Where all of these gestures have immense healing potential, today I want to focus on the power of touch.
That is one of many stories I have about how touch has saved my life, but I am not the only one experimenting with the benefits and power of touch:
The touch research institute at Miami school of medicine (yeah that's right you heard me), carried out 100 studies which found that touch effected the faster growth of premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, improved immune function in people with cancer and improved arthritis.
The Cleveland Institute found that touch affects the levels of anxiety and progression of the disease states in people, and are aiming to use it in order to halt or slow down disease progression. Duke University studies show that touch can cut levels of stress hormones which cause high blood pressure, as well as increase levels of melatonin, serotonin and Oxycontin!
We all probably know that the touch of a loved one can have great effects on the body, but how can strangers and healing practitioners create the same affects? Dr. Hertenstein, from Depaux University in Indiana, may have found the answer. The skin is our largest organ, and there are nuerons in the skin that process information about touch. Dr. Hertenstein created a test where people have one second to touch someone with a specifc emotion in mind, and most of the time the recipient could guess the intended emotion without seeing, knowing or hearing the toucher -- which means without saying a word, or even seeing the person, we are able to communicate a great many things, simply through touch!!
One way I have learned to communicate through touch is in my Thai yoga massage training. This practice is affectionately known as the manifestation of loving kindness, and I highly recommend trying it for any of you that are able!
Touch really is incredible for your mind, body, and spirit because it deeply connects us to one another, by establishing trust, love and gratitude for all the beings around us. It has the profound power to heal the body, to heal the spirit, and to heal the mind. So... give someone a hug today, and the next time you do, hang on an extra second or two, give a little squeeze and really make it count! You'll both be much better off for it.
With deep love, light and gratitude,
Lokah Samastha Sukino Bhavantu