touch

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touch

 [tuch]
1. palpation with the finger.
2. in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as providing comfort and communication through purposeful tactile contact.
3. the sense by which contact of an object with the skin is recognized. Touch is actually not a single sense, but several. There are separate nerves in the skin to register heat, cold, pressure, pain, light touch, and coarse touch. These thousands of nerves are distributed unevenly over the body, so that some areas are more responsive to cold, others to pain, and others to heat or pressure. Each of these types of nerves has a different structure at the receiving end. A nerve for light touch has an elongated bulb-shaped end; one responsive to cold ends in a squat bulb; one that registers warmth ends with what look like twisted threads; and a nerve for deep pressure has an egg-shaped end. Pain receptors have no protective sheath.



If the sensory nerves were evenly distributed over the whole body, each square inch (6.5 square cm) of skin would have about 50 heat receptors, 8 for cold, 100 for touch, and 800 for pain. The sensitivity of a given spot depends in part on how thickly receptors of any one kind are clustered in that spot, and localization of a particular sensation depends on the concentration of the necessary nerve endings in the area. Light touch, pressure, and pain are sensations that can be localized quite accurately, but sensations of cold and heat are more diffuse.

The thickness of the skin in a given area and its supply of hairs also contribute to its touch sensitivity. A touch as light as one fifteen-thousandth of an ounce on the thin skin of the forehead can be felt, whereas a touch must be two and a half times as heavy to be felt on a fingertip. Hairs grow almost everywhere on the skin except the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. They grow at a slant, and touch spots cluster in the skin near each of them. Even a light touch on the tip of a hair bends it back, and like a tiny lever it communicates the touch to the nerve endings.
therapeutic touch in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as attuning to the universal healing field, seeking to act as an instrument for healing influence, and using the natural sensitivity of the hands to gently focus and direct the intervention process.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

touch

(tŭch),
1. The sense by which slight contact with the skin or mucous membrane is appreciated. Synonym(s): tactile sense
2. Digital examination.
[Fr. toucher]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

touch

(tŭch)
n.
1. The physiological sense by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body.
2. Digital examination.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

touch

(tŭch)
1. The sense by which slight contact with the skin or mucous membrane is perceived.
2. Synonym(s): palpation (1) .
[Fr. toucher]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

touch

(tŭch)
1. Sense by which slight contact with skin or mucous membrane is appreciated.
2. Digital examination.
[Fr. toucher]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about touch

Q. What could make the top of your head hurt to the touch. I don't have a headache. It just hurts when I touch It only hurts on the left side.

A. if it's a deep pain- it might be caused by a trauma to the bode. have you been hurt by something..? if you don't remember - it might be a memory loss from the hit to the head :)
if it's a sort of superficial pain- it might be caused of a wound there. ask someone to have a look and see if there's anything over there. it could even be a tic sitting there...

More discussions about touch
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Losing Touch: Beyrouth des Petits Metiers" is published by Tamyras Publishing House.
Losing touch with an average 36 people over the years means most Brits can only dream of having five close mates like the stars of comedy Friends.
The study also found the typical Brit is left with only a trio of close pals after losing touch with an average of 36 people over the years.
THE FATHER of a stabbing victim today spoke of his heartache at losing touch with his son before his death.
But while he remains in contact with his mother, Christine, and stepfather Kevin Brown, the former Ridley High School pupil admits losing touch with old friends.
WEB WONDER: After leaving school and losing touch for 11 years, Steph and Neil were reunited through the web, and now plan to tie the knot later this year.
With so much to read and so little time to process and digest what we are reading, we may be losing touch with what Birkerts calls "deep time," those sacramental moments of wonder, reflection, and reverie that open our hearts and minds to the transcendent.