Therapeutic Touch and Pumpkin Hollow

History of Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic Touch is a contemporary healing modality drawn from ancient practices and developed by Dora Kunz and Dolores Krieger. The practice is based on the assumptions that human beings are complex fields of energy, and that the ability to enhance healing in another is a natural potential.

Therapeutic Touch (TT) is used to balance and promote the flow of human energy. It is taught in colleges around the world and has a substantial base of formal and clinical research. This research has shown that TT is useful in reducing pain, improving wound healing, aiding relaxation, and easing the dying process. It can be learned by anyone with a sincere interest and motivation towards helping others.

History of Therapeutic Touch at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center

Therapeutic Touch started at Pumpkin Hollow , a spiritual retreat center of the Theosophical Society in the foothills of the Berkshires in New York State. It was preceded by the work of Dora Kunz who had a highly developed sensitivity. Through the use of this natural ability she was able to perceive blockages and dysrhythms in a patient's energy field, subtle disharmonies not accessible to other medical technologies. Dora diagnosed numerous perplexing cases referred by physicians and other scientists and often suggested treatments and resources for her patients.
Dora's abilities extended beyond the usual sense perception. For example, she was particularly known for her work with the unseen human field energies in an individual. Since childhood Dora was aware of such forces, and she made a lifetime study of how they work and how they relate to attitudes and emotions, this awareness later evolved into an understanding of the universal healing field from which both healers and patients can draw fresh, potent healing energies.

In 1972, Dora and her longtime student and colleague Dolores Krieger, Phd, RN; developed Therapeutic Touch (TT). They developed a program for teaching the procedures and attitudes necessary for TT. Formal classes began at PHRC, where patients were referred by their physicians. The century-old farmhouse and the cabins around the grounds were filled with patients, and students who wanted to learn TT. Those who were able to participate in the life of Pumpkin Hollow did so, such as swimming in the creek, hiking the 130 acres of woodlands, and attending talks and discussions.

Now there are intensive summer teaching sessions for TT at different levels at Pumpkin Hollow. Dee and others lead these, as did Dora, until she passed away in 1999. In addition, TT is being taught worldwide in universities and workshops for healthcare professionals, as well as interested lay people. TT has become a widely accepted form of alternative therapy in hospitals and other health agencies. But it all began at Pumpkin Hollow with two people in the healing arts who envisioned the possibilities of a wider use of an ancient way of healing.

Therapeutic Touch at Pumpkin Hollow Farm

Therapeutic Touch Treatments Therapeutic Touch workshops are presented during the summer at Pumpkin Hollow. You may apply to receive treatments at this time from experienced TT therapists. You may attend as a commuter or as a guest staying at Pumpkin Hollow for the entire program.

Commuters come for two hours, receiving TT treatments and attending a patient support group. There is no charge for this service. There is a charge if you choose to come for meals.

Guests attend the entire program which includes TT treatments, patient support group, evening programs and are able to relax and renew in the healing environment of Pumpkin Hollow Farm. Call for room and board rates.

If you are interested in becoming a patient, during these workshops, please contact us for an application form. Any additional information and questions about TT treatment: CALL Carolyn Kay Wheeler, RN at 518 325-4233.

What is Therapeutic Touch?
Therapeutic touch (TT) is a contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing traditions. It was founded in 1972 by Dolores Krieger, RN, PhD, and Dora Kunz. Based on the theory that human beings are fields of vital energy and that in illness there is an imbalance in the flow of energy, it is a gentle but powerful intervention which can stimulate the body’s own natural healing ability. Therapeutic Touch will work along with your regular medical care and is not meant to replace it.

What happens during a treatment?
The therapist talks with you each time you receive a TT treatment to understand your health problem and your goals for the healing process. The TT treatment takes from 15-25 minutes. During the treatment, you might sit on a chair or lie down. The TT therapist becomes very calm and centered and then uses her or his hands on or near your fully clothed body. You may stop the treatment at any time. Questions can be answered at the end of the treatment.

**Can TT cure my condition? **
TT focuses on healing, the restoration of wholeness of body-mind-spirit. As such, TT does not attempt to cure disease, but rather stimulates your natural healing process.

How might I benefit from TT?
Over 30 years of clinical experience and research in TT shows that TT can decrease pain, induce profound relaxation, promote rest and sleep, lessen anxiety and accelerate wound healing. TT can also have an effect on psychological and spiritual levels. TT focuses on healing rather than curing and has benefits unique to each person.

How can I receive Therapeutic Touch treatments at PHF?
Write, email or call Pumpkin Hollow at the addresses listed in this page to receive an application to become a patient during our July workshops.

Pumpkin Hollow Farm is a retreat Center founded in 1937 that offers a variety of programs focused on spiritual and personal development in a peaceful and healing environment, Pumpkin Hollow Farm is located in Craryville, NY, about 30 minutes from Hudson. With over 130 acres of open fields and variegated forest, Pumpkin Hollow offers a natural waterfall, swimming area and nature trails. Cuisine is vegetarian, with much of the produce supplied by the large organic garden.

Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center
1184 Rt. 11
Craryville, NY 12521
Phone: 518-325-3583
Pumpkin Hollow’s Web Site:
TTIA Web site:

Patient Experiences with Therapeutic Touch:

“My doctor actually suggested TT. Even with his referral, I was skeptical and told my practitioner about my lack of belief in the treatment. She assured me that my belief or disbelief would not influence the process. I simply needed to remain open to change. Much to my surprise, I benefitted in spite of my skeptical views and would recommend treatments to others!” — Lawrence

“I didn’t know what to expect when I first went to Pumpkin Hollow. I was sick and needed help. I found a healing place and supportive caregivers. I can still hear the sound of the brook and know I’m part of a larger universe.” — Judy

“I’m not comfortable with strangers touching my body so I was fearful about TT because of the word touch. As it turned out, I learned that TT is usually performed a few inches above the skin. The patient remains fully dressed and is only touched with permission. The treatments helped me develop trust in myself and others.” — Tracy