Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Welcome To TouchAbilities®

Welcome to TouchAbilities®

Finding Common Ground:

The current frontier in healthcare is to promote the concept of integrated practice, one that recognizes the interconnectedness of all approaches to healthcare while honoring the particular strength of each discipline.

Before we, as bodyworkers, can effectively enter this conversation we must first recognize the integrated nature of our own discipline. This is the underpinnings of the current Body of Knowledge (BOK) Initiative, an ambitious and laudable effort to identify the common threads of our varied work.

There is a long standing need, identified at least 25 years ago, to develop a universal language for teaching touch which captures the essence of our connectedness & resonates across the broad spectrum of BodyWorkers & beyond. The BOK project is the latest effort to spark the profession-wide conversation of shared skills, knowledge and activities.

What are the connecting threads? What do we all share in common within the bodywork field or beyond with other allied professions? On the intellectual side there is the common understanding of the structure and function of a body with some identified differences between eastern and western approaches. On the practical side, we are all linked & can identify with each other because there’s only so many ways to apply touch to the body. We are all drawing from the same primordial pool of possibilities.

Finding common ground is essential in this modern day of eclecticism and personal expression in bodywork. We all create unique combinations of core possibilities and call them by many different names. But, underneath it all, we are still applying an artful expression of the basic colors, a tuneful expression of the basic notes, a delicious expression of the basic ingredients.

We are all using the same basic skills & actions – whether we’re treating injuries, promoting relaxation, providing stress reduction, supporting wellness, encouraging personal growth, fostering body awareness, or facilitating physical, emotional, mental & spiritual balance and connection. Like any creative art, there is infinite diversity in the presentation of the shared basics.

We are proposing a common language regarding practical applications that is large enough to encompass differences in philosophy, culture, intended outcome and individual practitioner expression as reflected in the 1st draft of the BOK. Through 8 broad categories we capture the general interactive modes through which to engage with a body. Five of these modes are focused on tissue manipulations and the other three encompass the non-physical aspects of connection. They contain neutral names for core skills types that acknowledge connections between modalities.

It is bodywork simplified that explains similarities, differences & crossovers that underlie the endless variations and innovations in our work which emerge from our human creativity.

We need to have a unified voice that still allows all the creativity and personal expression we are capable of. This class will present these 8 broad categories and the nuanced variations on each theme that make up our shared root system.

Acknowledging and embracing our common ground will engender a sense of connection among all the varied modalities. This will support understanding, acceptance and intelligent integration of the many bodywork styles and make it easier for allied practitioners to understand when and why to recommend a particular modality.

This can be taught as a precursor to presenting a specific modality or afterwards as a way to connect the specialty to the profession as a whole through our common ground. From either direction, the connection to the common ground is essential.