I’m always amazed to witness how something as simple as loving, focused touch can transform the health and wellbeing of my clients. Quite simply, being touched is good for you! But don’t just take my word for it – just the other day I read a study about how volunteers were brought in to gently stroke the skin of premature babies for 10 minutes a day, while another group were left untouched. The stroked babies gained weight and strength faster, and were released from hospital earlier than the babies who weren’t touched. That’s living proof of how touch transforms lives.
Strong responsiveness to touch is normal in human beings – but for many cultures, we often grow up with a fear or a dislike of it. Think how we choose a quick peck in the cheek, a brief handshake or even a formal bow, instead of a heartfelt embrace or other such sign of loving connection. Yet if we had more safe, acceptable ways to touch each other, there might be a lot less illness, sadness, isolation and violence in the world.
Touching releases powerful endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that help to heal physical and emotional aches and pains, relieve tension and calm both mind and body. The benefits are many and varied, and even science backs this idea up.
It’s not always possible to receive loving touch from another – but it can be just as effective to touch yourself! Sounds a bit odd perhaps, but why not try it out and see how it makes you feel.
The key to this exercise is to touch yourself with a real sense of caring for yourself. Don’t just go through the motions – tap into your emotional nature and honour yourself with this ritual, the same as you would if you were touching anyone else you love and care for.
Start by gently massaging your own scalp, rubbing it with your fingertips all over, paying particular attention to the spots that are a little sore, especially around the temples, or at the back of the head in that hollow where the skull meets the top of the spine. Tug at your hair, gently or strongly, and use the heel of your hand to rub and stimulate every part of your head. We store an incredible amount of tension in our heads, so this can feel amazing.
Next give your face a few strokes, working from the centre of your forehead/middle of your nose/lips outwards, then massage and squeeze your ears and press in at each side of your cheeks where your jawbone pivots.
Run your hands gently and lovingly over the entire front of your body (you can be lightly clothed or naked for this), before using a towel to rub the entire backside of your body from head to feet.
Lastly give your feet a rub, however it feels good for you, and finish by wrapping your arms around your own body and giving yourself a good hug!
Notice how different you feel afterwards. Hopefully you’re more energised, calmer and your heart feels more open. This is a great quick fix if there’s no-one around to give you that hug you’re craving – and remember, I’m here to serve, anytime you’d like to experience some extended loving touch from another.
In love and light,