Guidelines and Standards for the Practice of Therapeutic Touch
Therapeutic Touch International Association &
Nurse Healers-Professional Associates International, Inc.
PO Box 130 Delmar, NY 12054
518-325-1185 Fax: 509-693-3537 www.therapeutictouch.org
Policy & Procedure for the Practice of Therapeutic Touch
This policy and procedure provides guidance for the practice of Therapeutic Touch® (TT).
Definition: Therapeutic Touch® is a holistic, evidence-based practice that incorporates the intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and wellbeing.
Therapeutic Touch (TT) is offered with the intent of assisting people to repattern their energy in the direction of health. Research has shown that TT is beneficial in promoting relaxation, rest, comfort, and sense of wellbeing; facilitating the body’s natural restorative processes; and relieving symptoms such as pain and anxiety.
Therapeutic Touch may be offered to any individual, across the lifespan, who the Therapeutic Touch practitioner determines may benefit. Therapeutic Touch is an autonomous healing practice that may be performed within professional guidelines and may be used alone or with other healing practices.
- Initially, Therapeutic Touch may be practiced by a practitioner who has successfully completed a Foundations of Therapeutic Touch (Basic) Workshop, a minimum of twelve (12) hours, given by a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Teacher. The Foundations Workshop addresses the cognitive, experiential, and reflective aspects of Therapeutic Touch. Regular practice and reflection are keystones to acquiring knowledge, wisdom, and confidence in Therapeutic Touch. Continued practice of Therapeutic Touch evolves through ongoing education, mentored practice and credentialing as a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner through Therapeutic Touch International Association.
- People who demonstrate basic practice competencies following completion of the Foundations of Therapeutic Touch Workshop and under the supervision of a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner or Teacher, may use TT in any health care setting in accordance with agency or organizational policies, e.g., documentation processes, credentialing, resources, feedback tools/instruments for quality improvement, etc.
- People who practice TT must investigate state and provincial licensing laws and regulations prior to accepting fees for practicing TT. Those who are licensed to perform specific or general health related services need to clarify roles and standards of practice with their respective states or provinces.
- Please see the TTIA website (www.therapeutictouch.org) for the latest guidelines for Mentoring and for becoming a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner and/or a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Teacher.
Therapeutic Touch is a gentle and supportive approach to caring that is non-invasive and individualized to meet the needs of the Healing partner (Hp). During the TT process, the TT practitioner purposefully experiences shifts in consciousness or awareness that guide and inform the actions of the practitioner (Krieger, 2012). Therapeutic Touch uses focused intention, compassion, and universal energy to assist the Hp to restore balance throughout the body. Generally, a TT session includes an active phase that does not usually exceed 20 minutes followed by a resting phase. The Hp’s experience is evaluated and documented. In general, vulnerable populations including neonates, children, pregnant women, people with psychiatric disorders, the elderly and/or those who are debilitated may be more sensitive to the TT process.
Therapeutic Touch Process
|Phases of TT||Elements/Actions of TT||Rationale|
|A CALL OF COMPASSION for a Healing Partner (Hp), a person in need engages the TT practitioner to begin the Therapeutic Touch process.||TT practitioner identifies the need to help another, and prepares self to enter into a healing relationship with another person.TT practitioner grounds and centers self with intention to help another person.TT practitioner introduces self and explains the TT process, obtaining assent/ consent whenever possible from the Hp||TT is a purposefully directed process, intended for the Hp’s greatest good.The TT practitioner focuses the self with the intention to help the other person.Grounding is a process of facilitating one’s connection with the environmentTT can be explained as a relaxation intervention that may relieve pain, decrease anxiety, and/or promote a sense of wellbeing.|
|THE APPROACH indicates the physical, psychodynamic, and subtle energy interactions that occur as the TT practitioner draws near the Hp. This is referred to as the Psychodynamic Corridor (Krieger 2012).||The TT practitioner centers by bringing one’s body, mind, and emotions to a quiet, focused state of consciousness.The TT practitioner makes a conscious intention to therapeutically assist individual.||Sustained centering is the essential aspect of TT.Maintaining the centered state prevents the use of personal energy and emotional attachment to the outcome.Sustained centering promotes compassionate non-attachment to the outcome.TT practitioner intends to provide the best treatment possible in the moment.|
|THE OUTREACH follows as the TT practitioner’s hands reach toward the Hp’s personal fields and the hand chakras (and collateral chakras) are activated as she/he seeks cues to the subtle energy imbalances of the Hp.||Hands and hand chakras serve to focus attention.TT practitioner uses all senses to observe, receive, perceive, and interpret information about Hp’s physical, emotional, mental, and energetic patterns and characteristics.||Hands are often positioned at a comfortable distance from the Hp’s body, approximately 2-6 inches, and are moved gently from above the head toward the feet.|
|THE SEARCH integrates with the Outreach and focuses on how the TT practitioner picks up information and cues, through the TT practitioner’s hand chakras, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, etc. It is from this information that the TT practitioner develops his/her plan for healing.||TT practitioner appraises the quality and nature of the Hp’s energy field.The TT practitioner becomes aware of changes or differences s/he experiences through sensory cues in palmar surfaces of her/his hands as well as other intuitive and sensory cues in the Hp’s energy field||Baseline assessment of the energy field is necessary in order to intervene effectively during the TT process.|
|THE REBALANCING phase. In this phase the TT practitioner helps the Hp regain a balanced state of health as reflected in the Human Energy Field||RebalancingThe unfolding of the TT plan includes a dynamic and fluid process to mobilize the human energy field toward balance, this includes purposeful physical actions and mental intentions:• Clearing/Releasing superficial excess energy• Smoothing – quiet, rhythmic movement• Directing/Sending – instill, release, facilitate flow of energy• Modulating – mental focus on promoting balance, harmony, integration of energy – imagery• Containing – creating safe, supportive healing environment (Hanley, 2008)|
Reassessment The TT practitioner compares the initial appraisal of the Hp’s energy field with ongoing appraisals of the energy field, comparing changes in sensory and intuitive cues.·Assess the person’s energy field as a whole at intervals to perceive any changes in energy flow, pattern, and coherence.
|The hands are used as a focal point for modulating energy as determined by the assessment.The actions of the TT help to repattern and mobilize the energy field to facilitate symmetrical and rhythmical energy flow.Intentional actions of TT practitioner are dynamic and integrated, repeated based on continuing assessment. Reassessment of the energy field provides a knowledge base for intervention and repatterning.Helps determine when session is doneCreates a point of reference for future actions and decisions.|
|A final phase, simply called DONE, covers how the TT practitioner knows that s/he has done as much as s/he can for the Hp during that healing session, and s/he concludes the session.||The process ends when the TT practitioner:“Picks up specific cues from the [Hp] energetically that the treatment is complete.” (Coppa, 2015)·Gives the Hp an opportunity to rest, which is useful for integrating the TT process.Evaluates the experience, and considers changes in Hp’s field as a foundation for future sessions.Finishing is a ritual of closure; the end of a specific episode of the therapeutic relationship with the Hp. Verbally and mentally communicate the end of the session to the Hp (Hanley 2008)||The closing process provides the foundation for future sessions.Acknowledges the Hp’s wholeness, and expresses the TT practitioner’s appreciation for the healing relationship.Having provided the best treatment possible in the moment, the TT practitioner lets go of the outcome.|
|THE RECALL, notes ways the TT practitioner/ may remember the Hp and the TT session in dream, reverie or other subtle aspects of memory.|
After validating this information as well as she/he can, and if it is in the Hp’s best interest, she/he might add this information to the data concerning their TT session.
After TT session, TT practitioner/ purposely takes time to:·Document TT Session·Reflect on each experience and describe it in a narrativeStep back to consider the meaning of the experience·Ask & Answer: ‘How will I apply this new knowledge or experience in the future?’
|TT is a healing practice that can foster a change in the Hp’s well-being.Reflective Practice helps the TT practitioner explore the meaning of the experience for Hp and self.Each reflection builds on prior reflections and is the basis for future experiences.|
©NH-PAI 1991. Revised 11/98, 7/01, 10/07. TTIA 11/10, 4/18
This material may not be reproduced without written permission from TTIA. When this document is used as a resource, please acknowledge TTIA as the source.