musings of the domesticated godess

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Importance of human touch

How do you feel when you are in a new place surrounded by strangers ? Intimidated ? scared ? uncomfortable ?

But wait there is someone you know  , someone who smells good , feels warm and homely , wouldn't you love some comfort ? perhaps a hug ? 

Yes we as adults can at times feel like this but through a great upbringing with strong attachments we can also take the new and strange in our strides human touch to any human is stress relieving and therapeutic   , now imagine you are a small baby in the same surrounding , they feel 10x the amount of anxiety at such a young age this is why human touch is of extreme importance in the first year of life and beyond .

A newborn needs human touch not only for therapeutic reasons but also for optimal development.
 Benefits to human-touch bonding include: promotion of a strong, loving bond between the newborn and their caregiver; alleviating the amount of pain during teething, colic, constipation, and medical procedures; better sleep patterns; and stimulating brain development.

Here is an interesting article on the power of human touch .

Massage is a great bonding activity .

The skin is the largest organ in the body and touch is human's natural way of reacting to pain and stress and conveying love and compassion. When something painful happens to you like when you accidentally bump your head on the wall, your natural reaction would be to rub the affected area to ease the pain. Kisses, hugs, and holding hands, meanwhile, are people's way of expressing emotions toward another person.
Some people may not realize this but human touch has intense positive effects on overall health. In fact, people who are touch deprived are prone to diseases and emotional dysfunction. In nursing homes, tactile stimulation and caring touch are utilized to give patients a sense of security. In infants, those who are caressed by their parents often develop more properly than those who are not nurtured by their mothers.
Having a massage is one of the best ways to enjoy the wonderful benefits of physical touch. This therapy, which is known primarily for being able to relax both the mind and body, can bring a host of physiological and psychological effects in your health such as improvement of circulation, strengthening of the immune system, relaxation of tense muscles, reduction of spasms and pain, and improvement of range of motion, among many others.
However, it is important to note that massage is not the only way to experience the power of human touch. Even a simple kiss, hug, or a handshake can have positive psychological effects that can enhance overall health and facilitate healing and recovery.
On the physical level, human touch has the ability to lower blood pressure and reduce stress and tension. This is because a soothing touch can trigger the increase of oxytocin levels in the body, which gives a calming effect. When there is pain, a comforting human touch can alleviate the feeling and act as a numbing agent.
When it comes to emotional benefits, human touch like a comforting hand squeeze, a gentle tap on the back, or a reassuring hug can help intensely in stress management by calming and easing a person's nerves. It is no wonder people feel good about themselves when they give or receive a hug. It is a sign that someone cares for them. Some studies have shown that people who receive sufficient physical affection (especially the non-sexual type) are less prone to depression and unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking.
Aside from the two mentioned above, nourishment and comfort are also primary benefits of the human touch. Babies have instinctive craving for this. When a mother comforts a baby, rocks him or touches him lovingly, she may not be aware but this can greatly affect the growth and behavior of the child. Those who are held more often grow up to be more confident and less clingy children to those who are not.
For centuries, the human touch has been known to have positive healing effects on people. Even before medical technologies and medications were invented, people made use of the therapeutic effect of the human touch to improve a wide variety of health problems. Today, many still rely on the power of human touch.

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