Therapeutic touch
Therapeutic touch


Therapeutic touch is a practice intended to treat medical conditions, especially pain, anxiety, and stress, by manipulating the "human energy field."

Practitioners of therapeutic touch believe that the world is an energy system. They believe they can heal medical conditions by unblocking areas of congested energy that hovers just above a person's skin.

People use therapeutic touch for anxiety and stress. It is also used for asthma, cancer-related pain, insomnia, chronic pain, quality of life, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Therapeutic touch is likely safe for most people. There are no known safety concerns.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Therapeutic touch is possibly safe when used during pregnancy and breast-feeding. There's no reason to expect safety concerns.

Children: Therapeutic touch is possibly safe when used in children. There's no reason to expect safety concerns.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Anxiety. Therapeutic touch seems to help reduce anxiety in people with different types of medical conditions.
  • Stress. Therapeutic touch might help reduce stress in some people.
There is interest in using therapeutic touch for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Therapeutic touch is an alternative practice that was developed by Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN, in the 1970s. There is no standard training or licensing requirement for practitioners, but it's most commonly used by nurses.

Therapeutic touch involves three steps. The first step is called "centering,' in which the practitioner focuses or meditates on the intent to treat the person. The second step is called "assessment," in which the practitioner moves their hands over the person's body. The hands never touch the body. The third and final step is "intervention." During this phase the practitioner moves their hands over the person's body, without touching it, to unblock areas of congested energy or restore the proper energy balance.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines. Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods. has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 07/12/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 08/07/2015 22:58:16. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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