The Importance of Human Touch
How Physical Contact Can Improve Your Health

Power of touch has incredible healing abilities

By Natural News

(NaturalNews)  Antonia   The power of touch is touted by many who believe that it has the ability to boost the immune system and help people heal. Time and again, it's proven to be true; touch has many health benefits ranging from reducing stress to even creating a more youthful appearance. (1, 2)

"Touch is a much more sophisticated system than we ever realized," said Matthew J. Hertenstein, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at DePauw University in Indiana. His statement is in line with numerous studies sowing that there's a link between touch and health improvements.

For example, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study discovered that, when a love seat was shared with a partner for just 10 minutes, premenopausal women experienced a decrease in their blood pressure. (3) The same researchers also noted that hugging, not just from romantic partners, promoted improved health by reducing heart rates. (3)

Other studies have found that the power of touch was beneficial for those solving challenging math equations. Those who received a chair massage experienced a reduction in stress and, as a result, demonstrated increased mathematical proficiency and derived more pleasure in the task than they did prior to having the massage. (3)

Other ways touch helps improve overall health


Stimulates dopamine


The flow of dopamine, also known as the pleasure hormone, is what makes people feel good. (1) Low levels have been associated with depression as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.

However, hugs stimulate the brain to release dopamine, providing positive, motivational feelings to those in the embrace. (1)

Disease prevention

According to the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, touch has the ability to prevent disease and bolster health immensely. (1) In fact, more than 100 of their studies have shown a connection between touch and reduced pain, improved immune systems in cancer patients and faster growth in premature babies. (1)

Youthful appearance, better skin

Experts suggest that more intimate kinds of touching and affection in the form of love-making also has benefits. Dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler says that sexual activity up to three times weekly can help repair skin. (2)

"When you have sex, you're bathing the skin in anti-inflammatory molecules such as oxytocin and beta endorphins. As we get older, we don't heal as often as we repair. But having sex can turn the clock back on that," she said. (2)

Sources:

(1) http://themindunleashed.org

(2) http://rawandnaturalhealth.com

(3) http://www.goodhousekeeping.com

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.


What You Can Learn from Human Touch
Try Touching Somebody

Massage therapy, healing touch are good medicine for the treatment and prevention of chronic disease

By Natural News

(Natural News)  Author Mike Adams  As more and more people are discovering, massage therapy and healing touch therapies are proving to be extremely good medicine for treating those with chronic diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and even circulatory disorders. There are several good reasons for this, such as the fact that massage therapy helps move lymph fluid around the body and oxygenate organs and tissues. Plus, there's probably something healthy going on in the fact that human touch is taking place. However, there is a widespread belief, especially among the leaders in Western medicine, that massage therapy can't possibly be considered a medical treatment. Most insurance companies still refuse to pay for massage therapies, and few doctors prescribe it, although the number of doctors recommending it has been increasing over the last few years.

I believe that massage therapy is shunned by the medical community primarily because it is considered an unsophisticated treatment -- you don't need a medical degree to give someone an effective massage. There's not a lot of equipment involved in massage therapy, it doesn't have a lot of cool technology, and it doesn't require years of training. And thus, it is looked upon as something that is below Western medicine, both by doctors and by many patients.

But all of this is a distortion -- something doesn't have to be complicated or cool to be effective as a healing treatment. Massage therapy gets to the fundamentals -- that is, the power of human touch, and the spiritual healing potential of one person's hands touching another person's body along with positive healing intent. These are timeless principles of healing that don't require technology to be effective.

Given that massage therapy and therapeutic touch are so effective in helping patients heal themselves, I find it astounding to observe the lack of physical contact between doctors and their patients in clinics and hospitals across the country. Doctors almost seem scared to touch their patients, and in fact, many doctors don't want to be touched, either. This lack of touch keeps everything at a "safe distance" - it makes their interactions non-personal and sterile. It also allows the doctor to keep patients at a distance, where they can perceive them as patients with patient IDs rather than human beings with souls and spirits and emotions. It is this distance -- this chasm between doctors and patients -- that contributes to the lack of effectiveness in modern medicine.

True healers are willing to get involved with their patients in terms of understanding them, seeing the world from their perspective, and even touching them in a healing way with positive intent. That's why our modern physicians are outstanding technicians, but terrible healers. Personally, I would much rather see a massage therapist than a physician, unless I were suffering from sort of radical, acute injury such as an accident in which case, of course, Western doctors and surgeons are the very best in the world. But when it comes to treating chronic disease and maintaining a high degree of health on a regular basis, massage therapy and healing touch offer an outstanding system of healing that I highly recommend.



More About the Power of Human Touch

PTSD successfully treated with integrative treatments: Healing touch and guided imagery

By Natural News

(NaturalNews)  Author J. D. Heyes   A newly released study has found that healing touch, in combination with guided imagery (HT+GI) provides dramatic clinical reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, symptoms for military personnel who have been exposed to combat.

The results of the study, published in the September issue of Military Medicine, described "healing touch" as an energy-based treatment that is non-invasive and aims to restore and balance the human "biofield" to help decrease pain and produce an environment conducive to healing.

"Healing touch is often used as an adjunct to surgery and other medical procedures to assist in pain reduction, decrease anxiety and elicit relaxation," according to Scripps Health.

Guided imagery is a way of utilizing the imagination to help a person reduce stress, decrease pain and enhance overall well-being through visual assistance. In the study, "guided imagery was administered to the subjects through a recorded CD simultaneously with Healing Touch and then listed to independently by subjects at least once daily," Scripps said.

Treatment is highly successful

Most U.S. forces have left Iraq and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. During the previous decade, millions of U.S. troops served in one theater or the other - or, many times, both. Such a large number of troops exposed to combat have led to a dramatic increase in cases of PTSD.

The report found; however, that patients who were treated with the HT+GI formula showed substantial improvement in their quality of life, including reduced incidents of depression and cynicism, in comparison to soldiers who received normal PTSD treatment.

The study was led by the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego, Calif., and it involved a randomized, controlled trial of returning active-duty Marines at Camp Pendleton, located nearby. The study was conducted from July 2008 to August 2010.

Participants were separated into a pair of random groups - one that received treatment as usual for PTSD and another that received treatment as usual combined with HT+GI, a practitioner-based treatment that seeks to elicit the participant's own healing response combined with "a self-care therapy aimed at eliciting relaxation as well as enhancing trust and self-esteem," said Scripps.

The study involved 123 participants, 55 who received treatment as usual and 68 who received the regular regimen combined with HT+GI. In order to qualify for the trial, researchers first confirmed that participants were indeed experiencing at least one of several PTSD symptoms, including the re-experience of trauma via flashbacks, nightmares, exaggerated emotional responses, intrusive thoughts, insomnia and irritability, exaggerated startle response, or avoidance of people or places that reminded them of the trauma.

PTSD is a Pentagon priority

"Service members are seeking out non-drug complementary and integrative medicine as part of their overall care and approach to wellness," said Wayne B. Jonas, MD, president and chief executive officer of Samueli Institute. "This treatment pairs deep relaxation with a self-care approach that can be used at home. The results of this study underscore the need to make effective, non-stigmatizing treatments for PTSD available to all our service members."

After six sessions within a three-week time period, the HT+GI group reported significant improvement in PTSD symptoms, Scripps said.

"Scores for PTSD symptoms decreased substantially, about 14 points and below the clinical cutoffs for PTSD," said Dr. Guarneri. "This indicates that the intervention was not just statistically significant, but actually decreased symptoms below the threshold for PTSD diagnosis. It made a large difference in reducing PTSD symptoms."

Treating PTSD is a Pentagon priority. Last month the Defense Department announced $100 million in research funding "to improve diagnosis and treatment of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder," the Pentagon said in a press release.

"PTSD and mTBI are two of the most prevalent injuries suffered by our warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and identifying better treatments for those impacted is critical," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson.

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924102500.htm

http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15578

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/treatment-ptsd.asp


To See these articles on Natural News click on Natural News above. Reposted with permission from Natural News.

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