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Practicing the Human Touch

Written by Brian Haas, PT, Clinic Director – Williamsport, PA

“Everybody’s talking to computers, they’re all dancing to a drum machine, I know I’m living on the outside, scared of getting caught between, I’m so cool calculated alone in a modern world…” These lyrics, from a song released 37 years ago take on a new meaning in the present day, especially considering how the year 2020 and a worldwide pandemic has resulted in lockdowns, shutdowns, quarantines, isolation and separation in so many ways across all cultures. We can see the devastating effects of isolation in people of all ages during the 2020 pandemic.

It has been shown that physical touch is necessary for a baby to thrive and this need continues throughout our lives. At Phoenix Physical Therapy, we understand that you, as our patient, have this natural need for physical connection and we seek to respond to this through every treatment that we provide. We understand that you have put your confidence in us to restore your physical function to “whole” again.

At Phoenix, our physical and occupational therapy professions certainly lend themselves to physical touch and we strive to remember that, in our hands is not just an arm or a leg, but an arm or a leg that is attached to YOU, another living and breathing person who has your ups and downs, your joys and struggles and in addition to meeting your physical needs with our hands, we also seek to “touch your heart,” having put your confidence in us to help you recover from your physical deficits. So, in our offices, you can expect that “practicing the human touch” goes well beyond the exercises and manual therapy and starts with the kind words, the smiles and the positivity to touch your heart.

In 1983, Rick Springfield released those lyrics in a song titled “Human Touch.” The chorus line: “We all need the human touch.” I wonder if he had a crystal ball to look into 2020?