What an Honor to be in this particular place and in this particular point in time
To simply say how we are composed of a body, mind and soul or any 2-item, 3-item combinations of those is not sufficient for me. I’ve been through too much. I’ve felt a wide spectrum of feelings. I’ve experienced many things in life. All of those individual moments make the totality of me. I would love to recollect the very first time I felt loving touch. I’m assuming it would have been my mother’s. Warm, soft and most of all it brought ease from… I do not recollect.
Nonetheless I can imagine the birth, as it is life changing for a mother, it is so for the newborn. After all just moments ago it was calm, dim, supported and nurturing. The birth must be a category 5 hurricane for the baby. There is jerky movement, violent pressure exerted on the body, breaking sound barriers one by one. First introduction to the world as we know it, is far from comfort compared to mother’s belly. In those few instances after seeing the light for the very first time, baby is briefly filled with uncertainty and fear, crying just seems like the best option. And then like the SUN on the horizon, MOTHER softly floods the baby’s senses. Her voice, her touch and if thoroughly exhausted the warmth of her body as the baby is laid on her chest.
From the beginning of time touch has been used in as many ways as one can think of. From physical, to spiritual and whatever lies in between the two.
Long before massage was a technical study, many of its elements were present and being applied in all cultures and in every part of the world.
The borderline magical properties and effects of touch are vast and I’m only gonna refer to a select few.
In the spirit of our topics introduction we are going to start with newborns and the awe inspiring power of mother’s love.
Most recorded and undeniable cases involve premature babies and the role that nurturing touch can have in their progress. Even the ones on respiratory machines are not out of mother’s reach and mother’s are urged to be in contact with their newborn.
It speeds up their healing, increases their oxygen absorption which leads to babies breathing on their own in less time.
A study was done with 28 mother’s who all had premature babies weighing 4lbs and under. They were divided into two equal groups. The first group had the babies recovering in the incubators. The second group had contact with mother’s for a minimum of 4 hours a day on more than one occasion in a day.
Those with contact gained weight faster, were released sooner and were breastfeeding more.
The most dramatic example is the story of Jamie Ogg, who was pronounced dead after a 20 minute attempt to keep him alive. His mother held his little body on top of her chest for a period of 2 hours, at which point little Jamie started to breathe.
Besides what I have mentioned already, there had been a direct correlation between light effleurage like massage in newborns by their mother’s with more sleep, less agitation, less cases of apnea and overall lesser mortality rate.
Research at University of North Carolina for instance shows in their study how women who are hugged more often have a lower heart rate as well as lower blood pressure.
Oh, did I mention that they also show significantly higher levels of oxytocin, you know, the Good stuff… At mindbodygreen.com they claim ” hugs strengthen the immune system“. But they don’t just leave it at that, they go on to explain how it is the slight mindful pressure that the hug creates on the sternum and the emotional charge from it, that actually activates the Solar plexus chakra. Now this directly ties into the Thymus gland, whose task is to regulate and balance the production of white blood cells. We all know what those little guys do.
There have also been numerous studies that show the calming affect of holding hands with individuals. It was observed how the parts of the brain in connection to the feeling of being threatened ceased to be active from holding hands. The conclusion, if you are unable to get a professional Massage Therapy treatment please get your daily dose of …
X O X O X O X O’s.
ORLANDO SCHOOL of THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE and YOGA
Ten Truths of TOUCH
1. MORE LOVING AND NURTURING TOUCH, LESS VIOLENCE
2. TO FIGHT THE STRESS AWAY, HUG SOMEONE THEN HOLD THEIR HAND
3. OXITOCIN AKA ” THE CUDDLE CHEMICAL” BRINGS PEOPLE CLOSER TOGETHER
4. TOUCH CAN COMMUNICATE COMPASSION
5. LOVING TOUCH NURTURES GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
6. MASSAGE THERAPY IS NOT JUST FOR THE BABIES
7. TOUCH SHORTER THAN A SINGLE SECOND HAS THE POWER TO INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR FOR THE BETTER
8. AFFECTION = HAPPIER AND CLOSER INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS
9. SPORTS TEAM SHARING MORE PHYSICAL CONTACT ALSO SHARE MORE OVERALL WINNING
10. OXYTOCIN IS YUMMY
… I like to begin with a penny of my own and finish with a few …
Genuine touch doesn’t have to be much, doesn’t require words of praise and above all, compassionate touch is not attached to outcome.
Light gesture, perhaps a pat on the shoulder, a smile, genuine interest in the well-being of others all have the ability to trigger a response in reward centers of the brain.
When they get activated we feel secure and in safety we experience confidence. From our confidence we get to experience more calm.
C A L M = C O N N E C T I O N.