Effects of healing touch in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials

J Holist Nurs. 2011 Sep;29(3):221-8. doi: 10.1177/0898010110393353. Epub 2011 Jan 12.


Hands-on healing and energy-based interventions have been found in cultures throughout history around the world. These complementary therapies, rooted in ancient Eastern healing practices, are becoming mainstream. Healing Touch, a biofield therapy that arose in the nursing field in the late 1980s, is used in a variety of settings (i.e., pain centers, surgical settings, and private practices) with reported benefits (i.e., decreased anxiety, pain, and depressive behaviors; increased relaxation and a sense of well-being). However, clinical trial data concerning the effectiveness of Healing Touch have not been evaluated using a systematic, evidence-based approach. Thus, this systematic review is aimed at critically evaluating the data from randomized clinical trials examining the clinical efficacy of Healing Touch as a supportive care modality for any medical condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Holistic Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Process*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stress, Psychological / nursing*
  • Therapeutic Touch / nursing*