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The last few months have been an unprecedented time ridden with many unknowns, fear, anxiety, and a call for social isolation. We have hunkered down in our homes, creating a new normal, separate from many of those that we love. Even though we have stayed connected virtually, through video chats and phone calls, for many people, a sense of loneliness has crept in amongst the many other emotions. Though we may be more socially connected than any other time in history, why does being physically isolated from the ones we love feel so heavy?

Physical touch has always been a necessary part of human existence. Touch unites us through all stages of life. Social, emotional, and physical benefits are just a few of the many areas that have been documented to be improved by physical touch.

In the 1970s, James W. Prescott, a neuropsychologist, dedicated his research to the relationship between touch and violence. He found that societies in which children were given the least amount of physical affection had the greatest amounts of theft, crime, and violence.1 Physical touch also boosts the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for feelings of connection and love.2 A study published in 2015 by the journal Psychological Science found that participants who were hugged in addition to social support via phone calls showed stronger defenses and shortened duration and severity of symptoms when exposed to the flu virus.3 They concluded that frequent hugs and social support buffer the pathological effects of stress. These are just a few of the many studies that show immense benefit from human touch.

Is it possible, that through this uncertain time we do not need more separation, but more touch? As chiropractors, we use the power of our hands and human touch to restore balance to the nervous system and allow the body to heal. Even through isolation, touch is essential. Loving touch for our babies, ourselves, and our elderly has the potential to not only benefit our physical and emotional selves, but may have the ability to lay the foundation for a peaceful world in the years to come. At Amplus Family Chiropractic, we are here for you and your family, providing safe and healing touch during these challenging times.

References:

  1. Prescott, James W. “Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 31, no. 9, Nov. 1975, pp. 10–20., doi:10.1080/00963402.1975.11458292.
  2. Gaidos, Susan. “When Cupid’s Arrow Strikes.” Science News for Students, 3 Dec. 2019, www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/when-cupids-arrow-strikes.
  3. Cohen, S., Janicki-Deverts, D., Turner, R. B., & Doyle, W. J. (2015). Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness. Psychological science26(2), 135–147. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614559284