The Power of Touch

In a world where we are so connected, how did we become so disconnected?
I am a yoga instructor and have found how powerful touch can be in so many ways. On those days that I just want to go through the movements of teaching (which honestly is rare), I feel a sense of disconnect from the rest of the room. On those days that I move about and adjust my students, massage their feet or neck, hug them after class has ended, I not only feel connected, but I receive a sense of joy and peace of mind.
My students must feel it, as well, as I’ve heard on multiple occasions that they felt a part of something beyond their mat, they felt attended to, cared for, and loved.

When was the last time ANYONE touched you, whether that be a hug, handshake, elbow nudge, or pat on the back? Can you imagine what that was like for you when it did occur?

Photo Aug 07, 12 35 53 PM

Our skin is the largest organ of our body with sensory receptors everywhere! As sensual beings, does it not make sense (hehe) to attend to this part of ourselves?
Studies have shown that physical touch is associated with lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improvement of immune system functioning, and relieving pain, and of course, increasing feelings of happiness and reducing feelings of anxiety.
Hugging floods our bodies with a hormone known as oxytocin, that creates a feeling of trust, security, and connection towards another. Lucky us, it also lowers cortisol levels, and reduces stress.
On a similar note, making love (and that raunchy, wild animal sex) involves a lot of that skin contact and possible orgasm which also fills us with oxytocin endorphins that not only make us feel good and pleasurable, but does amazingly for our emotional self.
Finally, take into consideration how it feels when you hold hands with someone you are in a happy relationship with. James Coan, PhD. found in his research that hand-holding is correlated with a reduction of stress-related activity in a brain area called the hypothalamus, as well as in the part of the brain that registers pain, reducing the amount of pain you feel. Ever wonder why someone in labor or someone who has hurt themselves on the sports field requests a hand to hold (or death grip)?
Now think about your partner.
When was the last time you kissed your partner? When was the last time you hugged them? Brushed your leg up against them under the table? Touched your partner in any way?
Often times when couples are experiencing distance and/or dissatisfaction in their relationship, their frequency of physical contact via skin to skin contact is also noticeably infrequent to non-existent.
So before you start lashing out about something they did/didn’t do, before you throw in the towel and call it quits, interlace your fingers in theirs and just feel. Feel the warmth of their hand in yours. Feel the roughness or softness of their skin against yours. Experience their tension (and yours) melt away the longer you stay in contact. You don’t need to talk. In fact, don’t talk.
Feel.
And let be.
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