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Is Healing Touch Useful in Treating Those with PTSD?

Research Paper Title

Examining the impact of a Healing Touch intervention to reduce posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in combat veterans.

Background

This study examined the use of Healing Touch (HT), a biofield therapy, as an intervention in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It exemplifies the upswing of biofield (energy field) therapies that have been taking place recently for a number of clinical conditions, including cancer, pain, arthritis, movement restriction, and energy psychology. Theoretically, the human body is the physical aspect of an individualised field of energy (biofield) in which electrical activity functions as a complex, organised whole or system. Hypothetically, this system plays a critical role in the effective treatment of PTSD. Trauma-induced congested energy in vital areas of the human body, particularly the chakras and the funnel-shaped crown-to-transpersonal channel, impedes the natural release of unwanted energy of emotions, thereby becoming a major obstacle to treatment. This qualitative and quantitative study examined the use of HT as an effective intervention to break up and clear away congested energy, promote a strong energy flow, and allow the natural release of unwanted energy of emotions to normalise. The test group would average a mean reduction of symptom severity of at least 18 points after 10 treatments, as measured by the psychometrically sound self report measure of PTSD symptom severity for military use.

Methods

In a 2-armed randomised crossover waitlist controlled trial, combat veterans experienced the impact of HT techniques complementing standard care on the severity of their PTSD symptoms.

Results

The test group's mean reduction of symptom severity was a clinically significant 18.11 points, along with a reliable change of 5.57 points for the control group. Overall, subjects reported a range of positive physical and psychological effects.

Conclusions

Although continued research using larger samples is needed, it may be concluded that HT is a low-risk, low-cost intervention for PTSD that should be implemented as a treatment option, especially in combination with "gold-standard" therapies.

Reference

Reeve, K., Black, P.A. & Huang, J. (2020) Examining the impact of a Healing Touch intervention to reduce posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in combat veterans. Psychological Trauma. 12(8), pp.897-903. doi: 10.1037/tra0000591. Epub 2020 May 18.

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