“…no instrument can replace our hand. Using my hand I analyse numerous valuable bits of information simultaneously but also as soon as touching the patient I can feel the patient’s reaction – the feedback that cannot be replaced.” – Karel Lewit (1916 – 2014) Czech Republic.
Karel Lewit is one of my heroes – still working to help people with scars into his nineties, he was passionate about his work and conveyed his research in a simple, clear way.
I love what he said about the hand. It is a superbly sensitive ‘tool’ that feeds back information on so many levels that no robot can or ever will replace it.
Not only, through the hand, do we provide tactile comfort to the client, but it has such a high sensory capacity that we can sense temperature, moisture level, the hairs on the skin, skin response to our touch….but that’s not all. When we touch someone we start to resonate with them, picking up emotions, anxiety levels, areas of the body affected by tension (without touching those areas), connections under the skin between areas of tension or scarring; it is a three-dimensional sensing that guides us in our work.
It can take many years to fully develop this sensitivity. When I teach, my focus is on helping the students develop that awareness. Many have not worked with light touch before and it is a revelation to them how the most delicate of connections between their hand and the injured/scarred area can change the skin and the underlying tissue within seconds. To then help them take their sensory awareness to the next level is highly rewarding. Then the therapist responds to the subtle vibrations of body and mind, without even thinking about it. No robot, no AI construct is going to ever replace that, because it is the interplay between living beings, unquantifiable, where the connection is beyond the physical; where energy fields meld and the deepest healing takes place.