The Necessity of Touch

We have all either asked or been asked the question “Are you a hugger?”. Usually the intention behind the question is finding out if the person likes physical touch or doesn’t, in which case a hug would be welcomed or instead feel more forced. We sometimes even self categorize ourselves as being physical touch people or not as if it’s a preference as simple as being a morning or night person. However, research is unanimous that physical touch is not only beneficial for just the “huggers”, but it’s in fact fundamental to every person’s overall health. 

However, research is unanimous that physical touch is not only beneficial for just the “huggers”, but it’s in fact fundamental to every person’s overall health. 

Research has taught us that our necessity for physical contact begins as soon as we’re born. In fact, touch is the first of the five senses to develop in infants and is so important for emotional connection. One researcher found that children who experienced consistent physical touch from their caregivers even had an increase in mental development versus those who didn’t experience physical touch as often. But it doesn’t stop there; touch continues to have a direct link to health not only for infants and children, but all throughout adult life as well. 

A simple touch from another person, whether it’s a touch on the shoulder or a huge hug, releases oxytocin immediately.

A simple touch from another person, whether it’s a touch on the shoulder or a huge hug, releases oxytocin immediately. This is a powerful neurotransmitter that you may have heard referred to as the “love hormone.” Not only does it play a role in social recognition and bonding, but researchers have found the release of oxytocin lowers blood pressure and leaves a person feeling more soothed and relaxed. It has a direct counter-effect to cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for stress and anxiety. This is profound because it means that physical touch is a way of fighting off stress and promoting mental health.

Physical touch has a way of connecting with those around us. Touch can convey emotion, show empathy, and offer comfort in many instances. Not only is it beneficial for us, but also for those around us. In short, touch can be one of the simplest ways to show compassion. Michelangelo, the famous Italian artist, was certainly onto something when he said “to touch is to give life.”

Interestingly, after many studies done on the cultural norms of physical touch around the world, the United States is considered to be a “low contact” country. This means that compared to other countries its people touch a lot less. Knowing that our bodies are wired for touch, it’s hard to help but wonder what we’re missing out on and maybe even look to other places around the world and let them serve as an encouragement to embrace our inner “hugger.” 

Massage therapy is one of the best ways to receive the many benefits of touch. Not only does it promote mental and emotional health as we spoke about above, but the list of physical benefits gained from massage goes on and on.

Massage therapy is one of the best ways to receive the many benefits of touch. Not only does it promote mental and emotional health as we spoke about above, but the list of physical benefits gained from massage goes on and on. By definition, massage therapy is the “manipulation of soft tissues in the body” and is considered a form of alternative medicine to many people. It can work out muscle tension, improve circulation, flush toxins from the system and improve sleep in just one session. 

We at Sageborn encourage you to ponder the many physical, mental and emotional benefits that come from physical touch knowing that it’s so important to overall health.

Part of the beauty of massage is that it can be customizable for every body based on its needs. At Sage Spa, where Sageborn first originated, we offer a wide variety of massage services and have a number of skilled therapists who possess in depth knowledge on how to help the body and calm the mind through touch. They are trained in a number of different types of massage that all serve unique purposes. Sage makes sure that every guest who comes in for a massage feels comfortable and welcomed, whether they enjoy physical touch or find it a little daunting.

We at Sageborn encourage you to ponder the many physical, mental and emotional benefits that come from physical touch knowing that it’s so important to overall health. Feel free to start small; maybe initiating a hug from a loved one, or even a short 30 minute massage. We promise you won’t regret it. 

Calm Your Mind

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