Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Healing Power Of Touch

Humans have certain needs that are so vital and intrinsic that if they are not met, the body, mind, and even spirit greatly suffer. If you ask anyone, they’ll tell you that we can’t go without water for more than three days or that we might only last three weeks without food. But what most people don’t consider is as vital is the power of touch. Infants who suffer from touch deprivation fail to thrive, and in some cases, they even die. Research also shows a correlation between touch deprivation and violent behavior. And believe it or not, a recent study even declared that couples who kiss each other every morning live five years longer than couples who don’t.

Facts and stats aside, we can’t deny that human touch is not only powerful but necessary. And though most of us know this, we forget to put it into practice on a daily basis. The perpetual stress and the hustle and bustle of our daily lives help us to build walls between our loved ones and ourselves. It is too often that we can go an entire day without meaningfully touching our children, spouses, parents, or friends. We forget to take their hand, share a hug, or look into each other’s eyes or faces. And as a result, we’re actually denying our loved ones and ourselves of one of the most beautiful, basic acts that humans are suppose to share in order to facilitate bonding, health, and healing.

When we reach out and touch our loved ones several things happen on both an emotional and physiological level. Emotionally, romantic couples that touch and engage in physical intimacy on a regular basis report happier marriages, whereas couples who don’t experience touch, both romantically and filially, are reported to experience less satisfaction within their relationship, resulting in dissonance and even divorce. It’s no wonder couples and family members who don’t make time for each other physically and emotionally are so unhappy. Living a life without loving touch creates unneeded stress and isolation and erects walls where there should be none.

Physically, being touched allows the body to release endorphins, which gives the people being touched an overall sense of well-being, fights disease in the body, and reduces pain. I’m sure you’ve heard that a healthy sexual relationship lengthens the lives of couples and helps prevent illness. According to The Independent, “The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says it has carried out more than 100 studies into touch and found evidence of significant effects, including faster growth in premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people with cancer.”

So, if you have been feeling stressed and rundown or even isolated from your lover or family members, it might be because you have forgotten to include loving touch in your daily lives. The next time you are in the middle of a fight, pause and embrace your lover, rather than continuing the argument as it is. Touch is so strong that it diffuses the negative emotions and stress we carry in our bodies during confrontation. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, give a hug to your loved one or child, and you will see that you feel better almost instantly. It’s quite a miracle if you think about it. With touch, we have the power to control not only our happiness and wellbeing, but our overall health as well.

1 comment:

  1. There is power and truth behind this post. I agree humans need that interaction for their health and wellbeing.


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