Circa 2004, I had the opportunity to design curriculum and present to students every aspect of massage therapy from the origin and history of massage, business, posture and proper body mechanics and practicum to sitting the state boards and everything in between. It was a complete massage therapy course as well a full 600 hour curriculum. As part of my interview for the “new” position I was required to instruct in front of an actual class. After a lot of consideration, I chose “touch” for my lecture.
I have always found it interesting how touch during our physical development ultimately shapes the “who” we become. It is now common knowledge that prenatal and postnatal, babies are much healthier and have a higher survival rate when receiving regular touch (massage) therapy. Throughout a person’s lifetime, continued touch promotes and encourages every single aspect of their existence.
Many studies have taken an interest on the effects of touch. The effects typically noted and researched are of course growth and development, ADD, immunity, cancer, chronic pain syndromes and many others that don’t necessarily respond well to traditional medical efforts. It should also be common sense that continued touch also creates a connection between the giver and the receiver.
Massage therapy reduces anxiety and is said to cause an increase in the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Therefore, in the sense that massage therapy, or touch therapy reduces stress and alleviates symptoms of depression, a mother who receives pregnancy massage is healthier and her baby is also less likely to suffer from premature birth or other complications during labor.