Description of a Session
The duration of Therapeutc Touch sessions is dependent on the needs and age of the recipient. It is normally several minutes, and shouldnt exceed 20-30 minutes. It is usually done with the patient fully clothed and either lying down or seated. There are five steps involved in the process:
1) Centering: the practitioner enters into a meditative state which centers them and establishes the intent to heal. This state is maintained throughout the treatment.
2) Assessment: the healer places their palms several inches above the individual and moves them in a sweeping motion over the entire bodys energy field. These slow, gentle strokes, called hand passes, help the healer pick up clues about the disturbance of energy flow and distribution which they experience in the form of heat or coolness, heaviness, pressure, or a tingly sensation. These signal where blockages and areas of energy depletion.
3) Planning treatment and unruffling: the practitioner uses circular, sweeping motions of the hands to clear congestion and re-distribute energy away from areas of excess to those of depletion. Sometimes excess energy is swept out of the body. After this, the practitioner shakes their hands to prevent any excess or negative energy from clinging to them.
4) Directing and modulation: acting as a conduit, the healer transfers energy to the patient. Some view this as a channeling of their own energy, others consider it universal energy, but in either case it is to stimulate the patients own healing energy.
5) Evaluation: the patients energy field is re-evaluated to see if greater balance exists. The patient is asked to relax for about 15 minutes in order for the energies to stabilize. Although TT is primarily done without touching, if a patient requests, physical touch can be incorporated into the treatment.
Course of Treatment
The number of sessions a person receives depends upon the benefit the person is deriving from TT sessions, either through decreasing anxiety or pain, enhancing the ability to cope, improving the feeling of well- being, or progress and improvement in a particular health condition.
Transitory side effects can occur if an excess of energy enters the body. This can create a temporary feeling of restlessness, irritability, headache, nausea or increased anxiety and discomfort. Practitioners remain very attentive to a persons response during the TT process. If any discomfort is experienced, the session is stopped and the person is helped to return to a more calm and grounded state. It is always advisable to receive TT from a properly trained professional.
Therapeutic Touch is a generally safe form of treatment, used primarily to support and enhance the persons innate healing process and sense of well-being. It is felt, however, that it is possible to overdo a session and practitioners are cautioned to be aware of their patients individual tolerances by watching for signs of restlessness, irritability or anxiety. There are also certain circumstances where treatments should be brief and gentle. These include pregnant women, babies, the aged, the very infirm, those with head injuries or lesions, persons experiencing trauma who may be in shock, the treatment of burns, and psychologically disabled persons. It is always advisable to receive TT from a properly trained professional.
Other Modalities that Work Well with this Approach
Therapeutic Touch is often used in conjunction with conventional medical care as well as osteopathy, chiropractic, naturopathic and homeopathic therapies. It can also complement the use of analgesics and other medications and can help support an array of healing and relaxation practices such as yoga, imagery, and massage.
Finding a Practitioner
National organizations often have practitioner locators on their sites. These include:
Nurse Healers-Professional Associates International