Out of touch – out of mind > Our style of therapy-by-phone scores badly when it comes to helping people with touch deprivation! People need people, or more precisely, people need to feel love. Those most commonly affected by the loss of touch are the elderly and those living on their own.
However, there are also rising rates of loneliness among younger people, who are absorbed by their technology. Their isolation means they no longer have the opportunity to receive a platonic touch. “The use of technology and mobile devices has the adverse effect of isolating users,” says a Tonic therapist. “For example, we have all witnessed the weird sight of friends in a restaurant, sitting around a table gazing at their phones. They are not talking, so why go to the restaurant in the first place!
“Then there is increasing fears around accusations of harassment. Men, in particular, are far more wary about touching other people”.
Shying away from the platonic touch
Touch is a basic human need. From a medical perspective it is known to improve your immune system, decreases your heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels. Also when you are deprived of touch, there can be widespread negative impacts, including aggressive behaviour.
But it is one thing identifying the problem, it is far harder to know what to do about it.
A new breed of touch practitioners is offering hands-on therapy. The barrier is that those most in need too often do not recognise they have a problem.
Maybe the cure lies in the hands of professional cuddlers. Heaven forbid for the reserved Brits, and yet the internet is awash with advice on how to find cuddle buddies and protocols for snuggle parties. This blog has reviewed cuddle therapy before and the general consensus is that it all sounds a touch creepy. Cuddling strangers is certainly a no-go area for either the elderly housebound or shy youngsters who are slaves to their play stations.
Christmas is coming up, so overcome your innermost inhabitations and reach out to the lonely you know.
So celebrate the 25th December with some physical interactions which are so essential for emotional and physical wellbeing. Get out the mistletoe and give someone the best present money cannot buy. You.
Footnote > Healing touch therapy will be of little use if you have have haphephobia, which a phobia of being touched. It is also known as haphophobia, aphephobia, haptephobia, haptophobia and thixophobia.