This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
Therapeutic touch is a healing technique in which a practitioner's hands are passed in wavelike motions inches above a person's body. (Despite the name, the practitioner typically does not make contact with the body, although some practitioners do include physical touch.) It is believed that by doing therapeutic touch, the practitioner can break up a person's energy blockages and thus improve health and well-being.
Therapeutic touch weaves together elements from a variety of healing traditions, among them Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and the ancient religious practice of laying on of hands. It was developed in the early 1970s by Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N., a professor emeritus of nursing at New York University, and Dora Kunz, a healer and author of several books on human energy fields and therapeutic touch.
The idea of a human energy field, or life force, isn't new. It is included in Ayurvedic medicine as prana, and the Chinese known it as qi. Therapeutic touch is controversial in the West, however, where the notion of an energy field is not generally accepted.