HEALING TOUCH AND STRESS REDUCTION
Stress has both positive and negative effects on the human system. While a certain amount of stress is needed to encourage change and to move one forward with daily challenges, prolonged stress creates a “wearing down” of the body’s defenses (1). This can lead to changes in immune function that increase the risk of illness and affect the way the body heals. In our stressful lives, having the opportunity to come to a place of peace and rest is beneficial. Some who receive Healing Touch report that it feels like experiencing a deep meditation without the training and effort.
Healing Touch has been used in a variety of studies that measured reductions in stress. 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) (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 also has been found to reduce levels of stress (3-5).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.