Touch—More Than a Basic Science

Mitchell L. Elkiss, DO, and John A. Jerome, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: June 14, 2011

Accepted: July 5, 2012

Published: August 1, 2012

J Osteopath Med; 112(8): 514-517

The potency of touch in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is physically realized within the musculoskeletal, immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. Psychologically, touch supports a verbal and tactile interaction that is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Touch is a 2-way street that adds meaning and depth to the patient-physician experience. The relationship between touching and being touched offers a potentially powerful and intense deepening of the patient-physician relationship that emerges within the palpatory examination and treatment. Empathic communication, through word or deed, allows a therapeutic, synchronized healing to occur. In the present article, the authors provide a rationale to sensitize and invigorate osteopathic physicians to routinely evaluate and treat patients using their skillful touch.

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