Scripps Doctors Give Touch Therapy A Big Hand

Carole Grace

Scripps Doctors Give Touch Therapy A Big Hand
Research Suggests It Speeds Healing, Reduces Anxiety

POSTED: 6:58 pm PDT August 1, 2006
UPDATED: 7:28 pm PDT August 1, 2006

SAN DIEGO — Employees at Scripps Green Hospital are getting touchy with patients — and it’s getting good results.

The hospital is now using certified healing touch therapists to give patients a hand before surgery and the results are grabbing the attention of medical experts.

The “laying on” of hands to heal someone from an illness dates back to biblical times but is getting a modern spin at the hospital, where doctors prescribe touch therapy to patients preparing for surgery.

For instance, 79-year-old Edith Taylor has had at least five stents inserted in her body in the last eight years and before and after every operation, she has a 10-minute touch session with a therapist like Elizabeth Fraser, who is also a registered nurse.

“It’s a very light touch, we do things like balancing our chakras, opening them for the patient clearing their electric magnetic field,” Fraser said.

It’s not a massage. Sometimes hands hover above the body and don’t actually make contact.

Taylor said she doesn’t feel anything during her sessions but visualizes a powerful blue-green wave of pure healing washing though her body.

Scripps Cardiologist Dr. Erminia Guarneri said touch therapy is based on a concept that an “energy body” extends out from the physical body and can be manipulated through techniques.

“There are no pills, no chemicals — you don’t even have to believe in it,” Guarneri said.

Research conducted during the last decade suggests touch therapy can cut pain and recovery time in half as well as promote reduction of pain, relieve anxiety and accelerate wound healing.

Scripps Green Hospital is one of several hospitals across the nation offering touch therapy and many of them prescribe it along with surgery, like a pain medication.