Healing touch, developed by registered nurse Janet Mentgen in 1989, is an energy therapy during which practitioners use light physical contact and/or near-body contact with a client to reduce physical, emotional, and mental discomfort or pain.
According to practitioners, an energy field permeates the human body and interacts with fields of energy in one’s surrounding environment. Disruptions to an individual’s energy field cause illness or pain. Practitioners of healing touch use intentional interactions between energy fields to restore balance to an individual’s energy field and promote healing.
Healing touch is performed in a number of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and spas. Practitioners are often certified in other health care professions, such as nursing or massage therapy, as well. At the beginning of a session, the practitioner asks the client about his/her medical history. Then, the client, who remains fully clothed, typically lies down on a massage table for the duration of the session, which can last up to one hour. The practitioner should ask permission before touching the client.
Healing touch has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including chronic pain, headaches, anxiety, and sleep disorders.