To touch and be touched

Exiting a pandemic, or some might say still being in the middle of a pandemic, the importance of touch in all its forms cannot be underestimated. Social distancing, masks, bumping elbows, no hugs, lovers kept apart, the young (and old) restricted and scared to seek out new intimate physical connections can have a long and sometimes devastating affect on physical wellbeing and mental health.

There is a lot of research out there on the benefits of touch and I will do some more in depth articles in the future, but suffice to say the health and well being benefits of touch cited in the list below are just a few of of the many reasons we should seek out and give positive touch.

Touch is the first of the senses to develop in an infant, it is central to our development, our health and our emotional well being as children. Infants and children who receive loving, caring and positive touch are prone to being less aggressive, more stable, healthier, thrive more and grow into more emotionally balanced adults. Holding hands, hugging parents, friends, siblings and even pets are all shown to increase mental functions, make us feel good, improve self confidence and positivity. Team sport players have been shown to perform better when there is more touch between players, hand shakes, back patting, hugs can all have positive affects. Waitresses who lightly touch or pat customers on the shoulder receive more tips than those who don’t.

Teenagers and adults today can be deprived of touch through modern technology. Smart phones and the internet have made it so much easier to communicate, yet also so much easier to miss out on much needed physical contact. All the positive attributes of touch from above are still applicable for adults plus the more intimate and sexual stimulation that we need. Intimate touch from partners improves connection and relaxation, this improves our erotic connections and sex lives. Seeking out touch is a normal and vital human trait that keeps us healthy, it is needed at all stages in our lives.