Therapeutic Touch
 
More about Therapeutic Touch
Background and Underlyling Principles of Therapeutic Touch
  Therapeutic Touch is modern interpretation of several ancient healing practices. TT was developed in 1972 by Professor Emeritus of Nursing Dolores Krieger PhD, and natural healer, Dora Kunz, as an extension of professional skills for health care practitioners. Initially Professor Krieger taught Therapeutic Touch to nurses completing their masters and doctoral studies at New York University.

  From there TT expanded to a variety of health professionals including doctors, psychologists, counselors, occupational therapists ambulance personnel, carers, massage therapists and now is taught in the community for use with family and animal care. TT has since extended world wide and is practiced in over 80 countries including Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia in mainstream and complementary health care, as well as in the home and workplace.

  Therapeutic Touch has been practiced and taught in Australia since the early 1980's in settings including universities, hospitals, aged care, palliative care and veterinary care.

Underlying Principles of Therapeutic Touch
  Therapeutic Touch, as with many other energy based modalities such as Chinese medicine acupuncture, reiki, kinesiology, and homeopathy, is based on the fundamental assumption that there is a universal life energy that sustains all living organisms. Interuptions to the flow and balance of this energy result in impaired well being and eventually illness. Therapeutic Touch seeks to restore and rebalance the rhythmical patterns and transfer of energy to the individual, creating an environment where the body's healing process is naturally accelerated (Krieger, 1993).

  Therapeutic Touch as with other related forms of energy based healing, is a branch of what Dr Larry Dossey calls Era III medicine. Era III medicine incorporates therapies which work with the deep or quantum level of the person - through interface with the energy system of the body. Modern science and ancient understandingd are beginning to come together to both explain and expand knowledge in this area. For instance, recent research has demonstrated that pulses of electro-magnetic energy are emitted from the hands of the TT practcitioner at a frequency which has been demonstrated to stimulate bone and tissue healing. These findings support TT research which has shown that healing of fractures (call us for information) can be accelerated. (Dossey, 1993; Hall, 1998; Krieger, 1993; Oschman, 2000, 2003).

  The practice of Therapeutic Touch is distinctive in the emphasis upon the conscious use of compassionate intent combined with the ability to enter a profound centered or meditative state. It is from this state of inherent balance and focused healing intent that the practitioner is able to locate imbalances in the field, facilitate a symmetrical and rhythmical flow of energy through the field and evaluate the recipient's energy field to ascertain the level of balance achieved (Krieger, 1993).

More about a Therapeutic Touch treatment
  Therapeutic Touch is a gentle and non invasive process which may take as little as 10 and as long as 30 minutes (including the rest period). During a treatment, you will remain fully clothed and be either seated or lying down.
The key elements of the Therapeutic Touch process are:-

Centering

Assessment

Re-balancing (including clearing, modulating and transfering energy)

Evaluation

Rest

  The practitioner centers by entering a quiet focused state and sets their intent to promote healing.

Your health and wellbeing status will be assessed. Part of this assessment process involves the use of the hands to ascertain the state of the energy field that usually extends 5-10cm around the body. Differences in sensory cues such as areas of heat or cold felt in the energy field plus intuitive cues are used to identify how your energy field can be rebalanced.

The Practitioner hands, combined with their focused and compassionate intent are then used to balance your energy field by clearing, transfering or modulating the energy. The Practioner hands may be placed lightly on or just above your body.

Evaluation determines when the session is completed and is best followed by a rest period of 10 to 20 minutes, Treatment times are much less with the small, frail, sick, elderly, and with pregnant women.

People often report a sense of deep relaxation, peace and calm during and following a session. Therapeutic Touch is a transpersonal process and can help to tap into a person's deeper needs, understandings and ability to achieve harmony and balance in life.

The number of treatments required is variable. Therapeutic Touch can be used very effectively in a first aid or emergency situation while chronic or long term conditions may require regular sessions of TT over an extended period of time.

TT is not a cure all, rather an approach that facilitates the body's natural healing processess, TT has been found to benefit animals with some Australian Practitioners specialising in this field.

Therapeutic Touch, Health and Wellbeing
  Therapeutic Touch has a wide variety of applications. TT can be used to enhance wellbeing in everyday life, to promote healing and enhance the ability to deal with times of illness and stress.

  Therapeutic Touch can be incorporated into mainstream health care practice in hospitals - sometimes requiring only a short time to achieve a profound effect. TT also combines well with other modalities including acupuncture, in general medical practice and psychotherpy.

The effects of Therapeutic Touch are not dependent on the recipient's belief or knowledge of the practcice. TT has been used to calm crying babies and has been effective in special care nurseries and paediatrics in promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.

Therapeutic Touch is a valuable aid to labouring women. Couples taught to use TT on each other have demonstrated enhanced relationships. One Mother-to-be stated that she felt "safe, comforted and relaxed" as long as TT was being used - (Dawson & Hall, 1998).

Therapeutic Touch certainly combines very well with modern health care. TT has been shown to reduce anxiety in cardiovascular patients, to reduce tension headache and enhance the immune response. TT provides benefits in terms of balancing the effects of drugs or surgery for example, reducing nausea associated with chemotherapy and facilitating the healing process. With early discharge, TT can assist the transition for the client and can be taught to family care-givers.

Therapeutic Touch is being used in aged care facilities for dementia care and has been found to reduce vocalisation and wandering behaviour, as well as reduce pain and improve wellbeing (Gregory & Verdouw, 2005).

Therapeutic touch enhances and expands therapeutic practice of many kinds. Health care practitioners report that TT brings increased sensitivity and ability to work with energy flow and combines well with a variety of therapies from massage and accupuncture to psychotherapy and modern medicine.

Understanding energy dynamics within and between people can also benefit teachers, relationship counselors, and life, leadership and business coaches.

As an added bonus, clients and their families can be taught how to use Therapeutic Touch to promote wellbeing, for first aid and as part of health care.

Therapeutic Touch can also be used for self care and personal development as a meditative and healing process.

Therapeutic Touch is often descibed as a healing meditation. Not surprisingly regular practitioners of TT report substantial benefits in their own lives, including enhanced wellbeing and accelerated personal development.

Therapeutic Touch: Professional Aspects
Literature
  There is an extensive body of literature on Therapeutic Touch ranging from books by the co-developers Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz and other practitioners, to several hundred articles, doctoral dissertation, conference papers, videos, CD's, web-sites and books, plus chapters and sections in literature on complementary therapies.

With regard to Australia, Therapeutic Touch has been the subject of a number of articles, confernce papers and presentations. In addition there are a number of research articles in refereed journals.

Therapeutic Touch, TTAA teachers have been very active in this process.

A Comprehensive overview of TT is presented in a chapter by Jane Hall in 'Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery' (2001), Ausmed publications. TT is discussed extensively in a recent published chapter on energy therapies by Geraldine Milton in 'Complementary Therapies and the Management of Diabetes and Vascular Disease. A Matter of Balance' (2006), John Wiley and Sons.
Sue Gregory has published with a special focus on using TT in aged care. Sue has just published "Silver energy: Healing for elders' (2008) with Chery Ann Hoffmeyer on the use of TT and other complementary therapies for aged care and dementia care. Therapeutic Touch has been presented on national television, the most recent being ABC TV on Second Opinion, 5th July and 6th Sept 2005 with a story by Sue Gregory.

Research and Evidence Based Practice
  Therapeutic Touch has been extensively researched over the last 30 years and is one of the top 6 complementary therapies used in hospitals and other health care agencies in the USA (2010 report). It is also widely practiced in Europe and Canada with an increasing number of practitioners in many other countries around the world including Africa. TT has been taught and practiced in Australia in hospitals, health care agencies and the community in all states over the last 20 years, even before Professor Dolores Krieger visited Australia to offer Therapeutic Touch courses at Flinders University in S.A. in 1983.

Since its development as a nursing tool by Krieger and Kunz over 25 years ago (Krieger 1993, 1997), Therapeutic Touch has gained wide acceptance in the nursing, medical and general population arenas. In part, its popularity and efficacy is acknowledged through such venues as its use within the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre, a leading cardiac surgery facility in the United States (Oz, 1999). A simple search of the academic databases provides a wealth of well-documented research into the use and efficacy of TT as a holistic, complementary therapy (see reference for examples).

These findings reflect that fact that Therapeutic Touch grew out of a research program and has continued the rigour of such an approach from its inception. There are now over 40 doctoral and masters theses, 60 research projects and thousands of case studies which demonstrate the value of TT.

Overall research studies have shown Therapeutic Touch to: reduce anxiety, stress and pain; induce deep relaxation; accelerate healing; and promote profound personal growth.

Many studies, projects and case reviews have explored the use of Therapeutic Touch. For a fully referenced listing, of the existing studies and research material on Therapeutic Touch, please contact Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia on info@therapeutictouch.org.au

Therapeutic Touch in Australia
  By Geraldine Milton Seaford, Melbourne. Victoria. geraldinmilton@optusnet.com.au

In Australia we have had National TT competencies for over 10 years originally developed by Tasmanian TT teacher Sue Gregory, and written after extensive consultation with members of NA-PAI, to align to international TT standards set by NH-PAI /TTIA. They were very generously donated by Sue to the Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia as part of setting up of a national body to house them, as prior to that, we had individual associations. At the same time, we changed to a new Registered Training Organization (RTO) - all courses for health professionals in Australia must be offered by RTOs, and ours is now the Australian College of Vibrational Healing. TTAA then collaboratively developed comprehensive, competency-based teaching manuals and processes for our Basic TT, Intermediate, TT Mentorship, Advanced TT and Teachers.

We were fortunate to have Dee come twice to South Australia in 1993 teaching TT Basic and TT Teacher workshops, and again in 1998 with other teachers from NA-PAI, to offer an Advanced TT course and TT conference workshops. It was after an Advanced Therapeutic Touch Conference presented by Crystal Hawke in 2004, also organized by the Krieger Kunz TT Association in South Australia, that delegates gathered and discussed the setting up of a National TT Association in Australia. On behalf of TTAA, I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of TT teacher Amy Bartjes and the Krieger Kunz TT Association in South Australia, for their efforts in promoting and developing TT in Australia, including offering these 3 'ground breaking' workshops/conferences.
  The Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia finally came into being in 2006

In 2007, and 2010 Diane May and Professor Cherryanne Hoffmeyer offered Intermediate, Advanced and TT Teacher courses in Melbourne, Victoria, and presented at one of our conferences. They have been extremely supportive of TTAA, and in 2010 incorporated our National TT competencies into their teaching plan to allow participants recognition within the Australian educational system. We followed up the students enrolled in the Intermediate course to help them complete assessments of the competencies, including marking their case studies.

TTAA members can go on our accredited TT practitioner listing on the website after successfully completing the required competencies for Basic TT, Intermediate TT and be enrolled in what is usually a one year TT Mentorship course. Mentorship may be individual or group, and we tend to use teleconferencing or Skype link up to access students throughout Australia and (we had one recently mentored from) New Zealand.

For more than 10 years now Complementary Therapists (CT) have been responding to the requirements that have arisen from new Government regulations to 'protect the public' from what some call 'charlatans'. They are people who claim a wide variety of healing outcomes for interventions that are not evidenced based.

Regulation of the practices that may have higher risk like Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Shiatsu therapies were addressed first. Those with less risk have been more recently addressed. I am very pleased to be able to say that for the first time, bioenergetic therapies like TT and also Reiki have been accredited in Australia at a Cert 1V and Diploma level, offering a career pathway for those who are not health professionals to become one in that specialty area. In our TT Diploma units, we have integrated both TT Advanced and a new and exciting unit which addresses Advanced Mentorship. We have not included TT Teachers as we want them to be only approved and accredited by TTAA. We were very mindful of the framework and standards set by TTIA so that credit can be given for TT practitioners taught by other TT teachers in Australia and overseas.

What may be useful for you and the TT community to know us that TTAA, not the RTO, own the TT units as a specialty cluster. The RTO will offer or give RPLs (recognition of prior learning) for the supporting subjects like communication skills, occupational health and safety, basic anatomy, first aid, etc. There are numerous competency based units that have been developed in the 'Health Training Package' that student have or can do that support Cert 1V and Diploma qualifications.

Our TT cluster units we can offer to Health professionals who do not need a Cert 1V or Diploma to work in the health industry, as they are already qualified.



Therapeutic Touch - seated
Therapeutic Touch - seated







Therapeutic Touch - lying
Therapeutic Touch - lying







Therapeutic Touch practice group
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