Feel The Touch

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Touch is one of the ve senses with which we interact with the world, and just slight variation in touch can convey so much! A man who shakes the hand of a woman, and does not let go for two or three seconds more than necessary; a father who holds the arm of a son and gives a slightly tighter squeeze; a friend who silently slips his palm over the hand of a distressed buddy -- all these can speak volumes.

Human beings have a skin hunger, a need to be touched, held, and to feel the warmth of another body. Right from a baby who stops crying when the mother holds him to her bosom, to a dying man who puts his feeble hand out to whoever is by his bedside, we all need touch desperately. And unfortunately touch is rarely given as freely as it should be – in the name of etiquette, decency, etc. The frail old grandmother you go to and bend down for a cursory touch of her feet probably needs a bear hug more than mark of respect.

Many people resort to touching themselves because their need for touch is not fullled. Clasping one's hands, folding hands on one's chest, cupping the chin, crossing of legs, stroking one's face or body, masturbation, giving oneself a rigorous bath – are all indicators of this. I sincerely wish that in this lonely and formal world, there were more people who offered touch as a means of conveying their concern, affection, love or companionship

In a monitored experiment a Librarian was asked to delay in handing over the book but touch the hand of every member whose card had an even number, and those with odd card numbers were given fastservice,butwithoutatouch. Whena feedback was taken, members with even numbers gave much more positive comments than those with odd numbers, even though they were the ones who were givendelayedservice. This is the power of touch!

Research has also showed that tactile people (i.e. those who touch a lot), are generally found to be more attractive by others than much more good looking people who do not touch. Human touch has wide-ranging physical and emotional benets. It lessens pain, improves pulmonary function, increases growth in infants, slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure and glucose levels, and improves immune function. But by the time children reach their teen years, they receive only half as much touching as they did in the early part of their lives. Adults touch each other even less, and senior citizens receive the least touching of any age group. This may be due, at least in part, to emphasis on young- looking skin and the implication that older skin is unattractive and thus untouchable.

To help nd a socially acceptable middle ground, try touching a friend's lower arm, hand or shoulder lightly during a conversation. Both you and your friend will benet from this tactile form of communication. Aftertherstthree(eye-to- body contact, eye-to-eye contact, and speaking), the remaining nine involve touching (starting with holding hands, then kissing, and eventually sexual intimacy). While couples who are satised with each other do tend to touch more, the true indicator of a healthy long- term bond is not how often your partner touches you but how often he or she touches you in response to your touch.

Virginia Satir, one of the key family therapists of our time, said that we need to get four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth. So, you might think about it: are you getting your 12 hugs a day? It's important to do that for yourself, and to do that for your family and your kids.

At times when we feel the need, are we ready to have people to reach out to us? Don't we feel shy and reticent that we have to show our vulnerability to others, that we are lowering ourselves down to the level where others have tohelpusout? Manyofusdo.

80 million bacteria are transferred in a 10 second mouth-to-mouth kiss

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