What is Gentle Touch?
Some sessions include touch. Therefore I want to be clear about the intention and purpose behind using touch.
Touch is fundamental to our existence as human mammals; babies literally cannot live without it. Touch can be a powerful tool for healing trauma.
Over-the-clothes, gentle, therapeutic touch is appropriate for most clients and can be very helpful. The touch work I do is unique and has been adapted over years of training and experience in SE Touch, SourcePoint, Reiki, Feldenkrais, Zero Balancing, and my own study of the human body-mind.
The touch I offer is best described as similar to cranio-sacral therapy, for those who have experienced that. I touch through gentle, long holds, through sensing, intentional energy, and aware attention, to make contact with the skin and underlying structures: muscles, bones, and connective tissue.
This type of touch can directly influence the nervous system state, quickly creating profound and subtle shifts in body and mind.
Unfortunately, many of us have experienced harmful, mis-attuned, or dis-regulated touch, or a lack of enough touch. If thrown off balance by these harmful experiences, our relationship with touch may manifest as either avoidance and fear, or craving and lack (and these tendencies will then be mirrored in the mind’s patterns as well).
If we are to heal through touch, we must do so in a way that is slow, gentle, and not rushed or forced. Informed consent is paramount. Therapeutic touch is always paired with dialogue to ensure your safety and comfort. And it should go without saying that touch in this context is always non-sexual.
Therapeutic touch calms the body and mind, and helps us integrate and truly digest past experiences of disconnection. And the process of asking, sensing and answering what touch is needed or not wanted in each moment, can help clients sense and begin to honor their own healthy boundaries.
The goals and benefits of touch include:
- Directly regulating the nervous system
- Creating safety and working with attachment
- Helping the client feel more embodied through gentle contact
- Enhancing a sense of healthy boundaries
Depending on the client, in-person sessions may include no touch or some touch. Touch may be experienced while lying on a table, sitting in a chair, or on a mat on the floor. All touch is tailored to the client’s preferences, needs, and therapeutic goals.