I love it, do you? Skin on skin.
I know I have written about this subject before but I over heard the term 'skin hunger' recently and it struck a chord with me. Skin hunger refers to the absence of touch and the yearning for human physical contact. I really feel this is a bigger issue than we realise and its growing exponentially as we become more and more reliant and segregated by computers and smart phones. Touch is a language all of it owns and we are becoming illiterate. We are becoming touch deprived.
In my work I often talk to clients who, when asked why they chose to come for a massage, can't really explain why. I think there is a deeper need than say a stiff neck or a stressful week at work. I think it is a deep primal animal need for connection, intimacy and contact.
We have seperated ourselves through technology. We are connected to hundreds of people on a daily basis but physical connection is at an all time low. The media feeds us constant fear based propaganda that makes us stiff with anxiety and less likely to want to reach out to a stranger, to touch the arm of someone on on a train, to offer a hug to a friend or to even smile at a passer by.
Studies have proven that babies needs the loving touch of its parents for its survival.
Just because we are adults doesn't mean we don't need to feel the warmth, the sensation, the presence that another human can bring through a gentle touch or a deep embrace.
I think we can also confuse this yearning, for the need for sexual contact and try to satiate the feeling through seeking a sexual encounter which can oftentimes lead to a less than positive experience, leaving us feeling unfulfilled, when all we are really wanting is intimacy and presence. Someone to just breathe with us, stroke our hair or hold our hand when we are feeling down.
Even in long term relationships there can be a lack physical contact. People are just too busy or have forgotten how important touch is and it ends up way down the list of priorities. You could be lying in the same bed as someone for years and not take the time to really connect with your partner unless it involves sex. I believe non sexual touch is not only as important as sex, it is the secret to a successful relationship
Our skin contains receptors that directly elicit emotional responses through stimulation. Touch reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases the love hormone oxytocin. I feel touch is as deliciously good for you as freshly squeezed fruit juice and as comforting as a steamy warm slow cooked broth. Touch really is nutritious. So why don't we recognise it as such? It should be a part of our health and wellness regime. It is just as important as eating an apple a day or taking a yoga class.
I aim to make much more effort to give long hugs to friends. To make sure they really feel seen. To connect from the heart instead of just sending a quick heart emoji by text. To really tune into my clients and understand what's going on for them underneath the pretext of just wanting to relax. To offer though my touch the feeling that someone cares.
Be brave. Be bold. Listen to what your body is really needing and ask for it. Reach out to loved ones more. Reach out to strangers. It will benefit you just as much as it will them.
If you feel you would like to receive this kind of conscious touch, then massage and body work can be so beneficial. Feel free to get in touch with me if you would like to talk more about this or anything you have read here.
The world needs our love and tenderness now more then ever.
Touch can heal our hearts much more than words ever could.