How a holistic approach contributes to well-being in any setting

Submitted by Cordy Anderson RN, BSN, CCMHP, QTTT

As I sit to write this post, I cannot imagine my life without the holistic view that I hold. I graduated with my BSN in 1969 and the content of the baccalaureate program talked about “the whole person”, “remember their family”, “don’t just think of the guy in room 240”, etc. I do not remember that my professors spoke of “holism” but for sure I got that it made a difference to see a whole person. My nursing career included pediatrics, public health, geriatrics, home health, and hospice. My experience in Home health and hospice was from 1984 to 2013 and it was in 1984 that I learned Therapeutic Touch (also known as TT).

Therapeutic Touch® is a holistic, evidence-based therapy that incorporates the intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and well-being. How magnificent that this holistic modality includes well-being in its definition. The practice of TT incorporates the process of centering, whereby one finds the place of stillness inside, becomes peace, grounds by sending roots to the earth, and connects to source energy, whatever source means to the person. This practice has been not only a way to help others, but the way I fill myself, the way I connect to all that is, and the way I have experienced energetically the holistic state that we swim in.

In 1984 when I became a home health and hospice nurse, TT was helpful in so many ways. From calming and relaxing an anxious patient before a procedure, to decreasing respiratory distress in asthma or lung cancer, to relieving phantom pain for someone with an amputation TT was a tool in my nursing bag. Once proficient with the process of Therapeutic Touch, one can affect a shift in relaxation and reduction of discomfort in less than 5 minutes. I loved the times I would offer TT at the end of a home visit and the patient would be asleep before I left. One of my most precious memories was a call in the middle of the night, a hospice patient short of breath, a husband feeling helpless. There were no meds yet in the home; they were still to be delivered. But I had my hands, I had my intention, and I had my ability to center. As I did TT for the patient I looked over to her husband; he too was caught in the field of support and as she relaxed, he also began to breathe more deeply.

As my journey continued, TT has also allowed me to be a support to family and friends – reducing my grandson’s fever from 103 to 99 in 5 minutes. Yes, we gave the Tylenol, but it takes 20 minutes to work, right? And then offering TT to friends who have faced cancer or surgeries. It was an honor to support their sense of well-being and wholeness after chemo or radiation, and in a couple of cases even through the dying time. These experiences only connect me more deeply to the knowing that we are all connected, all the time, with each other and with all that is.

Today’s times are challenging: when I see individuals that
put greed and power above caring for others, when I see individuals choosing certain people over other people because of skin color or gender – my being, my heart, and my soul cry out in anguish. If it were not for my ability each day to connect with that place of peace inside me, the place that connects to all that is, I feel I would not survive. The sense of well-being is peace – knowing that we as humans are having a spiritual experience that is purposeful and that will awaken us all to the beauty of the life we cherish.

Nature and observing nature are other important aspects of both my TT practice and my holistic view. When looking at a flower, a sunset, a mountain, or the ocean I notice the balance, intelligence and order within nature. It helps me to understand that balance, intelligence, and order is in the matrix of all and surrounds us, although many are not aware of the energetic ocean we live within.

Since I am retired from full-time work and fill my time with a combination of “GRANDMA TIME” and “TT TIME” I feel that I encourage others to connect to that place of peace that is inside us all. For sure when teaching TT it is one of the components that is emphasized. Teaching TT is what I consider my “work” now, and by either teaching it or giving someone a TT session, I feel I am promoting another’s well-being.