TOUCH: Why we need it


No, this isn’t an article about sex. In America however, mentioning touch often makes the mind wander to private rooms and sexual innuendo. And while there are many articles on the benefits of sex, nonsexual positive touch(no matter the kind),has many amazing and life changing benefits.

Here are a few amazing things you probably didn’t know about touch:

  • Studies show that people being touched for even one second can tell the emotion that the toucher was trying to emit, over 60% of the time. (imagine what a hug from a friend can do.)

  • A positive touch of any kind(even animals!) can lower blood pressure and heart rate.

  • Touch reduces stress hormones and enhances immune function.

  • Touch stimulates the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killer) which means, there maybe something to mommy kissing your booboo.

  • Studies show that even a fleeting friendly touch in the areas from the shoulder down to the hand (ie. touch on the hand, pat on the back, etc., groping is NOT on the list) have yielded higher tips for waitresses, increased retail sales, greater cooperation between staff, and more favorable reviews.

  • Even autistic children that generally have adverse reactions to over stimulation have been documented as enjoying and benefiting from therapeutic touch.


People living in other parts of the world seem to still hold some of this knowledge. Friends in Puerto Rico were noted at touching up to 180 times during conversation, whereas Americans only touched twice, and Brits came in last, never touching at all!

Our ancestors recognized touch as a form of communication. Letting one another know from infancy .”You are safe, and protected.”

Could this be an explanation for some of the disconnect in our societies? Have we lost the importance of communication outside of our computer screens, and the relevance of feeling and connecting with a person as a healthy dose of life?

Now that you know some of the very important ways touch can impact those around you. I hope you don’t save that hug for later.

This information is intended to motivate and encourage readers to make healthy decisions and if needed, consult with a qualified health care professional. Information contained is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. All decisions for your medical health should be made with approval of your health care provider. Therefore, please read and use the information that you derive from it appropriately and at your own risk.

Ashley Greenfield