Study shows Healing Touch with Guided Imagery (HT+GI) reduces Marines' PTSD symptoms

24th September 2012

Healing touch combined with guided imagery (HT+GI) provides significant clinical reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms for combat-exposed active duty military, according to a study released in the September issue of Military Medicine.

The report finds that patients receiving these complementary medicine interventions showed significant improvement in quality of life, as well as reduced depression and cynicism, compared to soldiers receiving treatment as usual alone.

The study, led by the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego, Calif., conducted a randomised controlled trial of returning active-duty Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif. from July 2008 to August 2010. Participants were separated at random into two groups, one that received treatment as usual (TAU) for PTSD and another that received TAU as well as healing touch (HT), a practitioner-based treatment aimed at eliciting the participant’s own healing response, with guided imagery (GI), a self-care therapy aimed at eliciting relaxation as well as enhancing trust and self-esteem.

Significant Improvements Reported

After six sessions within a three-week period with a Scripps practitioner, the HT+GI group reported a significant improvement in PTSD symptoms as a result of these combined complementary therapies.

Healing Touch and Guided Imagery

Healing touch is an energy-based, non-invasive treatment that restores and balances the human biofield to help decrease pain and promote healing. Healing touch is often used as an adjunct to surgery and other medical procedures to assist in pain reduction, decrease anxiety and elicit relaxation.

Guided imagery is a way of using the imagination to help a person, reduce stress, decrease pain and enhance overall well-being through visualisation. For the purposes of this study, guided imagery was administered to the subjects through a recorded CD simultaneously with Healing Touch and then listed to independently by subjects at least once daily.

The full story, including Study Criteria can be found at:

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