Permission to Touch?

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    This article discusses my personal experience after attending my first Healing Touch Level I Class. I was very moved to share my story and how we, as nurses, can use healing touch in our day to day lives with our patients.

    Permission to Touch?

    I recently took my very first Healing Touch - HT - Level I Course at St. Joe's Hospital in Tampa, FL. You are probably wondering, Healing Touch? What exactly does that encompass? Several of you reading my article may even be skeptical when you hear this term. Healing Touch is an energy healing therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered way to enhance, support and facilitate physical, emotional, and spiritual health and self-healing Bullock & Mentgen, 2017.

    During this 2-day class, I had such a wonderful experience learning about techniques used in clearing our energy fields that I wanted to share my personal experience with other nurses. Specifically, those of you who may not be familiar with this area of Integrative Medicine.

    Here are a few of the major principles I took away from the class:

    1. Follow the Energy

    Energy is all around us and WITHIN us! This is a well-known tenant in healing touch. As I become more comfortable and confident in my HT principles and practices, I'm able to follow intuitive and energetic guidance on how to use my hands, heart, and mind to benefit my clients. As a new student, or practitioner, I gained valuable insight regarding how I experienced different messages. For example, while some in my class saw colors or images, others may have felt sensations, vibrations, or warmth. I personally heard symbolic messages and inner voices during my HT training session and felt warmth as I practiced clearing the field on a fellow nurse. It was quite moving, for sure and I my hope is that with time and practice, I will learn how to follow the energy more intuitively.

    2. What is an Energy Field and how do I clear it?

    Clearing the energy field is accomplished by using the palmar surface of the hands in a sweeping motion. This motion must be away from the mid-line of the body, and more laterally toward the feet. There is also a technique called Magnetic Passes, which is a set of 2 different techniques. The first is referred to as Hands in Motion, and can be used for Mind, Body, as well as Spirit conditions. The second is called Hands Still, and is accomplished when the practitioner rests the hand on or off the body in the area of concern.

    3. Meditation is good for you, set your intention early in the day.

    I have always been a huge proponent of doing yoga, not only because it aids in my flexibility, but it also motivates me to slow down, breathe, and set my intention. Remember, conscious breathing is a way for us to release that which does not serve - exhalation -, and a way of taking in nourishment/light/healing -inhalation or inspiration - Bullock & Mentgen, 2017.

    The HT class also stressed the importance of setting an intention prior to performing healing touch on each other. Setting an intention can be as simple as stating to oneself, I have a dedicated heart, a set of hands, and today I will do what is best for my patient. As nurses, we are so inundated with our daily tasks, that taking even two minutes to set our intention for the day not only helps ground us, but it also helps us to focus better. Becoming centered, grounded, and attuned are the first steps in facilitating healing and it sets the foundation for healing touch therapy Bullock & Mentgen, 2017.

    4. Who can benefit?

    Healing Touch can benefit people with a multitude of illnesses, as well as take place in different settings. Primarily, with practice and training, one can learn to store the subtle energy flow through the body to help heal oneself and others. It doesn't just aid the healing process, but it can help guide, protect, and increase the perception abilities of all nurses! Once you learn the basic principles of HT, you can set up sessions for other nurses on your unit to help with mind clearing - for those of us with a lot of mental chatter. I learned that mental clearing can do wonders for me!

    5. Fuel your body with foods that are natural... and from the earth.

    I'm sure many have heard the saying You are what you eat. In essence, there is a lot of truth to this statement. As nurses, especially those who work in the ED, we often find ourselves scarfing down whatever snack we can in between patients. Keep in mind, that natural foods such as fruits and vegetables that come from the earth are so much more nutritionally dense than processed foods - like snacks found in vending machines. As a nurse, keep in mind snacks high in protein help you feel full, which can reduce the urge to snack on unhealthy foods.

    After attending this class on healing touch, I have an entirely new perspective on how touch can be used as a modality for healing, not only for our clients, but in self-care of the healthcare worker. The light in me honors the light in you. I urge you to find that special spiritual connection, recognize of the divinity within YOURSELF, and extend a warm welcome through your touch.

    If you are interested in learning more about HT, you can visit this website for more information: Home - Healing Touch Program™ | Worldwide Leaders in Energy Medicine


    Bullbrook, M.J. & Mentgen, J. 2017. Healing Touch Program Level I Notebook. San Antonio, TX, Healing Touch Program.
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    About Pearll1203, BSN

    I have been a nurse for 13 years, currently working as an out-patient nurse in a hospital setting for 4 years. Previously, I was a nurse in the U.S. Air Force, where I worked a variety of nursing specialties. I hope to continue learning about healing touch, and progress to my Healing Touch Level 5.

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 4; Likes: 5
    from FL , US
    13 year(s) of experience

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  3. by   not.done.yet
    One of the things that I love most about nursing, and one of the things that led me to choose it over other patient care roles, is the openness we can have to holistic solutions to our science-driven culture. While I greet this sort of intervention with healthy skepticism, I cannot deny that, having recently been exposed to medication and performing rudimentary practice myself, there are benefits that defy explanation by a scientific world but are without a doubt present.

    Thank you for sharing this experience with us.
  4. by   Kitiger
    Some of what you say makes sense to me; e.g. centering myself, and "therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered way to enhance, support and facilitate physical, emotional, and spiritual health and self-healing." I use my hands to touch or hold someone's hand with my attention focused on the client. That focused attention is, in itself, a healing therapy.

    Most of the rest of your paper goes right over my head. Energy fields, magnetic passes, and "breathing in light" all sound like mumbo jumbo to me.

    If you feel this therapy helps, more power to you.
  5. by   elkpark
    Didn't all of this get debunked years ago?

    Healing touch (HT) is therapeutic touch (TT) with touching. Despite the name, TT practitioners wave their hands above and around the patient's body, but do not actually make contact. HT involves actually touching the patient in various places. Both are forms of energy healing, which in turn is a form of placebo treatment ...

    healing touch - The Skeptic's Dictionary -
    Last edit by elkpark on Mar 7
  6. by   Pearll1203
    Kitiger, RN - Thank you for commenting! It's a simple thing, holding someone's hand, and focusing our energy on our patients. I'm hoping to eventually use my Healing Touch on other nurses as well - we could all benefit from slowing down and clearing our mental chatter. I encourage you to check out the website on Healing Touch at the end of my article...maybe subscribe to the Energy Magazine and learn more about the Healing Touch community
  7. by   spunkygirl1962
    Great read!!!!
  8. by   Here.I.Stand
    I urge you to find that special spiritual connection, recognize of the divinity within YOURSELF, and extend a warm welcome through your touch.
    There is no divinity within MYSELF or in any human (with the exception -- as my faith teaches -- of Jesus). It's this spiritual bent that would make me EXTREMELY uncomfortable as a pt, if a nurse were to pull this with me.

    Would anyone agree that it's appropriate to lay hands on a pt and pray a Christian prayer, without the pt asking for it...much less the nurse initiating it?? No? Well by that same token, it's not appropriate to infuse new age spirituality into nursing practice -- especially when the pt hasn't requested it.
  9. by   Jesuah
    The concept may be good in theory but there are people who prefer not to be touched. The other comment I have is in regards to the nutrition part....while addressing the fact that it is easier to grab a snack when busy, it would be nice if it weren't listed as ER nurses. It may be what your experience is or was but I have to admit that it puts my back up because it sounds like that's the only place that nurses don't have time to eat healthy. Many nurses that I know don't have the time to eat, healthy or unhealthy and they work OB, med/surg, OR....let's stick together as a profession instead of dividing us....the current staffing culture is to increase workload while decreasing ALL areas.
  10. by   KaristaR
    Thank you so much for sharing! I have been a nurse for 11 years and am actively working on my BSN (finally!). I have had an interest...maybe a draw towards natural healing energies. I look forward to completing my BSN so I can attend a HT class, with the idea of advancing to be a HTP. LOVE THIS POST!
  11. by   wondern
    It reminds me of the power of love and focusing. I believe in miracles so why not this too? Just a little love can do so much healing.
  12. by   wondern
    It reminds me of one of my favorite songs by one of my very most favorite artists, Mr. Eric Clapton, since I as a teenage kid until now that I'm on up there decades later! He has the healing touch through music. Eric Clapton - See What Love Can Do - YouTube
  13. by   wondern
    Just FYI, I only used the dummy girl emoji above because she had a pacifier and looks so loved and taken care of with her pink bow, paci, and all.