Healing Touch & Beyond

Colorful Journey

Healing Touch and other genres of energy-based therapy, can be explained in a very scientific, western medical model kind of way. Here in Minnesota, it is welcomed and offered in multiple major hospitals as a complimentary therapy for patients and staff. In its most basic form, it is beneficial in promoting relaxation, reducing pain, stress, and nausea.  Countless of studies have been conducted regarding the effects of stress on health and well-being.  One may simply note that by promoting relaxation through touch, blood flow improves, thus increasing the oxygen supply to cells, tissues, the brain, etc.

Healing Touch was originally developed by a holistic nurse, Janet Mentgen, RN, BSN, and as such, Healing Touch Practitioners follow similar methods of documentation as do nurses. As a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, I volunteered for four and a half years at Woodwinds Health Campus, a hospital in Woodbury, Minnesota. We were asked to have patients rate their experience of pain, stress and nausea on a scale from 0-10, both before and after the Healing Touch session. We would document the techniques used and file paper work in the patients’ medical charts. A code of ethics was followed as described within the Healing Touch Code of Ethics as well as hospital policies of practice.  All things were done very professionally within the hospital, requiring security clearance, a health screening and a suggested professional attire.

All that being said, there is still more yet to be explained regarding Healing Touch and other named energy-based therapies.  There is a broad spectrum, ranging in both scientific applications to more spiritual practices.  Amongst the many titles of therapies are vibrational medicine, energy medicine, Integrated Energy Therapy, Reiki, Qi-gong, hands-on-healing, Therapeutic Touch.   How can one explain all of these?  What’s happening on a scientific level, on a spiritual level?  What do we know about quantum theory and how conscious awareness effects energy and outcomes?

After I completed my Healing Touch certification in 2005, I was still intrigued to learn more.  At the time, I felt that the source of all energy therapies was the same, but there were so many different genres, pathways, systems, trademarks, etc.  I thought that perhaps if I held titles and certifications in many, allowing me to speak with “authority” to those clients familiar with particular energy therapies, I could then move past the labels of energy work and be free to go back to the common foundation.   On some level, I was hoping to merge the compartmentalization within healing practices by being a jack of all trades, so to speak.

While exploring classes in Reiki, Qi-gong and Integrated Energy Therapy, I continued to develop my Healing Touch skills with a mentor providing feedback.  Within the Healing Touch model of energy work, we practiced being aware of sensations in our hands, whether it be heat, density, prickle sensations, coolness, etc.  These  were ways to “read” what was going on in a person’s energy field, a tool for assessing the client’s condition.  After years of practicing, I found that I wasn’t picking up on information via my hands to the degree I believed necessary, and I began to feel frustrated.  And so with the blessing of frustration, my inner journey began.

Four simple words were enough to ignite my light bulb in an “ah-ha” moment.  My mentor, Jeanne Cherner, once described that she “feels with her eyes.”  As odd as this may sound to our normal understanding of senses, this made total sense to me!  Within the mentor sessions, I decided to “take off my Healing Touch hat” (as well as other modalities) and just explore how I gain information.  No preset ideas of how it “should” work.  No more trying to replicate how other healing practitioners work.  I began to be aware of the movement and flow of energy, not via my hands, but within my awareness.  As I “sensed” what was happening, I’d check in with Jeanne, whom had the ability to kinesthetically track the energy.  Though I am what I call a “healthy skeptic,”  I decided to operate within trust, without self-critical judgement, so that I could explore and discover what it was within myself that needed to be discovered.  With an open mind, I tried to keep myself out of that place of doubt,  while maintaining a mind set of  being like a kindergartner, learning something new.  I began to trust my own intuitive knowing.

Of my 17 years of exploration into the intuitive side of healing arts, 12 of those years have been focused specifically on skills and awareness as an energy-based practitioner.  I hold witness to my journey through the years, but also witness and hold space for the client’s healing journey.  Opening up to an expanded awareness and consciousness has brought creativity, wonderment, joy and discovery to the sessions. Currently, I would describe my healing practice as one that bridges both the scientific and spiritual.   For clients new to energy-base therapy, often I will practice the Healing Touch techniques, as they are more structured in format and application.  For clients that have being doing energy-work for some time, a more intuitive approach is integrated, tapping into the creativity of expanded awareness and consciousness.

I welcome you to explore the art and science of your own growing consciousness.   The mystery of the unknown, within science and spirituality is very intriguing.  At some level, there begins to be a blending of the two, one indistinguishable from the other.  Open up to the mystery and discover your own creativity,  joy, health and well-being!


Writing & Oil Pastel by Amy Laederach.





About the Author

Amy Laederach is an energy-based therapist and health advocate, facilitating health & well-being for the body, mind & soul, at Everspring Health in Minneapolis, MN. In her spare time, Amy enjoys writing, photography, art and West Coast Swing Dance.