Having been a certified practitioner for more than six years, I have seen firsthand how Bio-Touch can help alleviate stress, reduce pain, ease symptoms of disease, and promote good health in people of all ages and stages of life. It is easy for massage therapists to incorporate Bio-Touch into their practices—and in doing so, provide clients this valuable treatment addition.
An Overview of Bio-Touch
Bio-Touch is a gentle, skin-to-skin, touch-healing method that is considered a type of bodywork, like yoga, reflexology, tai chi and massage. Bio-Touch helps promote, maintain and restore physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual health.
The Bio-Touch practitioner uses the first two fingers of each hand to very lightly touch—with very slight pressure, as if a butterfly landed on your skin—one or more of 17 specific sets of points on the body, which correspond to health conditions. The combination of identifying points and light touch enhances the body’s natural healing ability. The back set of points, for example, is used to address specific conditions concerning the back, such as pain or injury, as well as disorders related to the central nervous system.
Bio-Touch is simple to learn. There are no philosophies or belief systems you must embrace, no masters or gurus to train under, and no achievement levels to attain. And, all who learn Bio-Touch can be effective the very first time they practice it.
Because Bio-Touch can complement any alternative healing or mainstream medical protocol, it incorporates easily into a massage practice—requiring no additional licensing, technology or special tools. Using existing massage treatment rooms, Bio-Touch can be offered as a stand-alone therapy or as an enhancement to a massage session.
Research Behind Bio-Touch
Three independent research projects have suggested that Bio-Touch may significantly reduce stress and pain, alleviate symptoms of disease, and improve feelings of well-being. These projects were led by Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., professor at the University of Arizona; Kenna Stephenson, M.D., medical director of the Women’s Wellness Center at the University of Texas Health Center; and Carole McKenzie, Ph.D., C.N.M., associate professor of nursing at Texas A&M University. The results of this research have not yet been published in any journals, but the researchers have given presentations on their findings at conferences, including the National Conference of the American Association of Integrative Medicine and the International Nursing Research Congress Conference, among others.
Stephenson’s conclusion is representative of the findings of all three projects. She said, “Our research confirms that Bio-Touch has an immediate and sustained favorable effect on bodily pain and physical conditioning in addition to an overall improvement in Quality of Life Scores in patients.”
Benefits to Clients
Because it involves a gentle touch, Bio-Touch is easy on a client’s body—which is especially important when a client needs to have a positive impact on an area of the body that cannot tolerate the usual level of pressure associated with massage therapy. Bio-Touch can also be used as a warm-up therapy to help relax a client, reducing pain and stress before a massage session begins.
Bio-Touch is taught through the International Foundation of Bio-Magnetics (IFBM), a nonprofit educational foundation that offers classes approved for continuing education credits by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. IFBM offers a live introductory workshop (4 CE credits) and practitioner training course (10 CE credits), as well as a home-study practitioner training workshop (10 CE credits).
In the introductory workshop, massage therapists learn about Bio-Touch and how to apply the light touch on specific sets of points, while the practitioner training courses provide in-depth instruction on all sets of points. Participants receive a training manual, instructional DVD and one-year membership to IFBM.
Expand Your Practice
Bio-Touch is a touch-healing technique that offers massage therapists a chance to expand their treatment offerings, and clients the benefit of a gentle, relaxing therapy.
Debra Schildhouse is the author of Bio-Touch: Healing With the Power in Our Fingertips (Select Books), a Certified Practitioner of Bio-Touch, and a staff member of the Bio-Touch Center in Tucson, Arizona. There, she has given hundreds of Bio-Touch sessions on a donations-only basis. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the International Foundation of Bio-Magnetics. (Author photo by Jennifer Vimmerstedt | Jennifer Vimmerstedt Photography; book cover design by Janice Benight)