The Listening Touch®
Knowing how to touch is fundamental to activities and professions which involve taking care of people in physical or psychological distress, as well as communicating messages which at times, either inevitably or of necessity, need to pass through so-called “non-verbal” channels. In fact we can communicate many different things through touch: we can make contact or keep our distance, give or restrict our encouragement, offer or take away our support. Physical contact often evokes fear and anxiety; in some situations it is a cultural taboo on account of its undertones of aggressiveness, since unfortunately it can lead to abuse and violence when characterized by lack of respect and by a desire to control. But above all touch signifies caring, because physical contact refers back to the mother-child care relationship, to sustenance and affection, and thus to sympathy and support. Withdrawal of this type of contact may have serious effects on psychophysical integrity.
Numerous scientific studies confirm the value of a specific type of touch to re-establish balance in the principal body functions, furthering the process of cure and recovery and giving relief from pain and from a state of anxiety. And we must not forget the psychological value, either, since further studies testify to more rapid improvement occurring when one feels accompanied and supported by warmth and affection. Despite this, the pace that life imposes on us, especially in the professional field and more precisely in places of treatment, at times distracts therapists from their ability to enter and remain in contact. They are under pressure, to the point where action triumphs over feeling. So it becomes more and more necessary, to recover the quality of human relations, to develop the ability to first make contact with oneself, with one’s feelings and emotions, in order to really make contact with others, to develop the capacity to listen to others, to take care of others and to communicate.
What is The Listening Touch®?
Consequently it induces well-being and relaxation, and increases the healing process, which in turn promotes a cutback in pain. On a psychological level the listening touch communicates support, containment, warmth, sympathetic attention, collaboration and responsibility. To learn the listening touch means to learn how to get closer to the other person and still respect his sphere, to communicate support and containment, to reassure him, to give relief if necessary and to communicate one’s presence and one’s availability.The invitation to learn the listening touch® is directed towards all those who want to learn how to make considerate contact with others by conveying the ability to listen, to pay attention, not to judge but to aid and encourage, all without words. The listening touch helps to boost the psycho physiological healing process and to accompany the patient by giving aid and relief in any case.
The listening touch is easy to learn and can be used successfully in any kind of interpersonal and professional relationship. It is not only useful for whoever practises or intends to build up a profession strictly inherent with the use of physical contact, such as medical staff, touch and rehabilitation therapists, educators, child welfare officers, midwives, doulas, and all those who give assistance, but also those who have activities as trainers or teachers of physical education or sport and artistic disciplines (music, dance, theatre, singing etc.).