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Healing Touch
A Major Contributor in Today's Integrative Health Care

by Dorothea Hover-Krame

HT is now a vital component within the integrative healthcare movement.

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Healing Touch provides a direct, unfettered approach for relief from physical and emotional distress. Although Western, conventional medicine has focused on primarily treating illness in the body, everyone knows that body and mind are, in fact, inseparable. Each of us is a person with physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual capacities within one resplendent being. The impact of Healing Touch (HT) over the past twenty plus years is demonstrated by its effective, non-invasive methods for restoring wholeness to people suffering from physical and/or psychological distress.
Often, healing changes in clients receiving HT occur in relatively short amounts of time, as if the human body and mind are designed to reorganize and align towards ever-evolving health via methods that are harmonious to all aspects of the whole person.
The effects of energetic interventions for pain management have become almost legendary. Willing volunteers, who have learned HT as a complement to medication, use their skills in hospitals, schools, homes, service clubs, hospices, clinics, and community centers. The methods appear to be effective for relieving the sudden onset of pain that may occur after a fall or surgery, as well as for long-term, recurring painful conditions such as arthritis.
HT is now a vital component within the integrative healthcare movement. It shines brightest as a complement to conventional and other complementary treatments because it is based on integrative, holistic principles derived from the social sciences, the nursing process, and Dr. Jean Watson's internationally known theory of caring. Healing Touch also has a growing body of scientific research to support its presence in mainstream healthcare.
For hospitalized patients, HT offers compassionate and intentional human caring from skilled professionals or trained volunteers to help alleviate pain, diminish pre- or post-procedural anxiety, and effect needed relaxation. In other medical facilities, such as one-day surgical centers and outpatient clinics, HT practitioners (who may be nurses, social workers, or lay volunteers) provide deeper levels of emotional and spiritual care to people suffering serious long-term illness or who are in the process of dying. In many institutional settings, HT practitioners are closely aligned with physicians and ancillary healthcare personnel as part of the full treatment team.   

In private care settings, which are attracting more and more HT caregivers, practitioners can offer individualized energy-based treatments to address a number of issues related to client well-being. To increase their effectiveness, these practitioners also establish strong professional referral networks to manage specific client issues.   

Many helpers who use HT spontaneously uncover emotional trauma of which the client had only premonitions or was totally unaware. This can occur because trauma appears to be stored energetically in the body's "biofield," its layers, meridians, and/or energy centers, and can therefore surface spontaneously during a session. Therefore, HT methods can also gently and successfully support those who have experienced emotional trauma.
The intention in HT is to assist client welfare by aligning with the unlimited supply of energy in the universe through the practitioner's centered focus. In a recent personal communication, HT practitioner and instructor Janna Moll clarified: "What we are doing is holding a space for clients where they can connect to their divine and perfect expression-and inviting them into this as much as possible [for themselves]. It is not about my consciousness, and certainly not my goals for the client, but about their own needs and desires-from a place of wholeness."   

Integrative healthcare models have already been studied and evaluated by American veterans administrations to find the best pathways for helping veterans with chronic pain, stress-related depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A recent two-year study conducted in Salt Lake City, Utah, showed that the city's Veterans Affairs Integrative Health Clinic and Program effectively diminished patient symptoms without using extensive medications. Instead it focuses on psychological and sociological approaches and is rapidly growing because of the complexity of the problems that cannot be resolved with conventional medicine alone.   

The advent of the integrative health-care model has meant an expansion of roles for anyone interested in learning about Healing Touch practice. The public is actively seeking new ways of resolving health problems encountered in all stages of the life cycle and especially of addressing the progressive physical and emotional issue of aging. Thus, HT participation is cropping up in community centers, prenatal clinics, family education, senior centers, and retirement communities. HT training courses are also being offered in 32 other nations, so its caring influence is literally visible worldwide.

Excerpted with permission from Healing Touch: Essential Energy Medicine for Yourself and Others, © 2011 by Dorothea Hover-Kramer. Published by Sounds True, Boulder, CO. Available in stores or visit www.soundstrue.com


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