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Effects of healing touch therapy being studied
Date:7/1/2008

CINCINNATIOften, a gentle hand on your shoulder when you're upset is all it takes to ease your mind and calm your nerves.

Now, University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers are looking at a similar occurrence by pairing a complementary therapy known as Healing Touch with mild sedation to see if the technique truly calms patients undergoing minor procedures.

Healing Touch is a series of techniques that balance energy for wholeness within a person's body, mind and soul. It is an energy therapy that can be used in conjunction with other traditional medical treatments.

Nathan Schmulewitz, MD, the lead author of this investigator-initiated study and assistant professor of digestive diseases, says people undergoing procedures often have problems falling asleep because of anxiety.

Schmulewitz specializes in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), a technique for imaging and accessing deep structures in the chest and abdomen which are near the GI tract. EUS is used as a screening tool for cancer or other suspicious polyps.

He says if a patient is unable to fall asleep with intravenous sedation, it might be necessary to use stronger anesthesia which is expensive and not often covered by insurance companies.

"In addition, stronger sedation can prolong recovery for the patient and can cause slight amnesia following the procedure," Schmulewitz says.

This study is looking at whether coupling Healing Touch with mild sedation prior to an EUS procedure can help relax patients, avoiding problems with anesthesia and making the procedure run more smoothly.

Judy Bowers, a nurse at University Hospital, Healing Touch practitioner and co-author of the study, has been doing this therapy for about seven years and has administered it to over 40 patients involved in this study.

"By restoring balance within the energy system, you create an optimal environment for healing," Bowers says. "This is complementary medicine, not
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Contact: Katie Pence
katie.pence@uc.edu
513-558-4561
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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