“Don’t be so touchy-feely”… heard from not too many people ever!
That’s because we, as humans, all crave touch – to touch more often and to be touched more often. I don’t mean this in a sexual manner either – it’s meant as being an essential element in your “love language”.
And we all need to be loved in different ways. Don’t we?
“To touch is to give life” ~ Michelangelo
What is “touch therapy”?
It’s a type of hands-on therapeutic body treatment in which the therapist physically touches the patient in a specific way, including reflexology and various forms of massage.
And who practices touch therapy?
Chiropractors, remedial massage therapists, structural integrators, physical therapists, reflexologists, and yoga therapists – just to name a few.
For more info on touch therapy-based modalities…
Read more about EMMA’S AREAS OF FOCUS
Touch therapies are not to be confused with Healing or Therapeutic Touch modalities – where therapists place their hands on or near their patient’s body with the intention to help or heal.
According to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, “the focus in a Therapeutic Touch therapy session is on balancing the energies of the total person and stimulating the body’s own natural healing ability rather than on the treatment of specific physical diseases.”
There are many purported health benefits to Therapeutic Touch as well, but again, this post is about hands-on “touch therapies” like massage & structural integration.
If you are interested in learning more about Healing/Therapeutic Touch modalities, and to find a qualified Practitioner in Australia – GO HERE
Why is physical touch so important anyway?
Think about it for a moment… when we’re born and haven’t even opened our eyes yet, we know physical touch the moment we take in our first breath.
Oxytocin, the hormone of love and attachment, was involved from the first moments too — it helped to send you earthside from the womb and made it possible for you to have your first taste of mother’s milk.
Then as a child, your parent’s loving touch released oxytocin in your body, and now as an adult, you experience its pleasant effects when you enjoy a yummy meal or a therapeutic massage, or even during intimate interaction with your partner – as in, umm, I’ll have what she’s having!!
“The body speaks when we do not have words for what we are feeling.”
~ Psychology Today
Did you know that higher levels of oxytocin in our bloodstream have been linked to a range of benefits to our health, including :
- better immunity
- pain relief
- lower stress
- lower risk of heart disease
I mean, when was the last time you touched someone, or were touched back in a non-sexual manner? That may be an odd question but really think about it for a moment. It can be so pleasurable, just in different ways!
Hugging has even been shown to reduce the “hormone of stress” Cortisol and can, therefore, reduce your stress loads. Touch is just a part of the physical closeness of two people that we simply can’t achieve at a distance – or CAN we achieve it?
Turns out – YES!! There’s a new device that can make this a reality… the receiver wears a device that mimics sensations on the skin. When the sender of the message starts a haptic “conversation”, the receiver can feel the touch from the sender with the help of the device they’re wearing. How positively wonderful is that?! 
The 5 reasons why you should have physical touch – every day!
(Adapted from The Power of Positivity)
- TO COMMUNICATE – Humans are social beings and touch is a natural part of how we communicate with each other.
- TO CONNECT YOU TO OTHER PEOPLE – Our sense of our physical wellbeing is what gives us emotions.
- TO GET YOUR NEEDS MET – Touch communicates the importance of your words and commands the other person’s attention. (well, hello there touchy-feely!)
- TO GIVE AND RECEIVE POSITIVE ENERGY – Your touch is powerful and it can be thought of as a way to transmit and receive energy from one person to another.
- TO HEAL YOUR WOUNDS (both physical & emotional) – Touch therapies have been used for centuries with acupressure, massage, chiropractic practices, and many more hands-on modalities.
Studies show that touching patients with Alzheimer’s disease can have very positive health effects, such as getting them to relax, make emotional connections with others, and reduce their symptoms of depression. 
The exponential power of physical touch, which then extends to mental + emotional health benefits, is why we ALL need more non-sexual intimate touch – and maybe even more cuddle therapists to help facilitate it. 
(yep, they’re a thing now.)
And no one type of person needs physical touch more than another either… men, women, children. We are all human.
Are you ready to explore incorporating more touch therapy into your life?
 Psychology Today: Why We All Need to Touch and Be Touched
 Power of Positivity: 5 Reasons You Need Physical Touch Daily
 Greater Good Magazine: Hands-On Research – The Science of Touch