Use Your Hands to Heal

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D.. Posted in Holistic Living.

Touch + Intention + Attention = Healing

You have used your hands for a myriad of tasks today, but most likely none of them have involved healing.  That’s about to change.  It is both simple and easy to transmit healing energy using the very hands that zip up your jacket, open doors, hold a phone or hand over a credit card.  

Touch is a powerful catalyst for healing energy. 

Put this magazine down for a minute, and place your palms and fingers lightly together in the classic prayer position ~ not to pray, but just to feel.  Focus on their temperature for a moment.  Relax a bit.  Maybe take a satisfyingly full breath.  Be present with your experience.  Is there even the slightest shift in temperature?  Now concentrate on sensations shared by those hands.  A slight pulsation perhaps.  Any buzzing, humming or prickles?  Be patient.  Pay attention.

                                       ~ Something’s Happening ~ 

Before you dismiss these phenomena as purely metabolic functions, slightly separate your hands.  Slowly move them a half-inch apart and notice anew what you experience as temperature and sensations.  Give yourself a full minute to check out any subtle changes.  Move them an inch apart, now, and notice feeling some air movement in addition to the other sensations.  What do you experience when they’re two inches apart?  Three inches?  Four?  Now, gently bring them closer together without touching, and then farther apart.  Do that slowly several times.  Closer, farther, closer, farther.  Become aware of a “bounciness” between your hands when they approach each other.  Notice how it dissipates when you draw them apart.  It’s a kind of cottony sensation.

Thousands of nurses have begun their training in Therapeutic Touch, developed by Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N. with that very process.  One nurse reported, “I was conscious of my hands and the tingling I felt in my fingers.  I felt the sense of pressure of the energy field between them.  The hands, which I had thought of all my life as appendages, took on new meaning.  I was aware of them for the first time as extensions of my mind.

                                       ~ Energy Radiates ~

“Later that same night, at a seminar, I experienced that same sensation of an energy field as I sat next to someone.  I sensed that the energy was being radiated between us and from us.  The two bodies close together created the same energy field as the two hands close together.  Now I realized that my body is an extension of my mind.

“As I reread my journal about my experiences with Therapeutic Touch, I find that there  were many interesting and ‘unusual’ experiences and happenings, but somehow, in retrospect, I am less inclined to label them as ‘unusual.’  As I grow experientially and become more aware, even the unexplainable happenings are no longer bizarre; they are simply new experiences.”                 

This is just one of many accounts from the pens of beginners presented in Krieger’s book, The Therapeutic Touch, How to Use Your Hands to Help or to Heal.   By doing this little process, anyone can activate or awaken or become aware of healing energy that’s been dormant or underdeveloped for who knows how long.

                                       ~ Touch Catalysts for Healing ~ 

If you have a dog, cat, gerbil, horse or bird, chances are stroking or patting it generates healing energy.  A loving caress for your Harley or Prius, Emmy or Oscar also sparks healing vibes.   Even tapping on your keyboard IF you’re e-mailing someone special, or writing an article about healing.  Maybe you arranged some flowers in a vase ~ that’ll do it, too.  Holding a loved one’s hand, playing a musical instrument, picking a garden tomato, heartfelt applause,  brushing another stroke on a painting are other examples of touch catalysts for healing.  As you become more aware of these healing moments, you strengthen your power.

Power?  Yes, power for doing good.  Power for soothing distraught emotions.  Power for easing physical pain.  Power to boost a sagging spirit.  You direct that power by holding a clear intention of altruistic well-being for yourself as giver as well as for the receiver.  These terms giver and receiver are inadequate to represent the actual sharing communion that’s involved here. Compassionately engaging your mental faculties on behalf of healing magnifies that energy.  That’s the power of attention empowering intention to deliver the goods. (I love how puns surface in my writing process!)

                             ~ Modern and Ancient Connections ~

Connect these principles of quantum physics up to the ancient practice of laying on hands, and you’ve got some major healing energy! I’ve personally trained hundreds of my student massage practitioners to use more of this healing energy.  Many of them were quite skeptical about these technique drills like the hands exercise above.  All became convinced by their own experience that this is very real and very practical. 

We’ve all got the gift of healing, so why not use it?  Cultural taboos certainly discourage touching.  A European psychologist logged touch rates while he lounged at cafes in different parts of the world.  Latino couples averaged the highest rate of touching ~ around 190 contacts in an hour.  Parisians touched nearly a hundred times during bistro tête á têtes.  Floridians in Gainsville scored only a few touches during an hour.  And, in London?   Well, let’s say there were long, long, long intervals between jottings.

So, asking permission is an easy way to resolve any cultural uncertainties.  Make a simple direct query.  Is it okay to place my hands on your [aching] shoulders [back, arm, foot, head]?  I think it may help.  It’s an offer, not a sales pitch.  If the ailing body part is a personal one, use tact and consideration by suggesting you could make a positive contribution just by placing your hands on their head or shoulders.  Rejection is probably nothing personal since isolation is a common tendency when one is feeling poorly.  No clothing need be removed.  The setting can be anywhere ~ a park bench, an unused office ~ always observing decorum appropriate to the environment being utilized.                                                                         

                                         ~ Laying on Hands ~ 

If your offer is accepted, soften your hands with relaxation as you gently place them.  Let them lay lightly in a position that is extremely comfortable for you to maintain for, say, ten minutes.  It’s important to let your whole body relax and your breathing to flow easily and fully.  Be clear about your intention.  Be consistent in your attention to the point of contact and to the receiver’s general body language.  Silence may be helpful, but it need not be enforced.  Quiet conversation may ensue, but it need not interfere with your primary focus.

Use this time to talk or think about all the aspects of health expressing itself through your body and the recipient’s body.  Rather than seeking to fix something that’s “wrong,” celebrate all that’s working well and trust life’s wisdom to restore comfort and ease.  Often, there are lessons to be learned as part of the healing process ~lessons that were overlooked or dismissed during the dis-ease process.  Using your hands to heal means adopting an attitude that might be described as detachment with love.  Accept the results without judging whether they are “successful.”  There will always be some degree of easement, but full restoration of comfortable function may take awhile.  Using your hands to heal is not about relieving symptoms, it’s about supporting the being’s multidimensional survival mechanisms to make corrections appropriate to its larger purpose.

                                                   ~ Try It! ~

Oops!  I’m getting a little too far out for you, aren’t I?  The important thing is to try this stuff.  This is not rocket science or brain surgery or some sacred religious ritual.  Try it and see what happens.  Respectfully approach this opportunity to keep an open mind about new experiences.  It’s helpful to foster motives of wholesome, helpful exploration.  This is not the ploy for being the life of a party, or scoring romantically.  Altruism seems to be a significant component of using your hands to heal. 

Try it on your pets and your plants.  Like learning to speak a foreign language or play a musical instrument, practice, practice, practice.  When my PC printer starts to experience repeated paper jams, I’ve cleared them many times by using my hands to heal it.  I double dare you to use your hands to heal at least a dozen times in the next week.  That’s only a couple times a day.  It’ll change your life.              

Writer's Bio: Karen is a naturopathic physician who has taken holistic healing and education into the realm of quantum physics. She is credited with “the first major breakthrough in Swedish Massage ~ research demonstrating energetic interconnections ~ since Peter Ling systemized it in the early 19th century.” International recognition for her healing and educational work includes an honorary degree, a silver medal, listing in Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women, appearances on TV and radio, lecturing in Europe and in the U.S. for professional symposia, colleges, corporations, community groups, and being featured in professional journals, magazines and newspapers. She has published more than 200 articles on holistic health and education. She has facilitated joyful well-being and health for hundreds of students she has personally certified in holistic healing and holistic massage and for hundreds more clients she has personally touched including luminaries in science, medicine and religion.
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