One of the most important things in life anyone can have is a caring and competent medical doctor, the likes of Dr. Abraham Verghese, the doctor in this video.
His call for touch, while foreign to medical doctors today, is routine to chiropractors. In fact, it is the origin of the word (from the Greek: cheir- referring to the hand, and praktos, meaning done....ie; done by hand).
As a chiropractor I have always been honored and moved by the doctor-patient relationship; the histories and emotions patients share; the trust they place in me, and that they let me touch them, to examine and treat them.
Sadly, for many people, I may be the only other human contact they have that, or any other, day. And, the importance of caring human touch/contact, in our culture, is way undervalued and poorly understood. I know, and am acutely aware, that I too, benefit from that very human contact and connection with my patients.
In early childhood touch could actually be considered a vital nutrient. ”Failure to thrive is a medical condition where an infant/child fails to grow or gain weight appropriately over a consistent period of time. In orphanages, the number one cause of Failure to Thrive is simply a lack of touch, stimulation and love. A child may even die due to missing these essential requirements for growth.”
I would suggest that older children and adults also fail to thrive without contact and touch. In fact, research indicates that even owning a pet (which implies contact and touch) helps the elderly live longer. That’s how important touch is!.
Recall the rush of holding the hand of someone you love; the healing touch of your mother's hand when you bumped your head or hurt yourself; the energy that passes between two people in a caring embrace.
We are electro-chemical--energy beings and what passes between us in a touch with good intentions, has very nurturing and healing properties.
It is more than obvious that working with patients goes beyond technology and absolutely requires a healing touch. I feel privileged to be licensed to speak with and to touch people in the context of helping them reclaim their lives by reclaiming their health.