Therapeutic touch is based on ancient healing practices. The goal of the technique is to help people relax, relieve their pain, and help them heal faster.
Therapeutic touch is thought to promote healing through restoring harmony to a person's energy fields. Therapeutic touch is used in many settings, including hospice care.
When beginning a session, the practitioner first takes time to get centered, calming his or her own mind, then accessing a sense of compassion to become fully present with the patient. During the treatment, the practitioner may place his or her hands lightly on the patient's body or slightly above it. As the practitioner seeks to bring the patient's energy fields into balance, he or she often makes sweeping hand motions above the patient's body.
Some people use therapeutic touch to reduce pain, ease tense muscles, speed healing, and improve sleep. It is sometimes used to help people who have pain or discomfort from cancer or other diseases. The technique does not treat cancer or any other disease.
No studies have proved that therapeutic touch works for treating any type of disease. But some health professionals think it may be useful in helping with stress and anxiety. Some people who receive therapeutic touch say they have a refreshed spirit, heal faster, and feel better. There is some evidence that it may reduce stress or improve well-being in people who have cancer. Research on therapeutic touch is ongoing.
You can safely use therapeutic touch along with conventional medical treatments.
Talk with your doctor about any complementary health practice that you would like to try or are already using. Doctors can help you manage your health better if they know about all of your health practices.
Current as of: September 8, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen M. Fairfield MD, MPH, DrPH - Internal Medicine