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  • Language of Touch

    The Healing Power of TOUCH comes in many forms and many languages.

    “It is the first language we learn,” said Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life” (Norton, 2009), and remains, he said, “our richest means of emotional expression” throughout life.

    Touch is a language that cross’s all language barriers:
    Passive Touch-Active Touch-Social Touch
    Touch has many different aspects,
    Duration -Location -Action -Intensity -Frequency -Sensation –

    The intention of your touch is most important I believe.

    Psychologists have long studied the grunts and winks of nonverbal communication, the vocal tones and facial expressions that carry emotion. A warm tone of voice, a hostile stare — both have the same meaning in Terre Haute or Timbuktu, and are among dozens of signals that form a universal human vocabulary.

    In recent years some researchers have begun to focus on a different, often more subtle kind of wordless communication.

    Physical contact: momentary touches, they say — whether  a warm hand on the shoulder, quick hug, fist pound, an exuberant high five or belly bump can communicate a wide range of emotions, they can communicate an even wider range of emotion than gestures or expressions, and sometimes do so more quickly and accurately than words.

    The evidence that such messages can lead to clear, almost immediate changes in how people think and behave is accumulating fast. Students who received a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher were nearly twice as likely to volunteer in class as those who did not, studies have found. A sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long, compared with estimates from people who were untouched. Research by Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute in Miami has found that a massage from a loved one can not only ease pain but also soothe depression and strengthen a relationship.

    Craig Danehy

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