Therapeutic Touch and Aging

Western clinicians are beginning to embrace Eastern healing modalities more than ever, especially in regard to patients with unrelieved pain. According to Maureen Foye, an RN, employed at the in-patient pain management program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, “Many people don’t understand the role that Eastern healing can play in the management of pain.” Foye began working with patients in severe pain after being exposed to the principles of therapeutic touch. She has now come full circle by instructing other practitioners in the value of these principles with plans to conduct further research into the clinical effectiveness of energy healing and therapeutic touch associated with the field of pain management.

Many patients with chronic pain tend to isolate themselves. A major focus of the program is to therefore, create community among her patients.

Part of her protocol is 1) to teach her patients that they are not the only ones in the world with chronic pain, and 2) to learn how to cope with that pain, to manage it and live with it. Unfortunately for many individuals who have isolated themselves, pain has kept them from socializing with others.

But with the use of physical therapy and Eastern modalities utilized at Spaulding, patients claim pain no longer controls their lives the way it used to.

According to one physician by the name of Dr. R. Armen, a favorite exercise he employs to help people get and stay healthy for a lifetime is called “The Fork in the Road”… a connection to energy and healing.

“Vividly imagine a fork in the road with two paths. To the left, imagine a future of unrelieved pain. If you don’t care about your brain and body and just keep doing what you’ve always done, what will your life be like in a year… in five years… in ten years?”

“To the right, imagine a future of health. Imagine your body and spirit getting healthier and all that goes with that… mental clarity, better energy, a brighter mood, greater memory, and a healthier brain.”

Therefore successful health dramatically can increase when you are connected with others and when you continue receiving constant encouragement to stay focused and motivated towards your goals.

Here are some final thoughts on what I believe is optimal aging: 1) it is a means to continue functioning at the highest possible level in the context of inevitable limitations that growing old places on us, and 2) it is a means of getting the very best out of what is possible for as long as possible (physically, cognitively, socially and psychologically).

Quotable Quote: “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” Plato 428-348 BCE
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