I’m sure many of you have heard of Dr. Andrew Weil, who is universally recognized as an expert in health and wellness—medical doctor, teacher, and author on holistic health. Dr. Weil was at the forefront of the field of integrative medicine when he founded the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona (ACIM) in 1994. Highly regarded as a leader in transforming health care, ACIM offers a program where medical students can take elective courses to learn about complementary healing techniques, including Bio-Touch. Paul Bucky (co-founder of Bio-Touch), other practitioners, and I have given Bio-Touch sessions to medical students in this program. It was so gratifying to see their enthusiasm as they embraced Bio-Touch as part of their education and training in integrative medicine.

So, what is integrative medicine (IM), and how does Bio-Touch fit in?

Simply stated, integrative medicine (also known as integrative care) is a collaborative approach to health care, between patient and practitioner, that incorporates the full range of medical therapies—traditional (mainstream) medicine AND complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Guiding principles to IM include:

  • A commitment to the philosophy and practice that medicine should address the body, mind and spirit of the patient—treating the whole person, not just the disease.
  • Use therapies that are supported by evidence.
  • Use natural and less invasive procedures whenever possible.
  • Promote healthy behaviors, the prevention of illness, and effective self-care.

The field of CAM includes many different therapies—acupuncture, acupressure, massage, herbal medicines, and touch healing, to name a few. These therapies are used to promote, maintain, and restore physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual health.

It is probably no coincidence that Dr. Well founded ACIM on the heels of a major study, in 1993, that found that one in three Americans were using some form of CAM, and often without the knowledge of their primary care practitioners. In 2007, the National Health Interview Survey found that 38% of U.S. adults and 12% of children use some form of CAM, including various touch-based healing therapies. So, CAM basically became mainstream in the U.S., and with its broad acceptance, medical schools added courses on these “nontraditional therapies.” There has been significant growth in integrative medicine centers across the U.S.

Bio-Touch fits within the definition of complementary and alternative medicine—but does it fit within the framework of integrative medicine? It certainly does.

  • Bio-Touch is a technique encouraged to be used in conjunction with, not as a replacement for, traditional medicine.
  • Bio-Touch is supported by evidence—three separate research projects demonstrated that Bio-Touch significantly reduces stress and pain levels, and alleviates symptoms of disease. One researcher, Dr. Kenna Stephenson, said, “Bio-Touch is a low tech, low cost solution for many families in my practice.”
  • Bio-Touch is non-invasive—practitioners use the first two fingers of each hand to lightly touch precise points on the body.
  • Bio-Touch is based on the body’s natural healing ability, much like energy therapy and other well-accepted healing techniques.
  • And, Bio-Touch is used to support good health—mind, body, and spirit—through all stages of life.

Near the end of chapter 11 of my book, Paul Bucky talks about another integrative care program that Bio-Touch participates in—Integrative Touch for Kids (ITK), which is a non-profit organization that serves families whose children have special medical needs. In her endorsement of my book Shay Beider, the Founder and Executive Director of ITK, said “Bio-Touch has been an integral part of our healing retreats for families with children with special medical needs. It serves as a powerful tool for remembering that healing is in our own hands and that simple, loving touch can be transformative.”

A report on integrative medicine by the Bravewell Collaborative concluded, “The adoption of the practices and principles of integrative medicine will transform health care, improve the health care system, reduce costs, and produce a much healthier nation.”

I’m so thankful that Bio-Touch is an integral part of this important movement.

Debra Schildhouse
Author
Bio-Touch: Healing With The Power In Our Fingertips