191332 A traditional form of healing: The power of therapeutic touch

Monday, October 27, 2008: 4:30 PM

Florencia Davis, PhD , Graduate Coordinator, Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Therapeutic Touch (TT) is a complementary healing modality used by health care providers to reduce anxiety, accelerate relaxation, decrease pain, and enhance immunity.

Therapeutic Touch was developed in the early 1970s by Dolores Kreiger, RN,

and a professor of nursing, and Dora Kunz. Therapeutic Touch Kreiger and co-founder Dora Kunz operates on a premise that the human body is kept alive and vital by a force called prana, (a Sanskrit term meaning “vital force”). The current practice is based on the assumption that the physical body is surrounded by an energy field that trained practitioners can detect, assess, and manipulate. Imbalances in this energy field often result in illness, congestion and pain that can be treated with TT.

Therapeutic Touch (TT) is a form of energetic medicine that is based on Eastern ideas of health and disease. It works on the idea that illness is the result of an imbalance or interruption in the body's natural energy or “life force” at a very fine or subtle level. Good health is defined as a state of emotional, mental and physical balance.

Recently, over half a million dollars of federal tax money has been spent on Therapeutic Touch research. The National Institutes of Health has given $150,000 in grants, the Department of Health and Human Services has granted $200,000. Most recently the Department of Defense granted $355,000 to the University of Alabama at Birmingham—all for TT research. This study at UAB is to be conducted on burn patients, and is billed as being the study that would finally settle the questions on the effectiveness of TT.

Learning Objectives:
Describe and define Therapeutic Touch Learn how and when to apply Therapeutic Touch. Illustrate how to administer Therapeutic Touch in a structured method of: (a) preparation, (b) treatment, and (c) termination using Krieger’s method of centering, assessment, unruffling and restoring the energy field of the recipient. Describe how nurses may use Therapeutic Touch in the healthcare system as a non-pharmacological means of connecting with and helping the patient.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have many years of experience, presenting, teaching,giving seminars and workshops. Listed below are some activities that are similar to presenting at the APHA conference.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.