Touch

Overview

Although the therapeutic benefits of touch have become increasingly clear, American society, claims Tiffany Field, is dangerously touch-deprived. Many schools have "no touch" policies; the isolating effects of Internet-driven work and life can leave us hungry for tactile experience. In this book Field explains why we may need a daily dose of touch. The first sensory input in life comes from the sense of touch while a baby is still in the womb, and touch continues to be the primary means of learning about the ...

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Touch

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Overview

Although the therapeutic benefits of touch have become increasingly clear, American society, claims Tiffany Field, is dangerously touch-deprived. Many schools have "no touch" policies; the isolating effects of Internet-driven work and life can leave us hungry for tactile experience. In this book Field explains why we may need a daily dose of touch. The first sensory input in life comes from the sense of touch while a baby is still in the womb, and touch continues to be the primary means of learning about the world throughout infancy and well into childhood. Touch is critical, too, for adults' physical and mental health. Field describes studies showing that touch therapy can benefit everyone, from premature infants to children with asthma to patients with conditions that range from cancer to eating disorders.

This second edition of
Touch, revised and updated with the latest research, reports on new studies that show the role of touch in early development, in communication
(including the reading of others' emotions), in personal relationships, and even in sports. It describes the physiological and biological effects of touch, including areas of the brain affected by touch, and the effects of massage therapy on prematurity, attentiveness, depression, pain, and immune functions. Touch has been shown to have positive effects on growth, brain waves, breathing, and heart rate,
and to decrease stress and anxiety. As Field makes clear, we enforce our society's touch taboo at our peril.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Field has extensively studied and documented touch. In this book-length essay on the importance of touch, she argues that while skin is the largest sense organ of the body, it is taken for granted and overlooked in terms of research; it is also our most social sense in that it usually involves another person. Field discusses different kinds of touch e.g., tickling, inappropriate touching, touch that is relaxing as well as anthropological findings. For example, various studies show that Americans are some of the least tactile people in the world. Field goes on to suggest that many of the problem behaviors we see in this country might be traced to the absence of touch, or, as she characterizes it, to "touch hunger." In her enthusiasm for her subject, she offers a few observations that strain credulity, as when she suggests that a fetus may turn out to be a good swimmer because of being stimulated in the womb by massage. Descriptions of the results of touch deprivation, the mechanics of how touch operates in the body, and various touch therapies and their benefits, especially in terms of pain reduction, are detailed. An interesting, well-written book with an extensive bibliography; recommended for public and academic libraries. Margaret Cardwell, Christian Brothers Univ., Memphis, TN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"An interesting, well-written book with an extensive bibliography." Margaret CardwellLibrary Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262526593
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2014
  • Edition description: second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 714,725
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tiffany Field is Director of the Touch Research Institute and a Professor in the
Departments of Pediatrics, Psychology, and Psychiatry at the University of Miami
School of Medicine.
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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Touch Hunger 1
2 Touch as Communication 19
3 Touch in Development 33
4 Touch Deprivation 59
5 Touch Messages to the Brain 75
6 Touch Therapies 91
7 Infant Massage 117
8 Massage Therapy for Children, Adolescents, and Adults 131
Notes 155
Index 175
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