Integrative Medicine | Nursing Touch Therapy

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Nurses have always known that touch is an important component in the healing process.

Touch therapies can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Diminish pain
  • Provide an increased sense of well-being
  • Boost the immune system
  • Soothe mind, body, and spirit

The Department of Nursing, in collaboration with the Department of Integrative Medicine, offers a Nursing Validation Process for Reiki and Therapeutic Touch program for nurses.

Currently, Reiki is offered to our patients by specially trained practitioners who volunteer their time. Although touch is not a new concept to nurses, there has not been formal approval or a process for training nursing personnel in any of the formal “touch therapies.” As alternative and complementary therapies (which include “touch therapies”) become more and more accepted and requested by the public and research increases, outcomes reinforce what nurses have always known - that touch is an important component in the healing process. Touch therapies can reduce stress, diminish pain, provide an increased sense of well-being, boost the immune system, and soothe mind, body, and spirit.

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About the Validation Process
Based on this knowledge, positive patient feedback, and the hospital’s commitment to offering its patients an integration of complementary therapies and traditional medical care, the Nursing Validation Process for Touch Therapy was developed to promote this philosophy in nursing practice at Hartford Hospital (and not meant to replace the current Reiki Volunteer Program).

Nurses and PCAs who wish to formally offer Reiki and/or Therapeutic Touch as part of their overall care plan, when time allows, can either be validated (with documentation of prior training) or trained and then validated.

The goals of the validation process (a one time 2-4 hour process, not required yearly) are to:

  • Provide an opportunity to renew skills (for those already trained but not practicing)
  • Provide training for those desiring new skills
  • Ensure that we interact with and educate patients and families in a consistent manner - in doing so, we promote these options in a way that is more easily understood and accepted by patients, families, and staff - this is important for patient informed consent (since a physician’s order is not required) and for the success of the program
  • Sanction and support the practice according to nursing standards
  • Provide a tool for self-care/renewal

Process for Nursing Touch Therapy Validation

  • Nurse/PCA contacts Alice Moore, RN in Integrative Medicine at 860.972.4444 regarding interest in the training/validation process.
  • Integrative Medicine follows up with unit manager for reference/consent.
  • Nurse/PCA completes Hartford Hospital’s Reiki or Therapeutic Touch classes or provides documentation of prior training:
    • Reiki healing Touch - Level 1
    • Basic Plus Therapeutic Touch
    • Nursing Validation for Touch Therapy (Reiki and or Therapeutic Touch)
    • Pre-registration available through Health Referral Services - 860.545.1888
  • Nurse/PCA completes Hartford Hospital’s Reiki or Therapeutic Touch Validation (4 hour review/practice session including nursing policy and procedure for touch therapy session). Pre-registration available through Health Referral Services, 860.545.1888.
  • Class and Validation certificate(s) on file with Integrative Medicine and unit manager.
  • Approval confirmed for hospital practice of Reiki or Therapeutic Touch.
  • After validation, nurses and PCAs can offer Reiki and/or Therapeutic Touch as part of their overall care plan.

Download the Nursing Touch Validation Checklist

For More Information
For more information about the validation process, Reiki or Therapeutic Touch, or other complementary therapies offered by Integrative Medicine (Art, Acupuncture, Guided Imagery, Massage, or Reiki) call Integrative Medicine at 860.972.4444 or email

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Integrative Medicine