Therapeutic touch
Delores Krieger, RN, PhD, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer, developed Therapeutic Touch (TT) in the early 1970s. TT is an adaptation of several ...

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Synonyms

Biofield therapies, energy healing, external Qigong, gentle touch, healing touch, Krieger-Kunz Therapeutic Touch, laying on of hands, off-body energy field healing, relaxation touch, Reiki, Slow Stroke Massage, spiritual healing, Touch Healing (TH) therapy, TT.

Background

Delores Krieger, RN, PhD, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer, developed Therapeutic Touch (TT) in the early 1970s. TT is an adaptation of several religious and secular healing traditions and is commonly used in nursing practice for many different conditions.

TT practitioners hold their hands a short distance from the patient without actually making physical contact. The purpose of this technique is to detect the patient's energy field, allowing the TT practitioner to correct any perceived imbalances. Nurse Healers Professional Associates, Inc. is the primary training organization for Therapeutic Touch and teaches a standardized technique. TT treatment consists of four steps: centering (calming the mind and focusing attention on the patient), assessing the patient's energy field for irregularities, intervention to facilitate symmetrical flow of energy through the field, and evaluation/closure to verify the effects and conclude the treatment. Treatment sessions usually last from five to thirty minutes. Currently there is a lack of formal certification or competency-based assessment for this therapy.

The concept of "life energy" or "life force" has sometimes been compared to spiritual rather than scientific principles. Some critics argue that because of its religious roots, TT should be treated as a religion rather than as a healthcare therapy. Skeptics have sought to eliminate Therapeutic Touch as a nursing practice, due to questions surrounding the mechanism of action. However, suggestive results from several human studies, positive clinical experience, and case reports have led to increasing use of TT.

Several variations have emerged from the original treatment but aspects of centering and intent have remained the foundations of this technique. Janet Mentgen founded healing touch in the 1980s based on the principles of therapeutic touch. Healing touch adds patient empowerment, practitioner self care, and focuses on the impact of the practitioner-patient relationship.

Delores Krieger, RN, PhD, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer, developed Therapeutic Touch (TT) in the early 1970s. TT is an adaptation of several religious and secular healing traditions and is commonly used in nursing practice for many different conditions.

TT practitioners hold their hands a short distance from the patient without actually making physical contact. The purpose of this technique is to detect the patient's energy field, allowing the TT practitioner to correct any perceived imbalances. Nurse Healers Professional Associates, Inc. is the primary training organization for Therapeutic Touch and teaches a standardized technique. TT treatment consists of four steps: centering (calming the mind and focusing attention on the patient), assessing the patient's energy field for irregularities, intervention to facilitate symmetrical flow of energy through the field, and evaluation/closure to verify the effects and conclude the treatment. Treatment sessions usually last from five to thirty minutes. Currently there is a lack of formal certification or competency-based assessment for this therapy.

The concept of "life energy" or "life force" has sometimes been compared to spiritual rather than scientific principles. Some critics argue that because of its religious roots, TT should be treated as a religion rather than as a healthcare therapy. Skeptics have sought to eliminate Therapeutic Touch as a nursing practice, due to questions surrounding the mechanism of action. However, suggestive results from several human studies, positive clinical experience, and case reports have led to increasing use of TT.

Several variations have emerged from the original treatment but aspects of centering and intent have remained the foundations of this technique. Janet Mentgen founded healing touch in the 1980s based on the principles of therapeutic touch. Healing touch adds patient empowerment, practitioner self care, and focuses on the impact of the practitioner-patient relationship.

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