How can Therapeutic Touch nourish your soul?
Therapeutic Touch is a gentle, non-invasive therapy that aims to balance a person’s energies in order to enhance the body’s natural healing abilities. Despite what the name suggests, Therapeutic Touch differs from massage and other touch-based therapies in that actual physical touch is optional.
Rather, it relies on practitioners tapping into the ‘compassionate use of universal energy’ to help to release blockages in the person’s energy field. In line with other energy medicine therapies, it is premised on the foundation that the free circulation of energy is essential to health and wellbeing. It is also based on the philosophy that our bodies have an innate ability to heal itself, and the role of the practitioner is to revitalise the person’s own healing mechanisms.
Developed in the 1970s by Delores Krieger, a registered nurse and then-Professor of Nursing at New York University, and energy healer Dora Kunz, it is thought to be a ‘contemporary interpretation of several ancient laying-on-of-hands healing practices’. Initially taught to Professor Krieger’s nursing students, the therapy is now used all across the world.
In Australia, the peak body for Therapeutic Touch in Australia is the Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia. Their accreditation program is based on international standards, and all qualified and registered practitioners are required to engage in continuing professional development.
Benefits of Therapeutic Touch
Therapeutic Touch can help to balance an individual’s energy field, which then paves the way for more effective healing to occur either naturally or with the support of conventional medical practices. This makes it a versatile therapy that can be used alongside other modalities and in a variety of settings.
In line with this understanding, research has focused on Therapeutic Touch not as a cure for health conditions, but as a complementary therapy to aid symptoms such as anxiety and pain in demographics such as the elderly, cancer patients or those who have undergone an operation. A 2020 systematic review of studies published between 2000 to 2017 observed that there were some studies that did not find statistically significant results, but concluded that on balance, Therapeutic Touch ‘is an effective method for managing pain and anxiety’.
Another study evaluated the use of seven sessions of Therapeutic Touch in cancer patients over a four week period, and recorded a beneficial impact on participants’ pain scores. This in turn positively affected participants’ activity levels, sleep, and relationships.
Therapeutic Touch may assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Pain relief
What to expect from a Therapeutic Touch session
Your session will begin with your practitioner discussing your goals and concerns, and will be tailored to you. Therapeutic Touch is generally completed fully clothed and does not have to involve physical touch, so be sure to communicate your preferences to your therapist. A typical session lasts approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
Your therapist will begin by centering themselves, sometimes through meditation or chanting, so that they have a clear mind with which to communicate with your energy field. They will then assess your energy field to find areas of blockages. Once these are located, they will clear the blockages and rebalance your energy field by rhythmically sweeping their hands across your body or with gentle touch.
The results of each session are very personal, as some people experience emotional release, while many report feeling relaxed during and after a session.
As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before having a Therapeutic Touch session, particularly if you have other health conditions. If you have an injury, or any concerns at all, do inform your therapist, who will be happy to adjust the treatment to suit your requirements.