Research on touch therapies is still in the early stages of development. Studies of Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch, and Reiki are quite promising; however, at this point, they can only suggest that these healing modalities have efficacy in reducing anxiety; improving muscle relaxation; aiding in stress reduction, relaxation, and sense of well-being; promoting wound healing; and reducing pain. The multidimensional aspects of healing inherent in patient care continue to be expanded and facilitated by our understanding and application of energy therapies.
With more than 10 million patients with cancer in the United States, pain and symptom management is an important topic for oncology nurses. Complementary therapies, such as therapeutic touch, may offer nurses a nonpharmacologic method to ease patients' pain. Using 12 research studies, the authors examined the evidence concerning the effectiveness of this type of treatment in reducing pain and anxiety.