This alleged therapy is often referred to as energy medicine. This means that those who employ it or those who claim benefit from the practice believe that there exists a vital energy or force that permeates the body and extends beyond which may be manipulated in order to promote healing or reduce pain. While the manipulations are sometimes performed through physical touching of the patient it has become accepted practice to interact with this invisible field without actually coming into contact with the subject. So we have a minor paradox whereby the therapeutic toucher, doesn’t.

A key aspect of this is the claim by the practitioners that they can detect, interpret, manipulate and positively influence a field which can not be found by any known scientific method. Now, this is not to suggest that were there such a field that it would necessarily be detectable by current technology, however when the individuals themselves have been tested for their ability to sense this field they have been found wanting. A simple experiment performed to examine the reliability of users of the therapeutic touch technique to tell if a field was present or not yielded an accuracy rate no better than (not even as good as) chance.

It is not for science to say that there definitely is no such energy force field but it is telling that no evidence for such a phenomenon has yet been found and even those who claim to be able to not only find it but influence it can not reliably do so when they do not know in advance where they should feel it. Therapeutic Touch is one of those modalities that while not doing active harm and is usually used in conjunction with scientifically based medicine does promote in the patients magical thinking and an acceptance of a non-evidence based approach to health. This is an outcome that benefits no-one.

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