Healing Touch at End of Life 


Our Lady of Peace Hospice patients are receiving Healing Touch therapy from certified practitioners, in their homes and our hospice residence. This evidence-based, natural energy therapy is optional, but we’re finding it brings relaxation, peace, and calm to those choosing to accept it. It can also help reduce pain. 

Healing Touch practitioners use their hands to help restore balance and harmony by working with the human energy field or life force. In addition to a physical level, it works on emotional, mental, and spiritual levels as well. Healing Touch practitioners do not force or push energy but allow balance and harmony to “reboot” the energy system. 

Through heart-centered intention and skill, practitioners work to re-establish the natural flow of energy in a patient. They can do it with or without touching the body, so people who don’t like massage, are often more comfortable with the later. Practitioners receive rigorous training within the western model, and they often collaborate with nurses. For example, a nurse might ask the practitioner if they are feeling evidence of pain in a patient.  

Ann Shulman is a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner who works with Our Lady of Peace hospice patients. “When energy stores up in the body, it usually results in pain, so when I clear energy, patients feel better,” says Ann. “Some may feel a calming of anxious energy, and others may find that it gives them more energy to interact with loves ones. I don’t know what the patient’s body needs, I just let the energy itself do the healing.” Ann says she respectfully works within a patient’s belief system, acknowledging the presence of God. 

It’s been said that Healing Touch can help people process dying and may even help them let go. It’s done without the use of invasive procedures and offers a gentle, holistic way of healing. It can help patients feel closure, peace, forgiveness, and less fear. Ann says, “I don’t come in with an agenda. The sense of wholeness people get within the session sometimes leads them to bring things up. They might tell me I’m helping them process the end of their life or the tell me they have unfinished business.”  

Ann says she’s had several clients with Alzheimer’s disease whose combative behavior ceased with Healing Touch. “They can often feel my energy when I walk into the room, they accept the touch, and it calms them down because the relaxation state is an accepting and loving state.” She adds, “A man with Pick’s disease wasn’t receptive to touch on his body and wouldn’t look at me, so I put my hands three feet above his body. As soon as I touched his aura, he looked directly at me, and it was very clear that he could cognate my touch.” 

Healing Touch is not just for the dying. Family members who have been in the room with their loved one during one of Ann’s sessions have felt the benefit, and some have gone on to book their own Healing Touch appointments. She says, “Healing Touch restores balance and harmony to our natural biofield. The relaxation response is key because bodies recalibrate when they relax. It’s a very noninvasive way to help people with a respectful artform in a safe space.”