Dec 31, 2019 by Maria Thompson
The Blessing and Power of Healing Touch for Hospice Patients
Imagine you’re in hospice. You’re uncomfortable. You’re probably in pain. Medications can help, but they can bring their own problems.
What if there was something that might bring relief without side effects?
Have you heard about healing touch?
“One of my clients, every time we’re done, he says, ‘I don’t understand it, but I love it,’” says Micara Link, a Healing Touch Therapist with Knute Nelson. “It’s like a lot of things in life, you need to be open to the mystery. It’s not fully understandable.”
Don is a hospice patient who has experienced the mystery and effectiveness firsthand.
“I was dropping 10 pounds every time I went to see my doctors. After one or two sessions with Micara, I couldn’t believe that my appetite had improved. I’m not back to normal, but I’m not dropping weight as rapidly.”
He was also in pain from chronic sinus problems. And the drainage wreaked havoc with this COPD and emphysema. “My sinuses have actually stopped aching so much. I don’t know how it all works, but it is an amazing experience and the benefits have been significant for me,” he says.
“Healing touch is based on the idea that an unseen, life-force energy flows through us,” says Micara. When it’s low, we’re more likely to get or stay sick. When it’s high, we’re happier and healthier. For hospice patients that means more comfort, less anxiety and better quality of life.
Healing touch practitioners lay hands on or near the patient. “I become a channel for that energy, for something bigger than me,” she says. “Some people call that God. Some people call that the universe. Everyone has their own beliefs. You can be an atheist and still experience healing touch.”
In the short time Knute Nelson has offered healing touch to hospice patients, the demand has taken off. “A lot of our patients are in pain,” says KaLee Mohrman, Director of Hospice. “Medications are something that patients don’t want to touch if they don’t absolutely have to. Medications can make patients very tired and their lives more difficult. This doesn’t happen with healing touch.”
Knute Nelson hospice offers several alternative therapies to help decrease patients' pain and anxiety and increase their comfort. “Our perspective is, ‘Why not offer these therapies?’ We don’t know what is going to help someone and it’s not up to us to say what works or doesn’t,” KaLee says. “If it helps even one person, we’ve made the right choice.”