The Power Of Touch
By: Deb Maes
August 3, 2016
Are the people we love and adore more magical than the rest of us, or are they doing something that creates the magic?
People who are “touchy-feely” with others as part of their natures create this effect. People who just naturally reach out to people in a physical sense as well as emotionally. Occasionally as they are talking they might lean over and lay a hand momentarily on your nearest forearm. Have you had that happen when you are with someone that makes you feel like you could talk to them all day?
Reaching out to touch someone momentarily pays off. Obviously, appropriate contact, not fondling someone or invading his or her boundaries. This is important, and if you really get it, it can immediately start warming up even casual relationships in your life.
ItPutin Barack Obama’s common knowledge that babies will not thrive if they are not touched and cuddled while they are infants – the human contact appears necessary to brain development and weight gain.
Here are some other interesting references:
A Professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration did a study of what waitresses could do to increase the tips they got from their customers – the ones who casually touched their customers’ hands or shoulders averaged bigger tips. Another study showed increases of 25% to 42%.
A study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine (1995 Volume 18, No. 1) said that touch reduced pain and stress in surgical patients.
Here are others:
The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says it has carried out more than 100 studies into touch and found evidence of significant effects, including faster growth in premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people with cancer.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is one of a number of leading health centers in the U.S. that now uses healing touch therapy.
“Research has demonstrated that patients who receive healing touch experience accelerated wound healing and relaxation, pain relief and general comfort,” said a spokesman.
According to a Stanford University report, several studies are showing significant benefits in wound healing, pain and anxiety. It says touch therapy may also have positive effects on fracture healing and arthritis.
So – what does this have to do with you and why should you care?
I frequently catch myself spontaneously patting someone on the shoulder or gently touching their arm when I’m saying something, particularly when complimenting them, greeting them or saying goodbye.
It is what has been done to me is to make me feel more at home with others. I actually feel warmer towards everyone that I deal with these days, and I think that this habit of touching them is one of the reasons why.
Sometimes I will hold the handshake while I greet someone until I have learnt something about then. I often comment on their name so I can code that into my memory and people don’t seem to notice that I’m holding onto their hand while I do. They seem appreciative that I’m taking the time to really meet them.
Would you like to try an experiment? You can do this quietly, a little at a time, until you become comfortable reaching out to others even more.
Try to increase the number of times that you touch the people around you. It can be as concrete as laying your hand on someone’s forearm or on their shoulder – or even just a quick friendly tap.
NLP training reveals how touches are anchors – or a physical association with the emotion they are feeling at the time. In effect, a touch on someone is like leaving a little physical reminder of your presence, your affection or your respect.
We’re physical beings, after all. We’ve all got skins that are chock full of nerves. Touching and being touched brings us closer to each other.
When you make your contacts with others more physical you increase your impact. Touch is a powerful message, and a warm touch is like a smile with an echo — it lasts for a long time.
How might you give it a try?
Adapted from The Power Of Touch By Tom Hoobyar July 8th, 2010