Like other complementary medicine therapies, healing touch starts with the idea that people are
naturally healthy. The way people live and think may disturb their natural energy, and they may become ill. The
aim of healing touch is to focus (or channel) healing energy to restore natural health.
Practitioners of healing touch believe they can use their hands to change a person's energy flow and restore health.
During a session, the practitioner moves his or her hands several centimetres above the person's body, often making
sweeping hand motions. The practitioner also may place his or her hands lightly on specific parts of the person's
What is healing touch used for?
Some research studies have shown that, like yoga and meditation,
healing touch reduces anxiety and stress.
Research studies have been done on the effects of healing touch, but there are not consistent results. The practice
is difficult to study using scientific methods.
Is healing touch safe?
You can safely use healing
touch along with conventional medical treatments.
Talk with your doctor about any complementary health practice that you would like to try or are already using. Your
doctor can help you manage your health better if he or she knows about all of your health practices.
Coughlin P, Micozzi MS (2002). Principles and Practice of Manual Therapeutics, 1st ed., pp. 184-197. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Weze C, et al. (2007). Healing by gentle touch ameliorates stress and other symptoms in people suffering with mental health disorders or psychological stress. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4(1): 115-123.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen M. Fairfield, MD, MPH, DrPH - Internal Medicine