Mosby's Complementary Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach

By Lyn W. Freeman; G. Frank Lawlis | Go to book overview

18
Therapeutic Touch: Healing with Energy

Lyn Freeman


WHY READ THIS CHAPTER?

Over the past 25 years, Dolores Krieger, the developer of therapeutic touch, has personally taught the energy technique to more than 48,000 health professionals. Estimates of the total number of persons that have learned therapeutic touch now exceed 85,000, and therapeutic touch is practiced worldwide in more than 75 countries. Therapeutic touch is used in hospital settings, private practices, hospices, and home-care settings.

Case study and clinical trials report positive outcomes with the use of therapeutic touch. Nonetheless, like many forms of energy medicine, its theory, practice, and benefits have been strongly challenged by individuals in the medical establishment. The reader is encouraged to review the history, philosophy, hypothesized mechanisms, and clinical outcomes of therapeutic touch and judge for him or herself.


CHAPTER AT A GLANCE

Therapeutic touch is defined as an intentionally directed process of energy modulation during which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to facilitate healing.

Therapeutic touch is explained in the theoretical framework of Roger's "Theory of Unitary Man." The theory states that all persons are highly complex fields of life energy. Further, these fields of energy are coextensive with the universe and are in constant interaction and exchange with surrounding energy fields, including the human energy field. As the developer of therapeutic touch, Dr. Krieger hypothesized that by interacting with and modulating these energy fields, individuals can produce a healing effect. She further postulated that this healing capacity is a natural human potential that can be learned.

Reported physiologic effects of therapeutic touch include deep relaxation and facilitation of the healing process. Clinical trials of the effects of therapeutic touch have demonstrated reductions of anxiety and pain, increased speed of wound healing, and immune modulation.

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