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October – Pro-Touch Awareness Month

Are you missing hugs, high fives, and even handshakes as much as I do?

With October being Pro-Touch Awareness month and as we continue social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19 physical touch among friends and colleagues is pretty much off-limits and things can get even more serious if the NPHET’s recommendations are taken further, I feel it is more important than ever to talk about consequences of lack of human touch and the benefits of reflexology during these turbulent times.

When physical contact becomes limited— or eliminated as it may be — people can develop a condition called touch starvation or touch deprivation.

“Human beings are wired to touch and be touched.” said Asim Shah, M.D., professor and executive vice chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Touch starvation can increase stress, depression and anxiety. The body releases the hormone cortisol as a response to stress, activating the body’s “flight-or-fight” response. When the body enters “Flight-or-fight” mode it suppresses the digestive system and immune system. This can increase heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and muscle tension, and can suppress the digestive system and immune system — increasing the risk of infection”. Certainly not ideal under current circumstances.

“People who are stressed or depressed, perhaps because of lack of touch, will have problems sleeping”, Shah said.

We often forget that the skin is our biggest organ. When we hug or feel a friendly touch on our skin, our brains release oxytocin, also called “happy hormone” or “cuddle hormone.”

“Video chats, positive online activities increase the release of oxytocin in the brain and as such are about 80 percent as effective as in-person contact”, according to Shah.

I can absolutely agree with that. Reflexology, even Guided Hand Reflexology workshops can improve touch starvation and touch deprivation. Guided Hand Reflexology workshops via Zoom are the perfect solution for socially distant healing, Reflexology for Parents workshop not only teaches parents how to calm and soothe their children but based on the feedback from participants it greatly improves parents wellbeing as well.

I invite you to check out my Guided Hand Reflexology Workshop for Parents. I promise, you’ll pick up loads of tips, moves and techniques in a gentle, soothing environment while your children listen to a comforting bedtime story.

Credit to tmc.edu

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