Healing by gentle touch in musculoskeletal disorders

Weze, Clare, Leathard, Helen and Stevens, Gretchen (2005) Healing by gentle touch in musculoskeletal disorders. Spirituality and Health International, 6 (4). pp. 200-211. Full text not available from this repository.

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/shi.25/...

Abstract

The Centre for Complementary Care, Muncaster (The Centre), provides healing by gentle touch: a non-invasive intervention that is complementary to conventional medicine and involves the gentle placing of hands on various parts of the body. An outcomes study at The Centre has recorded
clients’ perceptions of their health status, both before and after treatment, using validated research tools. A subgroup of clients attending The Centre with largely long-term, intractable musculoskeletal disorders (including osteoarthritis and various joint/back injuries) reported
significant reductions in stress and pain, increased ability to cope and to carry out usual activities,
improved relaxation levels, reduced medication use and decreased disability after four healing sessions. Those participants with the most severe symptoms on entry showed the most substantial improvement. Some of the processes that might be responsible for the improvements in these subjects include the modification of stress and pain pathways by particular psychological and physiological aspects of healing. The psychological mediators include love, caring, willingness to treat and aspects of the therapeutic relationship. The physiological mediators include touch, warmth and relaxation. These interact indirectly with the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)
axis and related systems to ease those aspects of the ailment that are exacerbated by stress, thus greatly reducing symptoms and facilitating endogenous healing mechanisms. The intensity and significance of pain may be lowered by modification of both the interpretation of the sensory input, and the psychological component of the pain experience. This is likely to result in a change
in the perception of pain severity, the quality of the pain and the level of distress it produces. These findings suggest that healing may be a valuable adjuvant to other therapeutic interventions.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Spirituality and Health International
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1557-0665
Related URL(s):
Departments: Faculty of Health and Science > Medical and Sports Sciences > Health and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2010 16:16
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2016 16:08
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/374

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