Touch, Second Edition

Touch, Second Edition

By Tiffany Field

Why we need a daily dose of touch: an investigation of the effects of touch on our physical and mental well-being.

A Bradford Book





Why we need a daily dose of touch: an investigation of the effects of touch on our physical and mental well-being.

Although the therapeutic benefits of touch have become increasingly clear, American society, claims Tiffany Field, is dangerously touch-deprived. Many schools have “no touch” policies; the isolating effects of Internet-driven work and life can leave us hungry for tactile experience. In this book Field explains why we may need a daily dose of touch.

The first sensory input in life comes from the sense of touch while a baby is still in the womb, and touch continues to be the primary means of learning about the world throughout infancy and well into childhood. Touch is critical, too, for adults' physical and mental health. Field describes studies showing that touch therapy can benefit everyone, from premature infants to children with asthma to patients with conditions that range from cancer to eating disorders.

This second edition of Touch, revised and updated with the latest research, reports on new studies that show the role of touch in early development, in communication (including the reading of others' emotions), in personal relationships, and even in sports. It describes the physiological and biological effects of touch, including areas of the brain affected by touch, and the effects of massage therapy on prematurity, attentiveness, depression, pain, and immune functions. Touch has been shown to have positive effects on growth, brain waves, breathing, and heart rate, and to decrease stress and anxiety. As Field makes clear, we enforce our society's touch taboo at our peril.


$21.95 T ISBN: 9780262526593 264 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in 28 b&w illus.


  • This second edition of Touch offers updated reasoning and research so it can continue to be a comprehensive, cutting-edge resource related to this fast-moving, highly impactful field.

    Foreword Reviews


  • Since it provides the infant with a sense of security and well-being right from the first, touch is surely one of the most important sensory experiences the infant will get.

    T. Berry Brazelton, MD

    Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School; Founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Center

  • Tiffany Field has brought to bear her energy and intelligence on the topic of touch for at least three decades. With this new edition she again shows why she is the leading scientist in the study of touch and how it influences our lives.

    Michael Lewis

    University Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; author of The Rise of Consciousness and the Development of Emotional Life

  • If you're numb to the power of touch, you will not be once you read Tiffany Field's book. She masterfully integrates not only the seminal contributions in the field, but the state-of-the-art science as well. Written by the authority in the field, Field's book will increase public awareness about how touch impacts public policy, research, and our everyday lives.

    Matthew J. Hertenstein

    coeditor of The Handbook of Touch and author of The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are

  • In the first edition of Touch in 2003, Tiffany Field opened our eyes to the importance of touch in all aspects of well-adjusted human life, and revealed how much the lack of touch was associated with unhappiness and insecurity in children and loneliness and depression in the elderly. In her second edition, Field marshals new evidence to show that modern youth experience a near absence of touch in social contacts because of the rise of digital social media. The emerging picture that Field paints of psychological distress and social malfunction resulting from the lack of caring touch is disturbing and urgently important to every parent and educator. Touch reminds us that we need more than free hugs at the street corner, we need a program for rediscovering our humanity.

    Nina G. Jablonski

    Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University