Integrative Therapies
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Practitioner Statement

History & Philosophy

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How it works & when to use it

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Therapeutic Touch — How it works & when to use it

Different Theories on How it Works
The body electric…. Therapeutic Touch is based on the idea that each individual has their own electromagnetic field that extends beyond the body. There have been various theories on the nature of this field, how far it extends, what it consists of and its relationship to the universe.

To Krieger and Kunz, there were four aspects to this human energy field: 1) the vital, or physical body, 2) the emotional field, 3) the mental field, and 4) the intuitive field. As in most energy theories, these fields are considered dynamic, constantly interacting with each other and with the environment. In a state of health, the energy field flows unimpeded and smoothly, in a patterned and ordered manner. When the body experiences stress, injury or disease, differences in flow result in imbalance and dis-ease. TT practitioners believe that they can effect healing through the interaction of their own energy and the energy of the environment/universe, with that of the patient.

Stress is often a factor in illness as well as in the experience of our everyday lives. The body responds to stress through the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Heart rate and anxiety levels increase, stress hormones are released and there is a reduction of coping mechanisms. TT is believed to influence the response of the ANS, promoting a return to relaxation. This may be due in part to the patient’s mental state which also becomes more balanced as a result of the compassionate intervention of TT.

Conditions it Works Best For
Theraputic Touch has increasingly been studied for a varity of health conditions including agitation in Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer coping, arthritis, substance use recovery, fibromyalgia, pain, headaches, stress and anxiety. There have been a great many anecdotal and case reports on its successful use in reducing stress and promoting relaxation in women during childbirth, for people with AIDS, hospitalized infants and children, the elderly, pre-operative patients, and for people with insomnia. Because there has been a great deal of variation in the design and protocols used in clinical studies of TT, the evidence has often been contradictory and is at this time considered inconclusive. The National Institutes of Health has funded studies on the use of TT in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, to enhance immune function in AIDS patients, to lower stress in the critically ill newborn, and to improve immune function during chemotherapy for advanced cancer.

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Content last modified on Jul 17, 2012