Nov/Dec 2013
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Greetings from David Palmer

David Palmer, TouchPro FounderIn this issue I would like to introduce you to one big idea--social engineering cultural attitudes about touch--and two examples of people working on projects to that end. You will find the summaries below.

The past three months have been jam packed with travel to and teaching in San Francisco, Chicago, Quebec, Paris and London. I have been deepening old relationships and nurturing new ones while continuing to feel my way into an expanded professional identity as a touch educator/advocate.

Kevin and I are significantly expanding the TouchPro web presence as we race to “go live” in January with the first of our on-line training modules. I became convinced we could reach out to the larger world after training a group of visually disabled practitioners in Poland earlier this year with a combination of Skype, home study materials and in-person tutorials.

Almost exactly one year ago I began my bi-coastal experiment. It looks like I will continue in my Connecticut digs for the foreseeable future enjoying my immersion in nature. Meanwhile, we will be moving the San Francisco office space early in 2014 about five blocks to an even more spectacular view of the downtown skyline. Look for a new mailing address after the first of the year.

2013 was the first year in over a decade that I cracked 45,000 annual air travel miles, so the pace has definitely picked up. With the help of as much physical and mental massage I can muster I hope to maintain the stamina to match my excitement.

May all your days be merry and bright!

In touch,

Time for a Big Idea

Calculating Services GraphicWe did it with seat belts and smoking why not do it with touch?

Touch is the "orphan" sense. Often ignored and rarely respected, I believe it is time to give human touch its due.

For the first time in history we have enough good science to begin to make the case that touch is not merely important, but critical to physical and psycho-social development and to ongoing health.

After spending a day in August speaking with alumni at the three campuses of the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy talking about the future of professional touch, I was inspired to draft an outline of what it might take to begin socially engineering cultural attitudes about touch.

You can check out the current version here.

Implementing the Touch Agenda

An International Conference on Touch

Jean Barlow ImageOne of the extraordinary people I met this Fall in London was Jean Barlow. She pioneered peer touch among children in mainstream classrooms in the UK and is the subject of the short documentary Calm Focused and Friendly.

Jean has begun work on putting together a three day conference in the Spring of 2015 on the importance of touch education for children of all ages. There has never been such a event that would bring together early childhood educators, teachers, researchers, massage professionals, parents and kids themselves. It is exactly the type of project that I can enthusiastically support.

If you would like to keep in touch with Jean about this project, just drop her an email and ask to be put on her contact list.

A Pro-Touch Manifesto

Gill Tree ImageGill Tree is another committed touch professional whom I met this October in London. She is the owner of one of the most successful massage schools in the UK and a tireless advocate for touch.

Gill's focus is on raising the recognition of the value of massage in the UK. Emphasizing the latest science, the 5 concrete proposals in her Pro-Touch Manifesto would shift public attitudes and make skilled touch far more accessible to everyone through the British National Health Service.

Every country in the world needs a customized strategy for change and Gill's manifesto is a good template. Check it out here.

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