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Treatments > Complimentary Care for Neck and Back Problems with Healing Touch

Complimentary Care for Neck and Back Problems with Healing Touch

Back and neck problems are very common and can create significant stress and disability in those who are experiencing pain associated with these conditions. Although Healing Touch's effect on pain is addressed in 'decreasing pain' there are other considerations when it involves the structure of the human body. References to the back or neck often describe physical and/or emotional components of a person's experience. Describing someone as "a pain in the neck" is an example of the complex nature of these problems. Stress related issues can also slow recovery and are addressed in another section.

Research in this area is limited. One small study compared Healing Touch and Chiropractic adjustment in treating chronic low back pain (1). Each participant experienced some degree of improvement as a result of the treatments, from minimal to dramatic. Both the Healing Touch and chiropractic groups had statistically significant decreases in pain, improvement in range of motion, and improvement in orthopedic measurements. At the end of the study, there were people in both groups who were still suffering from pain. The student researcher invited four people from the chiropractic group to receive four HT treatments each to see if a combination of treatments would bring further improvement. The effects of HT were noticeable, primarily in the relaxation response, but not significantly measurable in pain reduction.

A quality assurance project on the use of Healing Touch modalities on employees who sustained back injuries on the job at Queen's Medical Center was done from 1999 through 2001 by offering HT to employees with acute back injuries (2). There appeared to be a positive financial impact to the institution as a result of receiving Healing Touch. The benefits of Healing Touch where also described at the Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Northern Colorado where patients with neck/back problems are given Healing Touch sessions for comfort (3).

Specific Healing Touch techniques are taught throughout the curriculum to help practitioners address problems of the back and neck, and they provide a foundation to offer support and facilitate healing. Anecdotally, many individuals have found that Healing Touch sessions benefit them by reducing pain, improving mobility and improving relaxation (4).

Below are citations of studies mentioned above.

  1. Weymouth, K. & Lewis, S. (2000). Comparing the Efficacy of Healing Touch and Chiropractic Adjustment in Treating Chronic Low Back Pain: A Pilot Study. Healing Touch Newsletter, Volume 0, Number 3, p. 7-8.
  2. Osterlund, H. (2006). The HeToBa Study: Healing Touch for Backs. Phase I. Healing Touch International, Inc Research Survey 8th Ed. Lakewood, CO.
  3. Freese, J. Healing Touch in the hospice environment. (2003). Healing Touch Newsletter. Volume 03, Number 4, p. 6-7. Mentgen, J. (2002). Healing Touch. Nursing Clinics of North America, 36(1), 143-157.

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