Practicing healthcare professionals know well that there are many different paths to healing, paths that can involve traditional medicine, alternative techniques and complementary therapies.
BrightStar Care of Grosse Pointe/Southeast Macomb was delighted to host a Continuing Education Program for healthcare workers, co-hosted by the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology last month focusing on Healing Touch Therapy. This increasingly popular, complementary therapy is an energy-based approach to healing. By either touching the person lightly or moving the hands in the energy field of the person, the Healing Touch practitioner can influence the person’s energy field.
“You can physically see the patient becoming more relaxed,” presenter Helen Strahl, an RN and Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, told the group. The techniques enhance a person’s own natural, innate ability to heal, and assist in balancing his or her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, she added.
The theory of Healing Touch Therapy is that we are energy systems and that good health energy flows in through and out of our energy field. When there is an illness or injury, there is a blockage to the flow of energy. The goal of the Healing Touch treatment is to restore harmony and balance to the patient’s energy system.
Dampening the central nervous system and slowing the heartbeat allows the patient to naturally relax, Strahl said. “Healing can only happen in this state.” The therapy helps with pain management, she said, “because when you are more relaxed, your perception of pain is different.”
Healing Therapy has been found to have many benefits including:
- Reducing stress
- Calming anxiety, depression
- Decreasing pain
- Strengthening the immune system
- Enhancing recovery from surgery
- Complementary care for neck and back problems
- Deepening spiritual connection
- Supporting cancer care
- Creating a sense of well-being
- Easing acute and chronic conditions
Strahl noted that Healing Touch is complementary therapy, as opposed to alternative medicine, and that can be easily incorporated into a traditional medical treatment plan. Hospitals, nursing and medical schools and allied health professionals around the world are increasingly embracing Integrative Medicine which combines conventional Western medicine with alternative or complementary treatments, Stahl said. Healing Touch Therapy, in particular, has been examined in nearly 100 research studies and much evidence exists to support its use.
“Everybody has the ability to do Healing Touch,” Strahl said, and many people take a class to learn to use Healing Touch on family, friends, or themselves. Nurses, massage therapists and other health professionals who want a more in-depth understanding of the therapy might consider enrolling in a Healing Touch Certificate Program, which can be found on theHealing Touch International website, along with more information about the therapy.