Reclaiming Healthy Touch (2003)


Reclaiming Healthy Touch (2003)

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The following series is from a term paper I wrote on Reclaiming Healthy Touch while attending Educating Hands School of Massage. This paper was written back in 2003 and while the information may be dated, I feel there is great value in what I wrote.

This term paper is on a subject that is very near and dear to my heart.  As I read through it, I realize how much I have learned and the skills I now hold, compared to when this was written.

Unfortunately, the instructor that graded the term paper was highly critical of it. I don’t believe it was because of my actual writing, but because they didn’t like the subject matter. Some of my other classmates threw their term papers together over a weekend and got better grades. It might be because mine didn’t fit into the paradigms the massage world wants to embrace. I spent weeks carefully researching this term paper and learning a great deal in the process, only to have my paper marked up . Too many in the massage industry talk a great talk, but they don’t walk the walk.

Because this was a 26-page term paper, I have broken it up into sections so it is easier to read.  The term paper was titled “Reclaiming Healthy Touch.”.

It was written by Don Shetterly in July 2003.

I later discovered Unified Therapy with Dr. Paul Canali which has helped me greatly in my own life and in my work.

I have since gone on to author two books, Hope And Possibility Through Trauma and Overcoming A Mysterious Condition, which are available on Amazon.

Overcoming A Mysterious Condition

Reclaiming Healthy Touch Series

1. Introduction – Reclaiming Healthy Touch

2. Why Reclaiming Healthy Touch Matters

3. How Does Trauma Affect The Brain

4. Body Trauma Signs

5. Trauma Massage Warnings

6. Trauma And Massage

7. Trauma Bodywork Methods

8. Trauma Bodywork Resources

Introduction To Reclaiming Healthy Touch

There is a field of thought that once you encounter a feeling in a body and if you stay with this feeling, it will give rise to the sensation beneath that feeling. And if you stay with that sensation, you will reach the chemical reactions that produce the sensation. Staying with the chemical reactions, you will reach the molecules that make up these reactions. With enough time, the molecules can be divided and broken down into the smallest particles of living substance within our body where they can no longer be divided.

Becoming More Aware

There are so many things that are part of our body and that are a direct result of events that have impacted us in many ways. By becoming more aware of what our body currently experiences, we can connect with these events to free the energy within ourselves and become all that we are. It is through our patience, sensitivity and creativity as body workers, that we are able to be present for others as they travel down the road of self-awareness toward the world of being the beautiful and whole person that they are.

Touch Research Institute Study

In a study done through the Touch Research Institute, it was scientifically found that participants receiving a massage had a decrease in depression, anxiety, and cortisol levels over a control group that only received relaxation therapy. While both groups showed a response of a decrease in depression and anxiety, the group receiving the massage was the only one that reported a decrease in cortisol levels.

While this paper is general in its delivery, it is meant to be an overall introduction into working with trauma survivors. There are so many more things that could be said but this will hopefully be the groundwork as you encounter people who have traumatic pasts. Learning how to work with trauma survivors will not only make you more effective but it will help to further survivors’ body awareness and progression in life.

Part 2: Why Reclaiming Healthy Touch Matters

Original written in July 2003

Written by Don Shetterly