Your mother’s touch was the first healing through touch you ever experienced. She gave you her healing energy from infancy when she loved you and rocked you to soothe colicky crying, to her empathetic caresses when your first romance withered. Make no mistake, mother’s love heals. Humankind has trusted and relied upon those who heal by touch since the dawn of our existence.
In every culture, in every tribe there is a history of healing through touch, the laying on of hands. Ancient Chinese and Aztec magicians, Native American medicine givers, and shamans around the planet have applied sensitivity, insight, courage and compassionate science to interrupt illness, disease or negativity in their fellows.
Today’s alternative medicine often includes different types of healing through touch, though these modalities are meant to safely complement conventional care, not replace it. Here are some examples:
• Reiki. Developed in the early 20th century by a Japanese monk, it’s the laying on of hands to reduce stress and promote relaxation leading to healing.
• Massage Therapy. One of the oldest of healing modalities and one of today’s most popular sources of complementary healing. Dating back 3,000 years in Chinese history and known everywhere, massage has trained practitioners manipulate muscles, skin, and tissue to affect healing and stress reduction.
• Qigong. A Mandarin technique with many ways to practice. One form involves interacting with living organisms, manipulation of the body, and specialized massage.
• Healing Touch. Developed by a nurse, Janet Mentgen, who espouses energy-based care. She adopted modalities from ancient shamans and from various aboriginal healing ways.
In healing through touch sessions, a trained practitioner sets the scene with music, scents, and lighting. This isn’t show biz, it’s a way to precondition the body and mind to quieten, to relax, and to accept re-balancing. To be effective, the therapy must bring the body into balance and alignment—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The idea is that toxins, pain, illness, and unbalance block the flow of energy, including healing energy. Touch can reestablish clear channels. Once those blocks are removed, the patient has the greatest opportunity for healing and re-balancing.