Healing at work: Therapeutic Touch in Rehabilitation

Imagine you are wobbling jelly – trillions of cells influenced by your thoughts and feelings. Every electron, atom, chemical bond, molecule, cell, tissue and organ has its own vibration. Your body changes moment to moment. The frequency of its energetic rhythm will vary according to pain, anxiety, past trauma, degree of health, and positive or negative thoughts. Think of some thing sad – then think of something happy – and check how you feel different. The rhythm of your body will have changed and your energy will be different – more vibrant.

Childre & Martin (2000) found that an intentional shift from anger or frustration to a centred state of stillness, care & appreciation affects the heart rate frequency and the frequencies of all the body’s cells. This change, as a result of having a different intention and thought is profound. And what’s even more interesting is they found when one person changed their intent, it affected the heart rate variability of someone else up to 10 feet away. Therapeutic Touch, developed for use in hospitals and health care by Dolores Krieger PHD, and Dora Kunz, natural healer, also uses the intention. The intention of compassion combined with a still state of mind to facilitate well being through the consciously directed process of energy exchange.

The therapeutic use of self is fundamental to allied health professionals. In the case of therapeutic touch, the intentional use of self through the ability to centre the mind, become still and intentionally focus and direct energy to facilitate the body’s own natural healing processes has been shown, through extensive evidence based research to help reduce pain or anxiety reduction, increase range of movement, speed wound healing and settle agitated behaviour.

Allied health professionals from Western Canada attended a Therapeutic Touch workshop co-facilitated by Sue Gregory, Occupational Therapist and Qualified Therapeutic Touch Teacher Australia www.healthyoutlook.com.au and Cheryl Larden RN, www.myhealingconnection.com President of British Columbia Therapeutic Touch Network, and organised by occupational therapist Dianna Mah-Jones www.dmjot.com. The workshop focused on the application of Therapeutic Touch in rehabilitation to facilitate health and healing. Therapists developed the skills to utilise Therapeutic Touch in home care, long-term care, hospital settings and private practice, as an adjunct to enhance the effectiveness of their rehabilitation programs.

Research relevant to rehabilitation has found Therapeutic Touch benefits to include improved mobility and hand function, settling of behaviours associated with dementia, alleviation of grief and anxiety, reduction of phantom pain, muscle relaxation and changes in levels of haemoglobin,

Sue described the use of Therapeutic Touch in her occupational therapy practice for reducing muscle tension in preparation for splinting in rheumatoid arthritis, relieving pain associated with severe burns and amputee stumps, settling children with ADHD, alleviating sun downing activity in dementia clients (take a look at the ebook Sliver Energy by myself and Chery Ann Hoffmeyer www.healthyoutllook.com.au/products ), improving sleep in the elderly, and reducing anxiety in clients related to return to work or home visits.

Cheryl emphasised the value of Therapeutic Touch as a self-care tool. The skill of centering used in Therapeutic Touch elicits the relaxation response. Its use at work in a professional setting on a daily basis benefits the patients, and, at the same time reduces professional burnout out and improves well-being for the therapist. It is as though the therapist receives a treatment whilst giving a treatment.

The occupational therapists, physiotherapists and rehabilitation professionals attending the workshop described the calmness they experienced whilst giving Therapeutic Touch and were enthused by Dianna’s examples of the use of Therapeutic Touch in spinal cord injury. Participants were keen to progress to the next level of training and further workshops are planned for rehabilitation professionals in Canada in the future. Please contact Dianna Mah Jones www.dmjot.com. For general information about therapeutic touch there are some free downloads on my website www.healthyoutlook.com.au/therapeutictouch, contact the British Columbia Network at www.bctherapeutictouch.com or the Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia www.therapeutictouch.org.au. And if you are interested in the CD  Being on Centre,  DVD’s about Therapeutic Touch in Aged Care, or  Silver Energy – the ebook about the use of Therapeutic  Touch for the Elderly by Dr Chery Ann Hoomeyer and myself, Go to www.healthyoutllook.com.au/products

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Welcome to my blog where I will share insights into how you can energise your self and your workplace through creating passion and drive by learning how to control your mind, change your beliefs, and using your intention and intuition.
- Sue Gregory