Thursday, July 21, 2011

Healthy Touch

One of the first things my teacher Nancy said when we started school was to "Never underestimate the power of touch". I strongly believe that as a culture we've minimized the importance of touch and it was one of the main reasons I was attracted to Massage Therapy in the first place.

During the first week or two of class I decided to conduct an experiment. For one week, I kept track of how often I was touched [not including class time where we were practicing strokes] even the most absentminded pat on the shoulder. I was shocked when by the end of the week I had only been touched 4 times. I know I'm single and busy and for the most part my family isn't particularly touchy, but this strikes me as abnormal.

After moving home from Africa where straight men freely hold hands and space bubbles don't exist, it was a glaring cultural difference I noticed right away. We sit alone in our cubicles, need 5ft of personal space at all times with strangers and we wonder why depression and suicide is so prevalent in our society? And often, because we are either desperate or have never been taught any better we use unhealthy touch as a poor substitute.

We know that without touch babies can literally die, but for some reason it's okay to minimize the need as an adult?

These are just some rambling thoughts, but do I believe that we are a touch starved nation and I am so excited to play a small part in changing that.


Lindsey said...

very interesting. I'm not touchy at all with people outside of my immediate family. Maybe I'll try to press through that this week and be a bit more intentional with touch in my interactions. Thanks Brit!

Anonymous said...

I really find it fascinating that in some ways, we need to have that affirmation from others on a physical level. I totally agree that it is necessary. Love your posts Britt! They have always been encouraging to me, not only for my life, but having insight into yours. I love you!