Skip to Content
Home > Health Library > Therapeutic Touch
View Additional Content In This Section
Therapeutic touch is
a technique to help people relax, relieve their pain, and help them heal
faster. It is sometimes called a "laying on of hands" and is based on ancient
Therapeutic touch is thought to promote healing
through balance in the body. A practitioner will pass his or her hands 2 to 4
inches over the body from head to toe to feel for energy that is out of
balance. It can show up as sensations such as heat or cold, tingling or
pulsing, or tightness. Even though the technique is called therapeutic touch,
the practitioner does not actually touch you.
therapeutic touch to reduce pain, ease tense muscles, speed healing, and
improve sleep. It is sometimes used to help people who have pain or discomfort
from cancer or other diseases. The technique does not treat cancer or any other
disease. But there is some evidence that it may reduce stress or improve
well-being in people who have cancer. Research on therapeutic touch is
Some nursing schools in the United States teach the
technique. It may be used in certain medical settings—for example, before and
after surgery—to help comfort people.
You can safely use
therapeutic touch along with conventional medical treatments. But it is not
considered appropriate or safe for serious, life-threatening situations or to
replace other proven treatments that are known to help with a disease. There is
no known risk in adding therapeutic touch to your medical treatment.
No studies have proved that therapeutic touch works for treating any type
of disease. But some health professionals think it may be useful in helping
with stress and anxiety. Some people who receive therapeutic touch say they
have a refreshed spirit, heal faster, and feel better.
tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking
about adding one to your regular medical treatment. It may not be safe to
replace your medical treatment with an alternative therapy.
Other Works Consulted
Freeman L (2009). Therapeutic touch: Healing with energy. In L Freeman, ed., Mosby’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach, 3rd ed., pp. 519–532. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
June 11, 2013
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Request an appointment online>>
2650 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford, OR 97504