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Healing Touch Will Be Featured at Annual Fall Cancer Conference

Bowl of petalsMadison, Wisconsin - The UW Carbone Cancer Center's tenth annual professional education conference, Advances in Multidisciplinary Cancer Care, will focus on integrative medicine and cancer care.


One of the topics to be featured during the conference on October 21, will be Healing Touch. A therapy offered by UW Health's Integrative Medicine Program.


What is Healing Touch?


For a holistic approach to cancer care, Healing Touch (HT) is a gentle non-invasive therapy designed by a nurse to balance the body's energy field.


HT is appropriate for all ages and diagnoses.


A session begins with an interview to assess the patient's needs. The patient sits or lies down, fully clothed. The practitioner's hands lightly touch or are just above the body. Patients frequently report a sense of relaxation after a session.


Healing Touch and Cancer Care


Patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation frequently experience side effects. The National Institute of Health is funding research to explore how HT may address this issue.


Immuno compromise including depletion of natural killer cell activity is a common side effect of chemoradiation. "Healing Touch in Advanced Cervical Cancer Patients: Immune Effects and Mechanisms" (Lutgendorf, 2010) is a randomized clinical trial exploring the impact of HT on immune function for cervical cancer patients.

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Sixty women with cervical cancer were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The HT group received 4 weekly sessions during their treatment. The HT group had a minimal decrease in the natural killer cell cytoxcity over time compared to the other two groups.


Another study "Healing Touch, Immunity and Fatigue in Breast Cancer" is in progress.


A recent Ambulatory Care Innovation Grant, offered HT to chemotherapy patients at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Survey results show an improvement in pain, nausea, and anxiety, and high patient satisfaction.


UW Carbone Cancer Center's Fall Conference 


Jan Manthey, RN, BS and Karen Allaire, RN, MS, who are both certificated healing touch practitioners at UW Health Integrative Medicine will be presenting "The ABC's of Healing Touch: An Energetic Approach to Compassionate Care" at the UW Carbone Cancer Center's fall conference on Friday, October 21, 2011.




Lutgendorf, S.K., et al (2010). Preservation of immune function in cervical cancer patients during chemoradiation using a novel integrative approach. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 24 (8), 1231-1240.



Date Published: 07/15/2011

News tag(s):  cancerjan mantheyintegrative

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