This biofield energy therapy directs energy through practitioners’ hands to rebalance your energy field.

How can Therapeutic Touch® help you? What the research says

We summarize the clinical evidence for each medical benefit here. We begin with our assessment of the strength of evidence within each category, followed by a brief summary of individual studies or reviews of several studies. In assessing the strength of evidence, we consider the study design, number of participants, and the size of the treatment effect (how much outcomes changed with treatment).

To see more details, click the plus sign to the right of any section.

Improving treatment outcomes

Is Therapeutic Touch® linked to improved survival? Is it linked to less cancer growth or metastasis? Does it enhance the anticancer action of other treatments or therapies? We present the evidence.

Notable preclinical evidencetesting a drug, a procedure, or another medical treatment in isolated cells or in animals; preclinical evidence is considered only an initial indication of possible effects in people is listed in Are you a health professional? ›

Optimizing your body terrain

Does Therapeutic Touch® promote an environment within your body that is less supportive of cancer development, growth, or spread? We present the evidence.

See Optimizing Your Body Terrain ›

Find medical professionals who specialize in managing body terrain factors: Finding Integrative Oncologists and Other Practitioners ›

We also recommend that you share with your doctor the information here about how Therapeutic Touch® might affect these terrain factors if you have any imbalances.

Hormone imbalance

Changes in hormone levels seen in the studies here may not be beneficial in every situation. Your oncology team needs to determine whether any changes would be favorable for your condition.

Preliminary evidencesignificant effects in small or poorly designed clinical studies OR conflicting results in adequate studies but a preponderance of evidence of an effect (this is the CancerChoices definition; other researchers and studies may define this differently) of lower cortisol levels after vascular surgery among people treated with TT

Immune function

Increased immune system activation is not always beneficial, so your oncology team needs to determine whether immune activation would be favorable in your situation.

Preliminary evidence of a higher marker of immune activation after vascular surgery among people treated with TT

Managing side effects and promoting wellness

Is Therapeutic Touch® linked to fewer or less severe side effects or symptoms? Is it linked to less toxicity from cancer treatment? Does it support your quality of life or promote general well-being? We present the evidence.

Anxiety

Insufficient (conflicting) evidencepreclinical evidence only OR clinical studies with such poor or unclear methodology that no conclusion can be drawn OR conflicting findings across clinical studies with no preponderance of evidence in one direction; conflicting evidence occurs when studies find conflicting effects (positive effect vs no effect or negative effect) with the same treatment and the same general study population (same cancer type, for example) (this is the CancerChoices definition; other researchers and studies may define this differently) of less anxiety among people with cancer treated with TT

Fatigue

Preliminary evidence of less fatigue during chemotherapy among women with cancer treated with TT

Gastrointestinal symptoms

Preliminary evidence of less nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy among people with breast cancer treated with TT

Pain

Preliminary (conflicting) evidence of less pain among people with cancer treated with TT

Quality of life

Preliminary evidence of greater well-being among people with terminal cancer treated with TT

Therapeutic Touch® combined with other mind-body therapies

Preliminary evidence of less reported confusion among women treated with TT and soft music

Managing symptoms not specific to cancer

Modest evidencesignificant effects in at least three small but well-designed randomized controlled trials (RCTs), or one or more well-designed, mid-sized clinical studies of reasonably good quality (RCTs or observational studies), or several small studies aggregated into a meta-analysis (this is the CancerChoices definition; other researchers and studies may define this differently) of less pain among people treated with TT

Preliminary evidence of less anxiety, less fatigue, more vigor, less sleep disruption, and less reported tension or markers of stress among people treated with TT

Insufficient evidencepreclinical evidence only OR clinical studies with such poor or unclear methodology that no conclusion can be drawn OR conflicting findings across clinical studies with no preponderance of evidence in one direction; conflicting evidence occurs when studies find conflicting effects (positive effect vs no effect or negative effect) with the same treatment and the same general study population (same cancer type, for example) (this is the CancerChoices definition; other researchers and studies may define this differently) of better wound healing among people treated with TT

Helpful links

Find a study ›

Enter a specific cancer or other condition in the Condition or Disease box, then enter “Therapeutic Touch” in the Other Terms box

Keep reading about Therapeutic Touch®

Authors

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS

Senior Clinical Consultant
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Laura Pole is senior clinical consultant for CancerChoices. Laura is an oncology clinical nurse specialist who has been providing integrative oncology clinical care, navigation, consultation, and education services for over 40 years. She is the co-creator and co-coordinator of the Integrative Oncology Navigation Training at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC. Laura also manages the “Media Watch Cancer News That You Can Use” listserv for Smith Center/Commonweal. In her role as a palliative care educator and consultant, Laura has served as statewide Respecting Choices Faculty for the Virginia POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) Collaborative as well as provided statewide professional education on palliative and end-of-life care for the Virginia Association for Hospices and Palliative Care.

For CancerChoices, Laura curates content and research, networks with clinical and organizational partners, brings awareness and education of integrative oncology at professional and patient conferences and programs, and translates research into information relevant to the patient experience as well as clinical practice.

Laura sees her work with CancerChoices as a perfect alignment of all her passions, knowledge and skills in integrative oncology care. She is honored to serve you.

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS Senior Clinical Consultant

Nancy Hepp, MS

Lead Researcher
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Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher and writer for CancerChoices and also served as the first program manager. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.

Nancy Hepp, MS Lead Researcher

Last update: December 21, 2023

Last full literature review: August 2021

CancerChoices provides information about integrative in cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocial therapy, and acupuncture therapies and self-care lifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.

Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.

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