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ACRM Complementary Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine Networking Group




The Power and Limits of Touch

Presenter: Steve Haines, BCST, Certified TRE® Provider


Explore the topic of touch, including in relation to manual (hands-on) therapies.

In this webinar, you will hear about:

1. Why touch is essential for humans
2. The concept of inward touch and outward touch
3. The limits of touch
4. Relational Touch – a new paradigm

The slow background tone of the body, coupled with slow forms of touching, are fundamental to consciousness and developing our sense of self. Clinicians who offer hands-on therapies can effect enormous change by using slow touch to support feeling safe.

Interoception is a relatively new term, and powerful new research paradigm, that describes how we feel. It radically changes our understanding of how touch works. How we feel and connect internally determines our ability to perceive and interact with the world of people and things around us.

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. Join us to explore these topics!

Learning Objectives

1. Formulate an understanding of why touch is essential for humans
2. Analyze the topic of interoception in relation to the ways in which slow touch can inform our sense of self and our ability to relate
3. Critique existing paradigms of touch and in doing so, explore using touch to support feelings of safety and connection rather than focusing on changing tissue states and structures