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Touch is key

Sunday January 21 is International Hug Day. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of touch.

  • Touch is a fundamental aspect of the human experience, often overlooked in our technology-driven society. Yet the need for physical contact is deeply rooted in our nature as human beings, and plays an essential role in our emotional and physical well-being. This vital need to touch goes far beyond mere physical sensation; it encompasses crucial psychological and social dimensions.

  • Biologically speaking, touch is one of the first senses to develop in human beings. Newborns respond to touch from the very first moments of life, seeking warmth and closeness with their mothers. This first experience of physical contact lays the foundations for a deep emotional connection and sense of security that will continue to influence the individual's emotional development throughout life.

  • Touch is more than just a tactile sensation. Studies have shown that regular, caring touch promotes the release of oxytocin, also known as the attachment hormone. This hormone plays a crucial role in strengthening social bonds, reducing stress and promoting emotional well-being. So the simple act of holding someone's hand or giving them a hug can have profoundly positive effects on mental health.

  • What's more, touch has the power to influence our perception of the world around us. Studies have shown that touch can influence our judgments about others, strengthening the link between physical contact and social perception. A simple touch can convey sympathy, understanding and even empathy, strengthening interpersonal relationships.

  • In an increasingly digital society, where interactions often take place via screens, touch can be neglected in favor of virtual communication. The absence of physical contact accentuates feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression. Touch, as a vital need, therefore becomes all the more crucial in a world where virtual connectivity cannot replace the warmth and closeness of real human contact.

  • Touch is not limited to intimate relationships. It also encompasses everyday social interactions, such as handshakes, friendly hugs and even pats on the back. These gestures, often considered banal, reinforce the social fabric that holds communities together. Touch, then, is a universal language that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers, enabling us to connect at the most fundamental level.

In conclusion, touch emerges as a vital need, essential to our physical and emotional well-being. Beyond the simple sensation of touch, physical contact strengthens social bonds, promotes the release of attachment-related hormones, and contributes to a positive perception of the world around us. In an increasingly virtual world, it is imperative to recognize and respond to this fundamental need for human contact to promote a healthier, more balanced society.

That's why I recommend treating yourself to a massage from time to time.


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