Touch

Overview

"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, well into childhood. Touch is critical for children's growth, development, and health, as well as for adults' physical and mental well-being. Yet American society, claims Tiffany Field, is dangerously touch-deprived." Field, a leading authority on touch and touch therapy, begins this book with an overview of the sociology and anthropology of touching and the
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Overview

"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, well into childhood. Touch is critical for children's growth, development, and health, as well as for adults' physical and mental well-being. Yet American society, claims Tiffany Field, is dangerously touch-deprived." Field, a leading authority on touch and touch therapy, begins this book with an overview of the sociology and anthropology of touching and the basic psychophysical properties of touch. She then reports recent research results on the value of touch therapies, such as massage therapy, for various conditions, including asthma, cancer, autism, and eating disorders. She emphasizes the need for a change in societal attitudes toward touching, particularly among those who work with children.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An interesting, well-written book with an extensive bibliography." Margaret CardwellLibrary Journal
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262561563
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,008,359
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.43 (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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