Stay in Touch

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While this is a small study, it makes the point again about touch, in this case therapeutic touch, and its impact on behavior. When my daughter was growing up, I massaged her back to get her to relax and go to sleep. It always worked. Now I give back massages to my grandkids, my cat and my surly dog, Max. In fact, when Max had kennel cough (kind of like the doggy version of whooping cough), I massaged his back every time he began a hard cough. It seemed to relax him and minimize his respiratory gasps.


In the March 12, 2012 edition of Psychology Today, Dr. Jeremy Nicholson published an article on "How to Start (or Restart) Your Sex Life with Touch." Within the article is a differentiation of the different kinds of touch, developed by Richard Heslin in 1974. However, they still seem relevant to how I understand touch (along with an ElaineR.N. addition). The five kinds mentioned are: Functional/Professional; Social/Polite; Friendship/Warmth; Love/Intimacy and Sexual/Arousal. If Heslin is listening, I would have added family or parent/child hugs and love, as number six. By the way, there is a Journal of Nonverbal Behavior that has published numerous articles on touch, from romantic touch to relationship touch and touch in a public setting.


Realize that I could go on and on about touch and how it can positively impact our lives. But I don’t want this post to be an academic review of the literature on touch, just wanted to make the point using research-based findings from experts. Mostly though, I want to remind us all about the importance of touching someone you care about and offering a hug up every once in a while or more. No doubt a hug would benefit the hugger as well as the hugee. So to those Democrats reading: Hug a Republican and to you Republicans, hug back!

Sing along with me!

Sweet Caroline lyrics by Neil Diamond.


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