A Practice-Based Theory of Healing Through Therapeutic Touch: Advancing Holistic Nursing Practice.

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Abstract

For nearly 50 years, Therapeutic Touch (TT) has contributed to advancing holistic nursing practice and has been recognized as a uniquely human approach to healing. This narrative explores the development of a practice-based theory of healing through TT, which occurred between 2010 and 2016. Through the in-depth self-inquiry of participatory reflective dialogue in concert with constant narrative analysis, TT practitioners revealed the meaning of healing within the context of their TT practice. As the community of TT experts participated in an iterative process of small group and community dialogues with analysis and synthesis of emerging themes, the assumptions and concepts central to a theory of healing emerged, were clarified and verified. Exemplars of practice illustrate the concepts. A model of the theory of healing illuminates the movement and relationship among concepts and evolved over time. Feedback from nursing and inter-professional practitioners indicate that the theory of healing, while situated within the context of TT, may be useful in advancing holistic nursing practice, informing healing and caring approaches, stimulating research and education, and contributing to future transformations in health care.

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