How Does Healing Touch Work?

Healing Touch is a philosophy, a way of caring, and a sacred healing art. It uses a variety of effective energy-based methods that are gentle and non-invasive. It complements traditional health care and is not a substitute. For example, Healing Touch is used by cancer patients to lessen the destructive side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. It also works beautifully with other holistic modalities.

A practitioner needs to have the ability to hold sacred space for their clients and the commitment to their own self-growth. The relationship between the practitioner and the receiver influences the quality and impact of the healing. Sessions are not mechanistic; they are based on a caring, heartfelt connection in which the practitioner and client come together energetically to facilitate the client's health and healing.

The goal of Healing Touch is to restore balance and harmonies in the energy system, placing the client in a position to self heal.

Like other energy therapies, Healing Touch focuses on removing energy congestion that forms in our energy fields (aura), energy pathways (meridians), and energy centers (chakras). A simple analogy to help understand energy congestion is that of vehicular traffic.

The meridians (energy pathways) are the roads, and these energy pathways can become sluggish or even blocked by traffic. Energy is then unbalanced in the body (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual), with energy reaching some parts and not others. Chakras (energy centers) are the gas stations, where cars go to refuel and our bodies take in the energy they need from the universal energy field. If the gas is of poor quality or runs out, the energy cannot flow. And when it’s pouring rain, the aura (energy field) is like the road in front of us; it’s hard to see where you’re going, so drivers slow down and the energy becomes sluggish.

Healing Touch clears these imbalances and disturbances, allowing the energy channels to resume their task of integrating the body, mind and soul to restore health and promote healing. It may also help to prevent future issues by restoring balance to energy field disruptions, which, if left unchecked, could later result in illness and disease.

Practitioners hold their hands lightly on or above the client’s body, allowing healing energy to flow through their hands to their client. The Healing Touch practitioner is never the source of this energy; they are the “pipe” or “straw” through which universal life force energy flows. This energy is love in its purest form, life’s most powerful healer.

The practitioner employs a variety of energetic techniques from their study of Healing Touch and also allow for their hands to “follow the energy” wherever on or off the body they may be led.

Healing Touch is nationally accredited with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation and is endorsed by both the American and the Canadian Holistic Nurses Associations.

How Can Healing Touch Help You?

A significant amount of research is being conducted involving Healing Touch and other healing modalities. Many studies in Healing Touch modalities have been funded by internationally recognized funding bodies such as the National Institute of Health and special interest groups.

Published and unpublished studies and pilot studies have been done to study the impact of Healing Touch on many disease conditions and symptoms such as cancer, heart disease, palliative (hospice) care, elder care, immunological and endocrine conditions (HIV and diabetes), headaches, postoperative wounds, pediatric conditions, alcoholism, premenopausal syndrome and dementia. Symptoms explored have included but are not limited to pain, fatigue, agitation, stress, depression, anxiety, and nausea.

Suggested Benefits of Healing Touch from Qualitative Research, Anecdotal Support, and Pilot Studies;

  • Reduces pain

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and tension

  • Lessens fatigue

  • Shortens length of hospital stays

  • Bolsters immune function in cancer patients

  • Facilitates wound healing

  • Aids in the preparation for, and recovery from, medical treatments and surgeries

  • Sustains individuals and families through chronic illnesses

  • Sustains individuals and families through the dying process

  • Assists in the management and treatment of side effects from medical treatments

  • Promotes individuals’ spiritual connections

Healing Touch Research

A randomized trial conducted at the University of Iowa studied the impact of Healing Touch therapy on cellular immunity (measured by natural killer cell function), mood, quality of life and treatment toxicities/delays in women with cervical cancer. The women were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Healing Touch (HT), relaxation training (RT) and usual care (UC).

The group receiving HT had a minimal decrease in natural killer cell function (a predictor of survival) over time compared to that of the RT and UC patients who declined sharply during their treatment. Healing Touch patients also showed significant decreases in two indicators of depressed mood compared to the RT and UC group over time as well. There were no significant observations on toxicities, treatment delay, quality of life and fatigue.