THE POWER OF TOUCH
Touch is one of the most essential elements of human development: a profound method of communication, a critical component of the health and growth of infants and a powerful healing force. Ample research has demonstrated that tactile stimulation is extremely important for development and maintenance of physiological and psychological regulation in infants, children and adults, and touch has been an essential part of ancient healing practices. The medicinal aspect of touch has been known and used since earliest recorded medical history, 25 centuries ago.
Being hugged regularly boosts self-esteem, as evidenced by a study from the University of North Carolina. There, researchers found that couples who hugged each other for prolonged periods had higher levels of hormones that ease depression, reduce cravings, and increase immunity. Touch triggers a cascade of healing chemical responses including a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in oxytocin, seratonin and dopamine levels. Additionally, touch has been shown to increase the immune system's cytotoxic capacity, thereby helping our body maintain its defenses and decreasing anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, inattention, stress hormones and cortisol levels. One of the wonderful things about oxytocin is that most of us can get our fix anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is simply hug someone or shake their hand. The simple act of bodily contact will cause your brain to release low levels of oxytocin — both in yourself and in the person you're touching. It's a near-instantaneous way to establish trust. And the good news is that the effect lingers afterward. There's even evidence that simply gazing at someone will do the trick — or even just thinking about them. And you shouldn't feel limited by the human species; it also helps to hug and play with your companion animals. Sadly not everyone has someone to cuddle, and that's a need you fill as a Cuddle Professional.
Touch is Therapeutic
Touch can reduce anxiety and stress levels and improve confidence and self-esteem.
Touch deprivation increases stress and body tension levels behaviorally and biochemically. We feel more pain, have a harder time focusing on what needs our attention and become less resilient to toxins that can instigate disease.
Hugs Not Drugs!
Professionals agree that the proper use of touch is as powerful as many proven drug therapies, without the cost or side effects of prescriptions. A number of health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes, and fibromyalgia may benefit from the power of touch.
The Cuddle Hormone
Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It's sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.
The Power of Touch
Human beings are wired to touch and be touched, and the absence of touch causes disturbances in both mind and body. Touch helps create psychological and physical wellness. No-one should feel alone, and everybody matters. Our mission is to provide non-sexual human touch to whoever lacks it.
Non-sexual nurturing touch is a basic human need, distinct from sexual touch. In our culture, it is too easy to think of touch as only sexual. We have forgotten that emotionally nurturing, warm, non-sexual touch is also a human need. A hand on the shoulder can symbolise friendship or support. A hug offers comfort when we are sad or friendship when we greet or take leave of a friend. Holding a hand says, “I’m here with you.” Touch is important for healthy development and healing, but Euro-American cultures in general have developed a set of unspoken taboos in regard to touch. At Cuddle Professionals International we aim to break through these taboos by offering responsible and ethical training and support to those who would like to offer cuddles and snuggles to those who need them.
Why We Need Touch
Because human beings are wired to touch and be touched, the absence of touch causes disturbances in both mind and body. Touch helps create psychological and physical wellness, and touch deprivation contributes to illness at many levels.
1. Stress and Relaxation: Touch deprivation increases stress and body tension levels behaviorally and biochemically. We feel more pain, and have a harder time focusing on what needs our attention in the moment, and become less resilient to toxins that can instigate disease. Touch can reduce anxiety and stress levels and bring forth a relaxed, more attentive state.
2. Sleep Difficulties: Research has found a strong relationship to touch deprivation and sleep disturbance. In studies where young children were separated from their mothers, whether it was because their mothers were hospitalised for the birth of another child or because their mothers were away, the children’s sleep was always affected. Adolescents hospitalised in psychiatric units who received massage for one half-hour a day for a week developed better sleep patterns.
3. Immune Response: Touch deprivation can suppress the response of the immune system.
4. Delayed Growth: There have been many studies linking touch deprivation and growth deprivation. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, children raised in orphanages had a less than fifty-fifty chance of reaching puberty.
5. Cardiovascular Disease: Cardiovascular disease is often exacerbated by a lack of contact with other people. There are many studies that illustrate that those who have more contact with others are protected from heart disease.
Professionals agree that the proper use of touch is as powerful as many proven drug therapies, without the cost or side effects of prescriptions. A number of health conditions such as cancer, asthma, diabetes and fibromyalgia also benefit from the power of touch. Introduce the powerful benefits of human touch into your life. Cuddle Professionals talk, touch, and spread togetherness.