Urban healers: An experiential description of American healing touch groups

Author: Engebretson J
Conference/Journal: Qualitative Health Research
Date published: 1996
Other: Volume ID: 6 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 526-541 , Word Count: 148

Part of a larger ethnography on healing groups describes the experience of participation in healing groups using touch. Data were collected from participant observation and interviews of middle-class urban healers using Reiki and other forms of laying-on-of-hands over a 9-mo period. Field work centered on 3 groups of healers; 2 groups meeting weekly and 1 monthly. The author participated as healer, as recipient, and in the interpretive discussions. Healings were held in a storefront church and an office, and were open to anyone, with most participants in their 20s to late 70s. In addition to describing the healing session themselves, the report contrasts the healing values of spirituality, group connection, egalitarianism, and intuitiveness with the biomedical values of efficiency, individualism, objectivity, rationality, and professional dominance. Results suggest a need or desire for the spiritual aspects of healing on the part of patients/consumers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)