The Healing Touch

Mar 10, 2013|

The Roswell Park Team and a family member discuss "The Healing Touch" Pilot Program

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is Roswell rookie by Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Your team opinion or your total options. Your host Tammy Wenger and welcome back to Roswell and it's a comprehensive look at all aspects of cancer care treatment and diagnosis. And research from a comprehensive source we're here at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. Good morning -- -- -- in today on the program we're talking about something we haven't talked about before they healing touch pilot program. Here at Roswell park what is it how does that work. We've got three folks in the room we're gonna go into detail for us and explain it. We've got down with us today Suzanne had asked doctor Suzanne has a -- coordinator and co director of the healing touch pilot program. Here at Russell park Suzanne welcome to the microphones appreciate it thank you very much RA and done by your side today we've got doctor Linda Kwan -- and assistant professor of pediatric oncology here Russell park doctor Bolton thank you. And -- -- appreciate having you back here and you brought with you today. -- O'Connor she's the mom of an eight year old girl Molly. Who was diagnosed with what is known as. Langerhans. Cell hit CO psychosis and I say that right yes well. OK and you're gonna explain what that is and in how this. Pilot program eyes touched your life and your -- like more importantly thanks for being here and sharing your story appreciate it thank you. As soon let's start with you is a great coordinator co director of the healing touch pilot program. I'm curious and I think your way out out there is what what he is healing touch. So healing touch is known as a compliment teary -- appear approached it conventional telepathic medicine. It was discovered or put together in the late 1980s by -- showed his more of the western model behind it. -- Mencken was the name of the person do. Who put this more or less umbrella program together so it deals with the bio -- and energy sphere be energy medicine therapy. End energy medicine and according to the NIH. National center for complementary or alternative medicine can fit into -- different types of programs when it is more. Identifiable measurable also things like -- magnets were lasers. In the category were talking about is something called putative. So they haven't quite measured. This particular biofuels energy so we doing something it's unseen but I think has a potential huge effect. So healing touch practitioner practitioners try to. Use their hands to be -- -- energy fields of the person that they're working on. They work with the court field or by a field around the person's body and then they focus on certain energy centers within the body also called shoppers and. Other cultures. What does this do -- what is the impact of this and we're so used to in this studio we're talking about. Chemotherapy radiation and surgery so often you know the three. Back bones if you will of how we treat cancer. And I know there are so many different new new novel approaches to cancer because of the three. There have been around a long time. How does this work what does it do. So I think most people would agree that this -- to deal more with quality of -- symptoms. So things like you and anxiety or depression or critique -- stress and we know quite a few cancers are shown associated with stress. Our people -- going under cancer treatment are under stressful circumstances -- appearance. I'm hoping and feeling number short trying to. She's near their loved ones go through the process are also. Under tremendous amount of -- Pressure and stress. So these types of techniques that we then trying to introduce two -- pilot program participants. Have to do with. Trying to be -- -- field so we've seen that some studies in grand there's not a lot of studies out there that we've seen the overall there's a general sense of wellbeing. People feel less stressful. Yours and and decreased anxiety and depression. Officials have been some studies in terms of increased. Immune function. So I think we just at the beginning stages of trying to see in terms of scientific evidence what things can -- I think I'm also in terms of trying to reduce symptoms associated with traditional. Standard chemotherapy. -- radiation so terms of fatigue for example with radiation. We're trying to reduce nausea or vomiting with with chemotherapy I think these would -- be appropriate uses for healing touch. Who performs this type of care in in what what are the know what's what kind of training kind of qualifications are required for someone to performance right so right now appears on a couple of programs associated. Internationally was healing touch. There's a -- touch program. There's also a second program that I'm involved in culturally touch international. And basically it was originally started a -- nursing curriculum. But we found -- people all over on all of the world in different walks of life so he might get nurses doctors. Other -- -- health care professionals. People like myself a former cancer researcher who. I had to do a little bit more in terms of trying to see how it could impact patients on a different level where the body mind spirit level. That's why I got involved in it. I am. Pastoral care people hospice people situationally I think it's been nursing based but it's now migrating into. Into medical schools into nursing homes. It's being taught in quick if you nursing schools medical schools around the country. So it's very easy in terms of trying to. Teach it to other individuals. The promises they act you come from a place of love and compassion. You come into an energetic relationship with the person you're working on. Because you're dealing with the field around the body or lately I'm above the body you don't necessarily even have to touch the person. Because our bio field extends the length of our arms. So there's a layer that affects a physical emotional mental and spiritual aspect of ourselves. So with so much in pain for example he might not necessarily need to touch and still have a positive effect. So I think it involves quite a few people in terms of their interests. On some not just not just traditional health professionals but I think it also can and can't only people as well. And I think this is one of those techniques it's really easy to teach people. Really -- -- stuff and Utley intriguing and we connect you and I really -- get into some of the details of what the patient experiences we'll find out about that too from Teresa. And her experiences with her daughter Mali coming up in just a few minutes but I think that some of the -- get into. In a little bit doctor -- declined openness with us today. Assistant professor of pediatric oncology doctor -- heroes you are you a clinician you know dealing. With oncology and we've talked before. What was your your initial response to a program like this here Russell park. Well I first. It -- certainly was more grants talking and in just learning more about each other we learned I learned that CU actually. What is your -- touch practitioner and I never heard killing touch but I was and am interested in. Complementary medicine and holistic approach to use to two minutes and actually and in cancer therapy. Both as a clinician and as a mom. And I think it's. Learning more about what other options there are worth their -- there are ways that. At least providers -- as -- members can be involved with a sick and not one. Are all interesting to me button. And finding him touch and she was talking about it hand. This idea that it is very simple to do and anyone can about it and that it can be beneficial was very intriguing for me. I recognize that we didn't have anything like this to offer our family. And so assuming I thought about how or how can meet that more people know what it is and and and actually should first say because they know anything about it. I -- what is it and see you actually showed me what he had to and I was able to experience it and done. Having not being not know anything about it it was actually a really positive experience and I five -- Again one that. I thought you it felt good as well as I could see this simplicity and it -- let me get such good benefit from an eating. So we thought about how can we do this and down it seemed as though. Why don't leave reach out to the pediatric panels and can actually see is it is my just my impression or. Can we really teach families about this. And is it really easy GQ what kind of feedback would be get from them and is -- that -- -- -- -- -- national. And as a starting point to see how can we introduce -- to -- of Roswell park. And that's the important thing and I think you can point out too is is -- you know your involvement in Russell park. Is there there's always something new and different here you know you certainly. You know as an organization you're treating and diagnosing cancer researching it. Right now and you know rate on the edge of the cliff there and you guys are always up front. But this I mean every time I sit down there's something new something different is that -- Is so important I think so I think is in your brain and you were always trying to see you. Find ways that we can always improve her hair and relieved to send a message that we are trying to treat the whole patients. And -- our main focus is recession how can we. And get to be able to better. Treat cancers and cure cancers but along the way how can the make sure that our patients and their families. Feel like there. Symptoms are being addressed are there having some side effects or some. Complaints or whatever the experience they're going through how can we help address that in nineteen. Killing touch and an international and complementary medicine are areas that we can. Definitely looking tomorrow and support. There. Abilities to be different you know I've been offering for patients and gambling. Focused he reached out to the pediatric. Families and only hear about that you experienced this yourself issue and my kids are angry -- about that okay I'm coming up in just a few minutes as well get over to -- O'Connor who is kind enough to -- today. She's the -- -- the year old Molly who -- diagnosed with. Langerhans. Cell history with psychosis. Teresa. Tell me about that diagnosis and in how it came about. It started in December of 2011. Actually when and we -- mine had an ear infection that. Wouldn't clear up so by the end of January of 2012 we team. ENT who it discovered that she had a growth in her ear and -- it was removed him biopsy that's when he discovered. It was actually something more serious that it was sound scheme Langerhans cell -- just tells -- OK and then what was the treatment following. We started are we here at Roswell and Molly went. Jittery chemotherapy for years. She's actually just recently completed her there -- she's doing very well terrific. And done it was similar year belong here I mean it's it's certainly could've been worse violence standards but it was. It was big for her and for us for our whole family. It always amazes me how you can put things into perspective. Moms and dads of pediatric cancer patients any any patient. Whatsoever I'm happy to hear that she's doing doing so well at this point told me you know what your response was when you were approached about this healing touch. With the with with. -- -- -- I thought it was a great idea of course my initial reaction was -- home again. Prime time to do one more thing but sympathetic if it just a complaint of many moms I think but. I thought it was a great idea because there's a lot of them. These sort of to decide issues these sort of issues of stress and comfort and being able to just. Keep your child is comfortable as possible and make this as -- Smooth as possible it's a rough time for them -- you know you want them to come out on the other side kind of. Intact. And I think this helps in a lot of ways I think it helps to reduce the stress and helps you. Even for Molly I think it puts. Some control in her hands. The idea that something can be done for the way she feels. OK she's actually taking a really big interest in it so. There was gonna ask her her response -- -- you mentioned something good that's so important that we just in the show we talked about this. When someone is is diagnosed with cancer whether it's the patient patient Stanley there's so much more that goes along. With that the visit Kelly right commands you need to be treated and you have to be you know be treated the best place. You come to Roswell but so much else goes along with that and mean volleys of school age you know adult series have careers -- so many things could set aside. I'm in psychologically and stress and anxiety all come into play and that's it is that -- this really seem to to help. Yeah yeah I mean it is even as the mom and it makes you feel like you can do something to make your child feel better I mean this is not anything you can personally do anything about other than. Can bring her to the doctors and -- seek treatment that you can't do anything for. Com so it's it's. It's nice to feel that you can -- A little late in and it really. In a different way other than -- you know than usual moms sort of you know you. Among. Them you Helio -- them it. There seems to be an an additional depth to this that makes you feel like you really are perhaps setting up -- environment and making it. Easier. For -- get better they -- that you -- receptive to this I wanted to talk about -- and it sounds like Molly -- interest and receptive now initially what was your reception. Yeah she is neat you know someplace you know I can go together. And actually after her first class she went home. To assess the energy of our dogs to see how they were doing so kids. And they do have a lot of energy the -- but. Yes she thinks it's really neat and she. It's going to try to techniques on on me. That's her -- -- letter but he could fit it on that sense. Yeah it's an excellent and it's an excellent thing to be able to. Well maybe -- -- down the road that. Doctor Su went down and then she'll be doing this as a professional later in life as a result of what she's gone through. Thank you so much for being -- trees and we'll continue to get -- the observations have you and -- -- the mind of Mali as well you're listening to Roswell is today talking about. Healing touch a pilot program here at Roswell park in their history so Conner her eight year old daughter Molly. Was diagnosed with a cell disease which you heard detail they're just a few moments ago. And either participating in the pilot program here also with us is they just mentioned doctor Suzanne Hess. Green coordinator and co director of the healing touch pilot program she's gonna tell us exactly. How this works -- me -- -- patient goes through. And I'm sure it varies by patient and a perhaps by their type of cancer I'm not sure and doctor Linda -- open is here and assistant professor of pediatric oncology. Here at Roswell park. -- -- a couple things for you. Is there and the answer this question might be because that's what you do but. Why pediatric families so why did you reach out to pediatric families and then tell me about Mali and -- Molly you feel. Was such a good candidate participate in this program. Comes so -- think is -- pediatric oncologist and the feeling that we see her go through and makes things like -- and the O'Connor family is. My experience has been that. You -- you let your children so much and you don't want him to go through anything like this. And you feel you wanna do more -- and you wish that you could do more you wish you can't. Somehow help them. With some of the symptoms that they're having some -- -- complaints that they're having or just eat them them knowing that. You you love the men and noted that point to something hard. And you as a parent much youth somehow convey that to the children and I -- a different state that. I had a lot of parents -- Teresa who. I think you know that sometimes we feel. Think they should do something they don't know why they want to do something that you don't know why it. And so we think -- -- -- very nice -- for Pietrus families in particular. Actually 1015 -- and nice fit for anyone who has a lot going -- with cancer any tape. Series or chronic disease but for pediatric patients and families in particular I can see how. He can have a very big impact I think family and parents are big part of pediatric. Cancer and when my child is diagnosed it really. Had an impact on the whole family and the dynamics of the family and siblings I think health -- something that can benefit and I think to a human touch is something that. Can only benefit that patient but brings family together. So for -- time and someone like Molly I think -- in general are receptive to new things. I think when you are at an age like Mali where I'm not. So young that you're just kind of going with the flow what you definitely. Definitely have a sense of what is going on in what's happening to them anything and -- -- -- and nice. Not -- it -- Contexts you introduce them to you because they feel like they're also doing something and he thinks so much of what. We as -- as oncologists do is. You have to do this you have to be treated you have to come here. I'm you're gonna -- today we have the medicine that there's just so much that were just giving them that they just have to take without any. Questioning or any any challenge that healing touch is now possible that we're seeing what you hear something you can do you. And you can learn more about and you can see how it helps you so I had that is when you think forward for me. Because we've never done anything like that. But I think that is one when he that really shows were kids that are mines each and an even a little bit younger and different older. -- can benefit from her attachment they feel like they are somehow involved in there. Disease treatment I -- -- What do you. You mentioned when he mentioned earlier I think it I think it was you that -- you know there's not a ton. Scientific evidence behind this yet there's there's certainly some and correct me if I'm wrong but. You know three people in the room here -- it works personally we've got you know two great great examples right here. Does it value at all is is an oncologist that there's not. All of these you know -- 500 page research papers that to. This economy I am I definitely think to have more are. Positive. Perception -- indeed medical and scientific community we do need to you perceive that data and being nice to actually. Be able to you can. To convey what we're feeling and the positive. Reception we get from healing touch into a scientific meant that it was nice and -- that he supports. What it is. However and I and that's I think what we're always working toward however I think. At this point -- -- even have a group and me are trying to introduce as many people as he can on campus and your family. It's what he touches in just getting their feedback I think that sends a strong message you. And I think that's the starting point. Something like -- -- you get the experience and he feedback from as many people as it can and -- translate that into -- In our. Supportive I get scientific. How come that'll come right in the -- and that's why I think we are that's. Always our goal and our intention to eventually get it there. They're trying everything we've we've talked about on these programs started somewhere and down. You know certainly that's probably where it's -- and I guess student the other part of the catalyst letting people know that it's out there that it's real and it works and that's. We're doing our small part today to to get that word out. Sue to walk me through. One of these treatments is it different for every person. These are different based on what the hill from hour. Age I think I think the basic premise here would be to try to be owns the person's energy -- so we're teaching a cop role of techniques that would do. Kind of over the whole body techniques to be on C energy -- some of them actually don't even involve isn't mentioned touching the person. So we we did and we might hit some other techniques that are better for me BP and where. You know we know with with patients just getting bombarded. Went with information and trying to me decisions and things like that we have. One particular technique yet you're just kind -- client your mind a little bit. So there's different techniques everything would start at about the same way there's there's SP securely -- she wins. Where that practitioner tries to get grounded so we get this thing with especially with the little kids pretend your retrieve your rooted. You're going into the center of the -- and you're bringing up energy your love her emotions or whatever. And you're trying to get the energy flowing within the practitioners unveiling down at this time just addiction depict the -- could either be laying down during next year and the practitioner would be standing up. He and so they would do dispersed to kinda get centered and focused. -- -- their intention for the person and just kind of lately tune into their energy field I placing their hands on them. The person is being worked and is totally closed -- very noninvasive it's very safe and I think it's important point about healing touch. I'm certainly one of the controversies with complementary and alternative medicine. Is -- twelve we don't know how safe these approaches are in this is -- noninvasive. Things like herbal. Supplements those types of things which potentially my dinner out. With drugs decreasing maybe your medication you're taking human drugs those types of things serve. Or her you know potentially causing bleeding side effects that kind of stuff we don't Yemeni and and it's just -- -- kinder gentler approach. And so you set your intention and you tune into the person. I'm and then you would start a series of potentially cancer in motion techniques are lately placing -- on these energy senators and I mentioned. I'm so be as we've been trying to teach it to the littler kids as well as appearance and other caregivers. I am UBS handouts because of handouts I waste guide them through everything. We have one person usually on the table the other person and as a practitioner and doing a particular hand movements. And then we switched you know be we share fee act. It's great to see some the -- reactions going on between the kids and parents. We take questions. I'm so so we're hoping to the point where. Yeah -- give a little cheat sheets but again a lot of this is intention. So your intention for the person we're sending a lover were trying to come from a place of compassion you can feel. -- got that one at one of the big points I think of that energy medicine is they act. On energy follows stock. So one of the big things for trying to stress stress especially with the little kids is how are you feeling. So if you're hitting the -- day you know he takes and good thoughts and shift your energy so that your energy is moving through you. I'm so I think I think that's another component of what we're doing that hopefully the kids can take aways away from the program in us. I think that I can -- people always ask this all the time regardless of what we're talking about is. -- my insurance cover this this is something that is covered by maybe not all that some insurance it's time. I recently read it it's covered by some insurance is usually you being submitted through -- allied health professionals nurses and staff who maybe has hit more training. And it's it's something I think it's being explored I have a friend of -- -- I'm killing touch practitioner in Virginia and he's just received some free money to actually work with. -- of the Virginia insurance companies with with the nursing kind of curriculum. To see how it impacts of patients in and nursing programs down near you know I think you're seeing that patients are getting out of hospitals a little bit longer they're taking less pain medication. All of those types of things that I think would be. Interest in her for insurance companies like yeah. I remember and lots of types of treatments that we talked about it here that you use to never be part of insurance policies and now they are and you know that's. As things become more you know quote unquote mainstream. You know that will change and it's good to hear that it's already changing in that regard. Three so if you could tell media how how much of this treatment and I hit it has Molly undergone she's still doing this. He said she cared -- that it's something that she's you know you know she's. May need some sort of have that. Well it was a few classes. That it is so she's still. We're still learning. But it's it's definitely. So I think she's grabbed onto. That's true and you know as a and I think it's it's. Acceptable and what's next now I mean. You know with regard to this we've got this pilot program up and running it's working you've you've got. A group of patients that you targeted -- we go from here Roswell. I think the pilot program it is asked recently mentioned were still in the midst of it it's actually an eight session and program. And it's offered every other week and we just completed our half we -- we just our fourth session. And -- more to go and the goal is to -- We see some feedback from the patients and their family members. And see what was how we use -- it's. What did what can we learn from this group I'm feeling that that participate in the program. From there as -- I wanted to think about how do we want and what -- and go as to introducing it to the rest of Russell park. Do we want to use set up similar pilot programs and a couple of other disciplines such as radiation medicine. Patients for me he. Post anesthesia care. Thing or should be. I'm really continue with the effort that -- has been placed him. Teaching our volunteers. Who have shown interest in town and learning more about her in touch and learn some of the techniques that they can offer to our patients. And another area that we also want to look at is how can eat. Include more nurses who maybe interest in this as well and can it be something that we can offer patients through the nursing care so there's nothing different avenues that we can. Approach and pursue and down we really are hoping that some feedback we get from the families -- this guy. Guys into which which I need to really. Pursue at this at that point. Thanks for sharing this with us today appreciate it thinks it is always this doctor Linda -- invoke an assistant. Professor of pediatric oncology here Russell park thank you very much for your time today. And that Teresa thank you for coming today and our best to you and to Mali and thanks for. You know sharing her story in years as well and -- Hope she continues into better and better and better health. Well thank you thank you for having me Larry anytime you can come on back into also here today doctor Suzanne has. Great coordinator co director of this healing touch pilot program we talked about today doctor has something new and I really appreciate them excited about this think you're -- strictly to be here -- thank you that is Roswell listen you'd like to know more. I you can always visit the Roswell website at Roswell park dot org. If you'd like to ask a question you can do that -- free anytime at 877 ask our PCI. That's 877275. Yeah. Listen to rock wellness Sunday mornings at 630 young WB yeah. -- by Roswell Park Cancer Institute your team opinion for your total options on line at Roswell this god of war. Hanging. And hanging do you. New.