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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

The basic science of touch

Hugging or simply holding hands has a huge healing power beyond words which provides that secure space that one needs to vent out their emotions
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This has happened to all of us. There are times when all we need is a tight hug from a loved one and everything simply falls in place.


Such is the power of the human touch. Beyond this euphoric feeling while shaking hands or hugging your dear ones is the deep connection that you feel while communicating with them.


We are not speaking of romantic touch but day-to-day human touch that is an essence of social communication invoking vibrance and spark in any conversation.


A mother snuggling her little child, a sibling’s hug, or a boss’s patting your back at work are powerful tactile tools that express the underlying emotions candidly without the need for any words.


Touching was dismantled badly in the pandemic era and still, the fear persists somewhere in between. As a consequence of pandemic protocols, all of us were deprived of this significant aspect of the human hook leaving a communication void.


Shaking hands or hugging at the onset or closing of any rendezvous intensifies the purpose and goal of that meet-up.


Why do you need to be touched?


Since time immemorial humans have learned whenever they go through the harshest moments of their life, all they crave is touch; a hug, or someone holding them through that process.


Hugging or simply holding hands has a huge healing power beyond words which provides that secure space that one needs to vent out their emotions to bin off their grief.


New York-based psychologist, Guy Winch Says; “For people who have now been living without that connection for a long time, it can be incredibly difficult. I have friends and patients that I work with who have not been touched in a year. At all. Not a handshake. And they are really suffering for it. There’s something that feels very distancing and cold about not having any kind of option for an embrace, and that can leave long-lasting scars.”


The basic science of touch


The simplest example can be put forth is of a newborn; who when touched by his mother is embodied in an immense powerful bond between the two. Despite arriving in a world obscure to him, just being held and cuddled signals his little brain to calm that he is in secure hands. All that little one comprehends is the language of touch.


What to be heedful of before you touch


Consent is the moral law that one should be practicing before touching anyone. What is the equation that you share with the other person?


What is the level of comfort zone between you two? When and where to draw the line at both the giving and receiving ends? These questions should have explicit answers before making any sort of tactile connection. As, the purpose is only to provide the emotional nourishment that one needs in a dignified way.


Dr Nisma Haris


The writer is a content creator and wellness adviser


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