Sister of Providence authors new book on healing touch therapy
Sister Betty Hopf’s new book is only a little larger than the palm of a hand. It’s about as thick as a fast-food hamburger. It retails for $4.95. It can be read in just a few minutes. But it packs a hefty message for reflection throughout its pages.
“Healing Touch Therapy” is part of the newest entry in the Elf-Help series published by Abbey Press at St. Meinrad, Ind. Each chapter, 38 in all, is one sentence long. Each message is accompanied by a line drawing by R. W. Alley.
The sentences provoke some serious thought about the gift of touch. For example, “Touch is a natural means of healing. It’s a technique to help focus one’s love, which is the real healing agent.” Another: “When you give someone a smile, you touch their spirit and lighten your own spirit.”
One more: “Visit a person in need and touch them with your presence.” And: “Soak up an exquisite sunset and let it touch your soul.”
Sister Betty, who ministers as chaplain at Hux Cancer Center in Terre Haute, has clinical certification in healing touch.
“I once developed some workshops, retreats and talks on the healing touch of Jesus. I used to talk about some history of touch, and I talked about good touch, bad touch. I talk about all of those ideas in the book,” Sister Betty said.
“I wrote an article some time ago in one of our community publications. It was called, ‘Simple as a Smile.’ It was about a young girl who had cerebral palsy and she couldn’t walk. She couldn’t talk. She and I communicated with body language,” Sister Betty added.
What does she hope people can gain by reading her book and reflecting on her messages?
“Less of a fear of the sense of touch and more willingness to use the body God gave us with our eyes or smile or whatever to communicate God’s shared love. I feel like the really sick, the elderly, maybe those who have special challenges lack what’s needed. Psychologists say you need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for well-being. Most people don’t get that,” Sister Betty said.
“Healing Touch Therapy can be purchased at The Gift Shop at Providence Center or directly from Abbey Press.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.