What is the one major thing we do from the time we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed?
"The answer is touch."
It is one of the most vital of the five senses that we use for interaction with people and things around us everyday.
If we fail to receive or give touch, we are denying ourselves a basic human necessity. One of which helps us to thrive. On a day-to-day basis I see people from all walks of life that are touch deficient.
Do you realize how many people do not receive touch therapy in our society today? A society deficient of touch is an unhappy society. By being deprived of touch, it may create symptoms of sleep deprivation, depression, anger, irritability, hypersensitivity, learning disabilities and various other medical conditions.
Without essential touch we cannot produce necessary chemicals and/or hormones we need to for our bodies to properly function. Endorphin’s which are the bodies natural pain relievers cannot be produced without touch.
Did you know by touching someone’s arm that has pain or tension you can relax them? Hugging can release endorphin’s, a natural pain reliever. Oxytocin is hormone the body produces that is considered the “bonding and love” hormone. Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream when we are touched. Studies have shown that the body produces oxytocin along with other endorphin’s when exercising. A recent medical study showed that eight hugs a day increased the health of an individual due to production of oxytocin. What better way to feel good and reduce your pain by hugging someone you love and cherish? You both will receive a great health benefit from hugging everyday.
Stress creates havoc on our bodies by producing excessive amounts of cortisol causing weight gain. Touch and massage therapy can help reduce cortisol levels in the blood stream. Another thing to consider is that touch therapy aides in reduction of blood pressure, too.
Those that have been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) benefit from touch therapy through lymphatic drainage, myofasical release and QiGong energy work.
Another example of the power of touch is in early child development. Lack of touch impedes social interaction, creates future behavioral issues and the development of eye and hand coordination. These are vital so that young children may develop properly.
The bond between mother and infant is vital within the first three weeks after birth. With the mother and infant relationship, skin on skin contact helps reduce stress levels and lowers depression in the mother. Both mother and child bond more effectively. Skin on skin contact helps to calm the infant and aides the child in restful sleep.
Touch is a powerful tool. As we all know through our past experience’s touch can be negative or positive. It’s the intent of one’s touch that wields the power on how they choose to use it.
All these things in mind, please consider incorporating massage therapy in your health and wellness plan regularly. One massage a month can make a sufficient difference in your life.
Suzan Walker, LMT, CR, LDT
Connective Integration Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is not a substitution for medical treatment. The massage therapist cannot diagnose, treat or prevent disease. The therapist can only recommend products and services. Please consult a medical physician.
The Power of Touch Therapy
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