How Human Bodywork Differs from Auto Bodywork
What’s the difference between working on a car’s body and a person’s body?
It might seem obvious to say, “We’re not cars.” But what does that mean?
When a car’s body is damaged, it usually doesn’t affect how the car operates. Advanced sensors might detect and report on the damage. But the car won’t function differently and it certainly doesn’t feel pain.
A car’s parts are interchangeable. They can be replaced without harming or even interfering with the whole.
No matter how advanced your car’s computer is, it won’t care about a mechanic’s attitude or type of touch. The result will be satisfactory as long as the work is done with technical accuracy.
When a human body is simply touched—anywhere at all—the entire nervous system gets involved.
The our first of our senses that comes online when we’re born, our sense of touch is exquisitely sensitive.
…the brain is very good at distinguishing an emotional touch from a similar, but non-emotional, one. A massage chair is not a masseuse.
Maria Konnikova, “The Power of Touch,” The New Yorker (March 4, 2015)
Konnikova is commenting on recent work by Tiffany Field, head of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine (Touch for socioemotional and physical well-being: A review).
Field’s research suggests that we can sense the emotional tone of the person touching us simply by our sense of their touch.
With that, I recommit to offering mindful attention to each and every massage client.