The traditional advice that rubbing bumps and bruises relieves pain and aches, is actually true, a new research has found. Research by the University of Cumbria has shown that the gentle touch can not only soothe minor injuries, but can also lessen stress and pain.
According to the researchers, their tests showed that patients' symptoms improved when treated using this technique.
For the study, 300 patients with a wide range of ailments were given four hour-long treatment sessions within six weeks at the Centre for Complementary Care in Muncaster, Cumbria.
Analysis showed that there was considerable progress in psychological and physical functioning, mainly in stress reduction, pain relief, increased ability to cope and increased general health.
The researchers said that the most significant improvements were seen in patients with the most severe symptoms when they entered the study.
The team further examined patients with cancer, musculo-skeletal ailments and mental health disorders or psychological stress and showed clear benefits of the technique.
Gentle touch healing is based on sessions of about 40 minutes in which complementary medicine experts apply light, non-invasive touches to the patient's head, chest, arms, legs and feet. And the benefits of the therapy range from improved sleep and reduced pain levels to increased energy levels.
"On the basis of this sound evidence, healing by gentle touch should play a part in the treatment of people with cancer, mental health problems or a wide variety of illnesses where help with pain or stress reduction will enhance their well-being," the Telegraph quoted Helen Leathard, a professor of healing science at the University of Cumbria, as saying.
"The treatment provided at the Centre for Complementary Care is beneficial and well regarded by many doctors and nurses in the Cumbria area. But it is very definitely complementary to conventional medicine and not a replacement," she added.