New Civilization News: Learning to Give Safe, Skillful and Loving Touch    
 Learning to Give Safe, Skillful and Loving Touch13 comments
picture29 Mar 2006 @ 14:53, by Gerald Vest

We are very pleased to update and report on our Global Touch Project using our 15-Minute StressOut Program to support the health and well being of our Elders. [link]

On Friday, March 17, 2006, our newly formed Las Cruces Health Promotion Team with Elders conducted a county-wide workshop for caregivers and professionals interested in learning how to give and receive “safe, skillful and loving” touch. We had over 50 participants attend our 3hr. workshop and established a core team of volunteers to become certified and to administer our ‘chair type’ massage program.

Following our workshop, our administrative team met to review our project and to plan for follow up workshops in nursing homes and other resources and to conduct regularly scheduled meeting with elders interested in reducing their stress, anxiety and depression. In our city, there are three sites established to give diabetes examinations weekly as this disease has reached epidemic proportions here in New Mexico and West Texas. In the US it is reported that there are over 21 million people who have diabetes.

Because of our successful 'Best Practice' research related to using touch to reduce blood sugar levels and to promote health and wellness of this population our new volunteers are preparing themselves to administer our stress management program weekly in these diabetic centers.[link]

I am hopeful that NCN members and other communities will join with us in developing and administering our healthy touch program for elders on a global scale.

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29 Mar 2006 @ 16:48 by martha : Thanks Jerry
Great information. We need more loving touching (of an non sexual nature) in our world. Keep up the terrific work. Everyone needs this. Many studies done on babies know that they will die if they aren't touched.
Another powerful tool is to stay centered in peace when you around others because they do pick up on the energy.  

29 Mar 2006 @ 16:56 by jerryvest : Thanks, are always so
very kind, helpful and supportive. Yes, everyone needs loving touch and we know that many babies and our elders just wither up and die from the lack of nourishing touch. Anger, acting out and feelings of abandonment also occur with children when they do not receive healthy, respectful touch.  

29 Mar 2006 @ 16:57 by jstarrs : Well done, Jerry... it, as the other Jerry said.
Keep posting these up-dates, it makes a deep river.  

29 Mar 2006 @ 18:48 by jerryvest : Thanks Jeff...your support and good
will has always been there for us. These messages do help us keep our engines running and encourages us to "...make a deep river." As that song reminds me, "We're on our Way."  

29 Mar 2006 @ 21:05 by jobrown : It has taken
a lot courage from your part, Jerry, to start this Loving Touch Program inside the confinements of Rehabilitation Centers and such. Everyone of us, who has ever worked within the Medical field, knows the demand of being "Clinical" = "detached/ not emotinionally involved" in the work!.... and how wrong it was/is, yet despiced by the Rules and Rulers!
Thanks for turning that negative Tide around! God Bless your Efforts!  

30 Mar 2006 @ 01:31 by jerryvest : You are so very kind and thoughtful,
Blueboy. You are right about the '0' tolerance for touch that our health, education and welfare policies require for our human family. Clinical or instrumental touch is the primary contact that our medical, psychiatric, psychological, social work, counseling, teaching professions use with their participants. They do not understand or are unwilling to accept that we can design, incorporate and introduce guidelines for the safe use of touch in our social systems. We can also introduce and teach skillful touch so that people can learn how to give and receive healthy, loving and respectful touch. I think we can learn how to give and receive the power of touch, love and respect by experiencing it from our families, teachers and health professionals. But, who can we Trust? Here again, 'fear' seems to be the dominant inhabitant that our professional community continues to support. And, there is no real recognition that we all need touch or physical interaction to feel safe, secure and cared for, as Martha so clearly describes.

Thanks for staying-in-touch!!!  

31 Mar 2006 @ 06:01 by jobrown : For so many years...
...I worked there myself as an RN. I saw both loving, caring, compassionate Personel and I saw the Bullies, who were actually enjoying the TEASING and even physical brutalizing -esecially- of Elderly and (other) unable patients.
This just follows the phenomena all over the world; people find negative ways to vent own fear and confusion and pain from having been mistreated themselves! What "better" Place to do these things than exactly those fields you mention!... Plus -of course- in the courts the High ranking Priesthood in ...well... mostly RCC. ALL the good efforts of the genuinely GOOD Clergy/Health Personel etc, seemingly drowning into this very dark, blurry Fear/Confusion Zone, that we all as Humankind share -to whatever extent.
This is why I admire your Work and efforts so much; you have managed to create an officially accepted space where this kindness and compassion that majority of peoples all over the world spontaneously have and put forth in their work -even when not allowed by the Work Ethics/Rules ( "Do NOT get emotionally attached". "NO Bleeding Hearts" etc, with slight variations, depending on what particulars are involved) in the Work; Hospitals vs the Halls of Education, for instance.
I truly wish your Model will spread like Wildfire, as the saying goes! : ) The Antidote to fear based cruel treatment of/interactions with our fellow beings, is of course, love/compassion based treatment/ interactions, which by definition must give room to include the Loving Touch Treatment that you have developed!
May ALL Hospitals/Reh-Homes and ALL Institutions incorporate your Idea/Methods! This is the wish of an old Nurse!... who didn't find any such good ways, "to fight the Beast alone".

Always! : )Thanks, Jerry!

31 Mar 2006 @ 15:08 by jerryvest : Whew, Astrid...with support like this
we are bound to advance the healthy use of touch in our society and beyond. I doubt that you are an 'old Nurse' when you are "so young at heart." I especially appreciate your comments as you have experienced first 'hand', no pun intended, how these medical institutions have lost their way and their touch.

Let's keep the fires burning!!!

Much love to you,


3 Apr 2006 @ 13:54 by nraye @ : Touching, Hot off the Press

Hi Jerry, good to see this again. Want to follow up on a previous log re touch of yours with this one too. Previously I mentioned seeing an old film about someone curing a child's paralysis with touch. Well today, I saw another called "Sister Kenny", made in 1946 with Rosalind Russell set in a time around 1900's (long skirts and Edwardian hats). Has to be based on true life; she cured 6 children with so called severe muscle spasms. When she went to the experts to talk of her own treatments, they derided her, and said she had wrongly supposed that they had early onset of polio. Their own treatment was to immediately put splints on so that the spasmed child could hobble about. My hair was standing on end as I watched this film. I had polio as a small child and remember my Mother berating me because the difficulty in moving my ankle, aged 3 then.

Jerry it occured to me that there have been societies in our histories, say middle to upper, where mothers and certainly not fathers actually cuddled their children, but simply treated each and every child already as an adult, speaking harshly and bluntly implying stupidity if the child did not do as it should (without being told). This type of society it would appear, we could say, missed out on your TOUCHING philosophy. My belief is that if such a child grows up and has children of her own which she treats similarly simply thro not knowing any better, that child will have at least 2 generations of no touching: if the necessary will power lacks to move a limb, it would be more prone to spasm (lack of mental control thro not enough encouragement (love)). According to my medicine system repeated tendencies are inherited (but only account for 1/3 of the total person).

Watching the film, and Sister Kenny presenting her case to the expert, in front of large bookcase, the expert was horrified to that think that anyone could be cured of polio. Sister Kenny pointed out that putting splints on a childs leg would increase muscle deterioration totally, and keep it like that.

The expert diagnosis of the symptoms was the complete opposite of Sister Kenny's, but they rubbished none the less, despite the several doctorial witnesses supporting her work.

Thinking of all the vacines that we had to queue to be given as children Against polio. Apparently a viral infection. It all becomes a little too scarey, and I hope highlights even more the marvelous philosophy of yours propounded here. It would appear that all the children needed was proper touch.

Hope you are well Jerry, all the best. N  

3 Apr 2006 @ 16:27 by jerryvest : Thank you for your message and for
the interesting story about Sister Kenny's skillful work. I frequently return to Ashley Montagu's outstanding book on "Touching - The Human Significance of the Skin," as he clearly describes the nature of skin and of touch. He points out that Bertrand Russell pointed out long ago, " is the sense of touch which gives us our sense of reality: "Not only our geometry and our physics, about our whole conception of what exists outside us, is based on the sense of touch." {link:}

It seems that we take our skin and touch for granted. Few of us are curious enough to learn about its influence and power in shaping our ideas about our world, enlarging our love and relationships, healing our ills and expanding our appreciation for all that is. Furthermore, Dr. Montagu notes tha the skin has constantly occupied the forefront of human consciousness, however, it has elicited so little attention. Seems we only pay attention to it when it burns and peels, or breaks out or when it emits unpleasant odors. And, as we grow older there are changing qualities that we don't fully appreciate.

Anyway, our skin is our 'protective system' and keeps us safe and lets us know how to be comfortable. And, when our skin is brushed or feathered by a skillful worker or parent, we experience a gentle sensation of trust and a sense of security. We have also learned that by being aware of the breath while giving touch a deep relaxation response is experienced by both the giver and the receiver.

Thanks again, N. I appreciate your contributions here and with your log.
Life is really good here. Best wishes, Jerry.  

3 Apr 2006 @ 22:39 by jobrown : EveryOne and EveryThing needs
LOVING TOUCH to NOT fall apart/deteriorate!!!... Look what happnes to an old car in your Backyard, if you just leave it and don't touch it for a year! One would think that not putting any strain in daily use, would keep the car from deteriorating. Interestingly enough; the opposite occurs!!!.... showing us the Power of LOVING Touch ( like Jerry says: the sense of the touch; the feeling of caring emanating from one's touch, is the Secret behind the Importance of the touch -or at least ONE of the important aspects of it.

Nraye. I remember the Polio thing. I got vaccinated when I was NOT supposed to ( My Nanny did not follow my Mom's orders when she took me for my scheduled Dr. visit and they gave me Salk vaccine... you can look that up on the Net!.... Scam scam, scam!... I recovered slowly, a month or two, while being lifted, carried ... a lot of touching! But what if I hadn't had gotten THAT part?...

Here are some interesting links, that all somehow have something of utmost importance to all Humankind; we as ONE FAMILY have to come to terms with these mistakes, that these web-sites discuss. ALL are results of INFANTS not being touched and certainly not with correct sense of Love! Dr. Ashley Montague. More about him and from him Dr. Frederick Leboyer: "Birth Without Violence" Differences between child and adult bullying

It has been one of my major subject lines here on NCN, the NEED of correct touch/treament of Infants from the Moment of Birth & onward. Start looking into how ALL the people, who strive and fight their way into TOP Political Spots, were treated when they were little; from their Birth to at least their teens. For every year closer to Adulthood, the Family cruelty eases, but the damage is done by the time the child is five!

Thanks for these intersting Angles here of theee most most important subject Humankind has to still take to Heart and learn and heal!Well, let me put it this way: George W wouldn't be forcing USA to War today had he had the Good Fortune of CORRECT LOVING TOUCH - upbringing as a Baby. Machiavelli in the early Middle Ages in Italy had not written down the observations into his most famous book: "The Prince" had he been cared for properly!... Djingis Khan had not slaughtered one single person had he...well you get the picture!.... This hold true for EACH and EVERY Ruler/Politician, who has their hands stained by The Poeple's Blood. This holds true for every single -civilian- Life offender as well, as well as for people who hunt for Sport/ Pleasure!

When is Humankind grown up enough to acknowedge that maybe, just maybe we haven't done the Child rearing as well as we could have, should have!... Nraye, you mention "two generations". That is so true! : The immidiate problem is always "Two generations deep" but it has gone on
for thousands of generations among us; Humankind; as a UNIT.
To not touching the Infant and keeping it close to us at all times, until the child itself asks to be put down on the floor, which is to say; asking for more independence. ( Especially in Africa among the its peoples in the villages this is how Children are reared. And they are th happiest, most relaxed and self sufficient People I have ever had the opportunity to meet!)
The remedy for Heaven on Earth is so simple. It starts with understanding the importance of a Loving Touch!Even the right kind of kind and supportive, emphaticing glance -or a few words- can be the Loving Touch that saves a person from that last bit of braking, when already suffering from the pain of SHAME because one was not worthy as a Baby, of other than alienation , which always results in(to) a Broken Heart!
( my English is not really what it should be here... Sometimes it just is so difficult! )  

4 Apr 2006 @ 11:26 by nraye @ : All night long thought
more on this - and thanks again Jerry. Yesterday on the "Metro" I was seated to the most beautiful very young baby unusually on her father's lap in a pink bundle. Impossible to take one's eyes off her, she could barely raise her arms, but when she did and look at her father, he bowed down his head to touch foreheads with her and her arms went down in satisfaction. This happened several times. I was struck by the fact that she was not in a push chair and the difference this made to the wholeness of the scene. It was simply gorgeous, not quite what one thinks every time a pushchair shows up.

The thoughts continued thro another film on Sunday (recovering from cold) with John Wayne and two others stuck in Arizona desert with one wagon and one new born child. What to Do? the poor mother, no longer around, had a left a baby care book and bible to the 3 men who promised to take the child. One of the instructions, after feeding, was to rub oil in the skin of the baby, of course they did not have this, and the Mexican said HA! AXLE greese (of the wagon), He produced a new pot of unused greese, John Wayne put his hand in and put a huge lump on the baby's back and rubbed continously while they all split their sides laughing, and the baby made satisfactory arm moves in recognition!!!

Thoughts continuing again to the lovely book by Daphne du Maurier (Famous English Author par excellence) on the life of her grandfather a cartoonist and father a theartrical empressario in London, both quite successful. Full of wonderful stories of happy five children and parents, drawn no doubt from the daily letters they seemed to write to each other in this very close and loving family. Say from end 1895 on to before WW1. They took the war very hard indeed and one wondered just why on earth, like them, could this horrendous devastation be visited on truly loving decent people. Bin wondering 2 weeks, and the conclusion arrived at last night, was NOT ENOUGH TOUCHING. The Victorians with their large hats and gowns and haughty strides had become overcome with their successes, the Prince Edward who abdicated had a secret brother with epilepsy (is this no touch too), they had horrid childhoods all alone in Edwardian times, (and turned into the most ardent handsome lovers). They forgotten about touching, and the soldiers just became numbers or nothing that emoted feeling, until IT WAS TOO LATE. It is all very scarey.

The links, Blueboy, like your words are excellent to read and will download. In my day African babies were always put on their mother's backs, and secured with a kanzu, as children we did the same with our teddies and dolls. Will get pic for you!!!!!  

4 Apr 2006 @ 14:22 by jerryvest : Thanks for this discussion, the links
and for extending our views of touch. What comes to my mind is our first basic instinct of survival and of self preservation. For some reason, survival of the fittest seems more evident in the animal kingdom as we recall Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest." {link:}
This principle was also discussed by Fritjof Capra in his great book, "The Tau of Physics" where he began to clarify for me the importance of healthy touch while promoting survival of our species as a health issue rather than exclusively as an economic one that shapes our negative beliefs and places our humans in competition rather than in the spirit of cooperation.

I am paraphrasing, but Capra pointed out that this principle of "fittest" has more to do with our fitness from a holistic perspective. For example, when our four realms are supported with tender loving care our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing is secured and strengthened and we are less vulnerable to disease and the predators and bullies discussed in the article (link)introduced by Blueboy.

On another note, Oscar Ichazo ("Between Metaphysics and Protoanalysis") introduces the concepts of 'living instincts' as questions that must be successfully answered every moment in every day throughout our life time. For example, the self preservation question, that precedes us at birth, is "How Am I?" Mother answers this question for us for a very lengthy period as she is our first source of nourishment. It is also more than just feeding us, but also relates to her tender touching, stroking and cleaning us with loving care.

Granted, this instinctual discussion is even more interesting when we see that our 3 Instincts -- Self Preservation, Relations and Adaptation" discussed by Ichazo, show clearly how these questions of survival, relations and adaptation must be answered successfully or a compensatory door or outlet just opens up that puts us at risk and endangers our health and well being.

Anyway, I love the discussion and hope that we can continue to keep healthy, loving touch alive and active throughout our life time.  

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