How did TherapeuticTouch® begin?
Therapeutic Touch is a holistic, evidence-based practice that incorporates the intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and well-being. 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.
Kunz had a lifelong interest in healing and had collaborated with physicians using her special perceptive abilities. She also participated in medical conferences studying famous healers. From her insights into the healing process, she thought that the ability to heal could be developed and taught to anyone who has compassion and a desire to help. Dolores Krieger, a professor of Nursing at NYU had been mentored by Kunz and had coordinated healing workshops facilitated by Kunz.
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-on of hands” healings while the control group did not. Dr. Krieger measured hemoglobin levels in both groups both before and after a series of healing treatments. There was a significant increase in hemoglobin levels in the healer treated people. From these early experiments, Therapeutic Touch was born. Dee and Dora learned early in their experiments that you did not need to touch the person to have an effect. Many studies have been performed since then, all confirming the effects. Even cancer patients have been shown to have increased hemoglobin levels after TT sessions, in spite of treatment with agents that would predictably do the opposite. In our bibliography, you will find notations of several of the doctoral dissertations completed since 1972, which show many other effects of Therapeutic Touch.
Together, Dee 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.