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February 24, 2010


Positive Massage Therapy

This is no surprise to this massage therapist. We see it every day in our work, it is part of our training(which includes Dr. Fields' research), and our experience helps us to notice it outside the treatment room.

My favorite example of "touch seeking" is men getting haircuts. Besides sports, this is an acceptable way for a guy to get touched. I've noticed the interaction and appreciation in barber shops, and I've met very, very tough young men who cut each other's hair. All rather like an anthropological study of primate grooming, but very heartening.

I'm glad to hear about the department where you work being such believers in massage therapy, especially with their medical expertise. The massage profession has been trying to get this message out, but the image remains common within the medical establishment and the public that massage is only a luxury.

Positive Massage Therapy


For a great essay that integrates several studies on the power of subtle touches (and touch, in general) see Diane Ackerman's "A Natural History of the Senses". The entire book is fabulous, but the section on touch is by far my favorite. The book is a real treasure - the science of the five senses really comes alive.

The Healthy Librarian

Positive Massage Therapy,

Thanks for your professional insights! The barber shop and haircut examples are wonderful.


Thanks for the book/chapter recommendation. D I'm adding it to my library request queue.

As another Massage Therapist stumbling across your blog, I agree also whole-heartedly.

To me, one of the closest forms of safe touch I have ever experienced is during Watsu, where one is cradled, stretched, massaged, danced, and, sometimes just holding stillness in the 98 degree warm pool...all passively... for an hour??? It is intense. I believe one of the goals of great Watsu is to facilitate a "Kundalini Rising" experience for the client. It is a deep meditation, while being held basically!

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