One of the most beneficial experiences we can have when receiving therapy treatment is to feel reassured, sense that we are safe, comfortable, and without threat. When we are in pain (physical or emotional) that state of distress creates arousal in the nervous system which is perceived as ‘threat’. This will ‘turn on’ adrenaline and other chemical messengers triggered by the ‘threat’ and the net effect is to magnify the experience of pain.
Despite having their best interests at heart, some therapists may not realise that the quality of their touch will always create a neuro hormonal response in the patients brain; this response can be beneficial or non-beneficial for the patient. Yet skilled therapists know that when their ‘hands on’ technique is carried out well, this quality of touch, sometimes known as ‘therapeutic touch’, is definitely part of the treatment effect.
The difference between the two patient experiences – comfort and safety or discomfort and threat – is largely down to understanding the difference between how we touch the patient – poking your patient or placing your whole hand on the patient. We wouldn’t poke a baby, we just know that a therapeutic touch is slower, smoother and is over a greater surface area. Try it yourself and the difference jumps out at you!
If we look across other species of mammals it appears that this ‘Primate Grooming Response’ is widespread. The universal effect of therapeutic touch powerfully evokes feelings of calm, safety and bonding and we are very aware of this effect in our clinics. This aids our patients to feel completely at ease, respected and safe, consequently benefiting fully from their treatment. As a practitioner it helps to quickly establish an unspoken communication with the body as it facilitates whatever treatment is being provided and has been shown to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
Why not get in touch with one of our team today, where we will discuss a treatment plan with you which will be individually designed and tailor-made to meet your needs.