Public Health Guidelines for HT Students & Practitioners
To all current Healing Touch students and Certified Healing Touch Practitioners,
As we look forward with optimism to a time when we are able to once again reopen our Healing Touch practices around the world, we consider best practice and safety for patients and ourselves. We recognize the diverse circumstances present in cities, regions and countries. Flexibility to change in response to local ordinances and public health concerns is one key to success.
Over the course of the recent past few months, many of you have requested more detailed recommendations with regard to providing a safe environment for practicing Healing Touch. Please note, each independent practitioner remains obligated to function within their professional Scope of Practice and Healing Beyond Borders’ Code of Ethics/Standards of Practice. The decision to hold an in-person session during these times is yours. With this in mind, we’d like to offer suggestions for moving forward with in-person sessions. Remember, distance healing is always a safe option when you are unsure, and it is imperative that you consider your own personal exposure history, state of wellness and readiness to reopen your practice.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, as a student and practitioner you are responsible for the health, comfort and safety of your patients/clients. We refer you to the Healing Beyond Borders Code of Ethics/Standards of Practice for supportive guidelines:
Code/Standard 2: Collaborative Care: Healing Touch practitioners must know the limits of their professional competence. Health/medical conditions are to be followed by health care professionals. Refer as necessary to appropriate health care professionals.
Code/Standard 4: Equality and Acceptance: Honoring individual autonomy… patients (and self) will be respected and valued at all times….Note: If the pre-screening inquiry demonstrates potential risk, there is nothing wrong with refusing a patient for an in-person session. It protects you and them and their community. Consider a distance session until their symptoms subside.
Code/Standard 7: Intention: ...Do No Harm
Code/Standard 8: Creating a Safe Healing Environment: Healing Touch practitioners provide a safe, welcoming, supportive and comfortable environment that is conducive to healing.
Code/Standard 11: Quality Care: Healing Touch practitioners maintain a commitment to a high standard of quality care.
Code/Standard 12: Professional Responsibility: Healing Touch practitioners represent Healing Touch to the public in a professional manner by exercising good judgment, practicing with integrity…
The above Codes and Standards identify your obligation to maintain the health and safety of your patients/clients and by extension, their communities at large. If you are a member of a professional health care organization (Nursing, Massage, Medicine, etc.), please check the guidelines recommended for your discipline. With this in mind, the following suggestions can help you meet this obligation. At the very minimum, recommendations are to follow regional public health guidelines.
Control the Spread
1. Inform patients in advance of public health safeguards that will be implemented within your healing touch practice environment.
Consider the following public health recommendations:
- Masks may be mandatory in some environments and highly recommended in others; follow community standards.
- Gloves optional (based upon comfort level of each individual patient). At a minimum, meticulous handwashing is a must.
- Ample supplies of hand sanitizer
- Sparse/no bedding with minimal handling. Must be changed between sessions.
- Sanitizing tabletops between use.
- Ventilation of the space whenever possible.
- Recent exposure
- Travel outside their respective geographical region
- Association with at-risk populations (ie: elderly, immune compromised, etc.)
- Personal pre-existing conditions
- The following screening is based upon a CDC open-source project
2. Prescreening Conversation: COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.Query each patient regarding a complete health history if the first session; detailed interval health history if a return session. Capture relevant information which includes the following:
- Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
- Body temperature
- Evidence of the above infectious symptoms
Note: If the pre-screening inquiry demonstrates potential risk, there is nothing wrong with refusing a patient for an in-person session. It protects you and them. Consider a distance session until their symptoms subside.
3. Basic in-person screening:
Additional resources links:
American Holistic Nurses Association January 26 Update
American Holistic Nurses Association CoVid-19 Archives
American Massage Therapy Association
Carrie & Lisa
Carrie Niewenhous RN, BS, CHTP/ I
Education Administrator, Healing Beyond Borders
Lisa Anselme RN, BLS, HN-BC, CHTP/I
Executive Director, Healing Beyond Borders
Note: This Public Health Guidelines document may be found on the Healing Beyond Borders website in the Student resources and Practitioner resources sections.