Social distancing and lack of touch over the last few months has certainly been an odd concept for the more tactile amongst us, especially for those using the art of touch for a living. This lack of physical contact or ‘touch hunger’ has had a major impact on people’s emotional health.
The Anatomy of Touch study asks whether people have enough touch in their lives and what has been the impact of Covid-19. Covid-19 and social distancing have changed how most people feel about touch, as revealed by the BBC Touch test:
‘Touch is a crucial part of our lives. It’s also a sense that has taken on a new resonance during the pandemic, now that we have to keep our distance and can’t hug friends or family.
It’s a sense that you can’t turn off and we should not underestimate its power. The right kind of touch can reduce pain, soothe our stress and convey emotion faster than words.’
- Physical contact with other people can reduce the effect of stress on our bodies.
- Touch is our first sense to develop: it is thought that we experience touch before we can hear, smell or taste.
- The skin is the body’s largest sense organ: sensors in the skin allow us to experience pressure, vibration and pain as well as temperature and physical pleasure. These sensors adapt rapidly to light touch, which means that within moments of putting on our clothes, we forget that they’re touching our skin.
- Personality: people who like touch tend to score higher on scales measuring extraversion, openness to new experiences and agreeableness.
Positive attitudes towards touch are linked with greater well-being and lower levels of loneliness, according to a new global study called The Touch Test, which took place mostly before the UK was in lockdown. Read the full article HERE
Touch and specifically massage engages us in positive touch which has huge benefits for physical and mental health.
Book a session with Morgan Sports Therapy HERE