The following pages are from a term paper I wrote while attending Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami, Florida. 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.
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. Author: Don Shetterly. Written on 7/21/2003
I have also 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 write my first book, Hope And Possibility Through Trauma which is available on Amazon.
Sections Of Reclaiming Healthy Touch
- Why Reclaiming Healthy Touch Matters
- How Does Trauma Affect The Brain
- Evidence Of Trauma In The Body
- Special Considerations Reclaiming Healthy Touch
- Full Body Massage And Trauma Survivors
- Other Forms Of Body Work Helpful To Trauma Survivors
- Reclaiming Healthy Touch In My Life
- Sources And Additional Resources
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.10
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.
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.11
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.
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