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Home / Health & Science

The power of psysotherapy

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy AFP | Mon,May 19 2014 00:00:00 EAT
By AFP | Mon,May 19 2014 00:00:00 EAT

Reams and reams of copy have been written about the power of touch. We  psychologists call it touch psychotherapy,  a form of body-mind therapy used for emotional detox and integrating the body, mind, emotions and spirit.By applying gentle, nurturing touch in a scientific, respectful way, emotional baggage trapped in the body is allowed to surface and released.

Touch psychotherapy is not massage, spiritual or energy healing.  It doesn’t treat psychiatric disorders or medical illnesses. It’s a tool for self-awareness, personal growth and emotional healing.This has a scientific basis. Gentle touch promotes physical and psychological well-being in two ways.  It decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol and facilitates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that counteracts pain and stress.

Unbidden emotional healing many years ago while having a massage.  Throughout the session, I became aware of many thoughts, feelings, images and memories that came unbidden. From then on, I developed a touch therapy approach by which the body unlocks its psychological content for emotional healing to take place.

The sessions last from 45 minutes to an  hour. The person, minimally clothed and covered with a light blanket or sheet,  lies down on a cushioned table. The touch psychotherapist applies a gentle yet firm touch on various areas of the body—face, back, shoulders, chest, upper and lower abdomen and extremities. Now and then, he says supportive words to release thoughts and feelings.No inappropriate  touching takes place.  Boundaries are always respected and sessions are confidential.

Results are encouraging.

A young man who was touched on the chest became  aware of the deep hurts and shame he repressed from childhood experiences of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Subsequent sessions helped him release his emotional burdens so he could live life more joyfully and meaningfully.A nun who had touch therapy on her belly understood why her spiritual life seemed to suffer a setback. She became aware of how hard it was as a child to meet her parent’s high expectations.  She let go of her perception of God as a perfectionist and punitive Being, and discovered how He could be compassionate and loving.

Touch therapy applied on an elderly lady’s middle back yielded  laughter suppressed for years.  As a child, she was always told to be prim and proper and in control of her emotions.Not yet convinced? Try touch therapy and experience its wonders for yourself.

 

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