Touch Therapy is a type of therapeutic treatment in which the therapist physically touches the subject in a specific way, including various forms of massage. Touch is the first of the senses to develop in infants, and it remains perhaps the most emotionally central throughout our lives.
“Touch therapy” or “massage therapy” is not just good for our muscles; it’s good for our entire physical and mental health.
Proper uses of touch truly have the potential to transform the practice of medicine and your health. For example, studies show that touching patients with Alzheimer’s disease can have huge effects on getting them to relax, make emotional connections with others, and reduce their symptoms of depression.
5 Reasons Why everyone needs touch therapy.
Decrease Depression: Skin has a network of sensors within the nerve endings of the skin. One sensor detects texture, another vibration, and another pressure. As a result of touching, the stress hormone cortisol can be lowered, and an increase in the level of oxytocin (natural happiness) occurs.
Reduce Stress: A professional massage is not just to relieve sore muscles. Reduction in heart rate and blood pressure often occur after a massage. With regular massages, your body can recharge itself and lead to a stronger immune system.
Mental Focus: Ongoing research by The Touch Research Institute continues to prove that massage is an important therapy for many conditions. After a massage, levels of the stress hormone cortisol drop in saliva tests, examinations show an improvement in alertness and relaxation, depression scores decrease, and mental focus improves.
Improve Health: Bodywork can play an essential role in the healing of specific chronic or acute autoimmune diseases by stimulating the lymphatic system and reducing inflammation and chronic alignments.
Improve Social Communication: Regular, caring touch from birth plays an important role in a child’s sensory development. Touch is the way that new babies learn and navigate their world. This process continues through adulthood. When a doctor rests pats your shoulders, you feel that you’re important. When a coworker gives you a high-five, you feel a bond with them. Small social touches improve your relationship with the world around you.
On the opposite spectrum, touch deprivation can lead to a host of problems, including:
- Impaired growth
- Weakened immune systems
- Attachment disorders
- Mood disorders
- Poor impulse control
Not only do we need to touch, we need to be touched. In the early months before babies learn about their hands, feet, toes and fingers, they need the touch of parents, caregivers, and family to develop. We retain that need our entire lives and denying touch therapy can negatively impact our quality of life.