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Healing touch.

Healthy Nurses receive for self as well as give to others. By receiving and nurturing themselves, they will have reserves to give. This happens when the nurse takes the time for self healing modalities that bring balance to a stressful giving nursing day. (1)

Dr Oz has stated "that the next big frontier ... in medicine is energy medicine". (2) Energetic Medicine can help to balance mind, body, and spirit. (3) By quieting the mind, a rejuvenation and inner peace can be found. (4) Often achieving a deep meditative state, the client feels relief in the daily pressures, physiologically lowering the fight or flight response and stress hormones a few notches, allowing better coping and functioning ... just recalling that they can still achieve a calm space is sometimes all one needs in a stressful situation. This is attained by tapping into that space for a breath or two (or three or ten!). Regular treatments can have the calming effect (4) of 'lengthening the fuse'.

Energetic Medicine is one aspect of Complementary Alternative Medicine, or CAM. Energy Medicine is comprised of many different modalities (5), with the intent of infusing or being a conduit for Universal Energy, Divine Energy, etc. to help with healing at levels other than purely physical.

It may go by names such as healing energy, reiki (6), therapeutic touch, healing touch, to name a few. Many stress reducing and wellness modalities may not be technically called Energy Medicine, but still have a component of it, such as acupressure, yoga, ortho-bionomy, walks in nature, massage (7), and tai-chi.

The focus is often to help restore the balance of energy in the body towards wholeness, which goes by many names, such as chi, qi, life force, prana, spirit, etc. The premise is that when energy is in balance, the life force flows easily without blockages. One way to asses this is checking the chakras. There are 7 major energy centers in the body, most commonly called chakras, and they correlate to nearby organs' health. (8)

Healing Touch was developed by a nurse in 1989 and became a certificate program of the AHNA.9 It was intended to help patients heal more quickly, and this and other types of Energy Medicine can help 'bring you home to yourself', and realize what is really important in your life. It allows you to feel nurtured for an hour, and a meditative state is often achieved without much effort on your own (10)--by allowing yourself to experience energy work for an hour vs. 'working' for it. Liken it to this: You can massage your own hands and feet--but isn't it so much better when you can just relax and receive it from someone else?

You can ask to receive higher guidance/ intuition on a situation, and apply it towards self growth (1), (11). Knowing you are supported is often very comforting when you are feeling out of balance in a stressful situation. Energetic Medicine often allows you to feel this during a session.

Healing Energy work on a regular basis is good maintenance for the human mind, body and spirit, just as is massage. Self help techniques can be taught to maintain balance. (12) Receiving sessions rejuvenates one to be more fully present, have a healthy reserve, and envision inner peace to recenter oneself when out of balance.


(1.) Simmons, S. Striving for work-life balance. Lippincott's 2012 Nursing Career Directory

(2.) Feb 13, 2007

(3.) Chopra, D. Quantum Healing: Exploring the frontiers of mind/body medicine. 1990.

(4.) Healing Touch and Reducing Stress.

(5.) Jan 15, 2006

(6.) Stein, D. Essential Reiki. 1995.

(7.) Tappan, F. Healing Massage Techniques: Holistic, Classic, and Emerging Methods. 1988. Polarity Therapy, 197-218

(8.) Brennan, B. Hands of Light. 1987;71-79, 198.

(9.) Founder's story.

(10.) Barbor, C. The Science of Meditation. 2001.

(11.) Deepening Spiritual Connections.

(12.) Self Care.

Michelle Stearn, LMT, RN
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Title Annotation:healthy nurses
Author:Stearn, Michelle
Publication:Nevada RNformation
Date:May 1, 2012
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