In 2018, California’s Berkeley University published an article about the links of physical touch and wellbeing.
The benefits of physical touch are powerful. In our technological world, and especially during a pandemic, human physical contact has been substantially decreased, leading people to feel isolated, deprived of human social interaction, a sense of community and above all else, physical touch. Stress levels are also on the rise - depression, anxiety and addiction are at an all time high.
Hugging, holding and shaking hands are just a few of the ways touch is ordinarily incorporated into communication and our everyday lives. Unfortunately, staying clear of these communication methods has become the norm over the last year.
Benefits of gentle, but moderate, pressure touching (not tickling!) include:
Lowered stress and anxiety levels, via the vagus nerve
Lower levels of aggression, and higher levels of compassion
Stronger immune system
Improved performance (if you receive a loving hug before a stressful event performance has been shown to increase)
Increased serotonin (the body's natural antidepressant)
Decreased chronic pain and inflammation
Balanced hormones (thyroid, adrenal, and sexual) that may be contributing to, or complicating, irregular menstrual cycles or menopausal symptoms
Receiving Massage Therapy, Osteopathic Treatment or Physiotherapy are all ways to incorporate touch into your life.