Touch

Touch

by Tiffany Field
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

…  See more details below

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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Foreword Reviews
This second edition of Touch offers updated reasoning and research so it can continue to be a comprehensive, cutting-edge resource related to this fast-moving, highly impactful field.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262526593
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
10/31/2014
Edition description:
second edition
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
609,808
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Edward Z. Tronick
Tiffany Field makes it clear how much each of us has missed about the personal, scientific, and policy implications of touch. Touch, the most universal,comforting, and caring of the senses remains unstudied and unused as a way of healing and bringing people together. Field's book is essential reading for every healer — from physician to social worker to daycare teacher, to every policy maker with concerns about violence and drugs, and to everyone of us who want to love someone and express that love.

T. Berry Brazelton
Since it provides the infant with a sense of security and well-being right from the first, touch is surely one of the most important sensory experiences the infant will get.

Michael Lewis
Tiffany Field has brought to bear her energy and intelligence on the topic of touch for at least three decades. With this new edition she again shows why she is the leading scientist in the study of touch and how it influences our lives.

Marshall Klaus
What a great addition to our understanding of the biology of touch.

Nina G. Jablonski
In the first edition of Touch in 2003, Tiffany Field opened our eyes to the importance of touch in all aspects of well-adjusted human life, and revealed how much the lack of touch was associated with unhappiness and insecurity in children and loneliness and depression in the elderly. In her second edition, Field marshals new evidence to show that modern youth experience a near absence of touch in social contacts because of the rise of digital social media. The emerging picture that Field paints of psychological distress and social malfunction resulting from the lack of caring touch is disturbing and urgently important to every parent and educator. Touch reminds us that we need more than free hugs at the street corner, we need a program for rediscovering our humanity.

From the Publisher
"In the hands of Tiffany Field, touch, 'the mother of the senses,' finds its muse. An engagingly written book coursing from the physiology lab to 'new age' therapy, Touch never fails to stimulate." Lewis Leavitt, Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director, Waisman Center on HumanDevelopment and Mental Retardation, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Through two decades of work, Tiffany Field has given the recently considered themes of touch research and application much of their tone. Her tightly crafted, well-written, and timely book summarizes efficiently and interestingly the vast array of facts on touch from the cross-species, cross-cultural, laboratory-research, developmental, and clinical/therapeutic literatures. Touch is a must read for scientists and practitioners, parents and teachers, and all those interested in insuring that humans thrive in their developmental course."—Jacob L. Gewirtz,Director, Child Development Laboratory, Director, Behavior Analysis Program, and Professor ofPsychology, Florida International University

"The healing powers of touch have been observed for centuries. Touch is the first scientific treatise on the topic. Field blends together historical, biological, and psychological perspectives on touch and provides valuable insights for the promotion of health and well-being."—Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor, Child Development andEducation, Teacher's College, Columbia University

"The study of the five senses has largely focused on sight and hearing. ProfessorField's work forces us to consider the overwhelming importance of touch to normal human development,especially in the realm of emotions. Touch stands as a major contribution to the understanding of human needs."—Michael Lewis, University Distinguished Professor, Institute for the Study of ChildDevelopment, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and author of Altering Fate: Why the Past Does NotPredict the Future

"What a great addition to our understanding of the biology of touch."—MarshallKlaus, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, author of Your AmazingNewborn and Mothering the Mother

"In the hands of Tiffany Field, touch, the 'mother of the senses' finds her muse. An engagingly written book coursing from the physiology lab to 'new-age' therapy, Touch never fails to stimulate."—Lewis Leavitt, Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director, Waisman Center on HumanDevelopment and Mental Retardation, University of Wisconsin—Madison

"Tiffany Field makes it clear how much each of us has missed about the personal,scientific, and policy implications of touch. Touch, the most universal, comforting, and caring of the senses remains unstudied and unused as a way of healing and bringing people together. Field's book is essential reading for every healer—from physician to social worker to daycare teacher, to every policy maker with concerns about violence and drugs, and to everyone of us who want to love someone and express that love."—Edward Z. Tronick, Ph.D., Director of the Child Development Unit,Children's Hospital, and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Jacob L. Gewirtz
Through two decades of work, Tiffany Field has given the recently considered themes of touch research and application much of their tone. Her tightly crafted, well-written, and timely book summarizes efficiently and interestingly the vast array of facts on touch from the cross-species, cross-cultural,laboratory-research, developmental, and clinical/therapeutic literatures.

Touch is a must read for scientists and practitioners, parents and teachers, and all those interested in insuring that humans thrive in their developmental course.

Matthew J. Hertenstein
If you're numb to the power of touch, you will not be once you read Tiffany Field's book. She masterfully integrates not only the seminal contributions in the field, but the state-of-the-art science as well. Written by the authority in the field, Field's book will increase public awareness about how touch impacts public policy, research, and our everyday lives.

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
The healing powers of touch have been observed for centuries.

Touch is the first scientific treatise on the topic. Field blends together historical, biological, and psychological perspectives on touch and provides valuable insights for the promotion of health and well-being.

Lewis Leavitt
In the hands of Tiffany Field, touch, the 'mother of the senses' finds her muse. An engagingly written book coursing from the physiology lab to 'new-age' therapy, Touch never fails to stimulate.

Read More

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >