Please explain to me how touch has healing power. I find that intriguing but not quite believable. Is it really that simple?
Healing Power of Touch:
Skin is our body’s largest organ, containing millions of nerve receptor cells, and touch is the first sensation we experience beginning in the womb, long before we are born. Touch is a primal form of communication, a critical ingredient of our humanity. Indeed, perhaps it’s the most critical element of our humanity, integral to every intimate, emotionally involved relationship we have. Touch is the vehicle for sharing love, kindness, support, is vital to human expression.
Touch affects our physiology, and can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol (stress hormone) level, and can trigger the release of oxytocin, the hormone that promotes bonding, and endorphins, the natural opiates that help the body’s cells function more efficiently.
The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine has conducted more than 100 studies on touch and discovered proof of its significant health-enhancing effects, including weight gain and growth in premature babies, improved functioning of cancer patients’ immune systems, reduce pain, lower sugar levels in diabetic children, and decreased autoimmune disease symptoms.
Other studies have scientifically determined that emotions can be expressed by touch Researchers at DePaul University in Indiana evaluated people being touched by strangers they could not see. The one doing the touching was directed to attempt to communicate a particular emotion, and the majority of those being touched were able to accurately determine the emotional state of the toucher. This suggests that we can communicate distinct emotions through touch: love, gratitude, anger, disgust, fear, and sympathy.
This study also suggests that touch is a much more meaningful method of communication than previously considered. It may be that touch heals, but that it needs the person doing the touch to be in the right mood. That may explain why a mother’s hug can literally “make it better.” How often do mothers say, “Let me kiss it and make it better” when their children skin their knees?
Here’s a link to a very interesting article about the healing power of touch being used in hospitals across the country:
Babies too sick or tiny to go home find comfort in cuddlers