Healing Touch


Healing touch is closely related to energy therapy and in fact is a form of it. This process is accomplished through the use of touch to discover any imbalances in the energy field around the body. This type of healing process has been around since the start of time. Humans have felt that through their touch they could manipulate the energy surrounding and flowing through a person to improve their health condition. This type of therapy, however,  is dependent upon a connection between the person being healed and the person performing the healing touch.

Healing touch is not quite as simple as one may think. Those who practice this method most often do not actually touch the skin of the person they are working on, but instead, they lay their hands just above the skin so that they can feel the energy of the person.

The History of Healing Touch

Modern healing touch was developed by Dolores Krieger, who was a research scientist studying at NYU. The practice of such therapy as the lying on of hands dates much farther back. However, during the late 70s Krieger worked with a clairvoyant named Dora Kunz. The pair worked to understand the different practices that were being utilized by healers of all different types, looking for some kind of link. Through their research, they discovered that all of these different types of healers did in fact have common connecting factors. The basis for the modern versions of healing touch comes from this duo’s research.

In the mid to late 90s, another nurse took the idea of healing touch one step further.  Janet Mentegen founded the program for healing touch at the American Holistic Nurses’ Association. Those interested in studying this type of healing had a way to take classes that would allow them to become certified as healing touch therapists. Even though there is no scientific proof to back this form of therapy, it has been thought to be successful in many instances.

Healing Touch in Practice

This is an all-natural method of therapy that aims to provide clients with improved health. Practitioners feel that there is an energy flowing around each person, and through their body, and even the slightest imbalance in these fields can cause problems in physical and mental health. Through this method they help to alter the imbalances in a person’s body energy to ensure that the energy can properly flow.

This practice often is conducted in a space that is calm and relaxing. This benefits both the practitioner and the patients to ensure that the practitioner can stay focused.

Healing touch is practiced in a number of steps. Generally, practitioners will start with a form of centering, which includes grounding themselves in the present and making sure that they are focused on the person whom they are assisting. Centering helps to ensure that the practitioner’s full attention is on their clients.

The next step is usually an assessment phase, where the practitioner will run their hands just above all areas of the body, or a particular body part if a client requests it, to ensure that they are finding the energy areas that are blocked. Practitioners each do this in a different manner, from wide sweeping motions to small intricate movements that involve slow passing over the body.

The next phase of a practitioner’s progression is to treat the area where the energy is blocked. If they find an area that is preventing energy from flowing in a balanced and healthy way, they will focus on it. After they feel the energy has realigned they then will move on to their closing procedure, which for each practitioner can be different.

Healing Touch Treatments

Each healing touch practitioner has his or her own unique detail to treating patients. So, it is important before choosing one that a person asks them for a rundown on their specific methods. This can help prevent a client from finding himself or herself in an uncomfortable position, as some healing touch therapists will evoke different religious methods as well as the traditional healing touch methodology. Some practitioners do actually touch their clients, while others have a “hands off” policy. Asking questions beforehand is the best way to prevent uncomfortable and awkward situations.

Generally, regardless of the method that the practitioner is using, a session will begin with some form of assessment. This can be accomplished in many ways. Some therapists feel that they can sense the area of pain without using their hands, while others will ask patients to allow them to pass their hands over different areas of the body to sense the problem.

Practitioners claim to be able to treat many different types of problems, ranging from pain to the healing of internal systems.

What Types of Problems is Healing Touch Good For?

Healing touch should not be considered as a replacement for traditional medical treatments; however, it can be a high-quality additive for those suffering from a vast number of conditions. At the present time there is no scientific proof behind these theories; however, those who have undergone this type of therapy generally do claim to have  some benefit, if only from the interaction and emotional feeling.

In cancer patients, it has been noted that healing touch can improve the overall sense of well-being. This calming and relaxing practice can aid to lower their blood pressure. The attention and sense that someone cares can also help them to overcome problems such as depression or alleviate the pain that they are suffering from due to traditional treatments.

Fibromyalgia patients also find themselves turning to alternative therapy styles such as healing touch for relief.

The result of a study at the University of Arkansas of a group of nursing home patients found that patients with dementia were greatly helped by healing touch therapy. The study found that it helped to calm the patients as well as reduce their outbursts.

Other conditions that may benefit from healing touch include, but are not limited to, addiction, osteoarthritis, cardiac conditions, and pediatric difficulties. It is unclear how much of the perceived benefits are from the interaction with the therapist and relaxation provided, and how much are a direct result of the healing touch itself.



  1. Bratman, S. The Alternative Medicine Ratings Guide: an expert panel rates the best treatments for over 80 conditions, Prima Health A Division of Prima Publishing (1998)
  2. Brown, L. Alternative Medicine, NTC/Contemporary Publishing (1999)
  3. Deepak Chopra, M.D. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Celestial Arts (2002)
  4. Nancy Allison. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines, The Rosen Publishing Group (1999)
  5. Servan-Schreiber, D. The Encyclopedia of New Medicine: Conventional & Alternative Medicine For All Ages, Rodale International Limited (2006)


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