The Healing Power of Touch featured in an archive edition of Life magazine back in 1997 is an excellent article that studies the numerous benefits for all ages of receiving massage therapy as a form of medicine.
Be it a premature new born infant that is clinging onto dear life needing therapeutic human touch, a new born baby becoming sensory aware, a teenager suffering from anorexia, an athlete needing a sports massage or a senior in a nursing home needing an on-site therapeutic massage to overcome depression – the effective physical and emotional benefits of being touched are endless.
“Touch is a primal need, as necessary as food, clothing and shelter”
Touch is our most intimate and powerful form of communication. It can be aggressive – a finger jabbed into the chest, a slap in the face. It can be tender – the hug that comforts a child, the hand on the shoulder that reassures a person with anxiety or a caress on the back to send someone to sleep.
Massage’s healing powers make it serious medicine. Tactile (the perception and sensation of touch) stimulation can be a matter of life and death for premature infants, seniors suffering from arthritis in a nursing home or for the teenage girl with anorexia who needs emotional reassurance or their physical body confidence renewed.
By stimulating the circulation and lowering stress hormones, massage eases stiffness and pain in arthritis sufferers. Massage improves body image in people suffering from eating disorders. When a group of office workers received a massage, they were tested with a math test and were able to complete the test more efficiently and effectively (with fewer errors) proving that massages can increase alertness and improve overall mental performance.
“Skin is the human body’s largest organ. It accounts for 18% of our body weight and covers about 19 square feet.”