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Therapeutic Touch Helps Patients Relax and Recover

By: Lisette Hilton
Date: December 6, 2010
Source: Nurse Week


Luisa Porrata, RN, MPH, CCAT, QTTT, comes from a family of healers. Her relatives’ use of herbs and massage were part of the culture in their native Puerto Rico.
“My aunt, a midwife in the hills of her small town, would do massages after births and administer herbal teas to calm the mother into a gentle sleep,” she says. “As a nurse, I planned early in my education to incorporate holistic healing modalities as part of my plan of care for clients.”
Porrata, an adjunct professor at Hostos Community College in New York City, is among a growing number of nurses who are using holistic healing methods, says Elizabeth Ann Manhart Barrett, RN-BC, LMHC, QTTP, PhD, FAAN, who is in private practice in New York City and professor emerita at Hunter College of the City University of New York. More people are accepting of holistic healing practices today because there is a growing body of literature, as well as more educational offerings on the topic, she says.

“The American Holistic Nurses Association is the national organization, and holistic nursing is recognized now as a nursing specialty,” Barrett says.
Rochelle Mackey, RN, MA, APN, AHN-BC, QTTT, adjunct faculty at New Jersey City University and in private practice in Ridgewood, N.J., uses therapeutic touch, guided imagery and aromatherapy in her practice.

“I’ve been a nurse now for more than 40 years, and I love nursing just as much if not more than when I first started,” Mackey says. “I believe that holistic nursing brings you closer to the patient.”

It’s not only the emphasis on patient care, but also self-care that makes practicing holistic healing appealing to nurses. Mackey says learning how to use the modalities, such as meditation, to enhance her own life helps prevent professional burnout. Holistic healing practice is not more time-consuming, she says, rather it enriches nursing.

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Therapeutic Touch Helps Patients Relax and Recover

Therapeutic Touch Helps Patients Relax and Recover