What is Healing Touch?

Page updated 03-24-3018

Healing Touch (HT) is considered a gentle, nurturing bioenergy method. It’s been shown to help reduce physical discomfort, anxiousness and stress while inducing feelings of calm, relaxation and even sleep.

It complements standard medical care and is used as a complementary, integrative approach in various healthcare settings whether you’re an outpatient or in the hospital or going for routine check-ups and tests. It is also used by people for their own self-care, health maintenance and prevention.

Classes in HT are through the standardized, multi-leveled Healing Touch program curriculum taught by the non-profit Healing Beyond Borders: Educating and Certifying the Healing Touch. Levels 1, 2 and 3 are offered here at Handcrafted Health by Lucrezia Mangione, a certified HT practitioner (CHTP) and instructor (CHTI).

These HT classes provide people interested in learning how to apply HT intended to help reduce physical discomfort and increase feelings of relaxation and calm. And if you're a helping professional, they can be woven into your practice.  They also come with continuing education units, too.

This page shares more information about what  (HT) is and the research and evidence available on HT.

Biofield technique

Picture showing a female Healing Touch provider providing Healing Touch energy therapy for a young female.CHTP practitioner providing HT to a young female.

HT is considered a mind and body practice by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You'll find HT listed midway down the page referenced from the above link.

The techniques taught through the HT curriculum are considered bioenergy or biofield techniques.  The human biofield is the aspect of our human body that encompasses the electromagnetic field that emanates from our human bodies and the subtle energy bodies that exist within.  Through the biofield, this energy based approach may help to

  • Heal holistically
  • Cultivate health
  • Positively influence the human energy system
  • Promote physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health
  • Restore balance within the human body which helps in self-healing
  • Integrate well into existing health care treatment

HT Research: 80+ studies & more needed

HT Session for our EldersElder woman receiving Healing Touch
Mind-body practice of HT in a hospitalRN-CHTP using HT for patient in hospital

HT has been around for over twenty years. Since then, there have been over 80 peer-reviewed articles sharing information about research done in a variety of settings, for a variety of needs using a variety of study designs.

Most of the studies have been developed from the direct application of HT within either a hospital, clinic, private practice or program setting or it’s impact on the individual HT provider (HTP). Put together, all the studies cover a range of patient and people populations and a variety of issues from symptoms to spirituality, diseases to prevention and wellness.

Although HT appears to have promising mental, spiritual, and physical health benefits, HT has yet to be fully researched by the Western academic, medical, and psychological communities. Therefore, HT may be considered experimental.  In addition, because HT is a relatively new healing approach, the extent of its effectiveness, as well as its risks and benefits, are not fully known. Please be advised that HT is self-regulated and it is considered alternative or complementary to the healing arts that are licensed in the United States.

Results & possible benefits of HT research

Populations researched:

  • Bariatric
  • ICU
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Pain
  • Well-Being
  • Anxiety
  • Mood
  • Dementia
  • PTSD
  • Attitudes & Beliefs
  • Quality of Life
  • Relaxation Response
  • Cellular Mechanisms

Results of studies point to these possible benefits:

  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Increases relaxation
  • Expedites wound healing
  • Boosts immune system
  • Relieves chronic fatigue & increase energy
  • Increases feelings of well-being
  • Relieves pain
  • Helps improve surgery recovery
  • Supports cancer care
  • Decreases need for pain medication
  • Supports medical treatments & procedures both pre & post-op
  • Relieves acute and chronic conditions
  • Prevention of ailments
  • Soothing care for neck & back problems
  • Provides comfort for the dying process
  • Strengthens connections to personal spirituality

HT & the Healing Touch Research Brief

This information on this page comes from studies published in peer-reviewed journals.  A list of these studies can be found in the Healing Beyond Borders Healing Touch Research Brief.  This user-friendly bi-annual report comes with citations, resources and has the latest evidence available on HT research. And best of all it’s available to anyone who’s interested.

The HT Research Brief is put out by The Healing Touch Research Committee at Healing Beyond Borders, Educating and Certifying the Healing Touch.  They are a group of individuals who work within academic settings, private institutional settings and private practices. They are also professional researchers and/or content experts on HT. To see their bios and learn more about this collaborative inter-professional team of HT Practitioners, please see the HealingBeyondBorders.org website.

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Lucrezia Mangione is in private practice. She is a board certified licensed professional counselor, board certified telemental health provider, neurofeedback trainer, counselor supervisor, educator, and nurse wellness education consultant. View her profile.