The Human Touch

This paper discusses that human touch is a powerful force, able to nurture and heal, and communicate thoughts and feelings beyond our verbal capabilities, and perhaps even to perform miracles; but it is also a highly controversial topic.

This paper relates that the largest, and perhaps the single most important organ in the human body, is the skin, unique among other mammals in its lack of hair or fur, which makes possible a very unique experience, the human touch. The author explains, extensively, many aspects of the human touch, including tactile communication, the use of touching to communicate often accompanied by a sense of friendliness and intimacy, such as, in American culture, the handshake. The paper stresses that Western culture tends to be avoid of the use of tactile communication and other social forms of touch, which is a great loss to members of these societies because touch can be one of the most effective forms of communication and social bonding.

Table of Content
Introduction
Children and the Importance of Touch
Touch in Communication
Self-Touch: Communication and Comfort
The Healing Touch
The Villainization of Touch
Children and “The Bad Touch”
Forced Touch as a Power Trip
Psychodermatology
Touch and the Future of Society
“Babies have further been shown to be of healthier weights and sleep more soundly, as well as being more alert and learning faster, when given massage therapy treatments. (Dess) Infants born prematurely have always been at particular risk for health trauma and death. Countless studies have now shown that premature babies are much more likely to survive when cuddled by their mothers and given other tactile stimulation. In one premature babies study, babies who received infant massage went home from the hospital an average of six days earlier than those who did not. Repeated case studies have shown that infants deprived of loving touch will sicken and may even die. “Touch deprivation impairs development. Romanian nursery children, for example, were stunted, and MT helped them grow.””.

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