How a Simple Touch Can Do Wonders for a Patient's Recovery
Being a physiotherapist, I find that a lot of patients mainly feel good when I apply a modality (machine) to them for pain relief. But they feel even better when I simply mobilize them with my own hands. They feel assured about their recovery merely by a touch. Yes, touch is this important to us.
5 Benefits of Physical Contact From Health Professionals
For all those in medical field, our touch speaks a lot when it comes to patients. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists—we all have the power to heal patients more deeply through our touch. I would like to narrate five really important benefits that automatically get inculcated in a patient merely with a touch:
1. A Great Sense of Welcome
When a patient enters your clinic or whenever you encounter a patient for the first time, something as simple as a handshake or a hand on the shoulder to greet the patient can make them feel welcomed and comfortable. They feel that they are important to their doctor and that they can approach their doctor with anything.
As a medical professional, it is important that your first impression in a patient’s mind should be polite and respectable. A warm touch indicates that you are welcoming them and consider them your priority.
A touch speaks a thousand words.
2. A Sense of Encouragement
When the patient comes to you for follow up, or in a hospital ward visit when you come across the patient you have been seeing usually, patting their back or a hand-shake again complimenting them for their progress makes the patient feel good about themselves. They feel confident that they will be recovered very soon. Your touch and your words play an important role here.
“Awesome, your recovery is way better than before.” “You are doing wonderful.”
3. Forming a More Personable Relationship
In a doctor-patient relationship, it's important that patients find their doctor approachable. The should feel comfortable enough to share what's going on in their lives. A touch can help form a more personal and intimate connection with the patients. They feel that their doctor is approachable—that their doctor is like a close friend or family member trying to help them. Informal here does not mean unprofessional. It means the doctor is willing to be closer to their patient, to really care for them, rather than simply providing a service.
4. Feeling Reassured
We may never fully understand what the patient is facing and how they feel about their ailments. But we should do everything we can to make sure they feel confident in their recovery. This happens when you place a hand on their back or shoulder and reassure them about their speedy recovery with your kind words. In fact, that confidence and hope can make them heal even faster.
5. Feeling of Support and Genuine Care
The patient feels that the doctor is trying to help them, not just because it is their profession but because they genuinely care. Establishing that informal connection, they feel you are more than just a healthcare professional providing a service. You are empathetic towards them. The moment patients feel that you are caring and supportive, they come to trust you and your decisions, and that trust alone can be a significant boost to their recovery.
Incorporating these tips in your clinical practice will actually help you see the magic of how wonderfully it works. The patient and their family are already going through a lot. All they need is you to be supportive. They believe that “God cannot be present everywhere to cure everyone’s health and so he created doctors." It is our duty to ensure this belief is truth. Your touch can actually impart these above-mentioned qualities in a patient’s heart. Your relationship with the patient and your patient's recovery journey will benefit greatly. A healing touch can really do wonders.
(In all the above images, the faces of the doctor and their client are hidden as they wanted to keep their identity confidential. Images are taken and used in article with due permission.)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Natasha Tungare