Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Using Energy Healing in the Clinical Cancer Setting

In the August 2007 edition of Supportive Care in Cancer (the journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer) in an article entitled 'Twenty years of therapeutic touch in a Canadian cancer agency: lessons learned from a case study of integrative oncology practice', authors describe lessons learned from using therapeutic touch (a form of energy healing) in a clinical cancer setting for over 20 years.

The authors state that "therapeutic touch is a treatment that has been incorporated into patient care in a variety of medical settings worldwide."

"Therapeutic touch is a complementary and alternative medicine treatment modeled on the ancient practice of 'laying on of hands' that has been developed into a contemporary and supportive care intervention. Evidence-based support for therapeutic touch is emerging with increasingly more sophisticated studies."

"Therapeutic touch is a safe complementary and alternative medicine treatment that is highly valued by patients and can be integrated into conventional settings."

"This supportive intervention is used to elicit the relaxation response and to promote a general sense of well-being. In the cancer setting, therapeutic touch can be applied to relieve pain and anxiety related to invasive procedures, symptom distress, and treatment side effects."

"With an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 health care professionals as well as lay people regularly practicing, therapeutic touch is a treatment that appears risk free and is valued by patients and providers alike when applied in the clinical setting."

"Thus therapeutic touch is a good complimentary and alternative medicine candidate for integrating into a conventional medical setting, because it is safe, noninvasive, and mitigates anxiety, pain, and stress."

In addition, the authors have "offered therapeutic touch as a supportive care intervention within a provincial cancer agency for 20 years [note: this article was published five years ago!]."

The main conclusions of the article are that "therapeutic touch is a safe and beneficial intervention for cancer patients that can be integrated within a conventional setting, providing that the program evolves with changing patient and organizational needs."

I have had the honor of working with several cancer patients. Based upon my experience, two benefits of energy healing are clearly apparent.

The first benefit is deep relaxation. Cancer patients are severely physically and mentally stressed and have a hard time relaxing and falling asleep. Energy healing puts them at ease in every way. This effect lasts even after the session is over.

The second benefit is an increase in energy. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment are very low-energy, almost lethargic. After a session they appear to have more color in their faces, more strength in their limbs, happier expressions on their faces, and more of a spring in their steps.

The full text for this article is available here.