Effects of therapeutic touch on biochemical and mood indicators in women

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Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine





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adult, Affect, alternative medicine, article, breast cancer, cancer patient, Catecholamines, data analysis, female, healing, Health promotion, Humans, Hydrocortisone, massage, middle aged, mood, neurotransmitter release, Nitric Oxide, Nitrites, priority journal, Quality of life, Questionnaires, Reference Values, relaxation training, Therapeutic Touch


Previous research has shown therapeutic touch (TT) to be effective in reducing anxiety and discomfort and promoting relaxation. The present investigation experimentally evaluated the effects of TT on biochemical indicators and moods in a sample of 41 healthy female volunteers. Participants were randomly assigned to either an experimental group who received TT or to a control group who did not receive TT. Pretest and posttest urine samples were collected, and personality and mood inventories were administered across three consecutive monthly sessions. Results indicated that mood disturbance in the experimental group decreased significantly over the course of the three sessions, while the control group increased in mood disturbance over time. Specifically, experimental group participants showed significant reductions in tension, confusion, and anxiety and a significant increase in vigor across sessions. Analyses of the biochemical data indicated that TT produced a significant decrease in levels of nitric oxide in the experimental group by the third TT session. The results of the present investigation have important implications for reducing symptom distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.