Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 12-4-2021

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

The path to understanding has plenty of twists and turns. It was a simple question. Asked the night nurses in a class I was presenting at the nursing home how they handled pain and anxiety in their patients when there was no medication order. Hospitals have doctor access 24 hours a day and generally full access to a pharmacy. Most nursing homes do not have those options.

One of the nurses suggested I read Therapeutic Touch by Dolores Krieger. It was the method she used for her patients. The well, worn pages of my copy are still frequently turned to remind myself healing and comfort is not just about a pharmaceutical agent (modern drug, herb or supplement) and biochemical pathways. The book became the starting point to exploring other healing traditions.


Therapeutic Touch International Association

Therapeutic Touch was developed in the early 1970’s through the pioneering work of Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN, a professor at New York University, and Dora Kunz, a natural healer.

Therapeutic Touch is a scientifically based practice. Experimental research has been conducted at major hospital centers and universities by scientists in nursing and related fields. Some of this research has been funded by the National Institutes for Health.As scientists began to study various forms of healing in the mid 1900’s, the focus began to shift to more natural methods. In 1971, Dolores Krieger, R.N., Ph.D., along with Dora Kunz, a natural healer, conducted some experiments to examine the effects of healers on humans in an analytical way. They used an experimental group and a control group consisting of comparable individuals. The experimental group received “laying-on of hands” healings while the control group did not. Dr. Krieger measured hemoglobin levels in both groups both before and after a series of healing treatments. There was a significant increase in hemoglobin levels in the healer treated people. From these early experiments, Therapeutic Touch was born.

Jacqueline Kern, PhD, RN, introduces Therapeutic Touch, a noninvasive healing modality in which the energy of a healer's hands is used to promote healing in another. (3.20 min)
University of Arizona College of Nursing


Dolores Krieger: Lessons of Compassion
An Interview with the Developer of Therapeutic Touch

Krieger once told People magazine, “Touching permeates almost every phase of nursing. I believe in my hands before anything else.”
Knowing that she wanted to be involved in helping and healing people, Krieger says her original career choice was physical therapy. But, without the money to go to college, Temple University’s offer of two years college credit for those who enrolled in the nursing program was how Krieger planned her segue into a physical therapy path.
“However, I wasn’t into nursing more than six weeks before I realized it was what I really wanted to do.” Her new path led her to earn her master’s degree and doctorate in nursing and eventually to teach at New York University (NYU) School of Nursing, where she was a professor until her retirement in 1997.
It was during this journey that Krieger would cross paths with the woman who would ultimately change her life.
It was the late 1960s, an era of enlightenment, where people began to think about health care differently, and Therapeutic Touch quickly filled a niche in the medical community. “With my medical connections, I initially got about 50 doctors and nurses together who wanted to learn to heal,” Krieger says. That was a catalyst. With her knowledge of curriculum development, and Kunz’s ability to connect with people, Krieger says the two were able to quickly bring the modality to the nursing community. Initially called Frontiers in Nursing, Krieger was able to get the work accredited at the graduate level at NYU.
Acceptance grew, nurses were taking the work they learned into the patients’ hospital rooms, and the dean of the college was pleased with the demand. “We were accepted by the medical community,” Krieger says. “It all began to mesh together. We were the only ones at the time to have the support of both the medical community and academe.”
Today, Therapeutic Touch has been taught at more than 70 medical centers and health agencies in the United States, and to people in health professions in 107 countries. More than 250,000 health professionals have been trained in Therapeutic Touch worldwide.


A current review looking at 12 years of published studies.

A rapid evidence assessment of recent therapeutic touch research published online March 2021 at Nursing Open.


A rapid evidence assessment (REA) approach was used to review recent TT research adopting PRISMA 2009 guidelines.

CINAHL, PubMed, MEDLINE, Cochrane databases, Web of Science, PsychINFO and Google Scholar were screened between January 2009–March 2020 for studies exploring TT therapies as an intervention. The main outcome measures were for pain, anxiety, sleep, nausea and functional improvement.

After 45 years of study, scientific evidence of the value of TT as a complimentary intervention in the management of any condition still remains immature and inconclusive:

Given the mixed result, lack of replication, overall research quality and significant issues of bias identified, there currently exists no good quality evidence that supports the implementation of TT as an evidence‐based clinical intervention in any context.

Research over the past decade exhibits the same issues as earlier work, with highly diverse poor quality unreplicated studies mainly published in alternative health media.

As the nature of human biofield energy remains undemonstrated, and that no quality scientific work has established any clinically significant effect, more plausible explanations of the reported benefits are from wishful thinking and use of an elaborate theatrical placebo.


What is on your mind today? (Responses to Covid questions and dialog to be conducted at The Dose diary)

11 users have voted.


Lookout's picture

A foggy start to the day, but supposed to clear and be a sunny 70 degrees. Had comfortable stroll through trade day this AM and caught up with a few buddies. Nice to visit a bit.

The touch of a healers hands is ancient saying. Makes me think there's some truth in it.

“The hand becomes an eye that fuses all five senses and sees things whole.”
~ Lee U-fan, Contemporary Korean Artist


Thanks for the touching OT!

10 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

zed2's picture

Coast, keep your ears open because there is a small but possible risk in any given day of a "mega-tsunami" here in the Americas if there is a large eruption and the western slope of the Cumbre Vieja volcano fails and a western slope falls into the ocean..

Note: The volcano has been erupting for months.. It didn't just begin now. The Canary Islands are part of Spain.

They are beautiful volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean.


You can see videos on it.

In a worst case scenario.. large waves could travel across the Atlantic in a few hours.

The westward side of the large stratovolcano is at fairly high risk of a slip which could send a lot of volcano into the ocean, which would , like throwing a stone in the water, have a ripple effect, causing waves that might cause damage on land.

The chance of this happening today is probably small. Likely small. Think of it, when was the last time your life was altered by a volcano? The odds are pretty big that it wont happen now. But it it does, it will add to the signs of such volcanoes around the world.

It could be magnified by the coastal terrain. There are coastal structures (chevrons) of sand here in the US indicting that such events have occurred in the past.

I had a friend, Jeremy who was caught in the Mt. St Helens eruption in 1980. It sounded like being in an atomic bomb blast. He survived but it messed up his health for a long time.

my friend Meadow used to live in Hawaii. She lived in a house that was destroyed by a lava flow. She was renting (cheap rent) knowing that this might happen. In Hawaii the lava flows are usually slow. As the lava advances, it burns things. Trees just spontaneously combust into flame as it gets hotter and hotter. Cars blow up. The lava is very very hot. It glows and has a sulfurous burning smell.Some people make art with it. Its pretty incredible the fireworks when it hits the ocean.

There is really no way to tell if the crack on the side of La Palma will grow and the slope fail. Even if it did catastrophically fail, There could be several hours warning for people to get to high ground.

NASA scientists are divided on the risks.. But nobody denies that there are signs in the geological record of it happening in the past. Hawaiians will tell you "never underestimate (the goddess) Pele"

9 users have voted.
zed2's picture

Babies die if they are not held and cuddled lovingly from time to time. Allhuman cultures express love by touch. Pets owning a dog or cat and petting it can lower high blood pressure and add years to peoples lives. Don't try to live your life without touch. Everybody deserves physical affection.

8 users have voted.

I know I got an education on a method of touching for horses, dogs, and cats... It is called the T-Touch, developed by Linda Tellington Jones. I attended one of her live demonstrations on its' effect on horses. I have used it ever since, maybe 25 years or so.
I recently used it on my husband's back, and it did him him some relief from a minor back strain.
yes. Touch. it can do much good!

4 users have voted.
studentofearth's picture

@on the cusp physical techniques. Linda Tellington Jones shared many tips on youtube.

4 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth @studentofearth @studentofearth She was a nice lady, did some amazing things right in front of the large group of equestrians. She brought some extremely agitated horses to complete calm. I watched her do it. I knew every one of the horse owners providing the exhibition horses. They were amazed. I knew a couple of the normally agitated horses. They left the arena softly chewing their bits, and foaming at the mouth, which is the sign of a horse at peace with life.

3 users have voted.

that you mention above illustrates to me the limits of science. When the conclusion is:

As the nature of human biofield energy remains undemonstrated, and that no quality scientific work has established any clinically significant effect, more plausible explanations of the reported benefits are from wishful thinking and use of an elaborate theatrical placebo.

then I simply have to understand that I must trust my intuition that tells me that the manner in which healthcare is delivered matters. When patients are touched with care and compassion, whether they are premature infants in the NICU or adults in the ICU, I am 100% sure that how they are touched and treated matters. No one has to tell me that or "prove" it in a study, it's just intuitive. There are just some things that may not be explained with "evidence" from a study.

The same is true for animals in distress. Experience tells us that the above study is missing something.

Thank you for this essay, I've always regarded this subject with interest and I will seek out that book by Krieger.

4 users have voted.
studentofearth's picture

1 user has voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.