Our culture is not very affectionate, and we are losing out on the benefits of regular physical interaction with others. The healing power of touch is so necessary for life that babies not touched regularly don't grow and develop normally, and children who are not lovingly touched enough are more likely to be violent as adults.
How Touching Helps
It's very common these days to live most of our lives in our heads. Are you experiencing the constant chatter of to-do lists, errands, worries, decisions and criticisms? You are not alone.
This mental chatter disconnects you from your body and depletes your energy. In fact, it is just another form of stress that over time pulls the energy from your body and keeps it stuck in your head.
When the time comes for rest and relaxation, you may find that your mind cannot stop. Even sleep can become more difficult, further depleting your energy.
Regular touch establishes your mind-body connection and has been proven to:
- Decrease anxiety
- Increase the number of white blood cells
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase endorphin levels (your feel-good hormones)
- Help you sleep better
Reach Out and Touch Someone!
Here are some easy ways to incorporate healing touch into your daily routine:
- Offer to give a friend a back rub - then switch.
- Borrow a custom from Europe and kiss people hello. If that is too intimate, give hugs instead.
- Pat people on the back or arm as gentle reassurance.
- Schedule regular therapeutic full-body massage. Something is better than nothing, so even 15 or 30 minutes makes a difference.
- Get foot massages or foot reflexology - these forms of healing touch allow your energy to move from your head into your abdomen, which is your "energy powerhouse."
- Don't be afraid to ask for a hug - your body and your mind both need it!
You probably know that the sun's rays are therapeutic. Why else would we vacation in warm, sunny climates? You may also know that decreased sunlight is linked to seasonal depression, especially in the winter months.
While we've recently become more and more fearful of the sun's rays, safe exposure to sunlight is actually very beneficial. It provides a healing touch that affects the chemistry of your brain and the functioning of your body. Especially in winter, make sure you expose at least 80% of your bare body to 30 minutes of sunlight regularly so that you benefit from the sun's healing power. If your immune system is compromised this may mean that you schedule a vacation in the sun each winter. Sunlight is an important healing tool and it is free. Of course, the vacation might not be.
A Commitment to Physical Touch
This year, make a commitment (to yourself and those around you) to touch more. From a kiss on the cheek to a quick massage, small changes can yield big health dividends. So take your health into your own hands and feel the power of healing touch.
You may find your relationships and your health flourishing!