Healing Touch in a Hospital Setting
Presented at the AORN of Twin Cities Fall Workshop, November 4th, 2017
By Greg Falvey, RN, BSN, BC HTP-A
Article written by Stacy Johnson
The objectives of the presentation were to describe Healing Touch (HT), incorporate evidence based practice, describe the relevance to nursing and include personal stories. HT is an energy therapy. Healing touch practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered and intentional way to enhance, support and facilitate physical, emotional, and spiritual health and self healing.
Healing Touch utilizes light or near-body touch to clear, balance and energize the human energy system in an effort to promote healing for the whole person, mind, body and spirit. The goal of HT is to accelerate the patient’s own healing processes by restoring balance in the energy system of the patient and of the environment. HT can be incorporated in Holistic nursing practice. Using their hands in an intentional way, an HT practitioner can affect a patient’s energy field to promote self-healing and well-being.
Nursing literature describes many benefits of HT to patients. HT may provide the nurse with another resource that can be used in conjunction with pharmacologic therapy to decrease pain and anxiety for postoperative Total Knee patients. In this study, HT was used to promote relaxation, accelerate wound healing, diminish depression, and increase a patient’s sense of well-being. Clients reported a statistically significant reduction of stress after HT, and one month after surgery, 95% of the HT group felt their pain was adequately controlled, compared with 87% of the group that received standard therapy during their hospital stay.
Another study aimed at improving physical and psychological symptoms caused or arising from energy imbalances in the body. Reported benefits of HT include: reducing anxiety, increasing relaxation, decreasing pain, diminishing depression, and increasing a sense of well-being. While no significant decrease in the use of pain or anti-emetic medication was observed (many of which were scheduled), significant differences were noted in anxiety scores and length of hospital stay compared to the control group.
Our presenter works as the night shift RN in a metro hospital PACU. When there are no patients in the PACU, he assists in other units in the hospital. He has been trained as an HT practitioner, and his manager approves his use of HT as an integrative therapy. He presented personal stories where he has been able to improve care to patients using HT. Examples included reducing patient’s fear and anxiety related to surgery and more effective pain control.
Following the presentation, several HT practitioners and HT students were present to provide HT to the workshop attendees. All volunteers were able to experience a healing touch session.
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