The power of touch is amazing. We never really think about it, but when we are touched we feel loved. There are sensors in the brain that are stimulated whenever someone or something touches us, and it is good for us. Hugging, kissing, holding hands, getting a pat on the back.... are all ways of touch that can surprisingly release stress.
There have been many studies on the subject of touch. Like mentioned before, when we are touched our nervous system is stimulated and responds to our brain. Humans, and even animals show positive reactions when being touched in a loving way. One study showed the improvement of premature babies that were touched regularly compared to those who were only tended to their basic needs. And the results showed that the babies that were touched grew faster and improved their conditions better than those who were not. Babies in general, will calm when being touched. When my son is crying and I come to nurture him, the first thing I do is gently touch his face with my hand. Right away his breathing will change and his crying and screaming dull. Why do babies love to be held and close to their mother's body? Touch is comforting. Nothing compares to a loving embrace. Doesn't that make sense? Don't we all want to feel loved and pampered?
Another interesting study that I found pretty neat myself was actually conducted by the author John Gray, who is famous for his book Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. In his teachings of loving and healthy relationships he tells couples that they should strive to touch each other ten times a day. Just touch, it doesn't have to be sexual. But just holding their hand, a quick back rub, resting your hand on their leg, run your fingers through their hair, anything. Just touch each other ten times a day and see what kind of difference it makes in the relationship. Just touching someone shows them that you acknowledge that they are there and that you care enough to show them. He swears by touch, and that it will improve a relationship when done regularly. Touch is also one of the best ways to flirt, so doesn't that make sense that we should remember to touch our partner regularly to keep the flame alive?
I have a great example of my own too that I would like to share. Several years back my grandmother died from cancer. I remember going to the hospital to visit her while on her death bed. All of my family and relatives came to see her. No one was for sure how much longer she had, or even if she would make it through the night. She was non-responsive, and had been for days. She just lay there still as could be, resting. I don't think that my family believed that she was conscience. For the most part all the relatives talked amongst themselves and were speaking as if she was already dead. In fact it bothered me. I believed as long as she was still alive, she was capable of understanding what was going on and could hear us. I think the family was mostly scared. I think people get scared when someone is so close to dying. Yes it is sad, and it can be hard to deal with, but I think she or anyone else needs to be loved up until the very end, regardless. Well when I was there visiting her, before it was time to leave, I sat next to her bedside and I talked to her as if I knew she could hear me. And I held her hand, and I rubbed her arm gently. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and I stroked her hair a bit. And from the actions I took she actually opened her eyes, just for a few seconds and her breathing patterns changed to becoming more regular. My relatives were amazed and could not believe that she actually moved and responded to me. It is the power of touch. Our bodies naturally and positively respond. And when would be a better time than when you are dying and in pain? That is when we need it the most, when we are scared or dying! Show love by touching.
Take the time to touch someone you love. Don't be afraid to show emotion by touching someone. We all naturally enjoy being touched. See what kind of difference it makes in your life.