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The Power of Physical Touch

Author: Shernide Delva 

Growing up in school, they teach us about our five senses: hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting. In reality, most of us use our sense of vision and hearing more than we use other senses. Still, that does not determine how important they are. Touch is vital for connectedness with people and with our environment.

As children, we crave touch to develop socially and physically. A child deprived of contact can often grow up feeling neglected. In fact, psychologist Harry Harlow famously studied baby monkeys who were deprived of both food and the touch of a mother. When the monkeys had a choice of getting the touch of a mother, or food back, they all chose the touch of a mother.  Can you believe they wanted physical touch over food?

Believe it or not, we are not very different from those lonely baby monkeys. Humans need touch. Despite technological advances that enable us to connect at a distance, it is still important to acquire physical connections with others.  Technology has not come that far… yet

Interestingly, there has been technology invented that in the future, could allow people at a distance to experience the touch of a loved one over the internet. This is possible through ‘haptic’ feedback connections. Two users wear a device that mimics sensations on the skin and using the apparatus; the receiver can transmit the feeling of touch from one person to another.

Still, regardless of what crazy technology we create next, there is no comparison to the natural sensation of the skin. Therefore, you will need to find a  human to gain from the affection of physical touch. Here are five reasons you must have physical touch every day.



        Humans are social animals, so touch is a natural way we communicate with one another. Touch is used to share meaning between two people. When was the last time you put a hand on someone’s arm or shoulder? Chances are you were trying to communicate with them through that act.When you have an important job interview, you are taught to give a firm handshake. Two different things are being delivered to your potential boss depending on whether you give a firm handshake or a weak handshake. Communication comes in all forms.We use touch to communicate a joke, show affection or even exaggerate stories. Touch is an essential tool for communication.

      2. TO CONNECT

        Our sense of touch gives us emotions. The tightness in your gut is anxiety. The tingling on your spine is fear. The butterflies in your tummy are nervousness. The sensations on the insides of your body help connect to other people and the world around us. On a great date, when your and another person touch each other, it shows interest, while not touch could show disinterest. Touch bears the capacity for very personal and intimate interactions and can further establish human connectedness.


        Touch can be a useful tool to convince others to do what you need them to do. Touch communicates the power and importance of your words. Think of the greatest speeches of our time. Chances are, those influential voices used touch to elaborate their point further. Touch can communicate the need for others to pay close attention.


        Touch can be thought of as a way to transmit and receive energy from one person to another. You can give positive energy to a person you touch. You can also feel positive energy from a person who touches you with love and happiness. To understand this, think fo a time you were touched and felt negative energy. Then, think of a time touch has made you feel more positive. Touch can transmit energy.


        Most importantly, touch is therapeutic. Touch has been used for centuries for therapeutic reasons like acupressure, massage, chiropractic practices and so much more. Touch therapy can heal our bodies and minds. License Psychologists are trained to use therapeutic touch to help those who have experienced physical abuse. They use touch to communicate care and promote peaceful energy to people during emergency scenarios like a suicide. Touch can be used in so many therapeutic, healing ways.

Overall, so many people are hesitant to touch. In this age of technology, it is easy to feel that you can connect only to the Internet and other forms of technology. However, touch provides much more connection and is necessary for so many reasons. If you struggle with communicating in this way, there may be something deeper to address. We are here to help. Call now. 

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