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Healing Touch Reduces Stress

Stress has both positive and negative affects on the human system. A certain amount of stress is needed to encourage change and to move one forward with daily challenges. However, prolonged stress creates a "wearing down" of the body's defenses.(1) This can lead to changes in immune function that increases the risk of illness and delays the way the body heals. A self-destructive pattern to events or triggers used to activates the body's natural protective mechanisms results.

Healing Touch has been used in a variety of studies that used reducing stress as a measure of effectiveness. Many of these studies were done on students as they are reportedly situated in a high stress environment by the nature of constant evaluation (tests and grades).(2),(3),(4),(5) Healing Touch was found to have a positive effect on reducing stress in this group, although it was not always significant.

In individuals that are experiencing stressful events like invasive medical procedures or treatment for severe diseases Healing Touch has also been found to reduce the levels of stress.(6),(7),(8),(9),(10) In one study that looked at individuals with a chronic disease some of the participants also reported a decrease in their stress with weekly Healing Touch sessions.(11)

One of the common reports after receiving a Healing Touch session is one of deep relaxation and a sense of peacefulness. This has been reported in a number of patient satisfaction surveys and in practice by both practitioners and their clients. In our stressful lives having the opportunity to come to a place of peace and rest is beneficial. Some of those receiving a healing report that it feels like experiencing a deep meditation without the training and effort.

Below are citations of studies about that are mentioned above.

  1. Retrieved (January 9, 2008) from notebook/allostatic.html
  2. Baldwin, C. (2002). The effects of Healing Touch on stress in college students. Unpublished master's thesis, West Chester University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  3. Bowen, J. & Maville, J.A. (2007).The Effect of Healing Touch on stress perception and biological correlates of stress in university students, unpublished manuscript.
  4. Dowd, T., Kolcaba, K, Steiner, R. & Fashinpaur, D. (2007). Comparison of a Healing Touch, coaching, and a combined intervention on comfort and stress in younger college students. Holistic Nursing Practice, 21(4), 194-202.
  5. Taylor, B. (2001). The effects of Healing Touch on the coping ability, self-esteem and general health of undergraduate nursing students. Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, February, 34-42.
  6. Danhauer, S., Levitan, D., Larrimore, D., Carroll, S., & Tooze, J. (2007). Healing Touch as a Supportive Intervention for Adult Acute Leukemia Patients: A Pilot Study (abstract). Healing Touch International Research Survey 2006. Supplement. Lakewood, CO: Healing Touch International, Inc.
  7. Turner, K. (2007). Preliminary Data Analysis of the Healing Partners Program. Healing Touch International Research Survey 2006. Supplement. Lakewood, CO: Healing Touch International, Inc.
  8. Krucoff, M.W., Crater, S.W., Green, C.L., Massa, A.C., Seskevich, J.E., Lane, J.D., Loeffler, K.A., Morris, K., Mashore, T.M., & Koenig, G. (2001). Integrative noetic therapies as adjuncts to percutaneous intervention during unstable coronary syndromes: Monitoring and Actualization of Noetic Training (MANTRA) feasibility pilot. American Heart Journal, 142(5), 760-7.
  9. Krucoff, MW., Crater, S., Gallup, D., Blankenship, J., Cuffe, M., Guarneri, M., Kreiger, R., Kshettry, V., Morris, K., Oz, M., Pichard, A., Sketch, M., Kownig, H., Mark, D., & Lee, K. (2005). Music, Imagery, Touch and Prayer as Adjuncts to Interventional Cardiac Care : The Monitoring and Acutalization of Noetic Trainings (MANTRA) II Randomized Study. Lancet, 366, 211-217.
  10. Seskevich, J.E., Crater, S.W., Lane, J.D. & Krucoff, M.W. (2004). Beneficial effects of noetic therapies on mood before percutaneous intervention for unstable coronary symptoms. Nursing Research, 53(2), p. 116-121.
  11. Diner, D. (2001). Healing Touch Newsletter, Research Edition, 01(3), p. 7-8.

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