Touch in Communication and Health

The sense of touch bonds fam­i­lies and groups, guides the brain of infants as they learn to under­stand the world, enhances heal­ing, and serves as a pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tion link between inti­mate part­ners.

touch and communication

Even though you rarely think about it, the nerve recep­tors in your skin are con­stant­ly engaged in pick­ing up infor­ma­tion.

And your tac­tile sys­tem is more sophis­ti­cat­ed than you may real­ize. Here are some exam­ples.

  • Imag­ine that you’re blind­fold­ed and a com­plete stranger is try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate a spe­cif­ic emo­tion­al state to you using only the sense of touch.  Researchers in 2009 showed that test sub­jects could dis­tin­guish up to sev­en dif­fer­ent emo­tion­al states based on tac­tile input alone: anger, fear, dis­gust, love, grat­i­tude, sym­pa­thy, hap­pi­ness and sad­ness.
  • Have you watched an NBA bas­ket­ball game late­ly?  Play­ers are con­tin­u­al­ly high-fiv­ing, hug­ging, and affec­tion­ate­ly slap­ping each oth­er.  But those play­ers and teams who touch each oth­er more fre­quent­ly invari­ably per­form bet­ter.
  • Can­cer patients who were touched in a con­sis­tent way main­tained improved immune func­tion dur­ing their recov­ery.
  • Stressed out, depressed ado­les­cent moth­ers who were treat­ed with mas­sage ther­a­py improved their mood and low­ered their lev­els of cir­cu­lat­ing stress hor­mones.

Enjoy the ben­e­fits of touch in your life and as a con­trib­u­tor to your health.


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About Aaron Bynen

Aaron is a health conscious individual living in the Pacific Northwest.

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