Research

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these studies were published in peer-reviewed journals, Perspectives in Healing, presented at conferences, or were unpublished theses or dissertations.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. For general questions please email our Research Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Members of the committee are listed below.

MEET THE RESEARCH COMMITTEE
for bios and further experise please click here

Research Director and Chair:
Suzanne M. Hess PhD, CHTP, HT Instructor-in-Training
Members:
Sophie Allen RN, BSN, BA, CPN, CHTP
Mary Ann Friesen PhD, RN, CPHQ, HTP-A
Der-Fa Lu PhD, RN, CHTP
Lucrezia Mangione MA, LCPC, NCC, BC-TMH, DCEP, CMT, CHTP/I


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
Pain
Stress Reduction
Surgery
Spirituality


Research Director

Suzanne M. Hess PhD, CHTP, HT Instructor-In-Training
Healing Touch Research Committee Director and Chair
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Suzanne “Sue” M. Hess is a Grants Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. She facilitates high quality grant application submissions by Roswell Park physicians and scientists.

Sue became a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner (CHTP) in 2005 and is currently a Healing Touch (HT) Instructor in Training bringing 18+ years of teaching experience to it. Since 2013, Sue has served on the Healing Touch Research Committee and currently chairs the committee as Research Director. Sue is also a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association, the Society of Integrative Oncology, and the Consciousness Health Initiative.

Sue is a former cancer researcher and Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University (WFU) School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC. Her previous research and publications have focused on yeast rRNA processing, platinum-based chemotherapy, and radiation sensitizing agents, as well as studies in therapeutic grade essential oils as cytotoxic agents, and energy-based modalities as complementary approaches to cancer therapy.

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 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 led by Deborah Larrimore, which included volunteering with HT at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.

Sue brought Healing Touch to the northeast at Roswell Park in 2012-2013 with Dr. Lynda Beaupin, a pediatric oncologist, by offering a pilot Pediatric Outpatient program teaching and voice guiding kids and their caregivers useful HT techniques.  Sue founded and facilitated a twice-a-month Healing Touch group for cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, and individuals experiencing grief through her Roswell Park/Wilson Support Center Healing Touch offering at Hospice in Buffalo, NY from September 2014 - April 2019. Simultaneously, Sue founded the Healing Touch Program in the Survivorship and Supportive Care Clinic at Roswell which ran from March 2017 – September 2018. 

Sue’s expertise is as a translational researcher, grant coordinator, writer - editor, cancer researcher, and holistic program developer. Sue often speaks on energy medicine and complementary therapies to the Western New York Community, as well as at local and national meetings. She continues to network with allopathic physicians and researchers to generate opportunities for Healing Touch research.

Sue enjoys being out in nature, and is a gardener, artist, jewelry maker, and musician.

Sue is available to provide expertise as a former translational and cancer researcher, someone familiar with the grant process, someone who is knowledgeable regarding biofield therapy literature, and as someone involved in developing HT programs.

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