We have a vast number of touch receptors across our skin and from which our brain can distinguish multiple, tiny variations – for example, between warm, warmer, hot and even hotter...
But our touch receptors are also excellent at distinguishing between an emotional touch and a similar, but non-emotional one. This is why a sitting in an electronic massage chair isn’t quite the same as getting a massage from your therapist. Touch has far-reaching physical effects too.
A number of robust scientific studies have continually shown how important touch is on a physiological level. The term ‘skin hunger’ is sadly not new. It’s widely recognised that cognitive and physical function is delayed in children who have not experienced nurturing touch in their early years.
And beyond this, research has continually shown that positive touch:
- lowers blood pressure and
- heart rate
- it stimulates the hippocampus (which is the area of the brain central to memory function)
- And drives the release of hormones that are linked to positive and uplifting emotions.
- Oxytocin in released when a new mum has skin to skin contact with her baby, forging bonding between them.
- After an hour’s massage, cortisol levels decline and serotonin – one of the body’s pain relieving and ‘happy’ hormones increases
- Positive touch also aids sleep and digestion.
- And, this is key, it boosts your immune system
The more we learn about touch, the more we realise how central it is in all aspects of our lives – cognitive, emotional, developmental, behavioural - from the womb to old age.
As we move into a time of being able to connnect with each other more, nurturing touch through massage has never been so important to restore our sense of wellbeing. If you would like to book in to see us then please be reassured that we take your safety very seriously and lots more information can be found in the COVID-19 pages. You can also check out our instructions on self-massage found in the sections below if you aren't feeling ready to see a thearpist yet.
We'd love to hear how you get on!...