Who am I?
For those that don’t know me, my name is Tamara Lafrance. I am an RN, BScN, and TTNO Recognized Practitioner/Teacher of Therapeutic Touch. For several years, I worked as the nurse for Dr. Macpherson, Dr. Savoie and then Dr. Sugeng. I am now directly employed by the West Champlain Family Health Team and have a number of different tasks in my job description. One of those is providing and teaching Therapeutic Touch®.
What is Therapeutic Touch (TT)?
It is defined by the Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario as: “Therapeutic Touch® is a holistic, evidence-based therapy that incorporates the intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and well-being. It is a consciously-directed process during which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to facilitate the healing process. The intent is to re-pattern the client’s energy field toward wholeness and health thereby enhancing their own ability to heal. Therapeutic Touch can be used by itself, or as a complement to other interventions.”
How did I become involved with TT?
Back when I was studying to become a registered nurse, I was introduced to Therapeutic Touch by one of my professors, Sheila Watt. As part of the college curriculum, she taught us a Level One course on Therapeutic Touch. After taking that one course, she asked us to provide Therapeutic Touch to some of our patients. I was, at that time, looking after an elderly woman who was in a lot of pain that was not well controlled; we have learned a lot about pain control measures since then. I sat with her and discussed TT and asked whether she would like me to try this therapy with her. We talked about how it changes the perception of pain, that it elicits a relaxation response, and that she might even drift off to sleep. I discussed that if that happened, I would continue to do the session until I felt it was finished (it usually takes about 20 minutes or so, followed by a rest period of an equal amount of time). I told her that I would stay with her as she rested and then I would come back later and we would discuss what her experience was like. She agreed to the session. She lay down on her bed and I began by centering myself (to be present in the moment with my client). I then began my assessment. I scanned her body using my hands and all my other senses for imbalances within her energy fields. My hands hovered over her body about 4-6 inches away from her skin starting at the head and moving towards the feet. This was done on each side of the body as well as both front and back. This gave me cues as to where some imbalances may exist within her energy fields, and I began to clear these imbalances by moving the energy into a more harmonious state. This rebalancing is done by clearing, directing, modulating and grounding the energy fields. Much to my amazement, this woman drifted off to sleep within 5 minutes. I continued on with the session until I felt it was finished and then sat with her for a while as she slept peacefully in her bed. I left, but consistently checked in on her as she slept for quite some time. When we had a chance to chat afterwards, I asked her to describe her experience. She looked at me with such peace and contentment, and then spoke in such a soothing manner, sighing “it felt like velvet. The pain was gone.” I was truly moved. How could something so simple have such a profound effect on someone? How could I, someone with little knowledge in this technique and therapy, provide such great comfort to someone in such pain? I had to learn more! And much like the field of nursing, continued learning and practice is mandated by our governing organization: The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario (TTNO). I have experienced many similar events in both my professional and personal life, in which Therapeutic Touch has had a deep and impactful effect on both myself and the person I have interacted with. I am a member of both the provincial and federal Therapeutic Touch Networks, as well as the Therapeutic Touch International Organization, and have collaborated with many people from all around the world practicing this modality. As a result, it is a very special part of who I am, and what I do as a person and as a nurse.
Tamara Lafrance, RN, BScN, and TTNO Recognized Practitioner/Teacher of Therapeutic Touch