Featured Nurse: Dr. Dolores Krieger

I first met Dr. Dolores Krieger many years ago when I first read about Therapeutic Touch.  She was a professor at New York University and I was an avid reader of alternative health care methods because I was somewhere around phase 2 of burnout and knew traditional medicine didn’t always work.  Besides, I’d seen miracles and wanted to know more.

One day while I was going through my file cabinet, I pulled some papers written by Dr. Krieger out of my files, three times in a row.  That was it!  I knew I had to get in touch with her that very day.  That’s how my life had always worked.  I followed the iridescent arrows of Fate.  A lot like the yellow brick road.
I decided to call her.

As the phone at her office at NYU began to ring, I got cold feet. She’ll probably think I’m crazy, I thought.  She’ll ask me what I want and I don’t even know…Suddenly, I heard a voice on the phone – sweet soft voice.
Our first conversation went something like this…

“Hi, Dr. Krieger, I just pulled your name out of my file cabinet three times in a row so I’m thinking maybe the Universe wants us to do something together.”  My heart was pounding so loudly I could hardly hear her. Call me Dee, dear,” she said. “When would you like to meet?” “Anytime,” I said, quickly.  “It’s only about an hour from here.” “Good,” she said.  “I’ll meet you in my office tomorrow afternoon.”

I hardly slept that night and the following day I went into the city hours before we were to meet. It was a beautiful day so I sat in Washington Square Park and watched the college kids and the homeless people play music and dance, till finally it was time.

The old red brick buildings at NYU smelled musty inside.  The hallways reeked of wisdom and worn books.  The spicy aroma of a spinning spit of souvlaki from the street truck outside the front door wafted up the narrow stairways as I kept trying to rehearse what I wanted to say.

She was sitting behind her desk, a small grey-haired woman with an enormous presence. She radiated kindness. I sat down on the chair across from her, and for a moment, I was speechless. 
“Tell me about yourself,” she said, and my words started to spill out.  I don’t remember what I told her.  I do remember it was all about nursing, healing. When I finished all she did was smile and say, “I feel you’re a bodhisattva, my dear.”

“What’s that?” I asked. “I’m Buddhist,” she said.

“Oh,” I said.  “What’s that about?

“You know of the Dali Lama?” she asked.

“Who’s that?” I asked.

Dr. Krieger laughed, a full hearty laugh.  And then she handed me a list of books to read.  “This should help,” she said.

As I rushed to the train station to leave the city before rush hour, I stopped at the bookstore and bought my first copy of, “The Western Approach to Zen” by Christmas Humphreys.  Reading it on the way home was the first time I saw the definition of a Bodhisattva.

A Bodhisattva was described as “an enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others.”

Oh God, I thought, this is worse than the Jesus story.  At least He gets to die and go to heaven.  In that moment, I never felt less enlightened. But later, my life took care of that.

It was from Dr. Dolores Krieger that I learned Therapeutic Touch and many other really important concepts of healing.  I am forever grateful for her research–and what she taught me and other nurses about healing and the transfer of energy.  All of us knew we were the tools healing came through and none of us undervalued our contribution to the healing dance.

She has a site online now.
Check it out here: