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What Are “Light Touch” Therapies?

h regilla dimeIn this context, “light touch” means using the the least necessary force, applied to the right point with the right leverage, to get the most effect. Any force used is used very precisely, limiting the amount of bruising or other tissue damage caused by the work itself, and limiting the amount of pain to the least necessary pain. The touch is firm enough that it does not tickle.  It is often about the weight of a nickle (5 grams) or even a dime.


bethcdfrog8Light touch therapies are useful because any time you touch a system, you introduce change into that system. So, if I touch you, I am changing you. When I am making my assessments, I want to assess what is there, not the changes that I have introduced, so I use a light touch to assess more accurately. Because the touch is light, it is much easier to gain very specific information about the tissues (bone, muscle, fluids, etc.) without disturbing it–much as it is easier to hear quiet things if you are very quiet yourself.

Because of this specific information, it is easier to find just the right place to work and just the right angle and pressure to use, which means that I can get more done using less force. The light touch gives me greater control over which changes I introduce to the system, and it does not trigger the protective tightening that a heavier pressure does. I find that using lighter touch therapies has encouraged me to be much more accurate in my anatomical knowledge, and made my palpation skills much more accurate at a much finer level. The results from this improved accuracy of knowledge and practice are so immediate and so great that it is a huge incentive to get the anatomy very very solid.

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