THE HISTORY OF THE THERAPEUTIC TOUCH NETWORK OF ONTARIO
CELEBRATING TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN 2011!!!
In 1980, Crystal Hawk first heard about Therapeutic Touch™ at a health conference in Mexico, which she attended while on sabbatical in California. Two U.S. pediatric nurses, who called themselves “Krieger’s Crazies,” talked about using Therapeutic Touch with newborns in their hospitals. Crystal ordered Dr. Krieger’s first book and gathered five friends to read the book and take part in the various exercises, and thus began the first Practice Group in Canada. One of these friends was Norma Fine, a Toronto nurse
Next, the Department of Physiotherapy at McMaster brought Dr. Patricia Heidt to teach Therapeutic Touch, and both Crystal and Norma attended her two-day workshop. Then, Crystal loaned her book to someone in Toronto who, in turn, brought Dr. Krieger to give a talk at OISE and to lead a workshop. Eighty people signed up and Dr. Krieger asked for helpers. Crystal and Norma filled that request and, noting the interest, Dr. Krieger suggested they begin to teach it to the public. Without any further formal instruction, they eventually teamed up and began teaching Therapeutic Touch. They heard about a Therapeutic Touch Conference being held in California and pooled their monies to allow Norma to attend and to report on it to Crystal. From that first Conference, they heard about Pumpkin Hollow and the invitational workshops. Crystal and Norma applied and were accepted into the Advanced Invitational, which they continued to attend annually.
Mary Simpson first became aware of Therapeutic Touch through a palliative care course in 1978, and studied it as a member of The American Holistic Nurses Association. Then, through happy synchronicity, in 1981, she found herself in Crystal’s first Toronto workshop. When Norma moved out West, Crystal began to team with Mary Simpson. As well, Crystal’s Practice Group had expanded so much that it was moved from her home to a downtown facility, so they both knew that interest in this healing modality was growing.
In 1986 Crystal and Mary organized the first Therapeutic Touch Retreat held at the Aurora Conference Centre in June of that year and welcomed Dora Kunz, one of the developers of Therapeutic Touch, as their special Guest. This first retreat had two objectives - to provide a Pumpkin Hollow experience in Ontario, and to bring together practitioners who had studied with a variety of teachers. As at Pumpkin Hollow, most sessions were held out of doors, often under an apple tree.
The idea for the Therapeutic Touch Network was born one day as Mary and Crystal were discussing how they would be able to locate a Therapeutic Touch practitioner in any Ontario city if, for instance, they had an accident. With Mary as Coordinator and Crystal as Secretary, Margaret Shearman volunteered as Treasurer and Jan Skelton as the Membership Chair. Membership fees were as follows: Students $10.00, Practitioners $15.00 and Teachers $25.00. In 1988, Roz Anderson computerized the membership information. The office was at Mary’s location in Brampton, and the first teacher’s meeting, held there in November 1988, led to successful curriculum meetings held around Helen Will’s dining room table. The first issue of in touch was published in April 1989. The 12 pages were done on Mary’s IBM Selectric typewriter, with titles by Lettraset.
The Therapeutic Touch Network hosted the 1990 Toronto Conference of The Nurse Healers-Professional Associates, with Dr. Krieger, Dora Kunz and Martha Rogers in attendance. At our request, the Network was allowed to retain all income from the Conference Marketplace, which was $1,200. With that safely in the bank, the Network was on its way.
In May of 1993, the Network sponsored a presentation by Dr. Krieger at OISE with the auditorium full to overflowing. Crystal and Mary also organized her talk to a large group of local health professionals and Dr. Krieger came as our guest to the Therapeutic Touch Annual Retreat which followed. Eighty lucky Therapeutic Touch practitioners spent a memorable day with her at the Ecology Retreat Centre.
The first TTNO Conference and AGM was held in November, 1994. It was a one-day event with guest speaker, Dr. Caroline deMarco, of Toronto and Vancouver. Our guest speaker at the second conference in 1995 was Paul Hageman, Phd, RN, Associate Professor of Nursing at D’Youville College, Buffalo, which was accepting Therapeutic Touch theses in their Masters of Nursing program. At that time, several publications printed articles about Therapeutic Touch, and it was being taught in many hospitals and through continuing education in colleges and universities.
The Therapeutic Touch Network (Ontario) was incorporated as a non-profit organization in July of 1994. In September of 2004, we officially changed our name to The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario (TTNO). In 1996, Peter Andrewes, of the Atlantic Therapeutic Touch Network, succeeded in obtaining the Canadian trademark for the words Therapeutic Touch; he turned the trademark over to the TTNO in 2003. At this time the TTNO holds the trademark in trust for all Canadian networks.