The Importance of Touch

comforting touch

Touch has never been so meaningful as when we are unable to give or receive it.  Due to the current pandemic the touch of hugging one another – family , friends – has been restricted.  Grandparents not able to cuddle their grandchildren, daughters/sons not being able to come face to face and give their parents a reassuring hug, friends no longer greet each other with a hug.

As human beings we are a tactile species and I feel that over the past decade we have become even more so.  From a British stiff upper lip to a more free society of not being afraid to give reassurance, support and acknowledge through touch.  We have full on heart to heart hugs, a gentle pat on the shoulder, a reassuring and comforting hand on an arm or a quick peck on the cheek.  Normally we have this daily connection with others through our most tactile of senses.  For those living alone this lack may be even more keenly felt.

A famous experiment back in the 1950s by Harlow demonstrated an overwhelming need for touch at the expense sometimes of food.  These were conducted with monkeys but showed the absolute need for comfort and protection through being in physical contact with another monkey, who in this case was represented by a terry toweling monkey.

When we are scared, feeling vulnerable, in need of reassurance or support we seek it through being held. No words are needed just an exchange of energy on a heartfelt basis.  Did you know that a hug needs to be about 7 seconds to truly transfer these feelings across to the other person?  However just a fleeting contact acknowledges your presence and there is connection, however brief.

child holding hands
importance of touch

How are you doing?

 Are you getting enough human contact?  Are you missing the tactile embrace from friends and family?  I must admit that recently when working with a client, we were walking outside for a “walk ‘n’ talk” session, they become upset and my immediate response was to lay a gentle arm on their shoulders.  It was spontaneous, automatic and reflexive – I was just being a human being in response to another fellow human being.  This action had an impact upon my client in that they thanked me for that touch on their shoulders.   At that time, in that moment, pandemic barriers were forgotten.

Some of the therapies I offer – Reiki and Shamanic healing within co-vid guidelines – involve hands on healing, a gentle, compassionate touch in which words are not needed.  It is through my hands that healing energy is transferred to my clients but underlying gratitude is the need to be in contact with another person. 

We are now learning to live in a world where human touch is limited so maybe we seek out touch within different therapies as part of an inner most need to receive comfort. 

I hope that you are in a position, safely, to receive hugs and human touch and if not know that people around you are energetically sending their touch and comfort to you.

Can I help?

If you would like further information on the above treatments I offer please feel free to contact me.

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