Therapeutic Touch

What is Therapeutic Touch?
Therapeutic Touch is a modern version of several ancient healing practices. It is taught and studied in hospitals and universities around the world. In the 1970's, Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., RN, a professor of nursing at New York University, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer, adapted it for use in modern health care. It is not a cure and is never used to replace regular medical treatment. However, Therapeutic Touch may help your body's own ability to heal. Therapeutic Touch is based on the concept that you are a complex energy field. When a person is well energy flows in, through and out of the body in a balanced and smooth way. As a consequence of illness or injury, this flow may be impeded. It is the goal of Therapeutic Touch to rebalance the flow of energy as a support to the healing process.

What Happens During Therapeutic Touch?
Therapeutic Touch can be offered in a sitting or lying position. There is no need to undress. The practitioner works in the human energy field, which extends two to six inches beyond the skin. During the session, the practitioner's hands are placed near the body, that is to say, in the energy field. Using gentle hand movements, the practitioner will check from head to toe the flow of energy and re-balance it where needed.

How Long Does Therapeutic Touch Take?
A session might last anywhere from five to 20 minutes. A child, for example, may require a brief five-minute session, while an adult may need 15-20 minutes. One session may be sufficient or a series of shorter sessions might be more helpful.

General Response to Therapeutic Touch
Therapeutic Touch tends to elicit a relaxation response and many people report feeling less tense and anxious. It may change how a person feels pain. Overall, the body's own ability to heal may be helped. In palliative care, Therapeutic Touch offers support and comfort for patients and loved ones. A substantial base of formal and clinical research exists for Therapeutic Touch and can be accessed through the library on the first floor, J-Wing. In addition, you can visit:

Personal Response to Therapeutic Touch
The length of your illness, your lifestyle and your general health determines your response to a Therapeutic Touch session. You can be skeptical about Therapeutic Touch and still benefit from your session.

Therapeutic Touch Volunteer Program at MGH
Michael Garron Hospital was the first hospital in Canada to have a policy and training program for Therapeutic Touch and many staff have learned this valuable skill. As a result of increasing demand for this service, the Volunteer Services Department organized a team of trained volunteers to offer Therapeutic Touch throughout the hospital.

To arrange for a session while you are in the hospital speak to your nurse or call 416-469-6580 ext. 2553. Please leave a message and the next available Therapeutic Touch volunteer will respond to your call.

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