Running Head: TOUCH, PAIN, ACUPUNCTURE
Sensory Deficit of Touch, its Pain and Acupuncture
Applied Learning Paper
Debra A. Hankerson
This writer will be exploring the topic, Is acupuncture an effective therapeutic treatment for the chronic pain associated with the sensory deficit of touch? Touch will be explored; what it is, causes for deficit of touch, chronic pain associated with the deficit, and the effects of the deficit. Acupuncture will be defined; its historical background and society’s acceptance or rejection of its use. This writer will identify its relevance as an alternative medicine for chronic pain either supporting or detracting in answering the topic question. Evaluate whether the research findings helped to answer the topic question. Concluding with what was learned; if it changed the perspective on the theory, did the writer’s Christian faith inform or bias the investigation, and does the theory fit within the Christian worldview.
After reading about sensory deficits and acupuncture in the text book I began to wonder if new inroads had been made in the acupuncture therapeutic treatment as a long-term solution when dealing with pain and the deficit of touch. The focus of my paper being, “Is acupuncture an effective therapeutic treatment for the chronic pain associated with the sensory deficit of touch?” My interest this topic came about because I have this sensory deficit; have gone through acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment to relieve pain. I was also interested to find out if there have been new inroads with this treatment as far as a long-term relief. For me it was not successful. Touch
Touch is the sense that enables an organism to get information about things that are in direct contact with its body. As one of the five senses, touch allows a person to feel heat, cold, pain, and pressure. “The sense of touch is the only sense experienced all over the body” (Landau, 2008). Touch has been called “the mother of senses”, perhaps because it was the first to develop in evolution. Touch is the earliest sensory system to develop in all animal species. The term touch includes several tactile senses: pressure, pain, temperature, and all muscle movements. Bruno and Carnagie (2001) state, “Touch is a very important sense, since it tells an organism a great deal about its immediate environment.” Bruno and Carnagie’s point is that touch is essential for our everyday well being. Touch is described as a group of senses by which contact with objects gives evidence as to their qualities, as registered by the skin and mucous membranes. Barth (2010) says, “There are several kinds of touch organs, called tactile corpuscles, in the skin and the mucous membranes.” The sense of touch is identified with the largest organ in the human body – the skin. The fingers are more sensitive than any other area because they have more nerve endings. These changes help us to understand the causes. Causes of Touch Deficit
The largest touch sensor, the Pacinian corpuscle, is located in the hypodermis, the innermost thick fatty layer of skin. This area responds to vibration. A disruption of the free nerve endings which are neutrons that originate in the spinal cord causes the transmission of information about temperature and pain to be somewhat non-existent (Strickland, 2001). This disruption is the result of injury, infection, and/or disease. With these significant changes, we need to understand just how touch deficit affects an individual. The Effects of Touch Deficit
The loss or impairment of the ability to feel anything touched is called tactile anesthesia. Paresthesia is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of the skin that may result from nerve damage and may be permanent or temporary. Touch has widespread distribution, unlike the sensory receptors for sight, vision, smell, and taste which are clustered in the head (Angier, 2008). The disruption of the touch receptors heightens...
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