A Supercharged Approach to Living

By Barbara Newell

When Richard Gordon attended a workshop given by Bob Rasmusson in 1978, he had no clue he was making a “quantum” dive into the harmonizing world of healing vibrations. He had trained in massage therapy, was practicing polarity, and authored the book Your Healing Hands: The Polarity Experience. But this workshop began a new phase for him as he watched the vertebrae of a volunteer with scoliosis appear to “melt” into place.1 

Though stunned and sure he could never replicate that feat, Gordon nonetheless studied with Rasmusson and practiced his new technique daily, giving demonstrations and assisting people wherever he met them. Gordon was astounded once again, this time with the positive effects he was actually able to advance.

There was the time when he worked on a woman bent over with horrible spine misalignment. It was misaligned both laterally and front to back. Gordon used Quantum-Touch breathing, focus, intention, and compassion while working on each vertebra. About every 15 minutes, others began to observe and comment that the vertebrae were moving. After about 75 minutes, the vertebrae were in a line down her back. When she stood up, she became straight and taller.2 For this woman, such a phenomenal result was both a restored and a new outlook on life. For Gordon, it was a distinct shift in paradigm, as he began to realize the reality of the outcome, his part in it, and the potential surrounding life energy. In a recent interview with Gordon, he explained how things were much different for this field 30 years ago. And when he visited Rasmusson’s workshop in 1978, there was not much information about energy work, and biofeedback was really the only thing gaining much attention. Gordon says he did not understand how or what was happening with this newly found work; he was simply astounded and felt it was the intelligence of life-force energy.

Fostering the Ability to Heal

Practicing Quantum-Touch begins with life-force energy (chi, ki, mana, prana) and our own essential nature of loving compassion. The goal of the work is to create a state of high vibration and shared frequency with the recipient, thereby fostering one’s ability to heal. The path from thought to enactment oscillates along a healing chain of vibration, frequency, resonance, and entrainment. Prana, breath work, intention, and attention are essential tools. According to Gordon’s website, “Life-force energy affects matter on the quantum, subatomic level and works its way up through atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, and structure.”4

The starting point is our response to a person in need of healing. In Quantum-Touch the seed for the healing work is that very compassionate, non-conditional intention to assist others. Such an empathetically responsive state sets the stage for opening beyond the self. In this regard, the practitioner can draw on his or her experiences to attain a positive state, including experiences of essential loving awareness; a state of feeling perfectly at one with the world; a meditative state, focusing on the intentions for the other person; prayer; or simply holding positive thoughts. While practitioners feel this state is powerful in and of itself, they acknowledge that a very important principle in this modality is to understand they are fostering, not performing the healing. It is the receiver doing the actual, active healing. As Gordon says, “A healer is someone who was sick and got well.”

Rhythms of Energy and Breath

Whatever state we are in, at any time, is an expression of life-force energy. Many of us have done the energy exercise of briskly rubbing our hands together to generate heat, then shaking our hands, pressing the center of our palms and holding our hands a short distance from each other, palm facing palm. We can usually feel the energy between our hands. This exercise shows an awareness of our own energy and how it flows between our hands. Quantum-Touch accelerates that awareness of energy and increases our awareness of others’ energy, while showing the poignant interplay between the two. 

Energy is transferred as a wave, characterized by repetitions per second, or frequency. If bodies emitting energy at different frequencies are brought together, they exhibit a tendency toward the same frequency. This is called entrainment. Once the frequencies of the waves are in tune, they are said to be in resonance. Examples of this phenomenon include pendulum clocks hung on a common wall beginning to swing in sync, women who are in close contact having synchronous menstrual cycles, and sometimes the stride of two people just walking together down the street. In Quantum-Touch, this is exemplified in the practitioner’s goal—through intentions, breathwork, energy sensations, and touch—to have the recipient’s energy entrain with them at a higher frequency. 

To increase, or ramp-up, energy flow, Quantum-Touch uses breathwork. Gordon’s book, Quantum-Touch: The Power to Heal, describes several rhythms of breathing. The basic breath underlying all of them is diaphragmatic breath—familiar to many who practice breathwork, yoga, athletics, sing or play a wind instrument, or practice other breath-based techniques. To try diaphragmatic breathing, first breathe in through the diaphragm, extend it to the ribs and up into the chest. Exhale in reverse. Depending on which types of breath are being called for in a session, the breath may be faster, slower, or have more emphasis. All are designed to keep or increase the energy flow for greater potential. Using breath while working with Quantum-Touch is absolutely essential. It is a healthy way to increase the healing potential of a practitioner’s energy and intentions, serving to maintain the outward momentum of energy. It will also help keep the practitioner from taking on energy from the recipient. By increasing the speed of  breathing, the practitioner can rid the recipient’s energy from his or her energy field.

Put to Practice

Intentions and thoughts affect strongly the quality of the energy and direct it to the recipient, but the recipient’s bodily and spiritual intelligence are really the determiners of where energy goes.  

At the start of a Quantum-Touch session, the practitioner performs an intake, asking what and where the problems are, what the client’s desire is for healing, and other typical introductory questions. The pain or severity of the problem is rated by the client on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe. The rating is taken before the session, afterward, and again three days later. From interaction with the client, the practitioner can set specific positive intentions and encourage the client to do so, or to at least be in a receptive frame of mind during the session.

Once the breathwork is underway and a positive state and intentions are set, what does a Quantum-Touch practitioner do with all of this good stuff? This is where attention really comes into play. Focusing on the sensation in one’s hands, the practitioner will begin to move the breath-generated energy down to and out of his or her hands. For example, by focusing on your hands, you will also feel the energy sensation in your hands increase with each exhalation. Awareness of breath and bodily energy sensations is the first part of the necessary attention. The other component is awareness of the client’s response to the energy, what that individual’s pain or severity level is, where the problem is occurring, and any other feedback, verbal or nonverbal, provided. To put all of this into practice calls for the practitioner to gently hold the affected area and integrate the intentions, attentions, prana work, and just “allow.”

When utilizing Quantum-Touch, a common sensation is to feel heat and tingling awareness in your hands. Some people slip into a meditative state, while some feel a sense of the other person’s energy field. These sensations and other feedback from the client help a practitioner to ascertain if energy is being accepted, if altering techniques or varying breathing is needed, or if the session is complete. When receiving energy, heat is again a common sensation. So is coolness, freshness, or feeling lighter. In addition to changes with the initial problem, there often is an overall sense of well-being. 

As a certified Quantum-Touch instructor and practitioner in Pennsylvania, Rob Sharp has great successes with headaches and even migraines responding well to energy. He says he’s had clients with significant pain who find relief. In less than half an hour of running energy, the migraine has gone and does not return. While energy works over time, Quantum-Touch is likely to produce immediate effects, as poignantly shown with headaches and bone misalignments. Sharp says when it occurs immediately, the client knows something is happening. As the client works on his or her own healing, practitioners need to do their best to get out of the way and let go of their attachment to the outcome.

Throughout a session (which usually lasts about one hour), hand positions are moved to accommodate changes in the body—something called “chasing the pain.” Also, both client and practitioner may need a drink of water (always recommended), to move around, or to alter position. Some common areas on which practitioners focus if the problems are musculoskeletal are the occipital region and the hips. If either of these is not even with light touch, intention, and prana, it can often be realigned. 

As Both Client and Therapist

While working with Sharp for my own scoliosis, which I’ve had as long as I recall, I did much of the session standing with a chair for support. My hips shifted to a state of being horizontally level and this shift felt as though I had been lifted up on a gentle wave and set back down again. I also gained more freedom of movement in my torso. We paused the session whenever I felt the need to walk around. As I walked or bent forward toward the floor, I could feel and hear greater flexibility and popping of stuck areas. This has been a lasting effect.

Not only have I gained appreciation for Quantum-Touch as a client, but as a massage therapist myself, I enjoy easily combining Quantum-Touch with my massage work. Ashley Henry, a massage therapist and Quantum-Touch devotee in Kentucky, also combines both to better meet her clients’ healing requests. Often people truly do want the touch and feel of the healing efforts that come with massage and bodywork. “I found that if I swept and breathed like we do with Quantum-Touch, the energy flowed, regardless of how much I danced around the table and moved in rhythm with clients’ bodies,” she says. “Every breath I draw in while doing massage is a direct vortexing sweep upward, and every exhale is focused on allowing the energy to flow down and out my hands into clients’ bodies. There is never an empty breath, so to speak.” She says the response from clients has been highly positive. “I don’t think I can ever go back to just breathing when I need to ... it’s now always about the energy flowing for their well-being.”


Intentional Energy

Alain Herriott, a certified Quantum-Touch practitioner, instructor, and developer of more advanced techniques, advises that there are good opportunities to apply this method within a bodywork session. He says that two good times for application are while scanning the body’s energy before starting and when first laying hands on the client. 

Intentionally using energy can open tissues ahead of one’s hands, stimulating greater allowance of the bodywork, Herriott says. Energy can work at a greater depth than the hands, especially if the recipient is sensitive or sore. He thinks it works well, for example, with the long strokes of Swedish, as well with the stillness of trigger point and with the slower, deeper movements of neuromuscular treatments. Allowing Quantum-Touch to carry some of the deep workload will save wear and stresses from the bodyworker’s own joints, he says, thereby extending one’s reach in the moment with clients and extending one’s therapy career. In his book, Supercharging Quantum-Touch: Advanced Techniques, Herriott teaches amplification methods that are effective in environments such as massage therapy, because they are quieter than the rapid or loud breathing methods.5

Enhanced practice

People who combine Quantum-Touch with other modalities find that it strongly enhances their other work. Acupuncturists, chiropractors, healthcare workers, nurses, osteopaths, physicians, and many complementary and alternative health workers have reacted enthusiastically to adding Quantum-Touch to their toolbox. For reiki masters, the addition of Quantum-Touch constitutes an empowerment or “turbo-charging” of the reiki.6

Quantum-Touch can be employed for aches, burns, headaches, and pains, as well as more chronic conditions. Basic training covers working on both specific and general areas of the body, distance work, working with the chakras, and self-work. 

Quantum-Touch is evolving and now has advanced training and certification. As Herriott says, often people want to know what to do if a problem returns, how to best work on one’s self, and how to get a better idea of what is happening with a client’s problem. As a result of such questions, he developed advanced techniques that amplify the basic principles, as well as a complementary technique called core transformation. Herriott says the core transformation aspect of Quantum-Touch balances the basic work. The basic, to him, seems a yang expression of energy and the core transformation work the yin expression. The basic is the practitioner’s energy reaching out and the core transformation is the client’s energy coming to the practitioner.

While the daily work goes on, there is also a lot of research taking place—some showing anecdotal results from private practitioners, some in controlled settings. In pain research Gordon did with Norman Shealy, MD, he practiced Quantum-Touch on people who did not know if they were receiving it or not. After some training, the doctor’s staff used it as well. There was a 30–70 percent reduction in pain, with relief lasting at least two weeks after the treatment. As reported in his book, Gordon worked on one 90-year-old woman who could barely walk due to osteoporosis. After 45 minutes, she realized a complete alignment of her hips and was able to walk more freely and without pain. Shealy also measured brain waves and said that in more than 30 years he had not seen such a dramatic effect in quieting the wave pattern as Gordon had done with one gentleman. 

There are professional researchers in fields such as biology, neuropsychology, physics, and physiology who are looking at brain waves, consciousness affecting matter, effects and health benefits of meditation, and other areas we may have disregarded or not even thought of before. In fact, Gordon advocates a new branch of science in life-force energy. From this idea has sprung a nonprofit organization, The Life Force Project (www.thelifeforceproject.org).

Quantum-Touch is a growing and dynamic healing approach. There are now classes in more than 40 countries around the world teaching this modality to hands-on therapists. Bodyworkers, according to their beliefs, regularly utilize forms of energy, presence, intention, and spiritual work with their chosen hands-on modality. Quantum-Touch offers another option that is readily accessible simply by breathing. And as Gordon, its founder, exhorts, Quantum-Touch is a “basic human skill!” 

 Barbara Newell is a certified massage therapist and Quantum-Touch practitioner in State College, Pennsylvania. She engages avidly in professional freelance research and writing, yoga, Argentine tango and Oriental dance, and studies the intersection of beliefs and healing.


1. Richard Gordon, Quantum-Touch: The Power to Heal (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002), 10.

2. Ibid, 11.

3. Ibid, 14.

4. “What is Quantum-Touch?” www.quantumtouch.com/. Accessed November 2007.

5. Alain Herriott, Supercharging Quantum-Touch (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007), 26.

6. www.quantumtouch.com/index.php?p=special_topic_reports&id=230. Accessed November 2007.

7. Gordon, Quantum-Touch, 167.

8. Ibid,12.