Health Professionals Form Therapeutic Touch Study Group

REALL received the following letter earlier this month:

Dear Fellow Skeptics,

As critics of pseudoscience, you may be familiar with an alternative nursing “healing modality” called Therapeutic Touch (TT). [See The REALL News, Vol. 3, #1, Letter to the Editor] Not long ago, only a few were critical of this practice. Now many across the country have begun to speak out. I would like to invite your members to join a new group dedicated to confronting this nonsense in nursing.

Some people are concerned about TT’s religious and even cultish aspects. They fear that it is a way to persuade people to accept a metaphysical viewpoint through the guise of medical intervention. Alas, it does appear that TT is being promoted principally to have people tacitly accept the premises of an occult religion known as Theosophy.

My own particular concerns, however, lie more in the scientific area. TT is being pushed as a scientifically validated nursing intervention—and it is not. The research has been frightful, yet it is used repeatedly by TT’s proponents to dupe the public (and sometimes even the government) into believing that the practice has a sound scientific basis.

It is not a coincidence that nursing has been the field where this practice has been insinuated into medicine. Nurses are trusted health professionals. And nursing does not have established watchdog groups, like physicians and dentists each have in their “Councils of Scientific Affairs.” So TT, like a virus, has taken hold in a vulnerable population.

When health professionals contacted us about some scientific misconduct in a TT study at a University in Alabama, we jumped at the chance to expose the wrongdoing. That activity is proceeding. But in gathering with others from around the country on this matter, we all discovered the scope of the problem and resolved to do more about confronting TT on a scientific and philosophical basis.

TT has its own trade group, Nurse Healers and Professional Associates Cooperative, which boasts over 1,200 members. Until now, there has been no countervailing force for truth and scientific integrity. So those of us who gathered recently in Alabama — nurses, doctors, medical ethicists, etc. — decided to form the National Therapeutic Touch Study Group (NTTSG).

Right now, we’re just getting NTTSG off the ground. Our first project, exposing the scientific misconduct in Alabama, is already underway and the funding for that has been provided by concerned health professionals there. Several other projects have begun, as well.

Our immediate need is not funding, and this is not a fund-raising letter. Rather, we need to establish a network of people concerned with the unscientific practice of TT. We need people to join us, keep us informed of anything they may hear about TT, are willing to speak out, and are able to lend us advice and counsel from time to time. In return, we plan on keeping everyone posted on what is going on and give national and local news organizations a resource for scientific skepticism about TT.

So, I am writing to invite any of your interested members to join the NTTSG. Please drop me a line and let me know if you’re interested and/or able to help. Thanks for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.

My very best regards,

Linda Rosa, R.N.
Corresponding Secretary

The address for NTTSG is: P.O. Box 7117, Loveland, CO 80537. The phone number is: 970-669-7194.

REALL encourages anybody who is interested to contact the NTTSG.

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