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Below you will find links to the latest information about Healing Touch research, published articles, and details about the current Research Director.

Research Studies: Many research studies involving Healing Touch have been conducted and published. This list of Healing Touch research studies includes research related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, death and dying, HIV, pain, pediatrics, post-operative recovery, stress, as well as other studies.

Fact Sheet for Nurses: Information for this fact sheet comes from the Research Brief. The Research Brief provides a complete synthesis and review of Healing Touch research and is available for purchase through our website store.

Healing Touch Research Brief: The purpose of this publication is to revise and synthesize the previous Healing Touch Research Survey into a document that is more user-friendly and useful to stakeholders interested in research and the evidence-based practice of Healing Touch in the clinical setting. Previous versions of the publication provided an overview of the current state of knowledge of Healing Touch research, as well as studies in progress. This older publication included a brief summary or abstract of each Healing Touch study or project, and identified whether these studies were published in peer-reviewed journals, Perspectives in Healing, presented at conferences, or were unpublished theses or dissertations. While the old publication strived to include all studies of Healing Touch, over time the format became less user-friendly and lacked focus. Please visit the Healing Beyond Borders shop for further details on the new Research Brief.

Frequently asked questions about Healing Touch research are answered here.  Guidelines for writing research proposals involving Healing Touch can be found here.  This document from the American Holistic Nurses Associations provides information about the process of writing a funding request for a research project.

Healing Beyond Borders Research Committee: Lead by the Research Director and Chair Suzanne M. Hess, PhD, CHTP of Healing Beyond Borders.  The Research Committee helps educate others of the updated research with Healing Touch, and provides feedback about designing research studies of Healing Touch. Members of the committee are listed below.

Research Director and Chair:
Suzanne M. Hess, PhD, CHTP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Der-Fa Lu, PhD, RN, CHTP
Lucrezia Mangione, MA, LGPC, CMT, CHTP/I
Mary Ann Friesen, PhD, RN, CPHQ

Current Research

The links below lead to very brief summaries of published studies of research involving Healing Touch. To date, most published research on the use of Healing Touch in clinical settings and studies has been among cancer, pain and palliative care patients. Additional information about research studies is available in the Healing Beyond Borders, Educating and Certifying the Healing Touch® Research Brief. This booklet is currently under revision.

These studies demonstrate that there is support for considering Healing Touch for providing integrative care and that patients evaluate it highly. However, these studies do not “prove” that Healing Touch “works.”

View Healing Touch research in the following categories:

Anxiety and Depressed Mood
Cancer Care
Immune System
Stress Reduction

Research Director

Sue Hess, Ph.D., CHTP, Buffalo, NY

Sue Hess is a former North Carolina cancer researcher and Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University (WFU) School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC and current Grants Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY.  Sue holds a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA and did postdoctoral fellowships at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sue’s previous research and publications have focused on yeast rRNA processing, platinum based chemotherapy, and radiation sensitizing agents, but she has also pursued studies in therapeutic grade essential oils as cytotoxic agents, and energy based modalities as complementary approaches to cancer therapy. Sue’s current job is to help facilitate high quality grant application submissions by Roswell Park physicians and scientists.

Sue received her Healing Touch International (HTI) Healing Beyond Borders (HBB) Certified Healing Touch Practitioner (CHTP) certification in 2005. She was recertified in 2010 and 2015 by HTI. She is currently a Level I Healing Touch (HT) Instructor in Training with HBB with over 15 years of experience. Sue served on the HBB research committee since 2013 and currently chairs the research committee as Research Director. She was on the editorial board for the Journal of Cancer Integrative Medicine from 2003-2005. In NC, Sue helped write grants on HT/Reiki research, taught complementary alternative medicine (CAM) continuing medical education programs for the WFU/Northwest Area Health Education Center, ran a monthly HT program for cancer patients and survivors at Cancer Services, Inc. in Winston-Salem, and was an active member of the HT of the Carolinas community which included volunteering with HT at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. Sue currently is leading the efforts for integrative medicine at Roswell Park and facilitates as Director of Healing Touch the Roswell Park/Wilson Support Center Healing Touch monthly offering for cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors at Hospice Buffalo, as well as the twice weekly Healing Touch Supportive Care Program in the Survivorship and Supportive Care Clinic at Roswell Park. As Sue strives to build a Healing Touch program at Roswell Park and in the western New York community, she continues to network with allopathic physicians to generate opportunities for research.   Sue can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.