People feel more relaxed, whole

Published April 1, 2012

Pat Lithgoe (left), Jane Stephen

Pat Lithgoe, a parishioner of St. Christoper’s, Burlington, trained as a nurse before learning Therapeutic Touch (TT), a “contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing practices” that promotes the natural healing process, according to the Therapeutic Touch Network of Ontario.

By giving demonstrations at church, Lithgoe encouraged fellow parishioners to receive TT training. Five years ago, a group obtained approval from their rector, the Ven. Dr. Steve Hopkins, to offer therapeutic touch before Sunday morning services in a quiet room removed from the sanctuary.

“People who receive it report feeling better, more whole and more relaxed, even in the midst of illness,” says Hopkins. “I’m happy to walk this journey and explore how it fits within our ministry overall,” he adds.

When Lithgoe turned 80, she turned coordination over to Jane Stephen, a retired high-school English teacher also trained in TT. “One thing Anglicans are remarkably good at is walking as a community with people through the whole course of their illness,” says Hopkins, pointing out that some people may pray or offer a practice such as therapeutic touch, “while others make food for the sick or funeral receptions.”

Victoria Gaitskell is a journalist and parishoner at St. Cuthbert’s, Oakville, Ont.


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