Therapeutic Touch in the Treatment of Mesothelioma

For those diagnosed with mesothelioma, therapeutic touch therapy may ease their pain

By Jack Bleeker
July 5, 2010

For cancer patients, including those diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, standard medical treatment can be painful. The pain caused by clinical therapies, however, may be eased by complementary treatments--such as aromatherapy, yoga, massage and therapeutic touch.

Therapeutic touch is a western name for ancient healing practices. It is a contemporary interpretation of ancient techniques. It is an energy therapy which has been used to promote healing, and reduce pain and anxiety.

Practitioners conduct therapeutic touch therapy by placing their hands on, or near a patient. By doing so, practitioners are able to detect and manipulate the patient’s putative energy field.

The practice was conceived in the early 1970s by Dolores Krieger, a nurse and professor of nursing at New York University, and Dora Kunz, a theosophy promoter. Kunz had a highly developed sensitivity level, and because of this, was able to perceive blockages and dysrhythms in a patient’s energy field. The practice can be learned by anyone with a sincere interest towards helping others, and is taught to colleges around the world. The therapy has even been noted in clinical research and a mesothelioma treatment guide as a powerful way to reduce pain.

For those diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive asbestos-related cancer, there is little hope for survival. The disease affects the body’s mesothelium, and is most commonly found in the lung, heart and abdominal cavities. Symptoms of the asbestos cancer, such as shortness of breath and chest pain, tend to lie dormant for several decades--making it difficult to diagnose patients with the disease. Due to patients’ late diagnosis, treatment of the disease tends to arrive too late to be beneficial.

Mesothelioma radiation and chemotherapy are known forms of standard medical treatment for the disease; however, such treatment can leave patients’ bodies in a weaker condition. In order to raise patients’ spirits and reduce anxiety related to death, therapeutic touch can be used to balance the flow of human energy, and ease the dying process.

Although the complementary treatment is not supported by scientists as a cure for cancer, patients, practitioners and clinical research have shown that therapeutic touch therapy may boost the immune system, reduce stress and accelerate healing and pain reduction.