November 12, 2011
Healing Touch, an energy-based therapeutic approach to health and healing, was introduced to veterans at the University of Arizona in 2009. Supported by UA’s Disabled Veterans Reintegration and Education Project (link to drc.arizona.edu/vets), this initiative has served over 50 student veterans dealing with symptoms related to PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).
As part of our ongoing research to explore the experiences of disabled or injured veterans in higher education, we began a pilot project to formally research the effects of Healing Touch and guided imagery on student veterans who self-reported trouble with one or more of the following: PTSD, sleep, stress, depression, anxiety, exercise/diet, flashbacks, over use of drugs or alcohol, difficulty focusing on class work, loneliness, and pain interfering with activities.
Within the first four weeks of Healing Touch sessions, veterans report an improvement in symptoms, improving their academic pursuits, interpersonal relationships and general health. Our preliminary findings suggest that the most noticeable improvements have come in the area of depression – all participants improved in this measure, and a majority showed significant change. Although less drastic, a majority of participants also showed improvement with regard to sleep, stress, and anxiety areas which they had rated as major concerns. Figures also suggest that Healing Touch has also helped with anger, insomnia, sleep disruptions, and classroom issues (such as sitting in class, concentrating, etc.).
Healing Touch clinics are now offered regularly at the Student Veterans Center (link to vets.arizona.edu) and the Disability Resource Center. Sessions are available by appointment. For more information about the program contact, Janet Olson, 626-4636 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s what student veterans are saying about Healing Touch:
“It felt like the world was caving in on me, like hopeless. The Healing Touch relieved a weightiness and made me feel like everything was going to work out.”
“The only way I could get to sleep at night was to drink, after a few HT sessions I was able to sleep without the aid of anything else.”
“My biggest concern was not being able to concentrate in class, my mind was everywhere! After a Healing Touch session I would just enjoy the peaceful feeling it gave me. I found that I began to catch myself as my mind began to go off in another direction, then I could refocus.”
“I had issues with anger and sleep and tried several different ways to try and deal with it, after the 2nd session of Healing Touch I no longer had any angry outbursts and began to be able to sleep. It took the edge off. I wished I had tried it sooner but I just thought, ‘How could something so weird work?’ Well, it does!”
“It completely changed my life.”