing and they leave enjoying a sense of peace.

In 1989, Janet Mentgen, a nurse that aused energy treatments in her own practice, created a touch therapy continuing education program to share her techniques and that of other healers. In the program were ideas from the ancient Aboriginal and shamanic healing traditions. Today, HT is taught in nursing and medical schools, and is practiced internationally.

Healing touch is sometimes used to treat mood disorders as an adjunct to other therapy. Small studies indicate it is effective in alleviating anxiety and depression in clients being treated for serious medical problems. It is thought that HT gives depressed and anxious patients a sense of connection and of being cared about, reducing the severity of their emotional symptoms.

Healing touch can be used as a stand alone treatment and to complement conventional or alternative therapies (i.e., music, massage, biofeedback). The success of HT is not easily verified for lack of energy-field measuring instruments, but such devices are being developed.

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photo by Thomas Wanhoff

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