Healing Touch - Frequently Asked Questions
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Healing Touch is a relaxing, nurturing, energy therapy that uses the hands to balance the energy field surrounding the individual. Healing Touch practitioners work with the client in a heart-centred, intentional way to facilitate healing and to balance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.
The goal of Healing Touch is to restore balance in the energy system thereby supporting the client’s natural ability to heal. Healing Touch is safe for all ages and is a complementary therapy that can be safely integrated with conventional health care.
Hundreds of studies have been conducted that involve Healing Touch and/or other biofield therapies, and Healing Touch research is actively ongoing. While earlier research was challenged by methodological issues, efforts were put in place to ensure that more recent studies focus on proper research methodology such as Randomized Clinical Trials.
Research has been conducted in relation to:
Studies demonstrate that there is support to consider Healing Touch as an option for integrative care and that patients evaluate it highly.
Some interesting reviews have been conducted of biofield therapy research:
Clinical Studies of Biofield Therapies: Summary, Methodological Challenges, and Recommendations
This document highlights the findings from systematic reviews to identify clinical areas with the most promise for integration of biofield therapies into conventional care as well as for future research. The evidence base regarding clinical effectiveness of biofield therapies is strongest in symptom management for pain and cancer, the two conditions that have received the most study. Studies are sparser but evidence is promising for clinical populations with arthritis, dementia, and heart disease.
Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis
This 2009 review of 66 clinical studies concluded that biofield therapies show:
- strong evidence for reducing pain intensity in pain populationshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816237/
- moderate evidence for reducing pain intensity in hospitalized and cancer populations
- moderate evidence for decreasing negative behavioral symptoms in dementia
- moderate evidence for decreasing anxiety for hospitalized populations
For more information about Healing Touch research, click on each organization below:
Even with proper research practices in place, studies involving energy-based therapies face unique challenges:
Integrative health care makes use of conventional, complementary and alternative health care options and focuses on the whole person: body, mind and spirit as well as all aspects of lifestyle.
Philosophy of Integrative Health Care:
Complementary therapies: Treatments that are used with conventional medical treatment. Examples: Healing Touch, massage
Alternative therapies: Treatments that are used instead of conventional medical treatment. Examples: naturopathy
CAM: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is a US government body that developed a system to classify CAM therapies into five main groups:
Energy Therapies in Advanced Practice Oncology: An Evidence-Informed Practice (EIP) Approach https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4093427/
Healing Touch practitioners across the country are sharing Healing Touch with their colleagues in many health care or other workplaces as an option for self care that helps to reduce stress and burnout.
Interestingly, one of our instructors has been offering Healing Touch training at Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland where more than 50 health care providers now practise HT on their colleagues.
Yellowknife, NWT: Once a month, local Healing Touch members volunteer at the Aven’s Senior Centre offering treatments to appreciative seniors.
Victoria, BC: BC Cancer Agency – Vancouver Island Group: Offers Therapeutic Touch (an approach similar to Healing Touch) as part of its Relaxation Program
Veterans Affairs Facilities: In 2011, 89 per cent (125) of Veteran Affairs facilities in the U.S. provided some form of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) in addition to allopathic medicine, with the majority (59) offering 6-10 modalities. Of those, 14 per cent (17.5) offered some form of Energy Medicine, including Healing Touch. Interestingly, the most popular CAM modality offered was Stress Management/Relaxation Therapy (The top five reasons they offer CAM: (1) promote wellness, (2) patient preferences, (3) as an adjunct to chronic care, (4) proven clinical effect and (5) provider request. Other reasons: reflects facility's mission, has providers that volunteer their services, consistent with Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) model, promotes cost savings, and reflects cultural preferences. (Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2011 Complementary and Alternative Medicine Report http://www.research.va.gov/research_topics/2011cam_finalreport.pdf)
Tampa, FL: St. Joseph’s Hospital/BayCare Health – Healing Touch Program
Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Health Care – Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine – Healing Partners offers free Healing Touch sessions to those diagnosed with cancer who are under the active care of a physician, regardless of where they are being treated.
Healing Touch awareness across Canada
The Healing Touch Association of Canada contributes to the well-being of all communities in Canada and around the world by:
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