The addition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to healthcare requires an evaluation of the standards of care and scope of practice of the various CAM practitioners. Therapeutic Touch (TT), is a holistic, evidence-based therapy that incorporates the intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and well-being. The intervention is administered with the intent of enabling people to repattern their energy in the direction of health. Anyone with the desire to help another can learn the process. There are minimal standards of education and practice expected of the individual who practices in a medical or health care facility, or in a private or independent setting for monetary gain.
The Therapeutic Touch International Association, (TTIA) the official organization of Therapeutic Touch, has published the following guidelines for TT practitioners and teachers to assist the health care administrator in the process of introducing this modality into a hospital or health care facility.
TTIA Criteria for Therapeutic Touch Practitioners (QTTP)
Therapeutic Touch Practitioners who utilize TT in a healthcare setting or a private practice should meet the following minimal criteria:
- Completion of a minimum of a 12 contact hour Basic Level workshop taught by a TT Practitioner who meets the criteria of a Qualified Teacher (QTTT)
- Commitment to a minimum of a one year mentoring opportunity under the support of a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Teacher (QTTT). Once the Therapeutic Touch mentoree/practitioner has committed to any of the mentoring opportunities of their choice there is:
- regular contact.
- consistent practice of TT (at least twice/week) with journaling
- biannual knowledge and skills update with a Qualified Teacher
During the mentorship year, the mentoree/new practitioner is responsible for seeking out mentoring opportunities which include, but are not limited to, formal support/practice groups, or formalized local mentorship programs, or formalized long-distance mentorship programs. Therapeutic Touch Practitioners can begin utilizing TT in a hospital, health care or other practice settings with support and guidance from any of the above mentoring formats in accordance with the agency’s policies. Those who are not licensed health care professionals must investigate state licensing laws and regulations prior to accepting fees for practicing TT to ensure lawful practices. Those who are licensed to perform specific or general health related services need to clarify roles and scope of practice parameters with their respective state regulatory entity, board, or an attorney.
- Once the Basic level Therapeutic Touch is achieved, the Therapeutic Touch practitioner may pursue the Intermediate level of practice. This progression requires the completion of 14 contact hours for the Intermediate Level of Therapeutic Touch practice, taught by a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Teacher. The Intermediate class can be taken approximately 6 months after the Basic class, and the Mentorship can begin at any time after the completion of Basic. The Mentorship doesn’t need to be finished prior to taking Intermediate.
- At the successful completion of this process, the Therapeutic Touch practitioner may practice independently (i.e.: without a mentor). The practitioner/mentoree could/OR would be eligible to complete the application to become recognized as a Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner (QTTP). It is expected that TT Practitioners:
- adhere to the TTIA Code of Ethics
- demonstrate a commitment to self-awareness and healingparticipate in holistic self-care activities (body-mind-spirit)
- demonstrate compassion or the desire to help another person
- regularly participate in meditation, mindfulness, or centering practices
TTIA Criteria for Mentors
- May be a member of the TT Teachers Cooperative or a Qualified TT Practitioner who meets the above criteria, including study with Qualified Teacher and mentorship requirements.
- Must have a minimum of 5 years of consistent (at least two times weekly) Therapeutic Touch practice
- Must participate in TT continuing education activities.
TTIA Criteria for Therapeutic Touch Teachers / TTIA Qualified Therapeutic Touch Teachers (QTTT):
- Follow current TTI Teaching Curriculum.
- Have participated in at least 4 TT workshops by 3 different recognized teachers.
- Have completed 2 Advanced Level workshops by a Qualified QTTT or 2 Advanced Invitationals at Pumpkin Hollow Farm or Camp Indralaya.
- Have participated in a teaching mentorship for a minimum of one year with a Qualified QTTT, including consultation and guidance of teaching.
- Maintain a consistent practice of TT over a 5 year period, giving at least biweekly treatments.
- Receive Therapeutic Touch treatments to expand awareness.
- Participate in annual updating through conferences, retreats, classes etc.
- Practice daily meditation or equivalent of mindfulness/centering exercises.
©NH-PAI 1991. Revised 11/98, 7/01, 10/0, TTIA 11/10. 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.