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8 reasons why we desperately need human touch – more than ever!

Despite the digital age, we long for real human contact. The reason for this is obvious:

From a handshake to an endearing hug to a pat on the back in praise, we have developed emotional expressions held through body language and body touch. But in a modern, global, digitized world, non-sexual human touch threatens to wither into virtual friendships, if not become redundant.

Despite the many benefits of digital advancements, preserving the human touch is essential to our physical growing up.

Without touch, humans’ atrophy both internally and externally. Two hundred years ago, French scientists discovered a human-like creature roaming the woods. After capturing this creature, they have found out, that it was a boy already about 11 years old, who roamed the woods most of his childhood. He was given the name “Victor” and was thought to be a dimwitted person on account of his retrograde; but until French doctors and psychiatrists eventually concluded that withholding human touch delayed the development of his social skills.

Physical touch is now associated in scientific research with the following eight important areas:

  1. 1. Lower propensity to violence
    Less touch in childhood leads to more violence.
    If a child receives less contact in his childhood, this leads to more violence potential. The origin of violence is strongly related to the deficit of a mother-child relationship. A lack of physical attachment between an E adult and a child can cause lifelong emotional disturbances.
     
  2. Building trust between people
    Touch helps people feel more connected to each other. Physical touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex, which is associated with feelings of reward and compassion. A simple touch can trigger the release of oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’.
     
  3. Economic benefit
    Economic benefits associated with physical touch: touch signals trust and safety. A simple touch calms our cardiovascular stress. Touch activates the body’s so-called vagus nerve, which is closely linked to our compassion response.”
     
  4. Fewer diseases and a more stable immune system
    Physical touch can also reduce illness. Women who are hugged more often by their partners have lower heart rates and blood pressure because hugs strengthen the immune system. The light pressure on the breastbone and the resulting emotional charge activates the solar plexus chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells. Research has shown that simple eye contact and a pat on the back from a doctor, for example, can increase the survival rate of patients with complex diseases.
     
  5. Increase team dynamics
    We touch to induce and maintain cooperation. Hugs as well as handshakes cause the release of the neurochemical oxytocin, which increases the likelihood that a stranger will be treated more like a family member – even you are just getting to know them.
     
  6. More non-sexual emotional intimacy.
    Our interpersonal touches have a strong influence on our feelings. For example, studies have shown that gently stroking a woman’s arm can increase a man’s prospects of love.
     
  7. More engagement in studying
    When teachers touch their students platonically, it enhances their learning.
     
  8. Generally better well-being. Adults need human touch to feel good. Touch is essential for human communication, health and bonding.

Conclusion:

Physical touch is the fundamental element of human development. The increasing engagement with digital media compared to face-to-face physical contact can have an unintended negative impact on these factors. To promote a safe social environment in a climate of media communication, we should consciously stick to physical touch.

Do you still have questions about touch or allowing/permitting closeness, the dating service or coaching by Christine Stegmann? Find out more at any time, free of charge and without obligation or make your first, individual one-on-one coaching appointment or consultation today.

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Phone: +49 (0) 89 32635867
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