On Receiving a Therapeutic Touch Treatment

By Barbara Janelle M.A.

 In a recent Therapeutic Touch session, the woman receiving the treatment asked, “Should I focus on something during the treatment? ” Essentially she was asking if she should focus on sending healing to the particular problem area. To ask a receiver to do this would only introduce an element of tension that will affect the field’s ability to take the treatment. I said, “No, it is best that you relax and receive the treatment. ” She replied, “Receiving – that has always been difficult for me.”

TT Receiver’s Focus

The receiver can best approach and participate in the treatment by being in a receptive mode and trusting the practitioner. In this mode, the receiver supports the effectiveness of the treatment and achieves deeper relaxation and a stronger move toward improved order in the field. Receiving involves trust and willingness to accept the TT treatment, as well as releasing a need to “do something” or to control a situation. When this occurs, the treatment flows beautifully. The practitioner can deepen centering easily. The field gives information more readily and responds to the treatment more quickly and easily.

Any state of mind that creates or maintains tension will reduce the field‘s ability to take in the TT treatment. If the receiver fears, mistrusts, or needs to control, the field will mirror this and partially or completely block the treatment. A good practitioner will recognize this condition and encourage the receiver to truly receive the treatment. If this is not possible, the practitioner will end the treatment. If the treatment continues with a field that is blocking, both practitioner and receiver will become distressed: the practitioner will feel increasingly puzzled and frustrated, and the receiver will become impatient and possibly even physically uncomfortable (this may take the form of a mild headache as it is often thought that is setting up the resistance).

As a long-time practitioner of TT, I have found it useful to explain the treatment procedure to first-time receivers and encourage them to watch what I am doing for the first few minutes. Then if they feel comfortable, to close their eyes, relax and receive the treatment.

If at some stage in life, a receiver has been mentally, emotionally or physically abused, I encourage the person to watch or check periodically what I am doing, and I seat the receiver in a chair with myself at the side. To get too close to the front of the person or to hover behind can be very threatening. This is not so much the case with an approach from the side (away from the main axis of the major chakras) and working with hands 12 inches or more away from the body.

Practitioner’s Responsibilities

 In my many years of using Therapeutic Touch, I can honestly say this work is very safe and wonderfully effective. The only conditions under which it is not comfortable and effective are when

a) the receiver blocks the treatment

b) the practitioner lets personal issues interfere with centering

c) the practitioner does not continually assess and respond to information and direction from the field.

Qualities and actions that the practitioner develops to make treatments more effective include:

developing the ability to center, deepen center, and hold center for longer and longer periods of time

b)      working gently and subtlety with visualization and hand movements

c)      continually listening to the field and following its instruction

d)      building pauses into the treatment to allow the field to process the work

As well, the practitioner must also earn the recipient’s trust through gentle work and ethical behaviour. Ethics include not only confidentiality and focus on TT, but also behaviour that demonstrates respect for the receiver: listening well, not being drawn into attempting to diagnose, give psychic readings, advise/counsel beyond the framework of TT, and staying in a state of service to the receiver.

Trust and Respect

Ultimately, the Therapeutic Touch treatment is an arena where practitioner and recipient meet with trust and respect and engage in an experience of deep and profound wholeness that brings healing on many levels to both. The treatment is done in silence as both enter sacred space where aspects of heart – love, trust, hope and respect- are paramount. Both recipient and practitioner are changed by the treatment, each moving toward greater wholeness and trust in self and life.


BJ/May 2007