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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Touch Hunger is Real

Handshaking, hugging and even a casual bump into people in a crowded place feels like a luxury now in this age of social distancing. But human beings have an inherent desire and a biological need for physical contact. This is not exclusively a sexual need, but rather a need for meaningful contact with another. We naturally hunger for touch.
   
Neurologist Edmund Rolls found that touch activates an area of the brain relating to reward and compassion. Both giving and receiving touch triggers the brain’s release of oxytocin—a feel-good hormone. Touch can reduce the stress level of our heart and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Essentially, we are social beings and comforting touch is an important and healthy means of interaction, especially during stressful times.
   
Fortunately, there are effective ways to receive touch through massage therapy, reflexology or other body work. Therapists are carefully providing a safe environment while working with their clients’ mental and physical tension. The feet are especially sensitive and receptive to touch; the entire body receives the deeply relaxing and regulating action through the nervous system.
   
Staying “in touch” in any way through this pandemic may help us feel less isolated while satisfying the touch hunger.

Cheryl Foster, a Nationally Board Certified Reflexologist, has been in practice for 16 years. Her gentle practice, Barefoot Dreams Reflexology, is located at 1661 N. Swan, Ste. 254, Tucson, and is now offering a special introductory rate for new clients. Connect at 520-345-4554, [email protected] or BarefootDreams.net. See ad, page 12.
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