Holistic Nurses' Stories of Personal Healing

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to uncover the nature, experiences, and meaning of personal healing for holistic nurses through their narrative accounts. The study employed a qualitative descriptive design with methods of narrative and story inquiry. Participants were nurse attendees at an American Holistic Nurses' Association conference who volunteered for the study. They were invited to share a story about healing self or another. Twenty-five stories were collected; seven were about personal healing, and these are the focus of this analysis. Data were analyzed using a hybrid approach from narrative and story inquiry methods. Eleven themes were clustered under three story segments. The themes within the Call to the Healing Encounter are the following: recognition of the need to resolve a personal or health crisis, knowledge of or engagement in self-care practices, and reliance on intuitive knowing. Themes under the Experience of Healing are the following: connections; profound sensations, perceptions, and events; awareness of the reciprocal nature of healing; inner resolution: forgiveness, awakening, and acceptance; use of multiple holistic approaches; and witnessing manifestations of healing. The themes for Insights are the following: gratitude and appreciation and ongoing journey. A metastory synthesizing the themes is presented, and findings are related to existing literature on healing.

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