A Healer’s Journey to Intuitive Knowing: The Heart of Therapeutic Touch

Dolores Krieger  
Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Co., 2021. 272 pp., paper, $20.

Dr. Dolores Krieger’s life’s work was the deep inquiry into the healing modality of Therapeutic Touch (TT), which she created with Dora Kunz. This book, Krieger’s last before her death, explores the perspective of the healer during the healing moment. Through her findings, one begins to see a paradigm forming regarding the future of healing, consciousness, and TT.

Dr. Krieger interviews, documents, and analyzes data from numerous long practiced healers. She unites her own self-inquiry with that of these individuals and presents a possible tool for navigating present-day challenges: a mindset of inquiry, linked to the practice of TT.

When one develops an ongoing mindset of inquiry in regard to TT, it becomes a tool used for self-inquiry, reflection, and a way to make meaning of one’s experiences. She relates it to sentience, the power of perception by the senses, rather than by structured logic. As the book notes, she created a series of questions to stimulate a deep inquiry, requiring a conscious awareness of the experience of TT. It is a way of creating experiential knowledge.

David Spangler notes in his foreword that Dr. Krieger’s work with TT has given us a holistic tool that “honors who we are as inhabitants of the world in its wholeness, and not just as physical beings.”

This book begins with an eloquent description of the experiential findings of TT practice, developed over the last fifty years by Dr. Krieger and Dora Kunz. Dr. Krieger states, “The crux of this mode of healing is that Therapeutic Touch facilitates vital-energy (pranic flow) by bringing order to dysfunctional physical and psychodynamic systems of sentient beings.”

Dr. Krieger goes on to say that healing in TT is a humanization of energy that conveys order and compassion to body systems that are fatigued, in trauma, imbalanced, in a state of disrepair, or in final transition.

Two research studies are presented, titled “Looking over My Shoulder” and “Healing at a Distance.” Healers were asked to describe the experience of moving through the many shifts in consciousness that occur during their practice of TT. The study explores the impact on healers’ subtle energy fields and on their lives when they consciously enter into a state of peace and maintaining it as they reach deeper toward a connection with the inner Self. The studies reveal the changes that have occurred within these healers. In addition, Dr. Krieger explores the healers’ impetus for continuing on with this “heroic pursuit.”

The TT community has been waiting for this book. Since TT’s inception, many aspects of it have seemed a mystery. The founders’ rigorous study throughout the years, combined with the findings described in this book, provide many answers.

The following excerpts from the book, which are direct statements by Dr. Krieger, give the reader a glimpse into some of her findings.

It is my personal impression that at the core of Therapeutic Touch lies the challenge of confronting one’s own being . . . healing is a conscious, full engagement of the Inner Self in the compassionate interest of someone who is ill, in trauma, or in energy deficit.

The Inner Self is essentially the soul—the spiritual or innermost part of individual’s being. It is the yearning for self-realization, and it is the impetus for this yearning that carries the therapist to another level of consciousness where awareness of the Inner Self acquires a reality of its own. It is in the process of consciously integrating her Inner Self into the daily routines of her life that the therapist becomes aware that there is not just one reality; that there are multiple realities depending upon the aspect of consciousness on which she chooses to focus. It is in the integrating of these multiple realities that the illumination may click! on [sic].           

Of prime importance was the growing realization that the verbal expression of healing strongly depended on experiential knowledge based on sentience—the power of perception by the senses rather than structured logic—to articulate clearly this world of interiority, a profound, far-reaching realm into which the student is plunged as she follows a personal commitment to support those who arouse her compassion . . . The language of this profound experience is richly multitasked and multilayered, sentient and proprioceptive, intuitive and instinctive, intentional and willful, and subject to uncommon and unusual hints and hunches about the possible.

[The healer] is in the impersonal space where she may become a clear instrument for the universal healing field and remain detached from the outcome. This finely tuned state creates a singular atmosphere that allows the Inner Self to commune with the therapist and enter her daily activities.

As the quest for self realization deepens and the therapist’s practice of TT continues and becomes full fledged, she finds that her frequent TT practice invites a psychological and spiritual transformation.

This book inspires one to explore the subtle energies around us, search for meaning, and find the wisdom that lives within the deeper reaches of one’s inner Self. Dr. Krieger believed that TT would continue to evolve in order to meet the needs of a high-tech future. At the close of her book, she says, “In my ninety-seventh year, I am confident that the future consciousness of Therapeutic Touch is in very capable hands.”

Marilyn Johnston-Svoboda

The reviewer is a retired professor of nursing and the credentialing trustee of Therapeutic Touch International Associates. She has been a teacher and practitioner of Therapeutic Touch for over forty years. Her teachers were Dora Kunz and Dolores Krieger. She currently teaches and maintains a private practice.


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