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MIT Press, 2003 - Psychology - 181 pages
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The first sensory input in life comes from the sense of touch while a baby is still in the womb, and touch continues to be the primary means of learning about the world throughout infancy, well into childhood. Touch is critical for children's growth, development, and health, as well as for adults' physical and mental well-being. Yet American society, claims Tiffany Field, is dangerously touch-deprived.

Field, a leading authority on touch and touch therapy, begins this accessible book with an overview of the sociology and anthropology of touching and the basic psychophysical properties of touch. She then reports recent research results on the value of touch therapies, such as massage therapy, for various conditions, including asthma, cancer, autism, and eating disorders. She emphasizes the need for a change in societal attitudes toward touching, particularly among those who work with children.


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As director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Field has extensively studied and documented touch. In this book-length essay on the importance of touch, she ... Read full review


Touch Hunger
Touch as Communication
Touch in Development
Touch Deprivation
Touch Messages to the Brain
Touch Therapies
Infant Massage
Massage Therapy for Children Adolescents and Adults

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About the author (2003)

Mark D. Fox, M.D., Ph.D. is Director of the Section of Medicine/Pediatrics and Associate Director of the Oklahoma Bioethics Centerat the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa. He is anAssistant Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.He currently serves as Chair of the Ethics Committee for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the Organ Procurementand Transplantation Network (OPTN).

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