The Touch Study

Dear TRF Community,

This weekend was a whirlwind for us as Bessel and I navigated yet another round of time-sensitive covid test requirements, plus travel forms, travel apps, passports, boarding passes, and proof of vaccination requirements. We traveled to London Ontario, to the neuroscience lab of Dr. Ruth Lanius at Western University.

We went there to meet and experientially train with Dr. Lanius’s lab team about embodied awareness and the finer nuances of giving and receiving safe touch, in order to help refine protocols for the Touch Study. We met with Dr. John Yoo, the Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, where the study will take place, and Dr. Alan Shepard, the President of the University, who both expressed their enthusiastic interest and support. We visited the Western Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping, where the Tesla 7 fMRI machine will look at people’s brains while they experience different forms of touch, and the Gait Lab, where balance, posture, and different measures of bodily function will be observed with touch. And most importantly, we delivered the check for the first installment funding the Touch Study!

Touch is our most elementary unit of comfort. After having been physically or sexually abused, your body is likely to develop a very complex relationship to the comfort of Touch.

This study will seek to discover how traumatized people experience touch differently from people who are raised with the comfort of touch and explore whether damaged circuits can be repaired by proper sensory input.

This study has been strongly endorsed by our Foundation Scientific Advisory Group. We are so delighted and proud that with your help and support, we were able to raise the necessary money to fund this important study.

Thank you so much for your support and involvement that helped make this possible!

In Love and Gratitude,

Licia Sky

Trauma Research Foundation CEO

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