Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2018

Issue link: http://www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/1013756

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 75 of 122

A B M P m e m b e r s e a r n F R E E C E a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e b y r e a d i n g M a s s a g e & B o d y w o r k m a g a z i n e 73 Hind sloop their new home for the trip. "We watched it being built in Plymouth, England," she recalls. The journey had its slow moments— "the ocean crossing was boring"—and its exhilarations—"traversing the Mediterranean and the Caribbean was very exciting with its fickle winds." Already a researcher by nature, she surveyed fellow sailors at the end of her adventure to discern how both sexes responded to the peaks and valleys of the global crossing. "I did a survey at the end and men said once around the world was enough— they were bored—and women said they would do it again. They enjoyed the cooking, reading, and sewing sails." She remembers one of the strangest moments from her travels: "We met another sailboat in the middle of the Atlantic (the doldrums) and the guy was on the same page of the same book as me—Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd." Field set out to make Thanksgiving dinner for the small group—pheasant in burgundy sauce in a can and rotten creamed onions—"but by morning the other boat had drifted out of sight and we never saw them again." So how did this journey create a new path for Field? As one of the founders of the Psychiatric Institutes of America, Field was already part of a number of different therapies the group was offering to young people returning from the Peace Corps. "We found the therapies worked for some and not for others. While I was sailing, it occurred to me that we didn't have research on these therapies, so I decided I would return and become a researcher." What followed on her return was another master's degree in child studies, a PhD in developmental psychology, and her eventual appointment to the faculty at the University of Miami Medical School in 1977, where she remains today as one of its longest tenured professors. Once just a traveler's dream, today, research is Field's fuel. With 400 published studies, more than 30 books to her credit, and numerous awards for her scientific endeavors, Field still has her lab coat on and has no plans for hanging it up. PROVING THE BENEFITS OF TOUCH Field's earliest research was embedded heavily in early childhood development and covered everything from high- risk infants to infant gaze to parent/ child separation stress. And while tactile stimulation may have factored tangentially into some of those early studies, it wasn't until her landmark 1986 study on the benefits of touch for the growth weight and development of premature infants that massage became more of a centerpiece in much of her research. Building the research path toward that 1986 study meant taking her knowledge of early childhood development and her experience working in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to connect the dots with massage. In the mid-70s, at the NICU at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, Field and her team were working to help babies gain weight and go home earlier. "We let them suck on pacifiers because they were being tube-fed and we knew that fetuses had a natural instinct for sucking; they often have sucking marks on their hands when they are born. When the Research continues to fuel Tiffany Field's passion. Field says she has no plans for retirement.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Massage & Bodywork - SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2018