Dolores Krieger Therapeutic Touch Takoya Walker College of Coastal Georgia Biography Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN is a Professor Emerita of Nursing Science, New York University, and co-creator of Therapeutic Touch. She is a recognized holistic nursing theorist and pioneering researcher on Therapeutic Touch and the dynamics of healing. At NYU, her course Frontiers of Nursing has been taught since the early 1970’s. One of the first nursing theorists to recognize holistic nursing as a viable nursing science, she was an early proponent and initiator of the term, “The Renaissance Nurse. A member of Sigma Theta Tau, Dr. Krieger created five graduate programs in nursing science during her tenure at New York University. Internationally known, she has traveled extensively around the world presenting her theories, papers, presentations and seminars. With more than 400 professional papers and journal articles to her credit, she has been widely sought after as a radio and television personality. Dr Krieger’s work in Therapeutic Touch has been credited with being the first healing method taught within a university system and the most researched form of hand-on healing to date.
Therapeutic Touch is a nursing intervention and considered “an extension of professional skills. ” Numerous doctoral dissertations and graduate studies have originated on Therapeutic Touch. With physicians, nurses and many other healthcare professionals practicing and researching Therapeutic Touch, it has become a widely accepted nursing intervention within our medical institutions. Therapeutic Touch is taught in hundreds of medical centers and universities, and is practiced in over 100 countries worldwide.
At last count, Therapeutic Touch had been taught to well over 200,000 healthcare professionals. Besides continuing to write and teach Therapeutic Touch, Dr Krieger is involved in Deep Ecology and lives in a wildlife sanctuary she has created in Montana. (Krieger 2010) Significant Accomplishments Dr. Krieger is well known for her Therapeutic Touch theory, which was developed in the early 1970s by Dolores Krieger RN, a professor of nursing.
Krieger and co-founder and Dora Kunz stated that the human body is kept alive and vital by a force called prana (a Sanskrit term meaning vital force) and that this energy flows around and through the body and is channeled by chakras, a series of non-physical energy centers in the body. Whereas the original protocol was based on actual physical touch (Krieger, 1975), subsequent research claimed that similar results could be obtained without touching the patient (Quinn, 1982).
Current practice is based on the assumption that the physical body is surrounded by an energy field that trained practitioners can detect, assess, and manipulate, and that imbalances in this energy field result in illness or pain, which TT can treat (Krieger ;amp; Kunz, 1989). Any variances or discrepancy can be felt with the hands, without using physical contact and are normally described as a sensation of tingling, pressure, pulling, temperature changes, and energy spikes.
Using the Technique A TT session begins with a centering exercise by the practitioner. This step is similar to a brief period of meditation or prayer, it is quieting the mind by focusing the attention, the Therapeutic Touch Practitioner (TTP) focuses within self and prepare to heal. Assessment is the next phase, in this phase the TTP tries to locate any imbalances in the patient’s Human Energy Field (HEF).
The last phase utilizes several techniques one is called unruffling, the TTP uses circular sweeping motions aiming to “decongest” accumulated energy and either redistribute it to areas of lower energy, or rid the HEF of the excess energy by sweeping it down the body and off at the feet, shaking the excess off their hands (a motion similar to shaking water off the fingers) at the foot of the bed or table. (Begley S, 1999) The TTP can also perform Directing just to name a few. Directing is transferring energy between the nurse and client, or from one area of the client‘s body to another.
The last phase is reassessing the field. In this phase an assessment is made again to determine if ones desired goals were meet. The theory behind the technique Therapeutic Touch relies on four basic assumptions as working hypotheses 1) Humans are open, complex and pandimensional energy systems (Rogers); 2) In a state of health, life energy flows freely through the organism in a balanced, symmetrical manner (Kunz); 3) Human beings are capable of both transformation and transcendence (Krieger); and 4) Healing is an intrinsic movement toward order that occurs in living organisms and can be facilitated by practitioners.
Life energy follows the intent to heal (Kunz). Application to Modern Nursing The modern nurse can implement TT has a relaxation method for their patient, which can help rid their bodies of anxiety that so often comes as a result of illness. It also would be would be very beneficial in hospice work since it promotes relaxation, reduces anxiety, and often alters a person’s perception of pain. Therapeutic Touch can also significantly improve or eradicate the perception of pain. Literary Review Dr.
Krieger’s is the author of 12 books which she published throughout her career: Foundations for Holistic Health Nursing Practices: The Renaissance Nurse; The Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your Hands to Help or Heal; Accepting Your Power to Heal: The Personal Practice of Therapeutic Touch; The Therapeutic Touch Inner Workbook; Therapeutic Touch as Transpersonal Healing; The Spiritual Dimensions of Therapeutic Touch; Therapeutic Touch: A Book of Readings; and Living the Therapeutic Touch: Healing as a Lifestyle which is her most popular book and have been translated into several languages.
Conclusion The Therapeutic Touch theory is another way to offer ones patient a contemporary modality couple with traditional medicine or in the absence of it. This theory is a guide that enables the nurse to become one with his or her patient and become the instrument of healing. Therapeutic Touch teaches damaged energy field reflects its ailments in the physical body as “dis-ease,” not disease normally referred to in the medical terms, but instead it’s just a state of imbalance that alters the natural functioning of the individual.
Generally, this results in the weakening of the body, a slowing down of the healing process, and an across the board decline in faculties. TT states we as Therapeutic touch practitioners can then remove the irregularities of the energy field which causes dis-ease, both as a preventative mechanism and as a treatment for manifested illness thereby centering the energies of that person. Summary I must admit I’m not a full believer of this theory. I do agree that humans carry with them an energy field and I also believe in the biblical laying on of hands, however in the bible it was the Holy Spirit that healed.
Therapeutic touch, in my belief, places us in the rule of the shaman so to speak or Holy Spirit which allows us to move and even heal aliments that sometimes neither the Therapeutic touch practioner nor the client knew they had, which is hard for me to believe. Despite unbelief, my colleagues and I tried to feel this energy that so many have testified to, however I was unable to feel anything no tingling, no pressure, no heat, absolutely nothing.
Reference 1. Begley S. The Energetic Language of Therapeutic Touch Cover Story Massage Magazine, Jan/Feb 1999 2. Rogers D. P. Application of Nonpharmacologic Methods of Managing Chronic Pain. Holistic Nursing Practice, 6(1) 32-40, 1991. 3. Krieger D. Therapeutic Touch: The imprimatur of nursing. American Journal of Nursing 75:784787, 1975. 4. Quinn J. An investigation of the effects of therapeutic touch done without physical contact on state anxiety of hospitalized cardiovascular patients [dissertation]. New York: New York University, 1982.
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