Can you imagine a life devoid of positive touch....horrid right?
Skin hunger...ever have that craving where you just need to be touched, where you want someone to wrap their arms around you in a beautiful embrace, where someone has held your hand and in that gesture you know everything is going to be okay or where at the end of a stressful day stroking your dog or cat begins to melt your tension away? We need touch, like we need food and water we can't live fully without it.
We can live without sight, hearing, taste and smell but we can't live without touch.
Babies deprived of touch have been found to have behavioural and developmental delays, people recover quicker from illness when receiving positive touch and the elderly have better health when touched regularly.
The power of touch has always amazed me from when I was small and my mum would hold me when I was upset and everything would seem so much better, like in that moment she was holding all my troubles for me or when I would get a headache and my dad would hold my head and how something would shift. My journey of learning about touch began when I was 20 years old as I embarked on my massage journey and has never ended.
When you slowly sink down through the layers of skin, muscles and connective tissue, you are touching much deeper than those layers, we are multi faceted beings and we carry around all our experiences in our body's and minds.
Every day I see the power of touch unravel those deep places of holding, feel their breath deepening and their eyes begin to stop fluttering as their mind begins to still and you can literally feel the change under your hands and that's before you add any fancy techniques for pain relief etc it's the simple power of touch.
You can't force your way into someone's body, you create an invitation...you pause and wait and if the invitation is accepted you can sink through the layers a little deeper. The more you use force or try to control the tissue the more that tissue will fight back. You just have to let the body guide you.
The power in the power of touch is that it's not a solo act (unless it's abhyanga) and that's where the beauty is...in the exchange, you are both the giver and the receiver...how cool is that?!
You can't touch without being touched...
So for today satisfy your craving for touch through a big embrace of a hug with a loved one, book yourself a massage, spend time stroking your dog or cat or borrow one to stroke, receive your daily quota of recommended touch for health.
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Advanced clinical massage therapist and yoga teacher.