Merck Manual

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Therapeutic Touch

By

Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Last full review/revision Sep 2018| Content last modified Sep 2018
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Therapeutic touch is a type of energy medicine. The philosophy behind this modality is to use the therapist’s energy (biofield) to influence the patient’s biofield. Usually, practitioners do not physically touch the patient; instead, they move their hands at a distance over the patient. Therapeutic touch has been used to lessen anxiety and improve the sense of well-being in patients with cancer. In the US, nurses have introduced therapeutic touch into many clinical settings.

Because therapeutic touch operates in the realm of subtle energies and the biofield, current conventional medicine tools are ill-equipped to measure or study the modality directly. High-quality clinical studies are needed, but a systematic review of existing studies did not find sufficient evidence to support therapeutic touch's effectiveness for treating any disorder (1).

Reference

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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
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