Chris Rodgers was skeptical about whether or not Healing Touch would actually work, but his doubts were shattered when he was able to experience the results for himself.
"For me, the biggest thing was just pain relief," Rodgers said.
Rodgers was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei cancer in November of 2007, and underwent his first major surgery just one month later. For his wife, June, it was difficult to see her husband in pain and not have a chance to offer any assistance. That's when she decided to learn the techniques of Healing Touch, a type of energy therapy that anybody can learn to perform.
"It was helpful for me to be able to do something in the room instead of just sit there," June said.
By the time Chris was scheduled for his second major surgery in 2009, June had been able to get educated in the first level of the Healing Touch certification program and knew many of the common techniques. She took many opportunities to perform the therapy on Chris following the operation, and the positive results were obvious to both of them.
"They said plan for 14 days of recovery and we were out in seven. It was night and day," June said, comparing the recovery of Chris' second surgery to that of his first.
Healing Touch originated in Colorado in 1980, and was approved by the American Holistic Nurses Association in 1989. It offers various types of healing -- from relief of nauseousness to decreasing anxiety -- by employing gentle touch, and sometimes no touch at all.
"It's kind of funny when you say Healing Touch because you don't really have to have your hands on somebody," explained Sarah Stinson, a healing arts coordinator with Fairview Red Wing Medical Center who became a certified Healing Touch practitioner in 2010.
"In 2008, our hospital committed to bringing the healing arts to our patients," she added.
Getting certified in the practice takes at least two years, so Stinson began in 2008 and is now prepared to help Fairview reach a point where Healing Touch can be offered on a regular basis.
"We're working to include it as a service for our patients," Stinson said.
Eventually, patients will have the option of receiving Healing Touch prior to and following any surgery they undergo at the hospital.
And even if patients have some hesitation about whether or not it will help them, Stinson said the therapy is not invasive and doesn't have side effects like certain medications can have.
"There's no harm that it will cause," she said. "You don't have to believe or even understand the techniques and it will still work."
The techniques stem from those of other energy healers and include hands-off methods like ultrasound and magnetic clearing, as well as others like chakra connection and pain drain. With each individual technique taking anywhere from two to 30 minutes to perform, a typical Healing Touch session can last from about a half hour to an hour.
June Rodgers offers private Healing Touch services, but it won't be long before Fairview Red Wing joins the five other hospitals in Minnesota that provide the therapy as well.
The proven success behind Healing Touch and the growing attention it is getting are what Stinson said can help sway non-believers who think the methods sound crazy.
"This really legitimizes it," she said.
And though he was unsure in the beginning, proof and results are all Chris Rodgers needed to be convinced.
"All I care about is it works for me."
Learn the techniques for yourself
What: Healing Touch Certificate Program Level 1
When: May 16 and 17, registration due by May 4
Where: Indigo Room, 325 Main St., Red Wing
Cost: $210 for tuition and course materials
More info: Contact Sarah Stinson at 651-267-3506 or 1407 W. Fourth St., Red Wing