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Effect of Healing Touch on Stress Perception and Biological Correlates

Maville, Janice A. EdD, MSN, CNS, HTP; Bowen, Judith E. MPA, OTR, CHTP; Benham, Grant PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.HNP.0000312659.21513.f9

The objective of this pilot study was to investigate the effect of Healing Touch on state/trait anxiety and physiological measures of heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, skin conductance, and skin temperature in healthy adults. The study used a single group, repeated measures design with a nonprobability convenience sample of 30 subjects. Physiological data were collected for 10 minutes before intervention, during 30 minutes of Healing Touch treatment, and for 10 minutes posttreatment. During the course of the treatment, changes were observed for all psychological and physiological measures, with the exception of muscle tension that remained constant. Results suggest that Healing Touch treatment is associated with both physiological and psychological relaxation. Further study is warranted to explore the efficacy of Healing Touch as an intervention for stress in healthy adults.

Departments of Nursing (Maville), Occupational Therapy (Bowen), and Psychology and Anthropology (Benham), University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas.

Corresponding Author: Janice A. Maville, EdD, MSN, CNS, HTP, Department of Nursing, University of Texas-Pan American, 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.