“Caresses, expressions of one sort or another, are necessary to the life of affections as leaves are to the life of a tree.” – Nathanial Hawthorne
As a medium of communication between humans, there is no other as primitive and, thus as important, as touch. Touch is our first language. Upon conception we are influenced and formed through our connection with our mother, her energy, and her environment, sharing cells, being protected, and making this very first human bond. As infants, touch is just as important to the development of our nervous systems as the food we are fed. Noted Neuroscientist Saul Schanberg said, “Touch is not only basic to our species, but the key to it”.
The ancients through out cultures around the world knew the importance and gift touch was as a healing modality unto others. Evidence of touch therapy can be found in the history of the cultures of Rome, Greece, Egypt, China, Polynesia, and Native America since the beginning of civilization in early shaman practices, traditional healing practices, and religious ceremonies.
Touch is a silent language of connection. It’s a bridge between two separate bodies, two separate lives, universes, or energy fields. It can be a vehicle of transmission. A giving and receiving of emotions, intentions, desires, forgiveness, and love. Skillful, therapeutic touch offers a quality of compassion and gives a message to the person receiving to relax, feel safe, and to be open to healing.
The Touch Research Institute was established in 1992 by Director Dr. Tiffany Field, Ph.D. at The University of Miami. It’s mission is “to better define touch as it promotes health and contributes to the treatment of disease”. Research has shown that touch as therapy has numerous beneficial effects on health and well-being. For example, research done at The Institute has shown that Massage Therapy: