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What is Therapeutic Touch Therapy?

Aromatherapy may be used alongside therapeutic touch therapy to help relax patients.
Acupressure is one type of therapeutic touch therapy.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2014
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Therapeutic touch is an alternative healing technique that combines elements like massage with energy work to alleviate pain and other ailments that afflict the body and mind. Unlike some methods, therapeutic touch therapy may include actually touching the patient, or by using the hands to tap into the person’s energy field in order to facilitate the healing process. While not recognized by traditional medicine, many people report benefits from undergoing some type of therapeutic touch healing session.

The modern school of therapeutic touch therapy draws on a number of alternative healing approaches and combines them into a collection of methods that do not require the addition of any type of medication or herbs. Instead, the techniques rely on connecting with the energy field of the patient and identifying what psychological or physical factor is causing the discomfort. Once the origin of the pain is pinpointed, the therapeutic touch practitioner can initiate one of several treatments that help to correct the situation and restore emotional, spiritual, and physical balance to the patient.

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The most basic form of therapeutic touch therapy begins by using the hands to gently glide close over the body without actually touching. In theory, this allows the energy field of the practitioner to connect with the energy field of the patient. Once the connection is established, the practitioner can follow the flow of energy to the major medians or chakras in the body and determine where the flow is inhibited or blocked. Since each median or chakra is related to some aspect of physical, mental, or spiritual vitality, a blockage will produce a negative impact on some aspect of the patient’s well-being.

Once the blockage is located, the second stage of therapeutic touch therapy can begin. This may involve employing therapeutic touch massage techniques to relax the individual and stimulate a proper flow of energy once more. As part of the massage, using a variant of acupressure to clear blockages may be incorporated. During the massage, the surroundings may be perfectly quiet. However, it is not unusual for therapeutic touch practitioners to augment the massage with the use of aromatherapy as well as some type of soothing music to relax the patient.

Another method, commonly known as tapping, may be employed during the therapeutic touch therapy session. Tapping essentially calls for using the forefinger and index finger to lightly tap on specific points on the face, upper chest, and hand in order to facilitate release from negative emotional or physical factors that are causing difficulty for the patient. As the tapping takes place, the patient either audibly or silently repeats a mantra that focuses on the negative symptom. The tapping sequence can be repeated several times if necessary.

As with all forms of alternative healing involving energy work, therapeutic touch therapy has its supporters and detractors. Proponents of the therapy often point to the fact that traditional medical care was unable to provide relief, but therapeutic touch did release them from their pain. Detractors point to the lack of research and controlled experiments that affirm the value of the technique. They also note that relying on the therapy can cause people with life threatening illnesses to delay seeking traditional treatment, which in turn minimizes the potential for making a complete recovery.

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