Research into touch is coming out at an ever increasing rate, this is changing the way we think about the physical and psychological effect of touch. Mechanoreceptors are what informs the body about the type of touch they are receiving,
Manual therapists have a direct influence on the peripheral nervous system through their touch, in addition to the physical responses to touch, the psychological affective responses can not be overstated. When the therapist is friendly, has good intentions, and the touch is socioculturally appropriate touch can be a source of safety, comfort, relief, and pleasure.
There are five major types of mechanoreceptors have been identified in skin:
Two of these are located in the superficial layers of the skin: Merkel cells and Meissner corpuscles.
Two receptors, the Pacinian corpuscle and the Ruffini ending, are found in the subcutaneous and deeper tissue layers.
The fifth major type of mechanoreceptor response to stroking of the hairy skin.