Research on Therapeutic Touch®
Therapeutic Touch (TT) is a scientifically based practice. Experimental research has been conducted at major hospital centres and universities, mainly in North America, by scientists in nursing and related fields. Some of this research in the United States has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In 1971, Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer, conducted analytical experiments to examine the effects of healers on people. Using an experimental group and a control group consisting of comparable individuals, the experimental group received healing through the laying on of hands, whereas the control group did not. Having measured the hemoglobin levels in both groups before and after a series of healing treatments, Dr. Krieger found that there was a significant increase in hemoglobin levels in those who received the healing treatments. From these early experiments, Dr. Krieger and Dora Kunz learned it wasn’t necessary to touch a person to have an effect, and Therapeutic Touch was born.
Since then, more studies have been conducted and peer-reviewed articles have been published that confirm the positive effects of TT. The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario (TTNO) published the Annotated Bibliography of Published Therapeutic Touch® Research July 2004 to July 2015. This bibliography includes a list of studies, with their results, on the effects of TT treatments on addiction, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and cancer-treatment side effects, as well as on how TT may be used to facilitate elder palliative care and assist with post-surgery and chronic pain management, and the effectiveness of TT in complications related to preterm newborns.
This research bibliography can be downloaded from the TTNO website at https://www.therapeutictouchontario.org/learn/research-at-a-glance/research-bibliographies.