This exploration of the literature is in two parts and follows the progress of Healing Touch from a personal perspective. Part one explores Therapeutic Touch and offers a review of current research. Part two in our next issue, will focus on Healing Touch.
Therapeutic Touch, a meditative healing practice created by Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz, is adapted from the "laying on of hands" for the purpose of helping or healing others. The history of the technique and its influence on the health care system are chronicled in an effort to establish the role Therapeutic Touch has played in transforming people's lives.
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.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) continues to be a significant, debilitating symptom resulting from the administration of neurotoxic chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. CIPN is an important consequence of cancer treatment because of its potential impact on physical functioning and quality of life. Oncology nurses play an important role in assessing, monitoring, and educating clients about CIPN.