I thought it would be lovely to write a post on touch… Especially now when it’s cold and dark outside and people are turned more inward. Why a post on touch you might think… Well, the reason being that the amount of body contact (touch) plays a vital role in people’s mental and physical development as when we’re infants and in our happiness now as adults. Lots of research has been done on it, however for me it’s quite normal to have daily hugs with my kids,friends and family
I did some research myself and read several articles on the subject and have come up with the following for you to dwell on.
Touch is the first sense to develop in the womb and the last sense to leave at old age. In the womb you can definitely make loving contact with your unborn baby. Just by placing your hand on your tummy and inviting the baby to cuddle up to the warmth. You can instantly connect and give all your love, warmth and happiness…. The first essential contact that will become embedded deeply in the child, will never be forgotten… So yes, love is received right from the start…to be passed on through life.
Therefore touch is essential to the health and well being of human’s emotional, physical and mental development. It is so vital, in fact, that therapists have stated that human beings need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth. Wow that is a lot of hugging …. But do we all get it… Daily???? If you are really honest probably not as much as you feel you want or need…. So go and get some genuine hugs from people you love.
A “Touch Phobic” Society
Unfortunately in today’s world, technology has reduced the amount of physical contact that people have with each other on a daily basis. With automatic bank machines, online shopping, Internet, email and voice mail people can make appointments, dates or decisions without ever actually talking to or seeing another person. Those subtle contacts with others, once common on a daily basis are gone.
In addition, it is more common to hear about situations where touch has been used negatively or inappropriately. In news reports on child abuse cases, sexual harassment suits and rapes. Parents are teaching children to be wary of strangers, and to be selective in how and what to touch. Though it is beneficial to keep children safe, it has created a society that has become “touch phobic” where the simplest and most innocent touch can be easily misconstrued as sexual, or inappropriate.
Affectionate touch is highly beneficial so long as it is experienced as ‘appropriate’ to the situation, and does not impose greater intimacy than is desired, or is not part of some interpersonal ‘power play.’ Touching should neither be coercive nor manipulative. It should be purely giving, and never used as a means to an ends, for example, as a manoeuvre to get someone into unwanted sexual relations.
Due to the overload of negative touch, society has become very guarded. When people are touched in any form it is often perceived as bad or inappropriate. Unfortunately, this change in perspective has denied people the simple opportunities to enhance their development and one of the key elements needed to thrive and grow.
Children and Touch
A child’s first and most important teacher is his sense of touch. It is the first sense he develops in the womb, and it begins to develop at only eight weeks. Babies need it to survive and grow, and this need remains with us throughout our lives.
In the 1940s, Doctor Fritz Talbot discovered on a visit to a children’s clinic that there is a strong connection between touch and babies ability to thrive. Babies that were being held, touched and mothered were thriving when all other medical possibilities had been exhausted.
This need for touch is especially true with premature babies. In one study, premature babies who received gentle daily massage thrived better and had a 50% more daily weight gains than those that were untouched. In addition, these babies had a more efficient metabolism and were released from the hospital six days earlier.
For young infants and toddlers, touch is a main source of learning about the world around them. They use their mouth and hands to explore and learn what things are and how things work. It is a key factor in their development as a child. A child being hugged, acknowledged and loved lots is therefore more resilient to the setbacks it will experience during life and learn to be more focused toward being successful in their field of choosing.
Benefits of Touch
We experience heaps of touch and love during new love and several years after too, until we enter the period of daily routine and busy hectic lives with kids, work, family and social life. Too often we forget to hug and kiss our loved ones and to spend precious time with them. It is so important not to end up emotionally and physically starved… It deprives us of our vibrant life energy and happiness. Make sure you are in the correct relationship where you get what you want and need. Otherwise write down your needs and communicate them with your partner. It will need heaps of courage and effort on your behalf, but if after a long time of investing there is no response you are probably most likely together with the wrong person.
No matter how busy you both are a gentle loving touch, affectionate honest kiss or a big hug can always be squeezed in. If there is no love …. Run!!!! Follow your intuition!
Positive Touch benefits everyone
Touch is vital to the positive health and development of all human beings, regardless of age. Humans need to touch and be touched, just like they need food and water. It is a way of communicating, lifting our spirits, and experiencing happiness in our lives. Without it, people experience sadness, loneliness and isolation. It is extremely important to have this physical contact in your life, yet in today’s society many people are removed from benefiting from it due to negative associations with touch or lack of someone to share touch with.
So go and give someone you love deeply, your partner, child, mother, father, step mom, step dad, best friend a huge big hug and see what happens…..
Do it daily…. And smile….. And don’t be frightened to ask for a hug too…. Xxx