From the moment you entered this world, you craved touch. Your mother and father nurtured you through touch, promising you they would be there for you. You felt secure. You felt safe. You learned to trust them, so you felt happy.
Throughout your life, touch continues to play an important role. Unfortunately, as you age, the amount of physical touch you receive declines, but the benefits are so impressive that you should actively seek it out.
Here are four things you should know about the benefits of touch:
1. Enhances attentiveness: Researchers at the Miami Touch Research Institute found that touch with moderate pressure slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure, which put people in a relaxed but more attentive state.
2. Reduces stress hormones and anxiety: In addition to a lower blood pressure, touch also reduces cortisol levels. A study at the University of North Carolina found that a hug lasting 20 seconds can increase oxytocin levels in the brain bringing a calming feeling. These benefits can ultimately lead to lower risk of heart disease.
3. Reduces pain: Touch increases levels of serotonin and melatonin which are those feel-good hormones. Touch pain treatments include massage, deep-tissue massage, as well as chiropractic and physical therapist manipulations. Massage can reduce inflammation, one of the main culprits in causing pain.
4. Decreases depression: Touch produces feelings of happiness and well-being. In a series of studies, 500 men, women, and children with depression were given massages. The massage increased levels of dopamine and serotonin which are neurotransmitters that decrease feelings of depression. Neurologist, Shekar Raman explained,
“A hug, pat on the back, and even a friendly handshake are processed by the reward center in the central nervous system, which is why they can have a powerful impact on the human psyche, making us feel happiness and joy. And it doesn’t matter if you’re the toucher or touchee. The more you connect with others — on even the smallest physical level — the happier you’ll be.”
Of course, you can reach out and touch someone today, but to reap the greatest benefits of touch, schedule a massage with us today. You won’t regret it!
Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Batle Group: Mar Hotels, Majestic-Resorts & Lively