We are all born with a hunger for the touch of another human.
Of course you know babies have a need for touch. Nurtured in the womb, and held close to feel mother’s beating heart, babies are soothed and nourished by hugs and human touch.
Children, too have a physical need for hugging and closeness. A hug or a touch stops bad dreams, helps heal injuries, frightens away the ‘boogieman’, and helps to instill a sense of calm and self worth.
Studies show that orphans who are not hugged or touched on a regular basis, actually grow less, have weaker immune systems, get sick more often and have more physical and emotional health problems than children brought up in a home with affectionate parents.
These children actually suffer from something called ‘failure to thrive’ when they are lacking the human touch. They have malnutrirtion, lose weight and even die. All from a lack of being touched and held.
Hugs can calm a stressful day, relieve tension and turn a bad day into a good day.
But physical closeness—touching, hugging, is just as important a need as we get older, but it is often neglected or overlooked.
Nothing compares to the loving hugs of a mother or a bear hug from your dad. An embrace from your loved one or spouse can instantly calm a stressful day and relieve tension. And for those who are sad, or mourning a difficult loss, a heartfelt hug does so much more than any well-chosen words.
Our skin is the largest organ on our body. Our skin not only protects our insides, but it contains our very important sense of touch. While we know that our sense of touch can protect us from injury, our sense of touch also has the real need to feel closeness from others.
We are all programmed by nature to want to touch and receive touch from others.
Did you know that without physical closeness, relationships will
not progress? Not just between lovers, but also between parent and child.
Many emotional problems stem from a lack of closeness and bonding between parent and child. Did you know that most failing marriages are lacking in touch and physical closeness? Think of what the power of touch could do…
For many who live alone, days and weeks may go by without a touch or the feel of a human, or being physically close to anyone. The elderly, the disabled, and the very ill are at greatest risk of touch deprivation.
Touch can do so much:
· It helps loved ones feel more lovable
· It can forgive or soothe tension
· Reduces pain
· Relieves loneliness, frustration, anxiety and depression
· Overcomes fear
· Gives one a sense of connection and belonging
· Transfers energy
· Strengthens the immune system
· Lowers the blood pressure and the heart rate
We all tend to live in our own little personal technological bubbles now…we text, we email, we talk on our cell phones, we visit on Facebook, we Twitter, but our face-to-face contact is limited, and physical contact, even more so.
It seems that we retreat into our personal space more and more, even though our physical world has become more crowded.
For a person to survive, it has been said that we need at least 4 hugs a day, and 12 hugs to feel good and improve our emotional state.
While we feed our bodies and eat healthy foods, we need to also feed our spirits and care for our emotional health.
Lift your head up and look around. Reach out your hand to shake someone else’s hand, touch someone on the arm when you speak to them, or better yet, give your friends and loved ones a heartfelt hug next time you see them.
Till next time,
Stay healthy, lean and happy!
Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled "The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation" that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.
Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.
Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.