Touch in manual therapy does not work in the way most people think it does. Evidence increasingly shows there are clear limits to our ability to diagnose and treat structural issues by focusing on local tissue dynamics. We can however negotiate ‘affective touch’ to help people come out of stressed or dissociative states, feel new and different qualities in themselves, and find safety and agency.
I recently offered a training about the Power and Limits of Touch, and it’s now available freely for everyone. In the training, we explore:
Why touch is essential for humans (6.30) including:
• How the first touch we receive shapes us, and teaches us about safety, and why touch is fundamental for our health, as can be seen in studies of elderly people and babies who don’t receive loving touch, and in the ‘skin hunger’ many experienced during lockdown.
• Touch can be an incredible way to soothe, create safety, and create a reality in what we can trust.
The mechanics of touch (21.30) and how it can help us to understand some of the most exciting elements of touch, including:
• The 62 mini brands we have outside of our central nervous system
• The difference between quickness and slow nerves. 75% of our sensory nerves are slower, C-fibres, which you the emotional tone of your interaction with the world.
• What interoception is, and how it can change the way we see touch.
The limits of touch (36.00) including:
• Why manual touch approaches like physiotherapy massage and chiropractic don’t have evidence to show they change the experience of pain.
• The importance of recognising that we are treating people with nervous systems, not only muscles, tendons and fascia, and that tissues change when your big brain gets involved.
• Touch is always complex, it’s always emotional, it always has deep meanings and contexts
Relational touch (45:00) including:
• Old model: touch works by changing local tissue dynamics. New model: relational touch has the potential to switch off protective reflexes and promote learning and growth.
You can watch the training here: The Power and Limits of Touch >>
TRE Intro Day NEW Dates
TRE Intro Online 15 Sep
TRE Advanced Training
Touch London: 14-15 Nov