Body Sense

AUTUMN | 2020

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6 Body Sense From PTSD to Depression, Hands-On Work Offers Relief By Ruth Werner Massage & Emotional Wellness Massage therapy offers myriad physical benefits, but we sometimes forget everything hands-on treatments can do for our emotional well-being. Let's take a quick look at the importance of touch and some of the specific ways it can help our mental and emotional health. TOUCH HUNGER From the earliest days of humankind, when one person reached out to soothe another, we have known that welcomed physical contact is good for us. The loving touch that occurs between infants and their caregivers helps create a sense of safety in the world that follows us for a lifetime. Touch that occurs between humans helps us build our foundational relationships, supports social interaction, enables emotional sharing, and provides many other benefits. By contrast, research shows us that prolonged touch deprivation experienced by infants and young children is connected with failure to thrive and the inability to create social attachments, and with shorter lifespans and more illness in isolated elders. The need for healthy touch is so important, and the consequences of touch deprivation are so dire, that groundbreaking anthropologist Ashley Montagu gave our drive for this form of human-to-human interaction

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