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geared primarily for those who have some experience with TT.

compiled by L. Nelson, Peterborough Ontario

1598 Treetop Road, Peterborough, Ontario K9K 1G3 by post or to
L. Nelson at the following Email address:
or via the following fax number (incoming only 705-740-8032)

Current Frequently Asked Question

QuestionThe following question was raised by someone in Helen Will's Practice group. "I have worked with hospice for a number of years and everyone knows I do TT and have good results. However, someone gave a patient another type of energy work and the patient complained to the director because she and the family were so upset. As a result, we are not allowed to offer any kind of energy work to our patients unless they specifically ask for it. Many do not know about TT until I tell them about it, and now I am not allowed to introduce it to them. I am so frustrated by this. Some of these people could benefit so much from a session."

Answer From E. MacKay This is a difficult situation for the administrator, as you can expect. If you have worked with Hospice for 5 years, surely you have built up considerable good will to speak for you and perhaps to be remembered after the matter has a chance to rest a while. Wait this period out in patience and good grace, with no accusations, defence of TT or change in your attitude of pleasant co-operation.

Be willing, when asked, to treat those who request TT and you may find things change back to the former working relationship. Of course you are disappointed at not being able to help. However, this is territory where you are admitted as a volunteer so it is essential to follow the new rules without any criticism, especially of the volunteer and/or the modality which was unwelcome.

AnswerFrom C. Dixon and L. Brodie The scenario you have described is one many have run into as we work with T.T. We might call it a brick wall. Rather than expend energy (and our thoughts are energy) on the reason the wall was erected, one might choose to rise over the wall (transcend). Concentrate your energies on those who do request T.T. Word gets around and more and more will be asking for T.T. Knowledge is your best ally. Use any possible opportunity to educate persons about T.T. and it's pleasant effects. Perhaps you could offer an in-service for staff and volunteers.

Remember T.T. can be done without the obvious and the sometimes questionable waving of the hands (unruffling). Every time you enter a room in a centered state or hold a hand with the intention of bringing love and compassion you are doing T.T.

Time has a way of healing and breaking down walls.

AnswerFrom B. Janelle I will answer this question in two ways. First, I believe it would be useful to provide the director of the medical facility with a packet of information about Therapeutic Touch: a) The statement from the Ontario College of Nurses describing TT as an acceptable intervention for helping patients relax. b) The General Guidelines on TT c) Toronto East General Hospital's Policy and Procedure Paper (developed by S. Dalglish) d) The TTNO Brochure e) A set of TT Research Papers It would be useful to include in the package, a list of palliative care facilities where TT is offered.

TT has been presented at the University of Western Ontario's Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Institute Level 2 (offered 2-3 times per year) since 1996. (That is the year I first began teaching in the Institute and I continued until I moved in 2000. I believe J. Malec is now giving TT presentations in the Institute.)

Second, whether or not Therapeutic Touch is formally accepted by an institution, anyone trained in the work can by walking the basic tenets of TT, support both patients and staff. Those tenets are to be in a centered state, to see others with compassion and accept them as valuable human beings, to invite a quality of peace and love to be present in yourself and in the medical facility at all times.

AnswerFrom M. Rossiter-Thornton Since I am not clear from your question what the particular guidelines for the policies and procedures are for the hospice organization you volunteer with, I will reply in general terms and offer a few suggestions which I hope may be helpful.

1. In most hospice organizations, there are specific guidelines for policies and procedures, with respect to the services provided, which include complementary therapies.
2. In some hospices at the initial assessment/intake, these services and therapies are explained in detail by either the primary nurse or the volunteer director to both the patient and their next of kin. Information is given so that the patient can make informed choices, and can have access to literature if they need it.
3. This establishes a clear understanding for all parties in question, i.e., patient and next of kin, and avoids unnecessary misunderstandings, which you describe in your question.
4. The TTNO has a wonderful resource of general information for all its members. These are easily accessible through the office or from the web site.
5. It is helpful for all volunteers to have a clear understanding of the guidelines for the policies and procedures of the particular organization they are volunteering with, especially those policies regarding complementary therapies.
6. Requesting permission to offer any service should be cleared, with the organization before it is offered. The statement of ethics of the TTNO is a very helpful guideline to use.
7. Education is so important. It takes the mystery out of the unknown and encourages others to become familiar with this wonderful gift of TT, at the same time taking any fear away.
8. Offer an in-service to your group, explain and demonstrate TT and share some of the pamphlets available from the TTNO.
9. Invite the volunteer coordinator to attend a practice session and if they are not familiar with TT perhaps they would like to experience a treatment.

I can appreciate your frustration in not being allowed to offer TT' with the organization you are volunteering with because of what has transpired. The following are a few suggestions, which you may find helpful. - When you visit with your hospice client, center yourself before you enter the room, and maintain this center while being fully present in the room with the person. This will help alleviate any of the frustrating feelings you may have of not being able to provide TT. - By centering and sending out thoughts of peace and harmony this will help to establish a peaceful environment. This will allow you to help the person you are visiting by helping to promote an atmosphere of healing which will be beneficial to all present. - When we are centered, it enables us to reach out to others in a very profound way. We can use it as a way to focus our intention to help, at the same time we can let go of any resentments, or attachments to outcome. - While this is not a TT treatment it can be a very effective way of helping ourselves and those around us in a compassionate way.

We would like to thank those who participated in sending their forums to us in answer to our questions. Sharing this wealth of knowledge helps each and everyone of us grow in our practice.

Archived Frequently Asked Questions:

if you missed previous FAQs, here's a chance to catch up!

current FAQs January 2000
Long Term Specific Diseases and TT July 99
TT and Pregnancy Dec 1998
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