In a Healing Touch session, the practitioner begins with a centering process to calm the mind, access a sense of compassion, and become fully present with the patient. The practitioner then focuses intention on the patient's highest good and places his or her hands lightly on the patient's body or makes sweeping hands motions above the body.
Healing Touch practitioners believe that this process balances and realigns energy flow that has been disrupted by stress, pain, or illness. The process eliminates blockages in the energy field so that the patient is in an optimal state for healing to occur.
How can I prepare for a session?
You'll want to wear comfortable clothing to your Healing Touch session and be prepared to discuss your treatment goals. Are you seeking relaxation or stress management, relief from a specific symptom, such as nausea or pain, or are you preparing for surgery or some other procedure? You will get the most out of Healing Touch therapy if you can be specific about your healing needs.
The first visit
If this is your first private session, the practitioner will ask you to complete a health questionnaire and any privacy documents that are required by law, such as HIPAA release forms. If you are in a hospital setting, you will need to give verbal consent to the session.
In both settings, the practitioner will explain a little about Healing Touch and what to expect and answer any questions you have.
You remain fully clothed during a Healing Touch session and typically lie down or sit comfortably in a chair. Healing Touch sessions may last anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes for a full body treatment or as little as 5 to 15 minutes for a localized treatment of a specific injury.
All Healing Touch sessions follow a general format:
IntakeAt the beginning, the practitioner will ask you about your condition or symptoms and what you hope to gain from the session.
Centering (Healer Preparation)The practitioner starts by becoming "centered" in order to become totally focused, present and fully open to the process of engaging with you. The practitioner connects with their internal self, concentrating on a place of silence and inner stability and eliminating all distractions. He or she will also connect with a higher power or universal life energy. The centering process is similar to entering a meditative state.
Attuning to the PatientCentering is followed by "attuning," or setting the intention for you, the patient's, highest good.
TreatmentThe practitioner first scans your energy field by passing a hand gently above the surface of your body, noting any sensations or imbalances. The practitioner may experience these imbalances as heat, cold, tingling, pressure, heaviness, lightness, etc.
The practitioner then chooses a Healing Touch technique that is appropriate for your needs. This may include light physical touch or sweeping hand motion above the body. This technique may be used anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes. The practitioner ends the session by assessing your energy field again. Once again he or she does a hand scan to evaluate whether or not the sensations or imbalances in the energy field noted during the pre-treatment assessment have changed.
GroundingAt the conclusion of the Healing Touch session, the practitioner will "ground" you, which brings you back to an alert state.
Evaluation, Feedback, and Treatment Plan DevelopmentAt the end of the session, the practitioner will ask you for feedback and descriptions of any sensations or other experiences you had during the session. You will then develop a self-care plan with the practitioner. This plan may include when to come in for another session (if appropriate), as well as self-care techniques and strategies you can use.
What might I feel?
People have many different reactions to Healing Touch therapy. Some patients feel nothing at all. Others describe sensations of moving energy, deep relaxation, feelings of being supported and nurtured, or visions of images and colors. Some patients experience an emotional release such as tears, or they may develop insight into specific areas of their lives.
Videos of basic Healing Touch techniques
The Chakra Connection is one of the basic techniques used in Healing Touch. Chakras are conceived of as energy centers in the body, and this technique is used to connect, open, and balance the chakra energies. In this technique, the practitioner places his or her hands on the patient, starting at the feet and moving up the body at every joint. Hands are held approximately one minute at a time, working to balance the energy movement between those joints and within the body's energy system.
The Magnetic Passes technique involves the practitioner moving his or her hands slowly over the body without actually touching, and using their fingers to "comb" over the energy field of the patient. This technique can be applied over a particular area of pain or over the whole body. The purpose of this technique is to gently facilitate the removal of blockages in the energy system.
Hover-Kramer, D. (2001). Healing Touch: A guidebook for practitioners. New York: Delmar Publishing Co.
Umbreit, A. (2002). Healing Touch. In Snyder, Mariah & Lindquist, Ruth (Eds.), Complementary/Alternative Therapies in Nursing (4th edition) (pp. 165-182). New York: Springer Publishing Co.