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047-The Power of Therapeutic Touch
Episode 4727th June 2019 • ignite physio • Andrew Koppejan
00:00:00 00:28:35

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In this episode, hosts Andrew and Maxi take a deeper look at the power of touch in the therapeutic relationship.

Andrew discussion the impact of reading The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine, and shares some great quotes which examines how touch alters the therapeutic relationship opposed to just listening.

The key takeaway from this episode is to observe your own state and do an out-breath before you touch a patient, and observe what’s happening with their response, and adjust yourself as needed.

Some of the key topics discussed include:

How touch can be used both for assessment and connection with the patient.
The Ted Talks episode by Abraham Verghes - “A Doctor’s Touch”.

How touching is key to the transformation of a patient's level of trust, and how as clinicians we often forget the feeling of being a patient.

  • Why we need to build a bridge to create a sense of safety in the therapeutic relationship.
  • How responsive touch bypasses cognition and engages the neurophysiological system to activate the parasympathetic response which creates trust and safety.
  • How the patient’s mental and emotional state can change with each assessment, and using touch to re-build the bridge. 
  • Using appropriate touch in context to each patient, and communicating why, with added sensitivity to trauma survivors.  
  • Adjusting our own state of being fully present while touching the patient, and observing their response.
  • How safe and appropriate touch can positively impact the patient and allow a deeper healing. 
  • Why practicing your “presence” skills rather than just touching skills is important.  

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