Tissue Issue Inc
Growing up in Atlanta in a multi-generational home within a multi-cultural neighborhood, I saw first-hand the damage of “Touch Taboo” – where people avoid all normal physical contact. Even in a loving home, everyone in my family avoided giving or receiving touch. We were taught about the many dangers that can happen from touch: domestic violence, abuse, and trauma.
As an adult, I realized that this deprivation can cause permanent harm to people of all types. I call this “Touch Hunger”: a very real condition that affects not just people who are homeless and disabled, but all of us.
Even if it may not be obvious, we have all suffered from Touch Hunger during recent social changes, physical distancing from the COVID pandemic, financial recession, and what Harvard and Cornell Universities call the “Loneliness Epidemic.” As a society, we have become less physically connected. Children may not clearly remember pre-COVID times when they gave and received hugs and had closer contact. Many people regularly use masks and distancing out of concern for their health. Yet our need for physical connection has not gone away. In fact, it may pop up in other ways as depression, anxiety, anger, or isolation.
If we ignore this problem of Touch Hunger, new generations will continue to experience sensory deprivation and social and physical disconnect.
It’s time to change our thinking about Touch Hunger.
I'm Toni Hale-Tinner, a Licensed Massage Therapist and the CEO of Tissue Issue Inc. My interest in “tissue issues” has 2 parts: I want to improve the physical “issues” of clients using therapeutic massage, and I want to support the “issues” of massage therapists who lack the resources to achieve their business goals. With Tissue Issue Inc., we can accomplish both.
I believe that therapeutic massage can only happen when there is
a safe, positive environment,
appropriate touch, and
trust between the practitioner and the client.
These 3 elements can move mountains. A client with emotional or physical pain no longer needs to suffer. They can embrace life and expand the possibilities of what they can achieve. And educating the public about the benefits of normal physical contact can break the bonds of shame, abuse, and hurt that have plagued many communities for generations.
Massage therapy has been a huge part of my life for years. Like most CMTs, I struggled to find my footing and realized that several important resources for creating a successful practice are not available to many therapists. In response to a need in my community, I developed an exclusive soothing massage oil blend that has been tested and approved by massage therapists. I have also created materials to help train massage therapists on basic practices that can increase the trust and improve the outcomes for their clients.
Reversing “Touch Hunger” is a cause worth fighting for! It is my goal to provide training and resources so that everyone in my community and beyond can experience the benefits of massage therapy.
Reversing “Touch Hunger” is a massive undertaking:
• Inadequate examples of safe touch in the community
• No control of the “safe touch message”
• Previous bad experience with massage therapists
• Burnout among certified massage therapists
• A few bad apples spoil the bunch: some massage therapists use inappropriate techniques or go against standards of practice
• Community’s misunderstanding of therapeutic massage versus sexualized massage parlors
• Demand for massage is higher than ever, and more consumers are looking for green, sustainable practices and virtual options. (Massage Mag)
• Networking and partnering with other healthcare providers can increase the number of people committed to tackle this crisis. Partnerships will also allow us to get to the sociological, psychological, and cultural root causes.
• We will continue to support ABMP’s “Respect Massage/Zero Tolerance Mission.” We will exhibit safe and professional touch in all sessions and treatments with proper techniques, ethics and draping.
• As healthcare practitioners, we are natural givers. We will enforce a self-care regimen in our facilities will enforce a self-care regimen, setting the tone by adhering to them daily.
Randy, a disabled veteran recently got his first massage. He was nervous, but with our intuitive results-based approach, we helped him to feel more comfortable. We walked him through how to get insurance reimbursement to help with the cost. Now Randy has the resources to get regular massages. This provides a way out of the emotional hunger and chronic pain he had been suffering from for years.
Make a donations-of $50 Get a Thank You sticker, $100 Get a Thank You sticker and card, & $150 Get a Thank You Sticker, card and your name mentioned on website. $200 Get a Thank You Sticker, card, your name mentioned on website and on social media accounts.
Purchase of $25 or more, you will receive a bottle of our exclusive soothing massage oil. In addition, a second bottle of soothing massage oil will be donated to a community member in need.
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Your donations and support will help us to invest in:
• A larger facility
• Trained staff
• Indirect overhead start-up costs
Thank you for your time, and we appreciate your contribution to our mission of reversing “Touch Hunger”!
The Touch Taboo (psychotherapynetworker.org)
Resources | Rhythm of Regulation with Deb Dana
The Epidemic of Loneliness and What We Can Do About It (cornell.edu)
Your Wellness Roadmap for the New Year: 2022 Trends (massagemag.com) website