This is why physical contact is important

15 May 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

This is why physical contact is important

© Editorial Marie Claire This is why physical contact is important

A boost for your self-confidence, radiant skin and a longer life: physical contact is important. And this is why.

'Touch hunger'

You are happily single, you work hard and you have a busy social life, but you still miss something - you long for physical contact. This is also referred to as "touch hunger" or "skin hunger" and it mainly occurs when there is a lack of physical contact. This is not necessarily a desire for sex, but rather a desire that we carry with us from birth.

"Real contact ensures that your brain produces substances such as serotonin, dopamine and the binding hormone oxytocin, and these make you feel good ", says Jo Ham, psychotherapist at the British Human Givens Institute. "Touching other people not only makes you feel comfortable, it also lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and gives your immune system a boost."

This makes human contact just as important as a nutritious diet and movement. "If you don't have a loving partner for that physical contact, a hand on your shoulder or a hug from a friend or family member can be very calming and comforting if you feel lonely or sad," Ham said.

Read also: This panacea promises a good night's rest and more intimacy

Healing hands

Holding hands together is so intimate that it raises your consciousness. It gives a sense of belonging through which the hormone oxytocin is released. The neurotransmitter plays a role in feelings such as trust, gentleness and compassion, and it reduces anxiety and tension. So as soon as you see your partner again, take a good hold of his or her hand.

"We have a very concentrated network of nerve endings in our palms and fingertips," says Sushma Sagar, reiki master, healer and founder of The Calmery in London. "These pass on the stimuli that you receive to your brain. When you fold your hands with someone, the so-called 'vagal activity' is triggered, which resets our nervous system and allows us to relax faster after a stressful situation," says Sagar.

Hug it

Hug therapy - the name needs no explanation - is an alternative form of therapy that is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. An embrace or hug is an ancient and deep form of comfort that we as human beings can give and receive. "A lack of human touch, or not listening to your needs in this area, can have emotional consequences," said Rebekka Mikkola, founder of Nordic Cuddle in London.

Do it yourself

A do-it-yourself massage can also ensure the release of oxytocin and thereby reduce the stress levels in your body. Touching ourselves is something very natural and has a calming effect - we sometimes do it hundreds of times a day; fiddle with your hair, massage your neck, let your fingers snap. Smearing your body - preferably in the morning and in the evening - with a moisturizing cream or oil, not only ensures healthy skin, it also influences your state of mind.

This article originally appeared in the January / February issue of Marie Claire.