Nursing has been dedicated throughout its history to addressing the physical, psychologic, and spiritual aspects of the patient that influence the healing process. Current nursing practice in acute care is focused increasingly on monitoring equipment, giving medications, and administering medical treatments in a fast-paced environment that affords few opportunities for the deeper human connectedness between the nurse and the one who is ill and suffering. Healing touch (HT) is an energy-based complementary therapy fostering that nurse-patient connection. Nurses are beginning to use HT with their patients to assist in easing pain and anxiety, promote relaxation, accelerate wound healing, diminish depression, and increase a patient’s sense of well-being. This article reports a conceptual framework for use of HT in acute care settings, describes specific HT techniques, and reviews numerous studies that have reported positive outcomes of HT as a noninvasive complementary therapy.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies| February 01 2000
Healing Touch: Applications in the Acute Care Setting
AACN Adv Crit Care (2000) 11 (1): 105–119.
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Alexa W. Umbreit; Healing Touch: Applications in the Acute Care Setting. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 February 2000; 11 (1): 105–119. doi:
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