Therapeutic Touch

A complementary therapy technique that involves the channeling of healing energy through the hands.


Therapeutic Touch is a holistic healing practice that involves the use of the hands to sense and balance energy fields surrounding the body. Practitioners focus their intention and pass their hands over the body to identify areas of imbalance or blockage. By channeling healing energy through their hands, they aim to restore balance, reduce pain, alleviate symptoms, and promote overall well-being. While the hands are used, there is typically no direct physical contact with the body during the therapy session.

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Therapeutic Touch was developed in the 1970s by Dolores Krieger, a nursing professor at New York University, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer. Krieger was inspired by the ancient laying-on-of-hands healing practices and sought to create a standardized technique that could be taught to healthcare professionals. She collaborated with Kunz to refine the method, drawing upon Kunz's intuitive healing abilities. Therapeutic Touch gained popularity in nursing and gradually spread to other healthcare fields and beyond. Today, it is practiced by trained practitioners worldwide as a complementary therapy in various settings.


  1. Pain Relief Therapeutic Touch may help alleviate acute and chronic pain by promoting relaxation and balancing energy fields.
  2. Reduced Anxiety The calming and nurturing nature of Therapeutic Touch can help reduce anxiety, stress, and promote a sense of peace.
  3. Faster Healing By channeling healing energy, Therapeutic Touch may support the body's natural healing processes and aid in recovery from illness or injury.
  4. Improved Sleep The relaxation response induced by Therapeutic Touch can lead to better sleep quality and help alleviate insomnia.
  5. Emotional Well-being Therapeutic Touch can provide emotional support, foster a sense of connection, and promote overall emotional well-being.
  6. Symptom Management The practice may help manage symptoms related to various health conditions, such as headaches, digestive issues, and respiratory problems.
  7. Non-invasive Therapeutic Touch is a non-invasive therapy that does not require medication or physical manipulation, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals.

How It Works

Therapeutic Touch is a holistic healing technique that involves the practitioner using their hands to sense and manipulate the patient's energy field. The practitioner moves their hands over the patient's body, without physically touching them, to identify areas of imbalance or blockage in the energy field. They then use gentle hand movements to redirect and balance the energy flow, promoting relaxation and healing. The goal is to stimulate the patient's own natural healing abilities by restoring harmony and balance to their energy system.


While Therapeutic Touch is generally considered safe, it should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical treatment. Patients with serious health conditions should consult with their healthcare provider before trying Therapeutic Touch. Some people may experience emotional or physical discomfort during or after a session, as the treatment can bring up buried emotions or physical sensations. It is important to work with a qualified practitioner who can guide you through the process and help you process any experiences that arise.

How Much It Costs

The cost of Therapeutic Touch sessions can vary depending on the practitioner's experience, location, and session length. On average, a single session can range from $50 to $120, with some practitioners offering discounted rates for multiple sessions or treatment packages. Some health insurance plans may cover Therapeutic Touch sessions, particularly if they are provided by a licensed healthcare professional.

Virtual & Online Options

While Therapeutic Touch is typically performed in person, some practitioners offer virtual or distance healing sessions. These sessions involve the practitioner connecting with the patient's energy field remotely, using visualization and intention to promote healing. Virtual sessions can be convenient for patients who live far from a practitioner or have mobility issues. However, in-person sessions may be more effective for some patients, as the practitioner can more easily sense and manipulate the energy field when physically present.


Therapeutic Touch practitioners can come from a variety of backgrounds, including nursing, massage therapy, and energy healing. While there is no single governing body for Therapeutic Touch certification, many practitioners complete training programs offered by organizations such as the Therapeutic Touch International Association (TTIA) or the Nurse Healers-Professional Associates International (NH-PAI). These programs typically involve a combination of classroom instruction, supervised practice sessions, and a final examination. Some healthcare professionals, such as nurses or physical therapists, may also incorporate Therapeutic Touch into their practice after completing specialized training.

Complementary Practices

Other practices that complement therapeutic touch include Reiki, massage therapy, acupuncture, guided imagery, meditation, and aromatherapy. These holistic approaches can work synergistically with therapeutic touch to promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate pain, and facilitate healing on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Practitioner Types

Therapeutic touch is typically practiced by nurses, but other healthcare professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, and energy healers may also incorporate therapeutic touch into their practice. Some practitioners specialize in therapeutic touch and offer it as a standalone therapy.

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  • Q: What is therapeutic touch and how does it work?

    • A: Therapeutic touch is a non-invasive, holistic healing practice that involves the use of gentle hand movements to balance and restore the body's energy field. Practitioners believe that by removing blockages and promoting the flow of energy, therapeutic touch can stimulate the body's natural healing processes and promote overall well-being.
  • Q: Is therapeutic touch backed by scientific evidence?

    • A: While some studies have suggested potential benefits of therapeutic touch, such as reduced pain and anxiety, the scientific evidence supporting its efficacy is limited and mixed. More rigorous research is needed to establish the effectiveness of therapeutic touch for various health conditions.
  • Q: What conditions can therapeutic touch help with?

    • A: Therapeutic touch is often used to alleviate pain, reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve overall well-being. It may be helpful for people experiencing chronic pain, headaches, insomnia, depression, and other stress-related conditions. However, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment.
  • Q: Is therapeutic touch safe?

    • A: Therapeutic touch is generally considered safe when performed by a trained practitioner. It is non-invasive and does not involve physical manipulation or the use of any substances. However, it is important to inform your healthcare provider if you are considering therapeutic touch, especially if you have a serious medical condition.
  • Q: What can I expect during a therapeutic touch session?

    • A: During a therapeutic touch session, you will typically lie fully clothed on a massage table or sit in a chair. The practitioner will move their hands slightly above your body, assessing and balancing your energy field. You may experience sensations of warmth, tingling, or deep relaxation. Sessions usually last 20-60 minutes.


Therapeutic touch is a complementary healing practice that aims to restore balance and promote well-being by working with the body's energy field. While its efficacy is still debated, many people find therapeutic touch to be a relaxing and beneficial experience. As with any complementary therapy, it is important to consult with a qualified practitioner and inform your healthcare provider to ensure it is appropriate and safe for your individual needs. By integrating therapeutic touch with other holistic practices and conventional medical care when necessary, individuals may experience a more comprehensive and personalized approach to health and healing.