A group of researchers are examining whether a complementary therapy known as Healing Touch coupled with mild sedation appeases patients undergoing minor procedures.
Healing Touch is a series of techniques that balance energy for wholeness within a person's body, mind and soul. It is an energy therapy that can be used in conjunction with other traditional medical treatments.
Nathan Schmulewitz, MD, the lead author of this investigator-initiated study and assistant professor of digestive diseases, says people undergoing procedures often have problems falling asleep because of anxiety.
Schmulewitz says if a patient is unable to fall asleep with intravenous sedation, it might be necessary to use stronger anesthesia, which is expensive and not often covered by insurance companies.
"In addition, stronger sedation can prolong recovery for the patient and can cause slight amnesia following the procedure," he added.
Schmulewitz specializes in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), a technique for imaging and accessing deep structures in the chest and abdomen which are near the GI tract. EUS is used as a screening tool for cancer or other suspicious polyps.
The research is looking at whether coupling Healing Touch with mild sedation prior to an EUS procedure can help relax patients, avoiding problems with anesthesia and making the procedure run more smoothly.
Although there are many healing touch therapies, this study is only looking at three: the Chakra Connection, which facilitates movement of energy from one energy center to another, Magnetic Clearing, which clears the field of congested energy, and Mind Clearing, which involves a light touch on the face, head and neck.