London Therapeutic Touch Hospital Team
By Barbara Janelle M.A.
First Published In Touch, Vol. X, no. 1, February 1998
We have a Therapeutic Touch Hospital Team in London that has been operating for several years. Like Topsy, it just grew out of day to day work. I started seeing friends who were undergoing surgery. I would treat them just before surgery, see them again as soon as they were out of recovery, and then visit them almost daily until they were released from hospital. I learned very quickly that it is difficult for one person to carry the load of treating a person in hospital for many days.
In 1993, Evelyn MacKay asked if I would treat a woman she was working with, who was coming to a London hospital for treatment. My TT 3rd level students were delighted to do this, so we started our first team. Over the next year and a half we worked with more hospital patients.
In 1995, Brian Parkinson had a heart attack. He’d completed three levels of TT the previous spring, and asked that a team, comprised of his former classmates, be set up to treat him. That team of nine people saw Brian through triple bypass surgery. He received TT every day from mid-September until Christmas and his rapid recovery without the severe depression associated with this kind of surgery was amazing (see “Brian’s Team”).
Since then we have fielded many teams to treat hospital patients at their request. Our most recent team worked with a 22-year-old fellow in ICU from mid-October until Christmas. A former student and social worker told his family about Therapeutic Touch and the Hospital Team. The young man’s mother called us in seven weeks after he had severely damaged his lungs during a prank with friends. They were swallowing goldfish and he tried to swallow a starfish and aspirated it. He was air-ambulanced to University Hospital where they removed what they could with forceps and kept him under observation. Within two hours he was in desperate condition. Admitted to ICU on August 31st, he’d been in a coma for seven weeks before we were called in to treat him on October 20th. At that time he was given only a 50% chance of surviving.
Those first few treatments were grim because it was like working on a corpse–he was so still and pale and flaccid. By the fourth day (4th TT treatment), his cheeks were rosy. He came out of the coma, off the respirator, off the ventilator and finally out of ICU by the first week of December. He was discharged from hospital on December 23rd with 40% use of his lungs; the doctors predict full recovery within 6 months to a year.
We treated him daily and kept a small notebook in the room where we recorded the response of the field to each treatment. Every ICU nurse commented on his recovery, calling it a miracle, and attributing it to Therapeutic Touch. One nurse told me after a treatment that she had checked his parameters just before I came in and checked them again while I was making notes. She was fascinated to discover that he was in a much deeper sleep after the treatment.
The members of that team were: Sharron Cafik, Karen Gascho, Jackie Hopgood, Jitka Malec, Brian Parkinson, Kelly Trevail, Juanita Will and myself.
The Hospital TT Team has 25 members. The requirements are a minimum of 40 hours of Therapeutic Touch training, at least a year’s experience using TT, a depth of maturity, inner quiet and ability to hold center under difficult circumstances (ICU is a zoo!), and location within the London area. I hope eventually to have 30 or more well-trained people to call upon.
The Hospital TT Team responds to the requests of patients (or the immediate family if the patient is unconscious) for Therapeutic Touch. The Team members volunteer their work and patients (or their families) are asked to pay only parking fees.
There are many advantages to being on the Hospital TT Team. First and foremost, it is an opportunity to help people. Working on the team provides a wide-range of experience and on-going training in Therapeutic Touch that is not available in a classroom situation. In a quiet way we are bringing TT into the London hospital community. Our teams have been permitted to work on patients in ICU, CCU, CCTC and the Liver Transplant Unit, as well as in regular hospital rooms.
I will speak about the London Hospital TT Team, the guidelines we have established and the joys and difficulties of working in hospital at the TT Network’s Practitioners’ Day “Heart of the Healer” workshop on May 9th.
Barbara Janelle. “Brian’s Team.” First Published In Touch, Vol. VIII, no. 1, March 1996
The opportunity to work with very ill patients provides incredible training. Some of our observations and experiences are:
– Anesthetic in the field feels like mud–thick, hard to move. It stays in the field strongly for about three days, and there are hints of it even beyond that time period. The practitioner must be patient and use TT to support the field in dealing with it.
– Sedatives sedate the field and it feels slow to respond. It is easy to get frustrated and wonder if anything is being accomplished in the TT treatment. Again, patience and holding center are required.
– Two ICU patients in different hospitals in the same week, both had brushes with leaving, one more so than the other. This was a big decision making time, AND THE SOLAR PLEXUS GULPED ENERGY! Yellow!!! One of the team members who saw the one in big trouble said the field actually scared her with its DEMAND for energy. We learned that the crisis peaked twelve hours later and the woman almost died. The next team member to see her a few hours after this near-end reported the field lighter than it had been, the grounding thin but growing–obviously a decision made. A week later, she was conscious, sitting in a chair and down-graded to extended ICU.
– Michael Fox, one of our TT Team, said recently, “There is nothing I do that is so selfless as this.”
– Another ICU patient presented so many issues and lessons for me that I fussed mentally and emotionally over him. When I asked what am I to do for him, the strong, quiet voice said, “Support him, NOW.” Well there are marching orders for you! Stow the garbage and be there for him!
– Depression has tentacles. I feel it when I enter the room–cold, encompassing, challenging. When I leave without having consciously recognized it, I wonder what is wrong, because I leave with a feeling of downheartedness. When I know that depression is there, I can prepare for it by asking for help, filling the room with blue, centering very deeply.
– Lately, I have asked for magic in the form of love beyond anything I can conceive to fill the field of patients; it takes the pressure off finding appropriate visualisations for difficult fields. Very nice!
– The staff in CCTU and ICU know many of us by name. TT is known and welcomed. The nurses thank us when we leave. We walk softly, are non-invasive and non-threatening in their world. Our gentleness is met with gentleness. –BJ 2/99