The Human Touch

When was the last time you held someone’s hand? When was the last time you put your hand on the shoulder of another person? When did you last hug someone who needed it? Many people sadly won’t be able to remember or it will have been a while. We seem to have lost the art of touch and yet it is so very important.

I know its not for everyone and I know it is becoming something frowned upon in case it is inappropriate but for goodness sake let’s leave pc’ness out of this and just assume that most people touch or desire to be touched for all the right reasons and intent.

My job as a massage therapist is probably one of the most personal jobs, without being in the position of a doctor, that you can have. I have a person in a vulnerable state of dress and my hands on their skin when they need it most, when they are probably at their lowest, most tired, weary mentally or physically or even in pain.

Close your eyes and imagine a world where there is no touch at all. Everything is impersonal, clinical, restrained. You can smile and talk but you cannot share any physical contact at all. No touching someone’s arm as you chat; no touching the face of someone you care for; no brushing the hair out of your child’s eye; no holding hands with someone in their last moments on this earth and no shaking hands or hugs to greet or say goodbye. That is not a world I want to be in thank you.

We have skin and in that skin we have nerve endings which stimulate our nervous system to respond. As a massage therapist this means I can use this in two ways. I can heal by making a muscle relax and repair and soothe an injury or I can reduce stress levels and slow down the heartbeat – all with touch.

Imagine the last time you were sad, stressed, feeling low or were hurt and imagine it with no one to touch you, hug you, hold you and make it all feel better. No words, just knowing that they care, they empathise, they understand is hugely important to men, women, children, young, old, newborn, the healthy, sick or dying. The human touch is essential for pleasure, for reassurance, for support, for love and many other emotions that we need to survive. So why don’t we do it with ease and regularity anymore….

Has our world become so politically correct that we feel we can’t or shouldn’t? Do we not care? Have we lost empathy for those we share the planet with? Are we forgetting to be human?

I touch. I touch a body and by doing that I touch much deeper than skin deep. I touch a heart and a soul crying out for love and attention. Without touch I don’t have a job but more importantly without touch I am no longer human. Human or Automaton? Which are you?

 

 

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