(I've been hard at work on a book the past couple of months. This is an excerpt from it.)
Allow me to rock out with my Inner David Letterman for a moment.
The Top 10 Reasons to Engage in Nurturing Human Touch Are:
Number 10: You are comforted:
Most people feel scared and powerless about personal and collective struggles, at least sometime in their lives. It’s a glorious feeling to have another person hold you for just a moment as a way of saying, “It’s okay. You’re safe with me. I’m here, and I’ve got you.” We can all use a bit more of that right now, and you don’t even have to admit you feel scared
Number 9: You get off your phone:
One of the most positive things we do during a Karuna Session is get you off your phone for 90 minutes. Most of us spend a lot of time in our heads, and not much in our bodies, thanks in large part to mobile technology. Touching other people instead of your smartphone helps you slow down and take a break from thinking. You can connect with people you love...and it doesn’t involve going out and spending money.
Number 8: You will sleep better:
Sleep is an integral part of any health regimen, and getting good, nourishing sleep is much better than being up at 4 a.m. thinking about all the problems of the world. Thanks to my fitbit, I have discovered I get better sleep on the days I receive a lot of touch. You will too.
Number 7: You get to play:
Getting together with your friends for nurturing human touch will give you an opportunity to hop a time machine back to a time when things were less complicated. Almost everyone I know is scheduled every minute from 6 a.m. until midnight, trying to do all the things. We’re happier when we make time to play! It’s a great way to take a break from all the heaviness of the default world and create some space to enjoy being human.
Number 6: You will feel more attractive:
Our society equates sex with touch, and this makes sex the only way we can sate our skin hunger. When you haven’t been touched with tenderness for a long time, your desire for it can be overwhelming. Nurturing human touch will help you relax and feel more comfortable -- you can be less rushed and pressured when looking for sex or romance. You can take your time getting to know people. You can engage in hooking up because you want to have sex, not because you’re suffering from skin hunger.
Number 5: You can give/receive support:
Our culture has a poor relationship with painful emotions. Most of us don’t know how to be empathetic when someone is suffering. A long, heartfelt hug is worth 100 sympathy cards. It lets people know they are seen, loved and valued when they aren’t at their best. Plus, you don’t have to struggle for just the right words to say, and risk saying something hurtful.
Number 4: You don’t have to pay for it:
Nurturing human touch is the most economical of health regimens. You can join or quit at any time! No monthly or annual fees required! You don’t have to buy special food or supplements, hire a trainer or sign up for a class. There is a price: you will have to become vulnerable, ask for what you want and risk changing the dynamics of your friendships - but that is a paltry sum.
Number 3: You don’t need special training or equipment:
Most health and wellness practices take time to master, and many of them require an investment in special clothing or accoutrement. Not so for nurturing human touch; the learning curve is short, and gentle, and this book will provide you with the training you need. Touch is the perfect health regimen if you’re out of shape, have mobility issues or are recovering from an illness.
Number 2: Your health will improve and you will look younger:
Our bodies need touch and oxytocin, especially as we age. There is an entire chapter that discusses the physiological health benefits of touch and oxytocin. While many of the studies on oxytocin were done with a nasal spray, touch allows your body to generate it internally: it doesn’t get much more artisanal than that! People often look 10 years younger after we finish a session with them; their bodies soak up nurturing human touch like the desert soaks up the rain after a long drought.
And….the Number One Reason to Engage in Nurturing Human Touch Is:
You will feel good:
Feeling good is the goal of most health and wellness regimens. Human touch gives you that in spades! When nurturing human touch is consensual, it will make you feel better. While it won’t cure your cancer, or obliterate your depression, it will give you some relief. And It’s much more pleasurable than staring at a plate of broccoli. (That’s not an excuse to pass on the healthy eating. Your mom told you to eat your broccoli, and she was right. Eat your broccoli.)