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.

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]

touch

(tŭch)
n.
1. The physiological sense by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body.
2. Digital examination.

touch

(tŭch)
1. The sense by which slight contact with the skin or mucous membrane is perceived.
2. Synonym(s): palpation (1) .
[Fr. toucher]

touch

(tŭch)
1. Sense by which slight contact with skin or mucous membrane is appreciated.
2. Digital examination.
[Fr. toucher]

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
References in periodicals archive ?
It has great appeal to those women who may be struggling with faith or who have lost touch with the Church.
They met for the first time when she was 19, lost touch and only got married 47 years later.
I think what amazes me the most is the correspondence I get, most often from smaller firms and practitioners, saying the AICPA has lost touch with the membership.
Along the way not a few appear to have lost touch with that engagement in an increasingly professionalized academic environment.
Some younger Cuban-Americans feel that the older generation has lost touch. And two small groups, Cambio Cubano, and the Cuban Committee for Democracy, advocate lifting the embargo.
Repairs became necessary, but the people of Dona Ana had lost touch with the past and at least once resurfaced the old walls with cement instead of the traditional material of limestone plaster.
The MP for Bolton NE said: "I can no longer support a Government which has so lost touch with the basic values of decency that they have forfeited the trust and respect of the British people."
Generally, Carducci is quite the Anglophobe: his introduction lets loose the stinging aphorism, "Rock is dead in America about as often as it lives in England." After heavyweights like Sabbath and Zep, he claims, Brit rock lost touch with the blues source; Limey bands reverted to their innate state of rhythmic ignorance, resulting in postpunk guitar outfits that sounded more like "electric busking" than rock, and in synth-pop units with drum machines.
Marshall portrays the special anguish of certain blacks who, in their drive to achieve material success, have lost touch with their heritage.
He spent six months in prison for contempt of court and, Molloy notes, "emerged in mid-1895 as America's first national working-class hero." Like Foster, he was no great theoretician of the Left, but unlike Foster he never lost touch with the American tradition.
The people of our nation have lost touch with the land and with nature; they have no reverence for it.
We had been exchanging letters for a number of years but lost touch when she moved.