Forget Maslow’s hierarchy, for our long term well-being, touch is as important as food and security. Today’s scientific neuroscientific research is proving that touch is fundamental to the human experience, and that a lack of touch can make us feel lonely, depressed, ill, and even angry at the world.
Science is proving what we already know, that basic warm touch can instantly help us feel closer, calmer and more understood. Loving touch stimulates the reward centres in the brain, triggering the release of oxytocin (the love hormone) leaving us feeling happier, safer and more confident.
Just 20 seconds of caring touch can reduce social anxiety, lower the levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and make us feel more optimistic and connected. Touch can even have economic effects, promoting trust, generosity and cooperation.
Unfortunately, in our hectic and increasingly isolated society, where extended families are separated by distance and schools and office buildings have strict no-touch policies, many people are hungry for safe, caring touch.
How many times a day do you reach out and touch someone? How many times a day to you offer or receive a hug from a friend, pat a co-worker on the back, extend your hand for a handshake, or offer a gentle touch on the arm or shoulder to demonstrate your compassion? Are there places in your life where you could offer or ask for loving touch?
The Ottawa Snuggle Salon offers a safe and welcoming space for you to play, explore, relax, learn and grow as you build your intimacy and communications skills through giving and receiving caring, mindful touch. The first rule of the Snuggle Salon is that you never have to do anything you don’t want to do, so it’s a great place to explore, stretch and communicate your boundaries in a safe, non-judgemental space.