A recent survey illuminates nurses’ use of Therapeutic Touch (TT) with infants. The survey was conducted by researchers at the School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas.

TT is a light-touch and energy-work technique that has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety and pain in adults and children, as well as improve mobility in patients with arthritis and fibromyalgia.

The survey’s participants described the responses of infants, 25 to 37 weeks postgestational age, whom they treated with TT.

Infants’ response to Therapeutic Touch includes reduced heart and respiratory rates, enhanced ability to rest, improved coordination in sucking, swallowing and breathing, and a greater ability to engage with the environment.

The aims of this research study were to explore the nature of the use of TT with preterm infants and describe a TT treatment process for this population.

“The description that emerged from the practitioners’ narratives of the TT treatment process for preterm infants,” the authors note, “provides preliminary data for the systematic use and evaluation of TT as an adjunct to facilitating preterm infants’ physiological, behavioral, energy-field development and well-being.”