Sunday, February 17, 2013

The way we look after our bodies, and what we do with them, dictates the quality of our lives. If the body hungers for something, our lives reflect that need and become somewhat depleted. Touching is more important to our well being than most of us ever imagine. If we are touched by a person wanting to harm us, our minds tell our bodies to freeze. We become unhappy, fearful and depressed.
If we are touched dispassionately, such as being bumped by a stranger in the street, or being rubbed by a fellow passenger in a crowded train, we brush it off without the occasion being filtered through any emotion. If however we’re touched in a sensuous manner by a person we trust, our bodies react by becoming stimulated. A man will produce an erection.
The path to a rewarding, satisfying sexual relationship is not as easy as they are in the romance stories we read in books and watch on TV. Crime and violence seem to be on the increase worldwide. These are acts committed by extremely unhappy, mal-adjusted people who have probably never experienced the wonderful power of love. The human spirit thirsts for love, for acceptance, for joy, for happiness.
The American writer, David Leavitt is quoted as saying, ‘Who touches the body, however fleetingly, also touches the soul’.
It’s now known that babies who are deprived cuddles and caressing suffer from slow emotional growth. It’s also been recorded that some unfortunate babies have even died after being deprived a human’s loving touch.
American studies have indicated that premature babies who were seldom touched, gained weight slower, cried a lot more and were less interested in the world around them than other premature babies who were held and stroked regularly by the nursing staff. The first sign of trouble from those who thirst for a human’s loving touch, is usually anti-social behavior. Criminal acts are often committed just to draw attention. It’s a cry from a withered spirit dying from a lack of love.
Prison authorities around the world are now realizing how important touching is to the well being of their inmates. A marked improvement in prison behavior has been noted when a cat is on hand to be stroked and cuddled. Of course, it’s not the same as having a human to reciprocate, but it is a quantum leap forward for those who have to learn to love. By showering affection on an animal, these people become less hostile. The small bit of pleasure they receive from touching is proving extremely valuable in the rehabilitation process. Here, the awesome power of touch is finally being recognized.
Doctors now realize massage, and touching generally, can have a marked impact in reducing stress, blood pressure and, because of this, can also affect the heart in a positive way. The heart has always been associated with love. Sensual touching is one great way to express love. The way we use our hands (and bodies) then, is vitally important for everyone from birth through to adulthood and indeed, old age. Countless studies have proven the crucial role touching and being touched contributes to the emotional well being of each of us.

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