Our History

The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario.
Founded in 1988 and still going strong!

 We are indebted to Crystal and Mary
for their vision in founding
The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario.

    Crystal Hawk    Mary Simpson
  • 1978 - Mary Simpson became aware of Therapeutic Touch through a palliative care course and studied it as a member of The American Holistic Nurses Association.
  • 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.
  • The Department of Physiotherapy at McMaster brought Dr. Patricia Heidt to teach Therapeutic Touch, and both Crystal and Norma attended her two-day workshop.
  • 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.
  • Crystal and Norma teamed up and began teaching Therapeutic Touch.
  • They heard about Pumpkin Hollow and the invitational workshops, applied and were accepted into the Advanced Invitational, which they continued to attend annually.
  • 1981 - Through happy synchronicity Mary found herself in Crystal’s first Toronto workshop. Crystal and Mary began to team teach after Norma moved out west.
  • 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.
  • 1988 - 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. Roz Anderson computerized the membership information. The TTNO office was at Mary’s practice location in Brampton. The first teachers’ meeting, held there in November 1988, led to further successful curriculum meetings held around Helen Will’s dining room table.
  • April, 1989 - The first issue of in touch was published. The 12 pages were done on Mary’s IBM Selectric typewriter, with titles by Lettraset.
  • 1990 - 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.
  • orangeville retreatMay 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.
  • July, 1994 - The Therapeutic Touch Network (Ontario) was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
  • November, 1994 - The first TTNO Conference and AGM was held.
  • 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. Presently the TTNO holds the trademark in trust for all Canadian networks.
  • September, 2004 - The name of our organization was officially changed to The Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario (TTNO).