The magic touch – Why humans should be closer to each other

importance of human touch

There are countless times when you feel the need of solitude. You want to be all alone with yourself. You feel that you need to listen to yourself. These moments are normal in every person’s life. However, spending too much time in solitude and trying to find refugee from others is not normal. Humans are social animals. We are meant to live together.

To support the claims above, here’s what Dr. Daniel G. Amen, brain imaging specialist, says:

Touch is essential for having a solid health condition. You would be surprised to find out there are couples which have not engaged in touching each other for more than 10 years. During my professional life, I have met such couples and they had developed severe limbic (middle brain) conditions, such as: depression and irascibility. Only after they change their behavior and they start engaging in touching each other, their depressive symptoms started to reduce.

Here’s a true story about the importance of touch, a story described in Dr. Daniel Amen’s book Change your brain, Change your life:

During the 13th century, Frederic II conducted a barbarian experiment in which he wanted to determine what language or what words would children be able to speak if they were to be raised without hearing anything from those around them.

Thus, he took some of the children from their homes and had them in the care of various persons who had been given precise instructions of: not touching the children, not caressing them, and not talking to them.

The toddlers have never spoken a word. They all died before learning to speak.

Salimbene, a historian who lived in that time period, wrote about this experiment in 1248 and concluded that the children died because they could not live without being caressed.

These discoveries have been brought, throughout history, into the attention of many researchers, most recently during the 1990s in Romania, a country in Eastern Europe (my beloved country).

Thousands of toddlers in orphanages in this country have been living for years without being touched. Some of them have been tested through PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography) and the results have shown that their brains were substantially underdeveloped compared to those of normal children.

All these facts should draw your attention no matter who you are and what you do.

1. If you are a parent, please consider and try being more loving and caring with your children. Here’s what can happen if you are not close enough to your children.

2. If you are engaged in a love relationship, connect with your partner at a deeper and closer level.

Many love relationships do not function because one of the partners does not want to engage in any physical contact, not necessarily sex. Such behavior would lower the self esteem of the other partner and it would make him or her feel less appreciated or cared for. These types of relationships are short lasting.

3. If you have a lot of friends try adopting an “open body” position, like the one below, and start controlling the non-verbal communication taking place between you and the other parties.

open body position

For example, if you talk to a person who you feel close to, try slightly touching his/her elbow. This will ease up the conversation and will also increase your self confidence. It will connect you to that person.

touching the elbow

4. If you did not have a very happy childhood, when it comes to the relationship with your parents, this may be reflected in your current adult life.

However, it is never too late. You can engage in touching at different levels with everybody around you, in non-invasive ways. The complexity of this subject would make me recommend you to read books on non-verbal language.

I will discuss more about this subject in the future. I just wanted to point out how important it is for us, as humans, to be close to each other so that our bodies and minds can develop in a normal and healthy way.

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below. Have you ever experienced discomfort as someone got closer to you?

Photo Credits: here, here and here

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2 Responses to The magic touch – Why humans should be closer to each other

  1. L.W.D. says:

    Hi.

    Ill admit i was very impressed by reading the results of the experiments, specially because i came here with a wrong idea.

    However, i think this only applies to people who live locked on, or where born in cultures where phisical contact is not praised or even desired. In my personal opinion, its important to conect, but most important of that is how you make that conection, and with who. Because honestly, im very cautious with my personal space, and i can feel threatened very easly. People need to also be aware that not everyone has the same need of being touched, neither conect in the same way.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Chris Chris says:

      Well, yes. We connect differently and most of the people have different defined space. For example my personal space has been increased recently. I mean, I do not feel uncomfortable if people get really close to me.

      But why are you so cautious with your personal space?

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