“Returning Pain”

Compiled by Carolyn Buchanan & Sue Frid

In Touch, Vol. XIII, No. 1, Winter (December), 2001

Question: A person new to Therapeutic Touch gave a treatment to someone who received injuries in a fall. That night the recipient experienced a lot of pain and was unable to sleep. Although she felt better the next day she was reluctant to have another treatment. The practitioner was also reluctant to give another treatment. What information could we give to the recipient and the practitioner to help them overcome their fear?

Answer from Barbara Janelle M.A.

Therapeutic Touch will reduce pain and speed healing. There are many instances where a single treatment has resulted in the permanent elimination of pain. There are also many cases where pain has returned.

One of the reasons for pain returning is that the person feels so good, he/she overworks and does not give the body a full chance to recover. When pain returns, it may feel sharper because the original experience of pain has been forgotten. In this particular incident, I would like to know what the person did after the treatment and before going to bed.

Another reason for pain returning is that the injury is deeper than recognized. The TT treatment may have addressed one layer of the damage and a deeper level may appear later. We know, for example, that a person may recover quickly from the pain of a fall, only to experience an overall body ache many hours later. In many instances, TT will prevent this but not in all cases. (1)

My advice for the practitioner would be to recommend at the time of the treatment that the person check with a doctor to be sure that there is no deeper damage. Also, the practitioner can advise the person to rest and give the body a chance to recover more fully from the fall.

The new practitioner can trust their treatments when they have:

    1. worked lightly and gently
    2. supported good grounding of the field
    3. softly unruffled the entire field and invited light to flow completely through it
    4. kept their sessions brief

In my experience, Therapeutic Touch does not do damage. It is very safe, very gentle and very helpful.


(1) I wrote an article about the use of TT with chronic pain that addresses some of the ideas presented here: “Thoughts on Therapeutic Touch and Chronic Pain,” In Touch, Vol. IX, No. 1, March, 1997.