In the world of Oncology, where pain, fear, anxiety and loneliness loom large, one of the commonly accepted modalities currently used in health-care institutions worldwide, and as a nursing intervention in Ontario hospitals, is Therapeutic Touch. This technique, developed by Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN and her colleague, Dora Kunz, is a consciously directed process of energy exchange during which practitioners use their hands as a focus for facilitating healing. Over thirty doctoral and post doctoral dissertations and master these have been done on Therapeutic Touch, showing its efficacy in the promotion of relaxation and eliciting the Relaxation Response, reduction in anxiety, changing the patient’s perception of pain and facilitating the body’s natural restorative process.
Therapeutic Touch helps to provide a sense of well being even in the face of life threatening illness. People living with cancer often experience a sense of loss, loneliness and frustration. They feel isolated, alone in their pain and in a place that no one else can understand. They can feel estranged from normal life, from the life they had prior to the illness, and from family and social contacts. The calming, relaxing effect of Therapeutic Touch plays an important role in this unsettling environment. For them, Therapeutic Touch plays a crucial role in reconnecting with others and making new connections. It conveys a message of physical, emotional and psychological support and healing, providing a sense of caring, compassion and understanding. Facilitating the natural healing process, Therapeutic Touch helps to replace fear and anxiety with calm acceptance. It creates an opening and facilitates a quiet restorative process, where health professionals and patients alike move in energetic unity toward wholeness. It is common to hear both health professionals and visitors comment on the ‘peaceful’ feeling in a room where Therapeutic Touch is being given.
There is a world of documentation covering the ill effects of stress on the human condition and nothing is more stressful than life threatening illness, except perhaps death itself. It follows then that a technique that can reduce stress in any situation will have a positive role in the treatment and healing processes. Therapeutic Touch organizes the scattered and disrupted energies of physical illness or trauma, along with the emotional energies of fear, anxiety and helplessness, into a concentrated focus of healing, wholeness and a symmetric movement toward restoration.
The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario (TTNO) has developed strict criteria for its members in order to maintain recognized status as qualified practitioners. The TTNO presents its annual Vision & Reality Conference for 2003 at the Hilton Suites in Markham, on November 8th and 9th. A post conference workshop on Monday, November 10th, will be open to non-members and conference brochures are available by calling 416-64TOUCH. This conference is presented in keeping with the Therapeutic Touch Network’s commitment to provide continuing education for its members, ensuring standardized, quality practice. One of the leading authorities in human energy systems study and analysis, Dr. Richard Gerber, MD, is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Vision & Reality Conference. Dr. Gerber is an internationally known teacher and author. His books include Vibrational Medicine – 3rd Edition: the #1 Handbook of Subtle Energy Therapies, and A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine, Energy Healing and Spiritual Transformation. A highly respected physician practicing internal medicine near Livonia, Michigan, Dr. Gerber has garnered over 25 years of progressive research into alternative and complimentary methods of diagnosis and healing.
He states that there is an energy body that surrounds and is an integral part of the human physical body. This energy is also a body of matter, which is etheric or subtle energetically, and it vibrates at a frequency that renders it invisible to most. Because the subtle energy and the physical body are so interconnected, they work in unanimity. If the subtle energy field becomes distorted, disrupted or depleted, the physical body responds and disease will often follow. Therapeutic Touch clears restrictions, modulates the energy body and encourages a restoration of balance and healthy energy flow.
Oncology, as an area that is under constant research, presents us with an opportunity to demonstrate the value of a holistic approach to patient care. Including Therapeutic Touch in the plan of care for someone living with cancer and its treatments can improve the patient’s overall sense of well being, alter the perception of pain and be effective in the restorative process as a whole.
According to Dr. Gerber, Vibrational Medicine is a multifaceted new science that redefines human beings to include multidimensional energy systems with unique characteristics. It is an emerging paradigm that blends the best of ancient traditions with modern scientific discoveries, providing for the first time, a scientific model that looks at not only the deeper causes of human illness, but also an explanation of how universal energy integrates with the molecular body. Dr. Gerber presents a model of the energetic human psychology as well as some of the latest research in energy healing, such as Therapeutic Touch, which points the way towards revolutionary changes in the way health care may evolve in the 21st century.