Reach Out And Touch Someone

A CBS Sunday AM segment that aired today illustrates to me just how “touch-starved’ and alienated we’ve become as an American society. The segment shows how “across the country professional cuddlers are tackling the demand for non-sexual touch,” charging clients $120 for a 90 minute session of “holding people for an extended period of time.”

It’s very true that the biochemical and therapeutic benefits of touch cannot be underestimated. The skin, after all, is the largest organ in the body, and it is rich with nerve receptors, neurochemicals, and immune modulators. Child psychologists have long recognized that loving physical contact between mothers and babies is essential for normal growth and development and for maintaining good health. Studies on the benefits of massage have also demonstrated signifiant reductions in cortisol, our body’s stress hormone.

So, this Valentine’s Day (and every day), put aside all the texting, to reach out and touch someone, and get your “free hugs” before they become commoditized by a complete stranger…