Therapeutic Touch is a contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing practices. It is a consciously directed process of energy exchange during which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to facilitate the process.
Therapeutic Touch was developed in the early 1970’s through the pioneering work of Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN, a professor at New York University, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer.
Therapeutic Touch is a scientifically based practice. Experimental research has been conducted at major hospital centers and universities by scientists in nursing and related fields. Some of this research has been funded by the National Institutes for Health.As scientists began to study various forms of healing in the mid 1900′s, the focus began to shift to more natural methods. In 1971, Dolores Krieger, R.N., Ph.D., along with Dora Kunz, a natural healer, conducted some experiments to examine the effects of healers on humans in an analytical way. They used an experimental group and a control group consisting of comparable individuals. The experimental group received “laying-
Together, Dr. Krieger and Dora Kunz developed the curriculum for teaching a method of healing which became known as Therapeutic Touch. Her course was initially taught to nurses at New York University’s Master’s program in a course called “Frontiers in Nursing”. Since 1972 it has been taught in more than 80 colleges and approximately 90 countries. Therapeutic Touch is simple, and creates a personal connection between the healer and the patient. It can be taught to anyone, and is often taught to the families of patients. Although it has been said that you must “believe” in it for Therapeutic Touch to work, it has been used successfully with premature babies and patients in comas. In fact, patients coming out of a coma for the first time have spoken the nicknames of the nurses who practiced Therapeutic Touch on them! There are now approximately 100,000 people trained in TT in the United States, Canada and around the world.