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

(tuch)
1. the sense by which contact with objects gives evidence as to certain of their qualities.
2. palpation with the finger.

therapeutic touch  (TT) a healing method based on the premise that the body possesses an energy field that can be affected by the focused intention of the healer. The practitioner uses the hands to assess the patient's energy field, to release areas where the free flow of energy is blocked, and to balance the patient's energy, by transferring energy from a universal life energy force to the patient.

touch

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

touch1

[tuch]
Etymology: Fr, toucher, to touch
1 n, the ability to feel objects and to distinguish their various characteristics; the tactile sense.
2 n, the ability to perceive pressure when it is exerted on the skin or mucosa of the body.
3 v, to palpate or examine with the hand.

touch2

a nursing intervention from the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) defined as providing comfort and communication through purposeful tactile contact. See also Nursing Interventions Classification.
enlarge picture
Technique for testing light touch

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]

touch,

n the sense by which contact with an object provides evidence of its properties.
touch, light,
n tactile sense. The principal organs of light touch are Meissner's corpuscles, which are large and oval. Each capsule receives several nerve fibers that shed their myelin sheaths and coil into a spiral complex network. Associated with Meissner's corpuscles in the perception of light touch are both Merkel's disks and a basketlike arrangement of nerve fibers around the hair follicles.

touch

1. the sense by which contact of an object with the skin is recognized.
2. palpation with the finger.
Touch is actually not a single sense, but several. There are separate nerves in the skin to register heat, cold, pressure, pain and 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 touch nerve has an elongated bulb-shaped end, and a nerve responsive to cold a squat bulb; the nerve that registers warmth has what looks like twisted threads, and the nerve for deep pressure has an egg-shaped end. Pain receptors have no protective sheath.

touch receptors
see sense.

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 ?
The Nighthawks scored on each attacking drive before time ran out and a fourth-quarter touch down came from Cougars Derek Blewitt.
Rotherham were showing signs of coming back into the game when a fourth penalty goal by Mike Umaga made it 18-12, but Harlequins capitalised on defensive errors by Umaga and winger Michael Wood which allowed Quins back Rod Jewell to touch down.
Second-row Danny Lowe went on a storming run, breaking through a number of tackles, to set up the next try, which saw centre Dave Davies touch down.
Warrington's enthusiasm earned them the opening try after 16 minutes when Jon Clarke and Martin Gleeson combined for Westwood to touch down and land the conversion.
But despite the Tigers' dominance for long periods, it looked as though Leeds might snatch a late victory for the second week running when Luke Dyer fumbled Danny McGuire's 70thminute grubber-kick and Scott Donald managed to get a hand to touch down.
Worcester's second try came after 20 minutes and this time former Welsh International Craig Quinnell found himself in space in front of the posts and he had a simple task to touch down.
Simon Thornburn converted a touch down, dropped a goal and landed three penalties.
But after Quinnell charged down Rees kick, to touch down, the lead changed hands one final time.
Ferguson and Roberts exchanged penalties before Olly Cooper worked his way through for a vital touch down.
The visitors gained two tries and one conversion with Chester forced to settle for a late touch down by Mike Gallimore.
But Smart collected an excellent grubber kick from Shaun Perry to touch down, Gowland adding the extra points.
Tigers pressure was rewarded when fly-half Andy Goode darted through to touch down.