By Barbara Janelle M.A.

When we enter a Therapeutic Touch treatment, we walk into another world, another way of being – one where magic can happen. The doorway into this world is through centering and moving into the present moment.


Try this exercise: for 15 seconds or less scan another person’s hand, or even your own hand. What happens to you as you do this? What happens to your partner?

The first thing that you may notice is that your world has changed: you are now in an expanded and peaceful place. Your awareness increases dramatically and your breathing slows and deepens. Your body begins to relax and you become peaceful. In addition, the sensation in your hand changes. You may notice too that the information you are taking in may be about more than your partner’s physical field. Your awareness of the room and of sound may change, and you may also be starting to pick-up intuitive insights about your partner.


Your partner may notice the beginning of a relaxation response too – the tension in the body easing and breathing deepening. Awareness of the room may shift too, and your partner may begin to pick-up intuitive information about you as well!

What caused this change in both of you? The intention and act of focusing attention to receive information as fully as possible is the impetus for moving into an expanded world and changing yourself; that in turn supports a change in your partner. The act of focusing attention is an act of centering.


In TT we add another aspect to our work and that is seeing the other person with compassion and tremendous respect. We consciously move into partnership with the receiver and the receiver’s field in a TT treatment.

Try this exercise:

    1. For a minute, acknowledge your own magnificence as a spiritual being. See your own beauty, kindness, wisdom, and power; own and value your true self.
    2. Now look at your partner and see the beauty in this person – the magnificent spirit, and feel what an honour it is to work with this wonderful being.
    3. Then scan your partner’s hand again for a few seconds.

Was this experience the same or different from the initial one for you and for your partner?

Not only is the act of attending to a catalyst for change, but the quality of the attention affects the kinds of changes that occur. When we enter TT with compassion and respect, seeing the beauty in another, the world that we walk into gets even larger and the possibilities for magic magnify a millionfold.

In the TT treatment, we also bring trust in the field’s ability to move toward greater order. Remarkably, this occurs simply with our compassionate, respectful, trusting and deeply centered attention to the field. In the Therapeutic Touch treatment, we focus on wholeness rather than on illness and support the functioning of the entire field.


Attending to something is a way of energizing it. In life, if we focus on a problem, seeing it as a problem, we can build the problem to greater proportions. If instead, we use our ability to energize a situation in a positive way we can support problem solving.

Exercise 3: Think of a situation in your life that you would like to see change for the better.

    1. First, review the difficulty of the situation and notice how this makes you feel.
    2. Then imagine how the situation might be better.
    3. Now surround the new image in light, deepen your own level of internal peace and release it with the request to the universe: “This or something even better.”(1)

Adding positive feelings of compassion and hope to the act of paying attention, and then deepening, deepening center can lead to remarkable changes in oneself and in one’s world.

In 1984, I traveled to what was then the Soviet Union with Linda Tellington-Jones. During our three-week trip, we worked with horses, did some sightseeing and had the opportunity to meet with healers in Moscow and in Tbilisi. One of these people, a woman in Moscow singled me out, looked me deeply in the eyes and said, “The way to peace is peace.”

That statement was the beginning of a journey that has led to my understanding that my world is a reflection of me and that if I wish to change it, I must change myself. The following are some of my experiences of doing this:

      1. If tension is building in a discussion, I can pause and feel at peace within myself. Upon returning to the discussion, I usually find that a change has occurred. In addition to this, I can deepen the trust between another and myself by seeing the beauty in the other person. I choose not only what I focus on but also how I attend to it.

Another example of this came from Bernice Irving, TT Practitioner in London, ON. Bernice told me about being on a city bus when a woman and her baby got on. The child began crying and everyone on the bus became anxious and tense. Bernice went into meditation and when she emerged a few minutes later the baby was quiet and everyone was very peaceful.

    1. In a classroom TT practicum, if I see a student doing something inappropriate such as waving hands too fast and without awareness or being out of synch with a partner, I will deepen my own level of peace. In emerging from this a few moments later, inevitably I find the student’s level of centering, pace of work and interaction with partner(s) has moved into a more profound place.
    2. In the forum of world affairs, I choose carefully where I put my attention and on what I say and do. I focus on the possibility of peace, the act of meditation that makes me peaceful, and upon trust in a “universe of compassion and order” (a favorite phrase from Dora Kunz).


This is not about sending change to another or to a situation. Rather it is about changing ourselves in profoundly peaceful ways and through that changing the world around us. “The way to peace is peace.”


1. This exercise is a variation on Shakti Gawain’s Pink bubble technique described in her book Creative Visualization, Bantam Books, New York, Toronto: 1978.