The Emotional and Physical Benefits of Touch

Image credit to    RitaE

Image credit to RitaE

Most of us are aware of the historical evidence that babies in facilities such as orphanages and hospitals tend to thrive when they are touched in a compassionate and loving way … but when they don’t receive consistent touch, they could actually die, be under regular height and/or weight, and/or have a much higher chance of behavioral problems.

Numerous studies show evidence for the hypothesis that touch is literally a language of its own; touch can communicate compassion, anger, fear, disgust, sympathy, happiness, sadness, love and gratitude. When we add movement, facial expression, aromatherapy, music and other non-verbal communicators we can greatly enhance the benefits of touch.

The setting where touch takes place can also greatly contribute to the overall outcome of physical touch. Studies consistently show that healthy touch is not only necessary for our physical well-being – helping reduce cortisol levels, supporting healthy weight and growth rates, supporting healthy muscle and tissue development, but also greatly impacts our emotional well being. Simply put, we are happier when we are physically connected to the people around us.

Of course, the type of touch varies depending on the relationship – a mother & baby might snuggle, a colleague might touch another colleague on the arm, a coach might pat a player on the back. Even with seemingly insignificant touches, participation, effort, and satisfaction all tend to increase in each given scenario.

There is something powerful here!

Post on our social media page(s) ways you like to incorporate healthy touch in your life (keep it family friendly!), and specifically add some of your favorite ways to enhance the experience with yoga and/or aromatherapy.

Here’s some more gratitude for our amazing bodies that help us connect with each other, our hands that serve as instruments of compassion, and all the ways we are able to communicate and receive love and support in non-verbal ways as well as verbal.