Healing Touch for quicker recovery from heart surgery: a research article review

    The article, ‘The efficacy of healing touch in coronary artery bypass surgery recovery: a randomized clinical trial,’ demonstrates the remarkable ability of this somatic practice, healing touch, to assist in the healing of people. Healing Touch (HT) is considered a complementary and alternative medicine practice (CAM). “The use of CAM in conduction with conventional care has great potential to address patient pain, complication rates, and recovery time” (Barb MacIntyre, Jane Hamilton, and Theresa Fricke, et al., 2008). In review of this article, HT is shown to have helped the heart surgery patients recover through this relaxation technique, by supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This research is important for the health care field, to integrate holistic practices like HT, to create a more relaxing and peaceful atmosphere within the stressful hospital environment.

The methodology selected for this research study was an experimental randomized controlled trial which lasted from September 1999 until November 2002 (MacIntyre et. al., 2008). There were three groups, a control group, visitor group, and partial intervention group. The group that received the HT proved the hypothesis to be true, that those who experienced HT would have noticeable results or an incline in relaxation, pain reduction, and speedy recovery. The HT patients were released from the hospital much earlier than those who did not. Positive results were reported by the intervention group, the patients commented that they were not aware of how stressed they had been until they experienced the deeply relaxing benefits from HT (MacIntyre et. al., 2008).

    Psychoneuroimmunology or the study of how emotions and beliefs can create physical changes in the body coincides well with HT therapies. HT is an ancient wisdom that believes what we think we shall become and works well based on intention and placebo effects. Currently “eastern” CAM modalities are intended to be integrated with “western” conventional care; this is  ideal since right now many people are using CAM without the help from insurance companies. It would be wise for insurance companies to include more CAM into the western health care system. Using modalities such as HT saves time, money, and resources; since the patients who received HT went home early with overall fewer mortality rates (MacIntyre et. al., 2008). HT is becoming a more popular healing modality in the health care system and we should look forward to seeing a positive correlation between touch therapy in the reduction of pain and stress for many more people to come.


MacIntyre, B., Hamilton, J., Fricke, T., et al. (2008). The use of CAM in conduction with conventional care has great potential to address patient pain, complication rates, and recovery time.  Alternative therapies Journal, Vol. 14 No. 4

Leave a Reply