A Program of Body/Mind Integration Through Massage to Support:
motional security
ttachment and attending
ommunication and cognition
ealthier children, families and a healthier world

Touch to T.E.A.C.H. is based on a revolutionary new concept that is as old as humankind - compassionate touch. I developed Touch to T.E.A.C.H. in 1993 when I was a speech and language pathologist in the public schools. I was also working part time as a massage therapist for a local athletic club. I was interested in the health and emotional benefits massage offered adults and knew it would be wonderful for children, especially children with delays.

I developed a ten minute modified massage routine, combining acupressure and swedish strokes, adapted for the classroom environment. With permission from supervisors, parents, and physicians, I used massage as a multisensory modality to support my speech and language therapy.

By 1997 Touch to T.E.A.C.H. reached out to children ages birth to three through Early Intervention Systems of Alabama. The training of parents and professionals throughout North Alabama was made possible through two community outreach grants received from the American Massage Therapy Association Foundation.

At first Touch to T.E.A.C.H. focused only on children with special needs, but it has expanded. It is a guide for using compassionate touch for families who want to increase communication and health with loved ones who have dementia, terminal, or chronic illnesses. Touch to T.E.A.C.H. is not a specific therapy but a support for families who want to become involved in the rehabilitation and healing of their loved ones through massage and touch.

I encourage all professional caregivers to add this dimension to their healing work and to share their skills and knowledge with other professionals and families. Massage therapists are "touch specialists" and can play an important role in bridging the gap between professional and primary caregivers. Health care providers and massage therapists working together to help families participate more fully and confidently in the health care of their loved ones will help heal the world.