On Energy Assessment in the Therapeutic Touch Treatment

Previously Unpublished

By Barbara Janelle M.A.

Years ago in a Therapeutic Touch course with Dr. Dolores Krieger, my triad partner and I were asked for our assessment of a TT recipient. We responded with the general pattern in the field and by noting imbalances here and there. Dr. Krieger checked the woman and said immediately that the field was significantly depleted in energy. Up until then, my energetic assessment in TT had focused on the location of discrepancies in the field. This experience started me on a path of learning to recognise the energetic needs of the field.

Energy And Health

In practising Therapeutic Touch for almost 20 years, I have come to recognise that where there is a health problem, ultimately there is a lack of energy in the field. In the state of good health, a lot of energy is constantly flowing through the field. When health is poor, less energy moves through the field, and there is a stronger attempt to draw energy into the field.

When energy flow is sluggish, there is a build-up or congestion of energy in the field. Janet Macrae describes loose congestion as heat, thickness, heaviness or pressure (1) I believe that congestion slows energy frequency so the field cannot use it. In Therapeutic Touch we use unruffling to move this congestion out of the field. This in turn makes it easier for energy of a higher frequency to enter and be used by the field. The continual intake of large volumes of bright, light energy is a normal healthy field function.

Energetic Drawing

I teach very little energy assessment in Level 1 Therapeutic Touch. The primary focus in this level is supporting flow through the field and developing student’s ability to sense the field. In Level 2, assessment of the general pattern in the field is encouraged. Patterns of differences between upper and lower regions, side to side differences, or diagonal distinctions are commonly found, with occasional localised areas standing out. In Level 3, exercises demonstrating the energy drawing sensation in the areas of the adrenals and the Spleen Chakra are introduced.

Two exercises to demonstrate the draw of energy are:

    1. Center and hold your hand over the Splenic Chakra, on the left side of the abdomen below the 10th rib (lowest one to be felt at the front of the body). In a moment you will begin to feel energy being drawn from you’re your hand, particularly at the palm and fingertips.
    2. Working with a partner, center and hold your hands over your partner’s back at the adrenal glands (small glands above the kidneys, closer to the spine and slightly above waist level). After a moment or two you will feel a draw from your hands. One adrenal gland may be pulling more than the other. Part of the treatment will be an attempt to balance that drawing.

The spleen and the adrenals normally draw great volumes of energy. A practitioner can place hands over these areas and offer energy for long periods of time without fear of overdosing the field.

I recommend that these exercises be done with the hands on the areas, as well as a few inches above the skin, particularly for practitioners who are interested in working with animals. (Sometimes it is more reassuring for the animal to do assessment with hands in contact with the physical body.) Repeating these exercises over a few days will teach students to recognise the feel of energy being pulled from the hands.

Assessing Energy Needs

The overall energetic need of the field is often apparent in the first moments of assessment. A field that is significantly depleted will draw energy with practically every pore! The practitioner will feel this by simply placing hands on the recipient’s shoulders. Also in a severely depleted field, the Splenic Chakra and adrenals will be pulling in energy fiercely. Problem sites will be pulling energy too.

There is a difference between the feel of normal energy intake and fierce pulling. In normal energy intake, I find that the entire hand feels the draw (palm and finger tips particularly) so that energy is actually drawn into a fairly wide area. The draw is steady and uniform and the practitioner finds it comfortable. In fierce energy pulling, the center of the palm feels the draw to a point where it can actually hurt; the area that energy is being drawn into is quite small. The rhythm is erratic and at times can resemble gulping. I find a correspondence between fierce pulling and sites where humans and animals experience pain or significant discomfort. Animals will often protect these sites; humans will as well but they will also verbally confirm that this is an area of pain.

Energising the Field

Whole Field. Substantially increasing the amount of energy flowing through the field can be done with a combination of approaches:

    1. Deepening grounding will increase the amount of energy coming into the field from both the universal sea and the Earth. Followed by a very through unruffling that draws energy in through the crown and down through the field significantly brightens the field.
    2. Energising the field through the Splenic Chakra and the adrenals by
  • holding hands over these sites and offering energy
  • or by talking to the field (combined with light unruffling) and reminding it that it lives in an infinite sea of energy and can draw as much as it needs all the time. If I find the field is gulping energy, I ask it to take gently and steadily, and to continue to do so, as is normal.
    1. If the rhythm of the adrenals or Splenic Chakra is significantly off, I will hold my hands there and considerably deepen my own centering. The field at these areas, and indeed the entire field, generally steadies and becomes more uniform. This is also a way of balancing the drawing of the two adrenals.

Problem Sites. For problem sites, I will often go to the corresponding chakra: primary, secondary or tertiary, and use the approaches given above.

For example, for an injury to the lower arm, I will

  • support the flow of energy out of the hand into the ground
  • then unruffle lightly at the elbow joint (pulling out at a 90° angle)
  • followed by either offering energy to the chakra at the elbow and unruffling downward through the problem area, or by reminding the chakra that it can take from the surrounding sea and supporting this with unruffling.
  • If the injury is substantial, I will work at the Heart Chakra, deepening of center and reminding the chakra to take energy from the universal field. Unruffling down the arm and out the hand follows this.


General Comments on Assessing the Field

In assessing the field in the early stages of the Therapeutic Touch Treatment, I check for several things:

    1. The energetic character of the field as defined by its need for energy
    2. The quality of the grounding which can give a lot of information about overall function of the field (2)
    3. General pattern of flow in the field
    4. Localised needs

I continue to monitor these things as the treatment progresses. The treatment usually moves toward conclusion as energy intake steadies, grounding deepens, the field pattern becomes more uniform and local imbalances less noticeable.


  1. Janet Macrae, Therapeutic Touch A Practical Guide, Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1999, p. 41
  2. Barbara Janelle, “Grounding in the Therapeutic Touch Treatment,” Embodiment of Spirit: Learning Through Therapeutic Touch, self-published, 2003


BJ/Summer 2003