What is Healing Touch? Healing Touch (HT) is an energy therapy in which practitioners use their hands in a heart-centered and intentional way to support and facilitate physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing.
Healing Touch uses gentle, light, or near-body touch to clear, balance, energize, and support the human energy system in an effort to promote healing for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.
The main focus of HT is to remove energy congestion that forms in our energy fields (aura) and energy centers (chakras).
The goal of HT is to restore harmony and balance in the human energy system.
“We acknowledge that pure spiritual love is life’s most powerful healer.” (HTP principle)
Healing Touch was developed by Janet Mentgen, RN, BSN, HNC, CHTP/1 as a medically-based energy therapy Continuing Education Program for nurses. The Healing Touch Program (HTP) is endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association, approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC).
The documented benefits of Healing Touch are numerous. Below is a survey of studies referencing the varied benefits of Health Touch (HT), ranging from generalized to more specific. This list of references is not necessarily all inclusive, as the body or research around Healing Touch is a growing field.
Summary of Effects of Healing Touch
- Anderson, Joel G., and Ann Gill Taylor. “Effects of healing touch in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.” Journal of Holistic Nursing 29.3 (2011): 221-228.
- Eschiti, Valerie S. “Healing Touch: a low-tech intervention in high-tech settings.” Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing 26.1 (2007): 9-14. (View article here)
- Kerr, Catherine E., Rachel H. Wasserman, and Christopher I. Moore. “Cortical dynamics as a therapeutic mechanism for touch healing.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 13.1 (2007): 59-66. (View article here)
- Wardell, Diane Wind, and Kathryn F. Weymouth. “Review of studies of healing touch.” Journal of Nursing Scholarship 36.2 (2004): 147-154. (View article here)
- Wilkinson, Dawn S., et al. “The clinical effectiveness of healing touch.” The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 8.1 (2002): 33-47. (View article here)
Healing Touch, Relaxation, and Stress Management
- Dowd, Therese, et al. “Comparison of a healing touch, coaching, and a combined intervention on comfort and stress in younger college students.” Holistic nursing practice 21.4 (2007): 194-202.
- Maville, Janice A., Judith E. Bowen, and Grant Benham. “Effect of Healing Touch on stress perception and biological correlates.” Holistic nursing practice 22.2 (2008): 103-110.
- Taylor, Bev. “The effects of healing touch on the coping ability, self esteem and general health of undergraduate nursing students.” Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery 7.1 (2001): 34-42.
Healing Touch and Cancer
- Aghabati, Nahid, Eesa Mohammadi, and Zahra Pour Esmaiel. “The effect of therapeutic touch on pain and fatigue of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 7.3 (2010): 375-381. (View article here)
- Cook, Cynthia A. Loveland, Joanne F. Guerrerio, and Victoria E. Slater. “Healing touch and quality of life in women receiving radiation treatment for cancer: a randomized controlled trial.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 10.3 (2004): 34.
- Danhauer, Suzanne C., et al. “Healing touch as a supportive intervention for adult acute leukemia patients: a pilot investigation of effects on distress and symptoms.” Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology 6.3 (2008): 89. (View article here)
- FitzHenry, Fern, et al. “A randomized placebo-controlled pilot study of the impact of healing touch on fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.” Integrative cancer therapies 13.2 (2014): 105-113.
- Hart, Laura K., et al. “The use of healing touch in integrative oncology.” Clinical journal of oncology nursing 15.5 (2011): 519. (View article here)
- Jackson, Emily BSN, R. N., et al. “Does therapeutic touch help reduce pain and anxiety in patients with cancer?.” Clinical journal of oncology nursing 12.1 (2008): 113. (View article here)
- Kemper, Kathi J., et al. “Impact of healing touch on pediatric oncology outpatients: pilot study.” Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology 7.1 (2009): 12. (View article here)
- Pierce, Beverly. “The use of biofield therapies in cancer care.” Clinical journal of oncology nursing 11.2 (2007): 253. (View article here)
- Post-White, Janice, et al. “Therapeutic massage and healing touch improve symptoms in cancer.” Integrative cancer therapies 2.4 (2003): 332-344. (View article here)
- Schnepper, Lisa L. “Healing touch and health-related quality of life in women with breast cancer receiving radiation therapy.” THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE, 2009.
- Wong, Joyce, et al. “The impact of healing touch on pediatric oncology patients.” Integrative cancer therapies 12.1 (2013): 25-30. (View article here)
Healing Touch for the Caregiver
- Rexilius, Stephanie J., et al. “Therapeutic Effects of Massage Therapy and Healing Touch on Caregivers of Patients Undergoing Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant.” Oncology nursing forum. Vol. 29. No. 3. 2002.
Healing Touch for Children
- Kemper, Kathi J., and Erica A. Kelly. “Treating children with therapeutic and healing touch.” Pediatric annals 33.4 (2004): 248-252.
Healing Touch and Non-Cancer Related Pain
- Fazzino, Dolores L., et al. “Energy healing and pain: a review of the literature.” Holistic nursing practice 24.2 (2010): 79-88.
- So, Pui Shan, Johnny Y. Jiang, and Ying Qin. “Touch therapies for pain relief in adults.” The Cochrane Library (2008).
- Thomas, Linda S., et al. “A pilot study: the effect of healing touch on anxiety, stress, pain, pain medication usage, and physiological measures in hospitalized sickle cell disease adults experiencing a vaso-occlusive pain episode.” Journal of Holistic Nursing 31.4 (2013): 234-247. (View article here)
- Wardell, Diane Wind, et al. “A pilot study of healing touch and progressive relaxation for chronic neuropathic pain in persons with spinal cord injury.” Journal of Holistic Nursing 24.4 (2006): 231-240. (View article here)
Healing Touch for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Burr, Joyce P. “Jayne’s story: healing touch as a complementary treatment for trauma recovery.” Holistic nursing practice 19.5 (2005): 211-216.
- Rauni King, R. N., CHTP MIH, and Erminia M. Guarneri. “Healing Touch with Guided Imagery for PTSD in returning active duty military: a randomized controlled trial.” Military medicine 177.9 (2012): 1015. (View article here)
Healing Touch and Recovery from Medical Interventions
- Cordes, P., C. Proffitt, and J. Roth. “The effect of healing touch therapy on the pain and joint mobility experienced by patients with total knee replacements.” Healing touch research survey. Lakewood, CO: Healing Touch International (2002).
- MacIntyre, Barb, et al. “The efficacy of healing touch in coronary artery bypass surgery recovery: a randomized clinical trial.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 14.4 (2008): 24. (View article here)
Healing Touch and Depression
- Shore, Adina Goldman. “Long-term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 10.3 (2004): 42.
- Van Aken, Rosalie, and Beverley Taylor. “Emerging from depression: the experiential process of Healing Touch explored through grounded theory and case study.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 16.3 (2010): 132-137.
Healing Touch and Fertility
- Kissinger, Jeanette, and Lori Kaczmarek. “Healing touch and fertility: a case report.” The Journal of perinatal education 15.2 (2006): 13-20.
Healing Touch and End of Life
- Snyder, Janet Rae. “Therapeutic touch and the terminally ill: Healing power through the hands: Krieger/Kunz Method.” American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine® 14.2 (1997): 83-87.
- Ziembroski, Jessica, et al. “Healing touch and hospice care: Examining outcomes at the end of life.” Alternative & Complementary Therapies 9.3 (2003): 146-151.