Healing In Our Hands

by Rebecca Huber

A recent cover story in Life magazine included an arresting photo of a male patient undergoing open-heart surgery while a nurse trained in what we call "TT" or Therapeutic Touch­­ a form of energy healing­­ holds her outstretched hands a few inches above his forehead. Think it looks a little like voodoo? Lets take a look.

Therapeutic Touch was developed in the early 1970s by Dolores Krieger, a former professor of nursing. It has been used by tens of thousands of nurses and other health professionals to induce relaxation, relieve pain and accelerate the body's natural healing process. Therapeutic Touch is widely accepted in hospital settings and most physicians are familiar with what it is and some of its benefits. Last spring, when a friend became acutely ill and was transferred to the MICU of St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, the physician, per my request, ordered TT and I was allowed to use TT for his benefit. Only one nurse out of the whole crew­­ day or night­­ scoffed at me. Most of the nurses, myself, and my friends' family felt they saw a difference in his condition. It was a trying time and the TT made the family feel like something more was being done. They even joined in and it made them feel like they were doing something too.

Is there scientific evidence to support TT? There are several good peer-reviewed studies. One of the more interesting ones was published by Victoria Slater, MSN, RN at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing­­ the official journal of The American Holistic Nurses Association. In her study she reminds us of our electrical nature, that certain electrical patterns can be measured via the atrial-ventricular nodes of the heart, (an EKG) and the electrical activity within the brain, (EEG.) These discernible end results of all electrical devices used to measure the electrical patterns within the body give proof that the body is electric in nature.

Many of you will recall the Russian scientist who was famous for the Kurlian photograph. Through the use of specialized photography equipment he would photograph the colored waves surrounding the human body, or the aura that is being emitted from the production of heat and electricity within the human body.

The healing effects of TT are believed to come from the "infusion" of energy from another person's energy field that then alters the status quo within. This "nutshell" definition of how TT, or how other kinds of energy healing works, is not new. Energy healing is actually an ancient art known and practiced by Buddhist monks, the Chinese and native Americans.

Therapeutic Touch is a simple procedure that anyone can learn. It is akin to massage without touching anything but the energy field that surrounds the living body. If you would like to learn more about TT, there are two new books out; both are excellent. A Doctor's Guide To Therapeutic Touch by Susan Wager, MD or Therapeutic Touch Inner Workbook by Dolores Krieger.

This article posted to Zephyr online December 5, 1996
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