What is Therapeutic Touch® (TT) ?

It is a contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing practices. It is an intentionally directed process of energy exchange during which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to facilitate the healing process. The practitioner may use light touch during the Therapeutic Touch session but may also use no touch by simply moving his/her hands a few inches' distance from the body. 

Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N. (Professor Emerita of New York University) and her mentor Dora Kunz developed Therapeutic Touch in the early 1970s. It is now practiced by thousands of healthcare professionals, holistic health practitioners and lay people in 75 countries throughout the world. Numerous colleges and universities teach it in their graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. Therapeutic Touch is a scientifically based practice, including at least 15 doctoral dissertations, post-doctoral studies and innumerable masters theses. U.S. National Institute of Health has funded Therapeutic Touch research.

All BCTTNS practitioners and teachers are instructed in the Krieger-Kunz method of Therapeutic Touch.

 Research and experience have shown the effectiveness of Therapeutic Touch in:

  • promoting relaxation and eliciting the relaxation response
  • reducing anxiety 
  • changing the client's perception of pain
  • facilitating the body's natural restorative processes ie: bone repair and wound healing
  • boosting the immune system

Therapeutic Touch® is a natural human potential and is a skill that requires compassion and intentionality. Therapeutic Touch is administered with the intent to enable people to re-pattern their energy toward wholeness and health.

It is a benefit to the practitioner and the client, proving to be a significant antidote to burnout in healthcare professionals.

 Among healthcare workers using Therapeutic Touch are AIDS caregivers, occupational health nurses, hospice and palliative care nurses and volunteers, addiction workers, midwives, eldercare workers, and those providing pre- and post-op care.

How is Therapeutic Touch® given?

Generally, the practitioner works in your energy field, a few inches from your body, but may use some gentle touch with your permission.

 A typical session can last an average of 20-30 minutes or can be as little as 5 minutes, depending on the energy field. Seriously ill, frail and/or elderly, palliative patients, and infants for instance may benefit from very short Therapeutic Touch sessions.

Therapeutic Touch is effectively used on humans, plants and animals and is an effective self-help tool.  It can be done easily without the need for any equipment, and it may be done with you fully clothed in a lying or sitting position.

Where is Therapeutic Touch® used?

Therapeutic Touch can be given in your home, in hospital, or in any other healthcare facility. Almost any condition is made worse by stress and pain, so by producing a rapid relaxation response through the use of Therapeutic Touch, your body will heal and recover faster. Therapeutic Touch may be used pre- and post-operatively to hasten recovery, to balance emotions and relieve depression, to assist cancer patients to deal with side effects of therapy and to boost the immune system, to assist in recovery from addictions, to assist in pre- and postnatal care, to calm anxiety and aggression in patients suffering from various forms of dementia, and to calm and support palliative care patients and their families, to name a few applications. It  is used effectively in our own self-care and healing.

Research: Over 50 doctoral and 20 post-doctoral studies are available through the Network, which have proven the effectiveness of Therapeutic Touch.  See Research information.

Contact - Regional Practitioner's Contact

Please contact Tarja, your BCTTNS Secretary, at  or 604-393-0636 if you are searching for a Therapeutic Touch practitioner in your area.