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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WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Arthritis, bone fractures, bone healing, cancer, cardiovascular disease, childbirth preparation, chronic fatigue syndrome, dystonia, epilepsy, grief, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, palliative care, Parkinson's disease, postpartum care, promoting flow of breast milk, rehabilitation, sarcoidosis, sinusitis, sleep enhancement, trauma (recovery), well-being during pregnancy.


DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Therapeutic touch is believed to be safe for most people. Treatment sessions may be briefer for children than adults. Therapeutic touch should not be used for potentially serious conditions in place of more proven therapies. Restlessness, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, and irritability may occur. Tension headache and crying have also been associated with therapeutic touch. Some TT providers believe that this therapy should not be practiced on people with fever or inflammation and should be avoided on body areas with cancer. Some believe that if the TT provider is experiencing emotional difficulties, these feelings may be displaced onto the patient.


This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ( Wendy Chao, PhD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); William Collinge, MPH, PhD (Collinge & Associates); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Cynthia Dacey, PharmD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).


DISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

Blankfield RP, Sulzmann C, Fradley LG, et al. Therapeutic touch in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. J Am Board Fam Pract 2001;14(5):335-342.

Denison B. Touch the pain away: new research on therapeutic touch and persons with fibromyalgia syndrome. Holist Nurs Pract 2004;18(3):142-151.

Frank LS, Frank JL, March D, et al. Does therapeutic touch ease the discomfort or distress of patients undergoing stereotactic core breast biopsy? A randomized clinical trial. Pain Med 2007 Jul-Aug;8(5):419-24.

Giasson M, Bouchard L. Effect of therapeutic touch on the well-being of persons with terminal cancer. J Holist Nurs 1998;16(3):383-398.

Gordon A, Merenstein JH, D'Amico F, et al. The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. J Fam Pract. 1998;47(4):271-277.

Gregory S, Verdouw J. Therapeutic touch: its application for residents in aged care. Aust Nurs J 2005 Feb;12(7):23-5.

Ireland M. Therapeutic touch with HIV-infected children: a pilot study. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care 1998;9(4):68-77.

Larden CN, Palmer ML, Janssen P. Efficacy of therapeutic touch in treating pregnant inpatients who have a chemical dependency. J Holist Nurs 2004;22(4):320-332.

Lin Y-S, Taylor AG. Effects of therapeutic touch in reducing pain and anxiety in an elderly population. Integrative Medicine 1998;1(4):155-162.

Müller-Oerlinghausen B, Berg C, Droll W. [The efficacy of Slow Stroke Massage in depression] Psychiatr Prax 2007 Sep;34 Suppl 3:S305-8.

Peters RM. The effectiveness of therapeutic touch: a meta-analytic review. Nursing Science Quarterly 1999;12(1):52-61.

Post-White J, Kinney ME, Savik K, et al. Therapeutic massage and healing touch improve symptoms in cancer. IntegrCancer Ther 2003;2(4):332-344.

Rosa L, Rosa E, Sarner L, et al. A close look at therapeutic touch. JAMA 4-1-1998;279(13):1005-1010.

Turner JG, Clark AJ, Gauthier DK, et al. The effect of on pain and anxiety in burn patients. J Adv Nurs 1998;28(1):10-20.

Woods DL, Craven RF, Whitney J. The effect of on behavioral symptoms of persons with dementia. Altern Ther Health Med 2005;11(1):66-74.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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