Study descriptions of healing touch with veterans experiencing chronic neuropathic pain from spinal cord injury

Explore (NY). 2008 May-Jun;4(3):187-95. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2008.02.003.


Context: Spinal cord injury often results in chronic pain syndromes that conventional pain management is unable to resolve. Healing Touch (HT) is a biofield therapy that involves using the hands to promote healing and mediate the perception of pain by affecting the energy field of the person. The practice of HT is based on the premise that the energy field has the ability to provide valuable information about the person's physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual condition and can influence the dense matter of physical form.

Objective: This secondary analysis using case study reviews describes two different experiences of receiving a HT session for management of chronic neuropathic pain and its sequelae, utilizing energy field data and reports of participants and their HT practitioners.

Design: Qualitative case study approach was used.

Setting: Data were obtained from 42 HT sessions that took place within the homes of seven veterans with spinal cord injury.

Method: Two cases involving the most common patterns of response were selected from seven cases to represent the participants' and practitioners' experiences. A descriptive qualitative approach informed the results.

Results: The findings indicate that a variety of experiences can exist in individuals with chronic pain due to spinal cord injury; experiences will also vary with their healing touch practitioners. There are commonalities in the perception of the practitioners in the damage to the energy field and energy centers, with individualized and consistent resolution of the field over time.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia / etiology
  • Neuralgia / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Therapeutic Touch / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States