Lisa DeFosse Massage Therapy

Integrated Bodywork Professional

What is Healing Touch?

What is Healing Touch?

              Healing the sick was a central part of Jesus’ ministry and of the early Christian church. The gospels are full of stories about Jesus healing the sick, and Jesus commanded his followers to go and do likewise. But this emphasis was gradually lost over the centuries as illness became solely the domain of physicians and hospitals.

              Healing Touch is a modern version of this time-honored practice. Many traditional cultures have recognized that a gentle touch is soothing to those who are ill. More recently, studies conducted at the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute have proven that touch is an essential part of human health.  Skin is the human body’s largest organ, containing millions of receptors that send messages through nerve fibers to the brain. A simple touch has been shown to reduce a person’s heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress levels.


Started by a Nurse, It Became a Ministry

              Healing Touch as a form of complementary medicine was developed by a nurse, Janet Mentgen, in 1989, as a way to assist the body’s natural healing process by redirecting and rebalancing its energy fields. During a session, practitioners gently place their hands on or above the person’s fully clothed body. Today an estimated 30,000 nurses use HT techniques in medical settings to reduce tension and anxiety, enhance wound healing, reduce post-surgical pain and use of pain medication, and trigger a sense of relaxation in patients.

              In the 1990s, HT practitioner Linda Smith took note of the many connections between Healing Touch and Christian healing traditions. In 1997 Smith founded Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry as a way of reclaiming the church’s early commitment to healing.

              “As practitioners of Healing Touch, we are instruments through which God’s healing energy flows,” says Smith, author of "Called Into Healing: Reclaiming our Judeo-Christian Legacy of Healing Touch." “We address the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions of a person. The word ‘heal’ comes from the Old English word haelen, which means to make whole. Healing involves restoring balance to a person’s mind, body, and soul. An abatement of symptoms may be part of a healing, but healing can occur even if the illness isn’t cured in the physical sense.”

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