Healing Partners celebrates five years of caring

Catherine Palter, right, with heaing partner Margot Baker
Catherine Palter, right, with healing partner Margot Baker

HEALING PARTNERS, a program for breast cancer patients run by Women’s Health at Stanford, celebrates its fifth anniversary this month, according to KATHY TURNER, the research nurse practitioner who directs the program. Healing Partners pairs women diagnosed with breast cancer with a volunteer Healing Touch practitioner.
Healing Touch is a gentle, non-invasive form of energy balancing that promotes deep relaxation. Founded by a registered nurse in Colorado in 1989, it is used to help manage the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, including fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and pain. Since its inception at Stanford, the program has served 175 women with a breast cancer diagnosis free of charge.

Among those active with the organization is CATHERINE PALTER, associate director of land use and environmental planning. Palter received support from the organization after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She was so impressed that she became a Healing Touch practitioner and has volunteered her efforts weekly for the past two years.

She acknowledges initially being skeptical about the therapy, which involves providers placing their hands a few inches above a fully clothed patient to assess energy flow. Providers then lightly touch the patient or move their hands above areas where energy is blocked to increase flow.

“I didn’t expect to feel anything,” said Palter. “I almost immediately felt energy flowing through my body. It was like magic. I believe that it is the reason that I fared so well with the side effects and emotional aspects of breast cancer.”

Palter told the San Francisco Chronicle, which profiled the program in 2008, “It opened my mind up to the fact there are some things in this world that we can’t explain, and that doesn’t make them any less real.”
To learn more about Healing Partners, visit the website.

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