eTouch for Health
TFH Overview

Simple, drug-free and noninvasive techniques for maintaining good health


and TFH fall within Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). This is an encompassing area that is being researched on a broad scale and on many levels. Columbia University has organized the basic areas of CAM and has provided definitions for these. Since many are using these definitions to understand and research CAM, we will use these same definitions in the table shown below to describe the inclusion of the modality into the Touch for Health and eTouch Synthesis.

Columbia University / CDC Descriptions
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Modalities
Touch for Health and eTouch
Implementation and Use
of the Modalities
Acupuncture/Acupressure: Acupuncture, as a therapeutic intervention, originated more than 4,000 years ago from the medical practices of the Chinese and other Asian cultures. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses acupuncture to regulate the flow of Qi, or "vital energy." The insertion and manipulation of needles, or the application of pressure at specific points along the meridians or channels through which Qi is thought to flow, is believed to correct any imbalance, excess, deficiency, or lack of fluidity in the flow of Qi. In the West, some practitioners deliver acupuncture in the context of a broader Asian health care system; others offer it as a discrete technique for treating symptoms.

Acupressure is used in Touch for Health for restoring the flow of the Chi (Qi) energy. It is one of the six standard Touch for Health balancing techniques that is included in the eTouch Session System.

Touch for Health includes Acupressure Holding Points for each of the 42 muscles that are part of the TFH muscles. When a person lightly touches these points in the order shown and holds for a few seconds, the body will restore the flow of energy for the muscle being tested and become balanced.

  Ayurvedic Medicine: Ayurveda, first described in Vedic religious scriptures dating from 1200 BCE., is considered the traditional medicine of India. Central to Ayurvedic philosophy is the belief that optimal health consists of physical, mental, and spiritual harmony. The pathway to harmony depends on the individual's predominant dosha, or constitution. Ayurvedic practitioners interview new patients in great detail about their personal as well as medical history. The four pillars of Ayurvedic health maintenance are: (1) cleansing and detoxification, (2) palliation, (3) rejuvenation, and (4) mental and spiritual hygiene. Diet is an important concern in Ayurveda, but specific dietary recommendations depend on the individual's primary constitution, and vary according to the season. Treatment may include dietary modification, herbal preparations, massage, yoga, meditation, and pranayama, or breathing exercises.

As a holistic discipline, Touch for Health emphasizes the connection between mind, body and spirit and the importance of harmony within these to ensure a healthy body. These are specifically embodied within TFH with the techniques that are focused on relieving stress and its negative affects upon the body and improving self-esteem through balancing with positive goals.

The essential need for spiritual harmony is recognized and encouraged in Touch for Health while the specifics of this personal relationship are left to the individual.

A balanced diet of foods that are as close to being in the whole and natural state is recommended while eliminating processed foods is encouraged in Touch for Health. TFH and eTouch also include recommendations of beneficial foods that are part of the ancient knowledge that recommend certain foods for specific conditions.

  Homeopathy: Contemporary Western homeopathic medicine, based on the work of the German physician and chemist Samuel Hahnemann some 200 years ago, aims to stimulate the individual's innate healing processes through the administration of minute "homeopathic" dilutions of specific remedies. Derived from the Greek homeo, meaning same, and pathos, meaning suffering, homeopathy essentially treats "like with like". The patient describes his or her symptoms in detail, with equal emphasis placed on both physical and psychological symptoms. The practitioner then prescribes very small, nontoxic doses of a selected substance that, at higher doses, would produce the same symptoms in a healthy person.
There are no homeopathic remedies or treatments included in TFH and eTouch. Some practitioners of Touch for Health may also practice Homeopathy, but it is not part of the TFH Synthesis.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: The system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated from Taoism some 4,000 years ago and, like other traditional systems, goes beyond prevention and treatment of disease. Health care is viewed as one of several means to a good life--defined as the individual's harmonious interaction with the community and with the physical and spiritual environment.

Central to this ethos is the notion of Qi, usually translated as "vital energy" or "life force." Qi encompasses that which distinguishes life from death, animate from inanimate. Although considered to be the substantive element in living systems, Qi is believed to permeate all of space. The body is thought to contain a supply of Qi, unique to each individual, that flows through circular channels or meridians and is exchanged with the Qi in one's surroundings. Optimal health is said to result from an unobstructed flow and appropriate balance of Qi.

A second essential element of TCM is the concept of yin and yang. The terms refer to the Taoist concept of the interrelationship and interdependence of opposites. Although yin and yang are often used to refer to such opposites as hot and cold or male and female, the TCM practitioner uses them to describe the functions of organs and organ systems, illnesses and conditions, and treatments. Although TCM is most commonly used in the West to treat illness, its essential purpose is to promote health and to prevent health problems. Methods include diet, exercise (Tai Chi and internal Qi Gong), the use of herbs, acupuncture, and massage.

The connection with one's environment is recognized in the holistic viewpoint of TFH and can be demonstrated in several ways as we work with the vital life energies of the body. These techniques are so simple and natural that they surprise many who see them work for the first time.

These energies flow in a predictable pattern throughout the body and when they are in a downward path, we identify this as a Yang meridian and when they flow upward, we identify this as a Yin meridian. This basic knowledge of the energy flow is used in the meridian tracing balancing techniques.

The best way to see that the energy flows in a predictable path is to use an assessment balancing technique or a one point balance. In this technique, rather than fixing imbalances as you find them, the goal is to determine where the energy blockage is located. With this technique, if you can locate the point of blockage, then you can work on just this one muscle/meridian to restore the flow of energy and every other muscle downstream that tested weak will now be strong upon retesting.

In eTouch for Health, there are several automated features that identify the location of an energy blockage based upon the results of your testing.

A related technique in balancing is known as circuit locating. The Touch for Health synthesis contains many modalities for balancing, Spinal Reflex, Neuro-Lymphatic, Neuro-Vascular, Insertion/Origin, Meridian Tracing, and Acupressure. With circuit locating, you can test to see which of these methods is preferred by the body. This is a quick and simple test that makes balancing more effective and specific to the needs of the person being balanced.

  Chiropractic: Chiropractic originated in ancient Egypt, where practitioners adjusted the spines of their patients to maintain health. Modern chiropractic is based on the principle that proper spinal column alignment is necessary for optimal health, and it employs manual manipulation of the spine to correct subluxations, or spinal misalignments. Because of the crucial role that the nervous system plays in both involuntary and voluntary bodily functions, chiropractors treat a wide variety of conditions with spinal manipulation and believe that preventive treatments are appropriate for maintaining health.
There are no spinal manipulations in Touch for Health and eTouch, but Chiropractic plays an important role since two Chiropractors discovered many of the techniques that are now used. Dr. George Goodheart, DC discovered Applied Kinesiology in the mid-60's in which tactile stimulation of specific spots caused previously inhibited muscles to regain strength. Dr. John Thie, DC is the founder of Touch for Health and wrote the book that popularized the techniques upon which eTouch is based. The Spinal Reflex, discovered by Dr. Thie is a method of balancing in which spots on the spine are briefly rubbed to restore strength to weakened muscles. Many Chiropractors use the techniques in their practices today.
  Dietary and Nutritional Therapies: Dietary and nutritional considerations are fundamental to many complementary and alternative healing approaches. Many nonwestern cultural traditions make little distinction between medicine and food because diet is fundamental to health. Alternative and complementary dietary and nutritional modalities include macrobiotics, vegetarianism, orthomolecular medicine, and individualized dietary programs. Macrobiotics, based on Asian concepts of nutrition, tailors diet to both individual needs and the season. Vegetarian health diets vary widely: some exclude all animal products, whereas others include milk and/or eggs and/or fish. Many nutritional counselors support the use of supplements to replace nutrients that may be lacking in the diet. Other nutritional practitioners develop individualized dietary advice for clients, basing their recommendations on an analysis of the individual's unique metabolic characteristics.

Food sensitivities can be tested using Touch for Health techniques. In a simple test, a strong indicator muscle is found and then when a food or substance is brought into the energy field of the person being tested, the food will cause one of three responses: muscle becomes even stronger (food is beneficial), muscle becomes weak or weaker (food is not beneficial for the person and could possibly cause an allergic reaction), or there is no change in the muscle strength (food's affects are neutral).

The primary dietary recommendation given in TFH is to eat foods that are as close to their whole state, as possible, and avoid processed foods. Touch for Health also recommends foods that are related to specific muscles. All of these techniques and recommendations help the person obtain better health through nutrition. With TFH, the results can be measured through testing over time to monitor the improvement. With eTouch, sessions are recorded and historical overviews can be seen in onscreen and printed reports.

  Energetic Therapies: The term "energetic therapies" is used to describe practices, including Reiki, external Qi Gong, therapeutic touch, and bioenergetics, that involve nonlocal interactions -- that is, interactions in which there is relatively little or no physical contact between the practitioner and the patient. Some of these practices originated in nonwestern cultures. Others were developed in the West but show the influence of nonwestern concepts. In Reiki, healing is felt to be facilitated by a light, noninvasive touch, but can also occur at a distance through intention. Energetic therapies generally include non-tactile, non-contact interactions between practitioner and patient to effect healing. In some, the practitioner may use information garnered from other senses to assess and treat the patient's condition. Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example, uses this approach to detect and release Qi.

Touch for Health is an Energetic Therapy, but TFH includes both non-tactile and tactile interactions between practitioner and patient. One example of non-tactile treatment is where meridian tracing is used in TFH where meridians are traced with the hand approximately two inches above the body of the patient. TFH also includes techniques for self-balancing such as the Meridian Dance where someone can trace their own meridians.

eTouch includes the latest research of Dr. Thie and Matthew Thie where contemplation of the Chinese Five Element Metaphors related to an energy blockage is used to restore the flow of Chi in the patient without any action by the practitioner except for guiding the person through the different metaphorical statements.


Massage Therapy: Massage is a systematic manual application of pressure and movement to the soft tissue of the body-- the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (the membrane surrounding muscles and muscle groups). It is felt to encourage healing by promoting the flow of blood and lymph, relieving tension, stimulating nerves, and stretching and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic. In the 5th century BCE, the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote that his colleagues should be experienced "in rubbing ... for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid." Various forms of massage were also employed by the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Romans. However, the technique as we know it today didn't appear until the late 19th century when Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish gymnast, formulated the principles of Swedish massage.

Dozens of specialized massage techniques are in use today for the treatment of anxiety, tension, depression, insomnia, and stress, as well as back pain, headache, muscle pain, and some forms of chronic pain. Massage is also frequently used for the treatment of minor sports injuries and repetitive stress injuries, and for the enhancement of physical conditioning.

Several of the balancing techniques in Touch for Health are similar to massage therapy. The Spinal Reflex method is based on gently stretching the skin over the vertebrae, the Neuro-lymphatic points massage method involves massage of specific spots and regions on the body, while the insertion / origin method involves working with the 'belly' of a muscle and its attachments to bone and ligaments in a manner that is similar to massage.

Touch for Health is an excellent complement for massage therapists and allows the therapists to cause relaxation and the cessation of pain in muscles in ways that massage alone can not affect.

  Mind-Body Approaches (including yoga): The term mind-body is used to describe practices such as guided imagery, meditation, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, and hypnosis, that involve self-responsibility and use the relationship between mind and body to promote health. They are based on the concept that thoughts, mental images, and feelings can be major determinants of physical health. Despite the use of bodily positions (hatha yoga) yoga is perhaps best considered a mind-body practice since it includes meditation and breathing exercises to achieve mental attitudes associated with health and healing. This category could also include Tai Chi, an ancient form of meditative exercise originating in China which, though characterized by slow, smooth movements, has a strong mental component.

The connection between mind and body becomes quickly apparent in Touch for Health, especially when using the Emotional Stress Relief techniques and uses muscle testing as biofeedback mechanism. In this technique, a strong indicator muscle is used as a person focuses their mind on a stressful situation or a trauma in their life. The effects of these thoughts are usually immediate as the person loses strength in the once strong muscle.

A powerful use of the TFH techniques in overcoming these affects is the use of goal setting and performing a balance while focused on a goal. The normal outcome of these techniques can be measured as a person can now focus on the goal, stressful situation or trauma with either no affects or lessened affects when the muscle test is repeated.

This is a powerful technique that can be used in many areas such as counseling, personal growth and development, overcoming fears and resolving deep-seated issues that manifest themselves through pain and illness.

Back to top Western Herbalism: Herbal medicine is an ancient form of health care. As complementary and alternative medicine grows in popularity, botanical products derived from Western plants are coming back into widespread use. Western herbalism classifies many herbs according to their opposing activity: for example, herbs may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, or hypotensive effects. Additional terms describe a supportive action: for example, adaptogenic herbs (those that increase resilience and resistance); tonics (supportive of vital energy); and emmenagogues (supporting the female reproductive system). Herbal preparations may be prescribed for ingestion as teas, as capsules or tablets, or as extracts or tinctures. Herbs may also be prepared as essential oils to be used topically, as are herbal preparations made into salves, balms, or ointments. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda include ancient traditions of herbal medicine distinct from western herbalism.
Similar to the nutritional aspects of Touch for Health, beneficial herbs can be identified using the food sensitivity testing, but TFH does not prescribe herbs. Many practitioners of TFH, though, will have knowledge of the benefits of herbs.